New Day

Sunset Cropped 5-5-13



A Sunrise is God’s way of re-acquainting us with hope.  This picture is what woke me up this morning.  I’ve taken to sleeping with the windows open (the better to hear the birds) and always having the blinds open in my apartment.  It makes the world seem bigger and it helps me connect with the Creator better when I see his creation every time I glance past the window.

So instead of waking to the sound of my alarm, the tint of my room changed from dark to pink, to orange to flame red.  By the time I got up to get the picture, this is what had developed.

Not that I was feeling hopeless at all.  Compared to last weekend, this weekend was such a huge improvement.  Not really sure why, there was actually more negative yesterday than all last weekend, but I think its more about the attitude then the circumstances.

Friday night I had been invited to join a friend of mine for drinks and dinner and conversation with his Friday night group of friends at Buffalo Wild Wings.  I normally attend a small group on Fridays but I was getting back late from a business trip and had already told that group that I wasn’t going to make it and so just decided to join this friend.  Spent 5 hours there with them (got through 6 Diet Cokes, I think, memory gets fuzzy after the 4th).  I’m not a drinker, and all of them are, but what a great group of 20-30 friends they hang out with.  I spent some time talking to my friend, who had been through a difficult divorce many years ago and had very similar ex-wife issues.  Then I got to enjoy the company of a lady my age, who has a degree in English, like me, and loves to read.  So we talked books, what’s on our kindle, writing, school, sports, etc. for several hours.  She’s 6 foot tall, but as sweet as they come.  I’m, ahem, quite a bit NOT 6 foot tall, so it was pretty easy for us to just be friends and have a great conversation.  I got home about 1 AM.  So here I am making friends.

Saturday broke with me up early and driving over an hour away to my daughter’s soccer game.  When I got there, the Ex-wife’s car was nowhere to be found and my daughter wasn’t on the field.   A quick text to her team administrator confirmed that she had emailed the coach and said she was not coming.  So I enjoyed an hour drive back home.

That afternoon I saw the kids had received their report cards.  Thankfully, the school is required to notify both parents of such things and I got the email link to view their cards.  Both did surprisingly well, considering the circumstances over the last 5 months.  So I texted both of them and congratulated them on their good grades and hard work and told them I loved them.  I went to dinner and was sitting through the new iron man movie by myself (hey, don’t judge me, I don’t have a ton of friends yet).  It was the middle of the movie before I received my daughter’s reply.  Full of phrases like “freakin’ idiot” and telling me I don’t have the right to congratulate her.  I responded immediately with “I love you and always will.”  To which I was told that I should “die in a hole.”  I decided that this was not something to respond to and left it at that.

This is a fairly normal exchange between us over the last few months.  Any time I try to communicate, I am met with this type of response.  I have received advice from friends and counselors to keep contacting her and ignore the meanness, I’ve been told to confront it every time, I have been told to respond in love, I have been told to stop writing.  I think I’ve come down to the fact that I have to communicate once in a while.  It should  be short and to the point and not talking about the difficulties in our relationship, but just communicating.  I’ve decided that if I’m met with hostility and anger, my response needs to be truth and love.  It’s all I can do right now.

You know what is invigorating about that response?  Peace.  That’s the result.  Peace.  Call it the Serenity Prayer in action.  I can’t change her or what is happening in that house.  All I can change is my attitude and my response.  Don’t get me wrong.  Each time I get a text such as that, it creates a visceral physical reaction in my body.  My heart races, I start to sweat a bit.  My brother says that is because I’m a dad and the burst of adrenaline comes when my fatherhood is questioned by my progeny.  I think that’s probably pretty accurate.  But I fight the Dad instinct and return with love.  That’s when the peace comes.  So when the die in the hole comment is returned, I don’t have the visceral reaction.  I just feel sorrow for her.  Who would want to live with the bitterness and anger that is shown in those texts?  I was in the iron man movie, but couldn’t help but wondering, did she not remember Spider Man 3 with the black costume?

So, I woke up this morning to the beautiful sunrise above.  There is hope.  It’s a new day.  God is here.

Beautiful Day by U2





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