Repost: What A Difference a Year Makes... Part I
A year ago, the phone rang and I received the phone call that I knew was coming but dreaded nonetheless. My husband called to tell me his mistress was in labor. Of course, I knew this day would come. I mean I’m not slow. I knew she was pregnant with twins and that unless she was hit by a bus, chances were she would deliver one day. But as much as I understood that logically. I did not understand that emotionally. But lo and behold, the phone rang. And with the words, “she’s going to the hospital” I knew that my life was changing although I didn’t know if it was for the better or the worse.
I thought I was ready for this day. I thought I had prepared. Our marriage had reconciled and while it had bumpy moments, we were slowly but steadily moving forward. We had a nursery ready to welcome the new additions to our home. But I wasn’t ready. In my mind, the plan went like this. She’d have kids at the hospital. After they arrived, we would travel to go see the babies in the hospital nursery. We would immediately start paperwork for paternity and visitation. And life would continue. That was my plan. But in reality it went something like this. My husband went to the hospital. I stayed home with our daughters and almost drove myself crazy. Big things were happening. Life changing things were happening. Things that directly affected my life were happening and I could do nothing about it. That drove me crazy! I am a do-er. I plan, I execute, I do. Inaction is never an option for me. But in this instance there was nothing useful that I could do. So I cleaned my house. I hung with my daughters. And then I washed all of the baby clothes that friends had given me.
I washed and gingerly folded clothes for a child that didn’t come from me. With each tiny little hanger that I placed in the closet, I wondered what was going on at the hospital? Would my marriage make it through this situation? Would my daughters see this as a form of weakness or a lesson in faith? Would my husband be able commit to being faithful? How would I feel about the babies? Would I be able to truly forgive? How would my children feel? Will my family ever accept the situation? Am I ready to be a parent to babies again? Does my husband understand what he’s done to this family? Will this woman ever understand the enormity of what she’s done? Does she finally get it? Will she use the children as pawns? I asked this and a million other questions as the night progressed.
Throughout the night my husband would call me with updates. I wish that I could say that I handled it well. I wish that I prayed and said loving words of encouragement and understanding. I wish I could say that. But instead I’m going to tell the truth. I cussed him up one side and down another. After dealing with the affair, after learning of the impending births, after preparing the nursery, we hadn’t emotionally and spiritually prepared for this moment. And all the hurt that I thought I was past, came flooding back in that moment because I knew what it was like to have his child. I knew how special that moment was. I knew that in the moment where your child is brought into the world you look at them and want them to have every advantage under the sun. You want their lives to be free from hardships, especially hardships that you helped to create. And for the first time when my husband felt the emotions of holding a child I wouldn’t be there to share in that moment.
The moment he shared with me was later when he sent me pictures of his sons. As I looked at the images I searched for signs of him in their faces. I asked all the required questions, “What are their names? How big are they? Are they healthy?” I had no emotional connection to them. That wouldn’t come until much later. But I had hope - hope that the storms we had already weathered had made us strong enough to survive this tsunami. And I had faith – faith that all the painful lessons that I learned weren’t in vain. Faith that however this story ended that God would see me through.