By Diane Kane

“Jeff and I are getting a divorce.”

“But why?” I asked.

“Mom, it’s complicated.”

“Can’t you work it out?”

“We’ve tried,” Shannon said. “There’s no other solution.”

I grieved over twelve years of marriage and two children, broken. What could I do? There was no room for my pain. After all, it was my daughter’s heart shattered. Why then did I feel so betrayed?

When introduced to a charismatic young man who told me he loved my daughter, I believed him. His eyes sparkled when he looked at her. There was tenderness in his arms that held her.

Jeff was in the Army when they met, stationed at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville N.C. They couldn’t wait to be together. After only a few months, they eloped to be married. Shannon still wanted a big wedding. So six months later, when Jeff was on leave, she had the wedding of her dreams. I never had a son; now I had a son-in-law.

I rode the train to North Carolina to visit them often. When he transferred to Fort Stuart, I traveled to Georgia. He hugged me and told me he loved me. I welcomed him into my family and heart.

Six years later, they announced with joy that I would be a Grandma soon. Casey was born, and two years later Finn completed the family, so I thought. But things are not always as they seem, are they?

I had not witnessed the slow painful stretching of the moral elastic band that had held their marriage together. I was not the one dishonored and deceived when that band finally snapped. Still, I felt the sting.

Shannon asked that I remove his pictures from my walls. Carefully I packed away the evidence of happy times — their wedding, vacations together, and birthdays. I put them in the drawer and closed it. Jeff had disappeared from my life, but not my memory.

Unlike a son who never stops being a son, Jeff became my ex-son-in-law. He moved in with his girlfriend and her two children. Shannon doesn’t mention his name. My grandchildren rarely talk about him in front of me. At ages seven and five, they already seemed to understand the separation of families — perhaps better than I.

A judge decided the final particulars. Assets divided, as well as bills. The children’s schedule with each parent made, including holidays. Details set, divorce final.

Why does it seem so unresolved to me?

"flashmemoirdianekane2"Diane Kane’s self-published children’s book, Brayden the Brave, is featured at Boston Children’s Hospital to help families cope in emotional times. Diane’s short story, The God of Honey: A Love Story, is published in The Goose River Anthology 2016. She is at home in rural Massachusetts or on the shores of Maine.


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