My younger sister is in the area visiting her friends and staying with my mom who lives only five blocks from my dad's house. The same house my parents remodeled, downsized, and moved to while preparing to build on their lake property. Before they divorced after 36 years of marriage.

My dad and sister are finally on cordial speaking terms since my parents divorce 3 years ago. Now my sister can no longer avoid visiting my dad in the house he shared with our mom. Something I tried to do for as long as possible but since I live only 45 minutes away I ran out of excuses.

My dad and his wife have invited her and her daughter for dinner. They have asked my family to join them. At their house. For dinner. At the antique table that always wobbled a bit until my dad fixed it after my mom moved out. The table that will be set with plates my mom bought to match the kitchen. Prepared on the same island counter that I sat around watching my mom as she cooked. Things sitting on the stainless steel countertops my mom loved but that I thought were a pain to keep clean yet now realize how great they would be in my own home.

Even though it is not something I look forward to, going to the house my parents lived in together, I actually like the place better now. Without my mom my dad has less "stuff" and it looks more like a model home you can tour in a new suburban development. My dad's wife has a great sense of style different from my mother's but nice and comfortable all the same. She has made it feel open and airy.

It is just very hard to spend time in that house. It is the place where the arguments ended in apathy more than a true compromise. Where my dad spent his time in his office and my mother in the kitchen or sun room. Away from each other. It is where I spent my pregnancy crying over my divorce and the place I was sleeping the night I went into labor.

Watching my step mom cook using the pans and utensils my mother left for my dad is hard. Actually gut wrenching since it makes me physically clench my stomach and will the hard knot in my throat to go away so I won't cry. Much like watching Little House on the Prairie when I was younger.

Everyone means well. No one is intentionally trying to wound anyone. We are all just dealing with the reality like it is all normal and has always been this way. My dad is proud of what the place looks like and what they have done to it. They spend most of their time in San Antonio at his wife's house but for business reasons my dad has to come back to Oklahoma during the mid week. This is the first time in his life he has had to clean up after himself and he has done a great job. I think he is lonely too. I think he misses having us in the house. But it is hard. Very hard.

The eggshells we walked on while my parents were married have, for the most part, been swept away. There is no longer this undercurrent of tension and anger charging the house. That is nice.

But the memories are still there, and to be polite and kind to my dad's wife, my sister and our families will be having dinner tonight at my dad's. Steak. Divorce sucks. As a kid and as an adult. I think, like everything, time is the only thing that can help. Or a restaurant.......
5 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    you will be fine and if you allow will probably have an enjoyable evening. As a married adult, you now see how hard marriage is and the glue that holds it together is usually the kids in the house...when they are gone the adults have nothing in common left to share between them adn the glue that was once used to mend cracks is no longer used. Try not to see the house as it once was but see the happiness that is being shared in it now. Your dad was always happy for you when things turned out and went your it is your turn to return the favor.

  2. April Spicer Says:

    So how did it go??? I'm confident that you did just fine and will now probably be able to move past some of the past you are hanging onto. I'm sure it was very difficult and at times continues to be----your experiences with divorce, I mean. My sis just divorced a couple years ago---first divorce in generations. It just plain sucks. I agree.

  3. Crockstar Says:

    Dinner was great! It was super relaxed and nice. My dad's steaks were so good and his wife is such a great hostess. It was the first time she had seen my sister and I interact with each other. I had a wonderful time. Thank you for your comments I was really dreading the possible emotions but it turned out just fine. I am going to update the post in just a bit.


  4. 2Dmom Says:

    I love this post. Sometimes we have to look at our past to see our future.