The fact I still feel reluctant to talk about divorce thirteen years later, tells me – and probably you too – how tender I still feel about the reality I am divorced from the father of my daughters. We married Labor Day weekend forty-six years ago. He was my closest friend, confident, and partner through many ups and downs of life for over three decades.
I have been writing about divorce for nearly a decade now. That is how I process life. I have finally completed a fictional story about what it’s like for older women to experience divorce after the children are grown, married and parents themselves. First the divorce; then the awkward world of dating again. Dating is optional and many older women opt out of that scene. However, not dating means there’s no prospect of having another companion for one’s later years of life.
At first I wrote as a way to process the flood of feelings that kept sweeping me off focus from the goal of moving forward. I found myself frequently talking with others who had been through a divorce, so we commiserated. Gradually I realized how many of us there are in this club few intentionally join.
With the help and encouragement of many, many people along the way, I finished the story of Ellie and her struggle to recover from a divorce. The point of attempting to publish Asunder, is to give encouragement to older people dealing with divorce, dating and re-marriage issues. To that end the book includes discussion questions for those who may want to broach this topic in a small group setting. There is also a section about society’s changing expectations and attitudes toward marriage and divorce through the ages.
I remain uncertain about letting this particular writing project make a public appearance. Being unable to decide for myself, I’ve opted to put it to a vote. The vote is a fund-raising site where people can help cover the cost of publishing Asunder. Depending on how much any individual contributes – there are a variety of thank you responses available. Minimally, donors are eligible for an autographed copy of Asunder when it becomes available. Larger donations qualify for an Italian dinner provided by new husband, Tom. For really upscale donations my son-in-law Steve Crissinger, is offering to put on a Barbeque at the donor’s home.
This adventure has taught me much about publishing in the electronic 21st Century. For the month of September, I am also learning about web-based fundraisers. Two of my grandsons suggested I go this route. Several others have helped me with the technical details required. It seems the older I get the more things I have to learn.
A public thank you to Karin Graddy who keeps me from a state of despair about internet issues. Also you Pastor Tim Carlos Anderson, author of Just a Little Bit More, for his encouragement to publish Asunder. And many thanks to the people who read and edited the work along the way: Pastors Larry Johnson, Brad Hanson and Allan Sager; along with Sonia Solomonson, Beverly Palmer, and Rosalie Fontenot.
Last, and a long, long way from least, thank you Tom Brandino for thinking marrying again at our age was a good idea. It’s not every groom who hears the wedding guests sing Happy Birthday to you on your 70th birthday. What a ride. Can’t wait to see what comes next.
Divorce hurts. Recovery takes time. Healing happens. Remarrying takes courage. Life goes on when you decide it’s time to do the same.