Post-divorce life has been rough lately. Alimony gone, huge debt, unemployment, post-menopausal hot flashes. Pleas with my well-monied ex to increase child support are usually met with something akin to “GFY,” or exactly that. I just paid my attorney a huge sum to settle my divorce debt; other bills get paid out of home equity and renting out my home.
I entreat, beg and occasionally engage with my ex even when I know I shouldn’t. Still, something stops me short of matching vigor for vigor. “Let no man pull you low enough to hate him,” Martin Luther King, Jr. said. And at times it takes every fiber of my being to do just that, to push away the anger bubbling up in my throat that my friends say I’m justifiably entitled to.
“Returning violence for violence multiples violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars…Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that,” Martin Luther King, Jr. said, too.
“Love” is now standing in the kitchen to remind me of just that. A young teenage woman who bears half his genes. If I ever got close to hating him, I would have to hate part of her.
Ella’s putting the finishing touches on tonight’s dinner. It’s the second night in a row she announced she was cooking dinner; she has tomorrow night’s meal all planned out, too. I’ve cooked nearly every week-day night since my children were born. I believe in having family meals together, no matter what else is on our plates.
I temped all this past weekend, and sitting nearly 12 hours a day behind a computer screen left me spent. “I love you. You’ll have a delicious hot meal when you get home,” my daughter texted me while I was still at the office.
She can’t afford expensive gifts nor can she fix the problems and heartache that ensued in the wake of her father’s exit from our family. But she can remind me of what’s most important that I sometimes forget. And she can feed my tired, hungry body. And in so doing, feed my soul.
Voila! Behold Ella’s marvelous creation: