apple Our Fifth House: The Rainbow After The Storm

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Rainbow After The Storm

My parents got divorced when I was 13.

There's a special place in my heart for those who were teenagers when their parents got divorced.  As if just being a teenager wasn't hard enough.  I know what it's like to have your whole life change.  I know what it's like to remember with a little nostalgia what your life was like before your parents got divorced.  Not to say, that divorce isn't hard on small children.  But it is very different when your old enough to understand what's going on  - when you have to be apart of certain decisions -  decisions that a teenager shouldn't have to make  - like which parent do you want to live with  - those are hard decisions to make when you're just 13.

But I don't regret  - any of it.  The hard parts  - the decisions made  - they have all shaped the person I am today as well as the great relationship I have with both of my parents.

It's funny how when you're in the midst of the storm you can't see the rainbow.

But when you look back, when the storm has settled, you see it - and it's so beautiful.

I lived with my dad after my parents got divorced.  It wasn't an easy decision to make,  but at the time I was in survival mode.  What I wanted most at that time in my life was stability and living with my dad meant not having to change schools.  It meant I could stay in the same house - with the same friends  - while everything else in my life was no longer the same.   So basically I didn't choose my dad over my mom    - I chose my friends.  Many of which I'm still friends with today.  They rescued me - this group of silly 13 and 14 year old girls.  They kept me up  - and they really don't even know how much they saved me.

Living with my dad wasn't easy, especially at first.   I was a teenager - with a pretty bad, very sassy attitude.  I was selfish - as most teenagers typically are - add to that I was a little angry at the new circumstances that were thrown at me.  But we made it work.

I got to know to my dad  - to really know him.  The funny thing is - I don't really remember much about him or my relationship with him before my parents divorced.  Sure he taught me how to tell time and made sure I memorized my multiplication tables, but I don't remember much else.  I spent more time with my mom as daughters do I guess.  I remember doing all sorts of things with her - baking and crafting  - watching her put on her makeup - playing dress up with her high heels   - going to the movies - and on and on.  But one-on-one memories with my dad before the age of 13  - there aren't many of them.

And then, by default, at age 13 my dad became my roommate.

We did stuff together - just him and I.  We talked.  We went to the movies.  We went grocery shopping together.  He taught me how to drive, and he hosted a sweet 16 birthday party for me in our backyard, with a DJ and a disco ball.  We built a relationship.  That was our first diy project together.

I remember my wedding day as he walked me down the aisle I was filled with so many emotions.  I was a little nervous about another big life change - and there he was walking me through it yet again - not in front of me or behind me but right beside me until I could do it alone.

The relationship I built with my dad is my rainbow after the storm of my parents divorce.  I couldn't see it at the time, but I can see now that God had a plan all along.

My dad was just here visiting for the past two weeks, and we (mainly him) built a swing set/ playhouse for my kiddos.  While building I couldn't help but think  - we've been building together for 21 years now.  He left this morning, and my heart hurts just a little.  It's never easy to say goodbye, but as I sit by the window looking out at the play set we built together I realize I get to keep a little bit of him here with me.

I don't know what the storms have been like in your life or if you're going through a storm now - but I do know there's a rainbow coming!

                                                            Source: welcomingspirit.blogspot.com via Paula Jenkins on Pinterest

41 comments:

  1. Beautiful post, Carmel. Both of your parents must be extremely proud of the woman you have become. I bet your father will treasure this post forever!

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  2. what a beautifully written and thoughtful as well as thought provoking post. i am so glad for your relationship with your dad! and so glad that you have become who you did.... a sweet and beautiful woman!

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  3. That really is a beautiful post. My parents divorced when I was around 8 and my sister and I lived with our mom. I never developed a strong relationship with my father so when it came time for my wedding, I had both parents walk me down the aisle. You are very lucky to have had that time with your dad growing up. You are right, it really shaped you into the person you are today. Thanks for sharing your sweet story.
    -Shelley

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  4. Awwww now I have a lump in my throat...what a great job your Dad did. I would have to say that most girls never have that much time with their Dads so how special that was for you!

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  5. That is so well written and thanks for sharing your thoughts. I, too, was a teenager when my parents divorced. I totally get it. xo Kristin

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  6. I dont comment to often but this was a beautiful post..Thank you for sharing:)

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  7. Carmel- Now I have a few tears in my coffee! What a beautifully written post! My parents divorced when I was 18 and then suddenly my dad and I were supposed to spend time together without my mom and it was *so* awkward. What an unexpected gift to have that time with your dad at such an important time of adolescence. I'm sure your parents are crazy proud of you!

    Thanks for sharing,
    Abby

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  8. Such a precious and loving post. Divorce is so hard for anyone. Hugs, Marty

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  9. This is so lovely. My parents split up when I was 17 and while I was old enough to recognize that they were better apart than together, it was hard. Holidays were hard, graduation was hard, my wedding was hard. I think what is difficult being a child of divorce is that you think that you have all of your issues solved, that you have come to terms with it--but then something triggers a memory. My husband is leaving to travel for work soon and missing several important events with the kids. While most anyone would be upset, my reaction was wildly overblown because I remember what it was like to not have a dad at my special events as a kid. God bless you and your dad, Carmel!

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  10. What a beautiful post! Thanks so much for sharing. I too experienced my parents divorce (at age 14). It wasn't easy, but I do see that it was for the better! Both of my parents are so much happier now than they would have been together, and I honestly think my sister and I have the strongest of relationships because of it. Thanks again!

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  11. What a thoughtful and true post. My Dad died when I was 23 and although I miss him still so much, what really gets me is the opportunity I lost to get to know my Dad as an adult. To get to know him as a man instead of just as my Dad. We had a great relationship while I was growing up, but I now see how my relationship with my Mom has changed since I had a child of my own and how our conversations have become so much more meaningful and I wish that I could have that with my Dad too.

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  12. Carmel, thank you so much for sharing this. Your words bought me to tears. My parents didn't divorce, but my father remarried soon after my mom passed away. This post reminded me of the emotions I felt during that time. Once I got over the hurt and I realized how selfish I was, my relationship with my dad grew into something more beautiful. Thank you again for such a thoughtfully written post. So glad you got to spend the last 2 weeks with your dag. Sending you a hug!

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  13. Beautifully written Carmel, loved reading how close you are with your Dad after some rough times.
    Kate

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  14. This was lovely. My folks divorced when I was 17 and sis was 14.5. Rough. We came out super duper close with our dad, mainly because he didn't stress us out as much; Mom was a little more anxious over the whole thing. A good friend pointed out to me, during the divorce, that time would heal and we'd all get along again. I didn't believe it then. Sure enough, time did heal and we do. Rainbows, big time. Also, so nice to point out that dads really do step up to the plate and those junior high friends are very often the very best.

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  15. Such a nice post -- you write so well! So glad you have such a nice father/daughter relationship. I didn't really have that until my mom passed away and then it was me mostly caring for my dad. I understand what you mean in your post -- I got to spend some time with him and really got to know him. I'm sad that he too is gone now. Enjoy your dad!

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  16. Wow, I could have written this post myself. Except my mom pressured me to live with her when I was 9....and I had to move 3 hours away. 3 years later I finally got the courage to decide for myself that I wanted to live with my dad, and go back to the house I grew up in and the friends I'd had since kindergarten. I know how hard it is. I still have issues with it (issues with my mom and how everything went down) and I'm 34!

    This is the first time I've commented on your blog, but I've been reading it for a few months now. Your home is lovely!

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  17. You just gave your Dad a tremendous gift. Well done!

    http://simplymodernhome.com/

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  18. This is such a beautiful post. My parents divorced when I was 16 and it definitely shaped me in pretty radical ways. My sister was just 12 and we handled it very differently. We are both fiercely independent out of necessity. We have since become our biggest allies because of the life we lived. I wish I'd grown closer to my parents in the process, but I thank God every day for a fabulous sister. :-) Rainbows for sure.

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  19. Thank you for sharing this, such a beautiful post. It is amazing how something so difficult at the time can become something beautiful later, sometimes it takes a lot of time to be able to look back and appreciate an event that was very difficult at the time it was happening. Would love it if you could visit my blog at: http://homeandlifestyledesign.blogspot.com/

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  20. You totally made me ugly-cry at work. That was the most gorgeous thing I've read in a long time.

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  21. so so sweet...I know he will melt when he reads this. I was 14 when my parents divorced. Nuf said.

    but instead of me getting closer to my dad, he just withdrew even more. so my relationship with my mom was/is my lifesaver. My dad...non existent. the rainbow for me, was my mom finally finding happiness, love and respect that she always deserved. xo

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  22. This is a beautiful post. Brought a few tears to my eyes (so not usually a cryer)! I never had a relationship with my father, which makes me even more thankful for my husband and his realtionship with our daughters! Thanks so much for sharing this!

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  23. Your dad sounds like a very special man. How wonderful that you were able to spend that time with him. I know divorce is hard on kids - it is all around us right now.

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  24. This is a beautiful post. I feel like I can relate in so many ways. My parents divorced when I was 12, but because of choices made by my mother we had to live with my dad. It was hard then, but looking back I don't think I would change a thing. I have 2 best friends who got me through a lot of difficult times and I am still friends with them to this day. This brought a tear to my eye and a smile to my face :)

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  25. Wowsers...what a great post. I really needed a reminder today to look for the rainbow, so thank you so much for that.

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  26. So glad you were able to reflect on your forever-building relationship and your playhouse is a gift in more than one way. Thanks for sharing. Off to call my Dad now...

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  27. Thank you all so much for your heartfelt comments!

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  28. Beautiful post. I had the unique experience of experiencing divorce as a child at age 5 (mom and dad) and again as a teen at age 18 (mom and stepdad). Definitely stinks at any age. My rainbow was writing the book, Generation Ex: Adult Children of Divorce and the Healing of Our Pain (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CEFWUK2/ref=as_li_ss_til?tag=dejondrehou-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as4&creativeASIN=B00CEFWUK2&adid=1CAKA5BMSGJTHCS5H66N). Peace to your heart!

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  29. Carmel, that post really touched my heart. IN particular on this day it touched me. I have been going through some things regarding the father of my two oldest children lately. They have not seen nor talked to their father in 5 years. If you are curious as to why you are welcome to go to my blog and view the page titled living with addiction. I have written 5 parts to the story of what we went through so far. Lately, it has been on my heart more and more. And particularly tonight, while watching American Idol for some odd reason, God just placed it on my heart that I need to start trying to forgive him, and so do my kids. I started crying so hard. And then a few minute later, I opened your blog, and this is what it is about. And reading your words broke my heart, because my two precious children do not have that, and may never have it. I could go on an on, but I will stop here. I just want you to know that what you just wrote affected me in a very profound way tonight. I know you are probably thinking who is this crazy lady. If you decide to read my story, you will understand completely. God works in mysterious ways, doesn't he? Because I know he has been working on me lately, and tonight his message came to me through you.

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  30. Really well written. It touched me! You are lucky to have such a strong relationship with your Dad!

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  31. What blessings you received after weathering the storm. And thank you for reminding us all that the rainbow will come!

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  32. What a beautiful post Carmel! And it's so true! There are so many rainbows that come from storms!

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  33. What a beautiful post! My parents divorced when I was in preschool and I did not see my Dad for 9 years. It was a long hard road to rebuilding our relationship but we're close as can be now. I love your analogy to rainbows after the storm.

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  34. Wonderful post Carmel! Rainbows have a special place in my heart. Shortly after my brother died in 2008, I was asking/praying for a sign that he was ok, and lo and behold, I got a sliver of a rainbow on a cold January afternoon. Ever since, he hasn't failed to disappoint, and I've seen them at the craziest, yet most meaningful times. His birthday, and also the anniversary of his death (in December no less). As my youngest son told me, "Rainbows are a sign of God's promise" - such a wise one he is!

    Thanks for sharing!

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  35. Absolutely beautiful. This makes me think of the relationship between my husband and his father. Up until 8 years ago they didn't have one. His mom and dad were still married, everyone got along, but he and his dad just never really connected. Eight years ago his mom died of cancer. Destroyed both of them. She was the only thing those two men had in common. From her death came new life in the form of a relationship between him and his father. They now talk every day :)

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  36. Beautiful on every level. I wish every young person going through this now could read this message. I hope you don't mind if I quote you in my sermon tomorrow. The part about your dad walking with you down the aisle is just so evocative of what I am trying to illustrate. While i was reading this I realized why i have felt drawn to your blog; you have such a generous insightful heart and outlook that comes through your writing and I always feel the strength of that reading your posts. And you're my Paleo role model!

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  37. This was such a wonderful post, and it really could not have come at a better time. I'm not a teenager, but my parents are getting a divorce right now, and I agree that going through this as an adult (26) seems much harder now than it would if I were younger. This post really reminds me to keep things in perspective and to remember that there will be better days ahead. Thanks for that! :)

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  38. awe, very sweet... it is wonderful that you have such a nice relationship with your dad - you are a very lucky girl! :o)

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  39. What a sweet story. My parents got divorced when I was around 10 and I definitely knew what was going on. I stayed with my mom but that didn't hurt my relationship with my dad at all. Even after my mom remarried it didn't hurt my relationship with my dad. When I was a senior in high school I did end up moving out of my mom's house to be with my dad for a couple of years and that didn't hurt my relationship with my mom. My parents always stayed civil with each other. Luckily it wasn't a hate filled divorce - it just wasn't working out for them anymore. When I was younger I still both parents. I never went too long without seeing my dad or anything like that. I have a great relationship with both of my parents. =]

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Be nice or I'll tell your mom! xoxo -C

 
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