While we were waiting for the ring…
“I told my therapist I was having nightmares about nuclear explosions. He said don’t worry it’s not the end of the world.” (Jay London)
I have a friend who’s a therapist. He can’t be my “official” therapist due to a conflict of interest because of our friendship, but he makes a fabulous friend. He is always there with brilliant counsel, and I would think twice about ever disregarding his friendly advice. In fact, if I’ve never told him, I don’t know what I would have done without him on March 18, 2009.
My world had fallen apart and the question of the day from everyone–my husband, his attorney, the government, my church leaders, my friends, my family, my children, EVERYONE–was, “What are you going to do?” Unfortunately, I didn’t have a clue.
I don’t remember if he called me or I called him, but my conversation with him was one of the most important and valuable that day. When he asked, ‘Andrea, what are you going to do?” I replied, “I don’t know. All I know is that I want to do what is best for my children. And it seems to be…” I shared my thoughts with him.
Doing what I felt was best for my children was my #1 goal in the whole unexpected life thing. They had their whole lives ahead of them; and as much as it broke my heart to acknowledge it, I’d had my chance. Regardless of their adversity, they still had lives to live. They needed to learn, grow, overcome, accomplish, and LIVE. It was my responsibility to help them do that.
It’s what my mom had done for me when I was growing up and our family was tried and tested in the adversity of losing our father, lifestyle, life and everything as we’d known it. (Although not to the extent my children lost theirs.) It’s what her mom had done for her when their family was tried and tested in the adversity of losing their father, lifestyle, life and everything as they’d known it. And I knew I owed my children the same thing.
My mother, and her example of rising above adversity and carrying on, and that she taught me to do that, had made all of the difference in my life. When my unexpected life hit, I knew exactly how to act and what to do–to carry on–because she had taught me that.
My friend, the therapist, responded with something that helped me continue the path I had chosen. It set an important course for my unexpected life when he said, “Andrea, if only every woman, every parent, in trauma, adversity, marital stress, divorce, and every other hard thing that comes in life did that, their children would be so much better off! There would be a lot more healthy, happy children in the world.”
So as we’ve lived our unexpected life, I’ve tried to focus on helping my children overcome and be what they should be regardless of the challenging circumstances we’ve found ourselves in. And as I see my children healing and finding happiness and joy again, I believe time has proved my decision to be the right one. After all, it’s not what happens to you, really, that counts. It’s what you do with it. The most important thing to me is that my children grow to become good, kind, responsible, law abiding citizens who contribute to the good of the world. And it’s possible to do that regardless of the obstacles in your path. That’s why I chose to put my children first. It was my therapist friend who backed me up in that decision, too.
So, one of the first people I called after reaching my decision to remarry was this friend.
He’d already met Bachelor #5 (that was prerequisite to me making my decision), and when I asked him what I should do next he recommended premarital counseling. He gave me the name of a therapist he knew who specialized in remarriage and I didn’t even debate it. I called and booked an appointment.