It’s been a rough summer for my family and friends. My parents filed for divorce, and my friend’s divorce was finalized. That left two families split and two homes family-less. Decades worth of furniture, collectibles, photos, gifts, and memories needed to be sorted, split, and either sold or donated. It wasn’t a weekend job – it took all summer to figure out how to separate the mixed lives of so many people.
Over Labor Day weekend – the hottest, most humid Labor Day weekend in years – my husband and I spent three days helping people sort through their lives. In the process, we ended up with a lot of their lives moving into our home. We’re now overrun with furniture and random bits and bobbles. Some of it was easy for them to give and easy for us to receive. Other items carry so many memories that it was heartbreaking to rehome them, but throwing them in the trash just wasn’t an option.
I would never downplay the pain and heartache of a time like this, but I will savor it. Not because I somehow enjoyed it, but because I hope to learn from it and remember it. I want to recall the confusion and frustration of flipping through photos when I sit down to write my next novel. I don’t want to exploit the situation, but I do want to make sure my characters fully experience and reveal the realities of similar situations.
I continue to pray for my family and friends, for healing, forgiveness, and restoration. I would never wish this summer on anyone else, and I pray that families everywhere would be spared the trials of a divorce, but I am thankful for the opportunity to love and support them as best I could. As hard as this season has been, it’s won’t last forever. It will eventually move into the next season. It may or may not be easier, but it will be different, and, whether we like it or not, we’ll have to move on.
Here’s to the next season – may it bless, encourage, and challenge you in new, wonderful ways.