My last post on 7/2/2012 spoke about my best friend/ex-husband/children’s father receiving a diagnosis of Leukemia that shook our foundation. On 7/7/2012 he left this earth leaving me to question everything I know. I was talking to my other half yesterday and realized how big a role he played in my everyday life. In the 10 years we have known each other, I can count on my hands how many weeks we did not communicate in some form even after divorce. If a week went by without talking it was odd and we knew something was wrong.
Many people questioned our relationship/friendship after divorced oftentimes followed by negative words. He would call me frustrated and I would remind him that people will always talk; it’s about what you believe and what is in your heart that truly matters. I was reading back through some of our old emails and I ran across one from January 8, 2009 when we were speaking about what people around him had to say. Just an excerpt:
…Truth is I love you more than even I could have imagined.
Its cool people can talk…I know in my heart and soul what I want where I want it and with whom I would like to share my life with.
Or his last non business email to me 5/30/2012 regarding our son:
I appreciate all that you do to be a consistent part in his life, and in building him to be a great young man. There is no way that I could do this without you. Situation aside you find a way to ensure that he is still in touch educationally as well as socially. You always make sure that he has whatever he needs from you to succeed to the very best of your situation. I applaud and thank you for all that is simply Joy.
I love you.
Or his last personal text message to me 6/27/2012 after I asked him about his test results:
He would call me or send me messages like this often. He started this after our son was born and continued it until two days before his death. He and I would tell each other how well we were doing as parents even with the 300 mile distance between us. We encouraged each other and remained a support. I didn’t understand it at first but his point was to tell people how you feel while their living because you never know when their end will be. God knows I didn’t expect his end to be so soon.
Lessons I learned from his life:
1. Always be true to yourself even when people put you down.
2. Make sure people dearest to you know how much you love them while they are living.
3. Don’t allow the opinions of others to make you feel like you can’t be real about how you feel. Stand up for yourself, what you feel, and what you believe because playing both sides will make you miserable.
4. People will always have something to say but you must have the courage to stand up for what you feel and believe.
5. Most importantly, when you say you love someone, show them.
We had a great relationship for a divorced couple, why because we made a choice. We decided that respecting one another was more important than holding on to any bitterness and acting foolish in front of our children. I encourage divorced parents to learn to get along. No the marriage didn’t work out but that doesn’t mean you have to further injure your children by acting like idiots. You may think holding that anger against your ex is hurting them, but the most injury is placed on your children. He and I didn’t always agree nor did we always like each other but even in those moments we found a way to communicate and find a solution. Your children have to be more important than any hurt your ex may have caused you. Think about the pictures you are placing before them. I’m sure it would break your heart if they repeated your actions as an adult. How can you teach them to be productive and responsible adults when you fail to do the same? How can you teach them to love and respect people when you show them nothing but disrespect? We are human and at some point we will hurt each other. The question is how will you handle it? Is the hurt worth leaving your child or children out there to fend for themselves? Do you love your children enough to stop the madness?
Thank you Walter PJ Coffey for helping me to become a better person. Thank you for not being afraid to tell me when I was wrong even when I didn’t like it. Thank you for always encouraging me. Thank you for making sure I knew that you loved me, or as you said “you’re the only woman I truly ever loved” even in your hospital bed. This is definitely an adjustment because you have been a constant presence in my life the last 10 years but the place in my heart for you will never fade. You will always be the first man I ever loved…Rest in peace PJ 8/14/1974-7/7/2012.