I have really gotten off track on the whole 30 letters in 30 days but it is still very therapeutic to write these.
There are 3 types of friends. The Facebook friend: a friend who you keep in contact with after you or they leave a job and their life interests you enough to follow them. This category also includes the high school classmate because us Baby Boomers (I’m the last year but it counts) didn’t have social media back then and we, of course, we lost touch. We follow each other to see what each other is doing and to know when one of us dies.
The second type of friend is the actual friend. Someone who has been to your house, met your family, has answered the phone and been there for you when you needed something. You all share some type of memory with me.
The third type of friend is the “3 AM friend”. Just as it sounds, if we called each other at 3 AM and needed anything it was just done. This is a short but important list. If you are on mine then you are special.
To all of you, I want to ask you to bear with me. I have moved much farther away and getting together is more difficult. Driving to get-togethers is simply too much driving for me. I won’t be seeing you much.
But that doesn’t mean that I have forgotten about you. I am still here for you and if it is within my ability I will help you in any way that I can. Even just to talk.
If you are indeed my friend, you will know that my theory of friendship is no matter how much time elapses, we pick up where we left off. I plan on letting all of you know just how much you mean to me. Just give me time.
Thanksgiving is always a difficult day for me. I love the day itself, having the family together for a big meal and quality time with the kids. Relatives and friends visiting. Turkey coma and football. The reality of Thanksgiving in my house has always been a wife who hates all holidays and her anxiety and misery would infect the entire house. Relatives stopped coming over, family stayed away and I found myself barely getting through the day without the help of a good Irish Whiskey. This year I was expecting the worst ever when I found out that my wife had told the kids we were divorcing.
My mom and I arrived at my wife’s new place around 12. I took great strides to make this holiday easier for everyone. I made the turkey and stuffing, all she had to cook was a couple of sides, some dinner rolls, and an appetizer. There would be no alcohol because I had a long drive ahead of me. Everyone was there already.
The day couldn’t have gone better. We got the table ready, we all sat and had a great meal with great conversation. Completely unlike every Thanksgiving before.
At the end of dinner as the Tryptophan set in and conversation slowed a bit my wife came in from the kitchen and sat down, a pile of papers in her hand. “When do you want to come down next week and take care of this?” The papers were divorce paperwork. I looked around the table and the expressions on everyone’s faces suggested that this was just no big deal. I was shocked. She might as well have asked me to pass the stuffing.
I had agonized over getting a divorce for years and it turns out everyone is fine with it. The fact that we are not fighting over assets and custody is a blessing. It’s just so surreal.
Driving home that afternoon it occurred to me that all it took to finally have a good holiday without stress was to get a divorce. How about that?