I CONFESS: Children upset by my remarrying
DECEMBER MOMENTS have been the best and worst times of my life.
I was born in December, married in December, and my second son was also born in December three days before my birthdate.
On the downside, my husband of 22 years succumbed in December and seven Decembers afterwards I was paid out after giving 30 years of dedicated service to a company.
So I experienced both happiness and sadness during this particular month.
Initially, after my husband’s sudden death, it was worse during the Christmas period as I went through the holiday season seemingly alone, while others seemed so happy and content. I was torn between celebrating Christmas with my children or quietly using the period to reflect on the good times I had with him.
I always thought my husband and I would have grown old together. He was always so strong, never got sick, and continually did things to surprise me. Losing him so suddenly after a few weeks’ illness was therefore devastating.
That said, this letter is not about those tough emotional times and how I felt. Instead, I wrote to assure those presently going through similar depressing times that God never puts more on you than you can bear. I am convinced that you will overcome your depression as long as you pray and allow yourself to be guided by Him.
I did, and I know others who have, and today we are happy again. Of course, we still remember our late loved ones, as nothing can ever make you forget precious moments. But you grow spiritually to realise the value of life and that you ought to live it to the fullest. Life is too short to be unhappy or to allow other people to stop you from enjoying it.
I found another partner. He is a wonderful man who cares for me deeply. I feel truly blessed to have met – and married – two good men, given how badly many men in Barbados treat women. If that is not the grace of God, then what else could it be?
I met my new husband about two years after my first love’s death. We got on well from day one, as he is a Christian and respectful individual who does not smoke, drink or gamble. He and his wife divorced years ago and he has no children. Because of this he made it clear from the outset he wanted us to cultivate a strong friendship, and depending on how that went, maybe we could become closer.
That suited me perfectly, as I was not sure if I could stand being close to anyone else after more than two decades with only one person. Besides that, I had my children’s views to contend with. It really would not look good if I became involved with someone else so soon after their dad’s death.
So in turn I made it clear that I was not desperate for a man. I, too, was interested in a genuine friendship with someone I could respect as I was alone but not lonely – that is, though I was by myself, I was comfortable with my own company as I had overcome those depressed feelings of losing my husband which had left me numb and lonely.
Our friendship, therefore, started on the right foot. Initially we talked mostly by telephone and only saw each other once a week at church. That went on for nearly a year though we did occasionally meet up at some church luncheons and dinners. In those instances we were in the company of others and never moved as a couple.
We had our first intimate kiss about three and a half years after my husband’s death, and a few weeks later I finally decided to ask my eldest son – my husband’s favourite – how he would feel about me going out with someone.
As expected, he did not take kindly to the thought and told me it was too early after his dad’s death to be seeing someone else. He questioned whether I didn’t love his father that I would want to be with somebody, especially given my age.
I had to point out to him that I would always love his father and treasure the moments we shared, but at 54 I was certainly not old. Besides I did not need his permission to get on with my life. I was speaking to him on it as I thought that at 30 he would be mature enough to understand such an issue.
He left in a huff. Within 20 minutes my two other children called, questioning why I had a man and wanted to move him into their father’s house. It was drama.
I had to set the record straight and let them know I was not yet planning to remarry, neither had I discussed where I would live if I did remarry. I had simply met someone whom I cared for and I wanted them to know.
We agreed to talk it over at the house after Sunday lunch. At the end of nearly four hours, we resolved nothing. My eldest stormed out, saying he would never speak to me again if I continued seeing the man. His brother said he understood I had to move on, but felt three years was too soon, while my daughter was happy to go with any decision I took that made me happy.
The long and short of it was that I waited another year and a half before introducing my present husband to my younger son and daughter, then married him a clear five years and two months after my first husband’s death and moved in with him, leaving my former home for the children. My eldest son no longer communicates with me. He clearly has issues to resolve.
I am truly happy. I would love if all three of my children were ecstatic about my new love, but whether they are or not, I intend to live my life in truth guided by the Lord.