This Friday my ex-husband and the father of my three kids is having major cancer surgery. He has already undergone three rounds of chemo, lost his hair and his energy, and has a long road ahead of him. The surgery will be followed by six weeks of radiation and who knows what else. This is something that came out of the blue. One day life was normal, the next day everything changed.
We've been divorced for more than ten years, but our lives have always been intertwined due to co-parenting three kids. We have fought and argued over the years and at times hated each other, but we never let these emotions carry over to our kids. I think we did a pretty good job of keeping their lives normal as "kids of divorced parents". I hate the term "broken home" - and I refuse to ever call my home "broken". We have also come to some sort of a place of peace and understanding as the years have gone by. I am happily remarried. He has been married and divorced again, and now has rekindled a relationship with his high school girlfriend, who I am ironically friends with. Seems that his life came full circle. Then the cancer diagnosis.
My kids are dealing with the stress of their dad's impending surgery. I don't know exactly what they are thinking because they don't say much about it. I don't think they know how to react as they have never been through anything so traumatic in their lives, except for our divorce. As the ex-wife, I don't really know how to react either, although I can't shake the overwhelming feeling of concern and sadness that I have for him, our kids, and his family. I am thankful that my current (and forever) husband is extremely supportive and that the lines of divorce have blurred for all of us. He was the first person to offer help to drive my ex to the hospital for a biopsy early on in this saga. What a generous person he is.
As the hours tick closer to Friday, I find myself getting more scared. I plan to take my 12 year old and 17 year old on a hike that morning. There is nothing they can do by sitting at the hospital all day waiting and I think it will do us all good to hit the trail. He will be in the ICU for several days. I'm not sure if they can visit or if that will be good for them to see or not. So many unknowns. My daughter, who just turned 20 last week, will be there, and we will stop by in the afternoon and keep her company, along with other family members, all of them "ex's" to me. Ex or not, they are part of my history and my story.
Please keep our family in your thoughts.
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