Monday, December 10, 2007

Craziness, I Tell Ya

What is the world coming to? The Steelers lost and the Browns won. UGH. Granted the Browns didn't beat us. But still they won...

Oh well, now is not the time to dwell on such negative thinking. I must take a minute and talk about the gift I was given yesterday. My boys went to Ohio this weekend to their mother's. They picked out a Christmas tree and decorated it. Took pictures and sent them home for me to see. I enjoyed getting them and I was truly happy to see them enjoying a special tradition, like trimming the tree with their mother after all of these years. The jealousy that I felt in years past at the mere mention of her name is gone. A friendship has been formed. And I can't really explain it. I honestly don't know of anyone with an ex in the picture where the two parties get along such as we. This was a long time in coming.

The fights we would have, whoa! They were terrible. And I wanted her completely OUT of their lives. I was their mother now. She blew it. She had her opportunity and she let it slip through her fingers. I didn't have all of the answers when it came to raising children, but at least I was here and willing to learn. I was so completely wrapped up in what I was doing for them, what I had given up, what sacrifices I had made to give them a home. To be with their father meant that I had to be with them. And I truly accepted that role willingly. So I felt I was to be praised and revered by them. I didn't become their mother because I had to, I wanted to. Deep in my heart I felt that to be respectful to me they must disown their mother. I never expressed that emotion to the boys, to the best of my knowledge anyway. But, I felt it nonetheless. What a bunch of self-righteous crap. I see that now. And for that, I ask the Lord for forgiveness.

I can't explain the relationship that Kerry and I have. It's strange even to me, while at the same time seems so natural now. She and Greg brought the boys home yesterday and the boys told me that they had a gift for me. I was confused and Kerry said that she didn't want to give it to me on Christmas with everyone watching. It was something meant to be between me and her. Little did she know I would blog about it, ha ha. I unwrapped it and opened the box which was covered in snowmen! Inside of that little box was another box. Little boxes are my favorite, you know. I opened the box and started to cry. It was a ring. With two birthstones. Amethyst for Austin and and an emerald for Jesse. It was a mother's ring. Their names are engraved beside their respective stone. Do you have any idea how much I sobbed?

Here was a woman, their birth mother giving me a symbol of what I am to the boys. I cry now thinking about it. It meant SO much to me. She isn't looking to replace me. She is only looking to be a part of their lives. And this symbol, this gesture, was her way of letting me know that she accepts me as their mother too. It's a strong woman who can share that role willingly. And while our friendship may be traveling down an unchartered course, it is real. For my children, our children, to know that they never have to feel guilty for loving each one of us is a blessing to me.

She and I took the boys to their youth group meeting last night where they sang Christmas carols at a senior citizen apartment complex. We discussed plans for her coming down to see the boys in the live Nativity. Jesse is playing Joseph and Austin will be one of the Wise Men. When she left last night she said 'I'll talk to you before then' and I realized I'm looking forward to that conversation. I used to dread conversations with her. What a difference now. It's amazing the power of love. And the glory goes to God.

#209 ~ Make a friend of an enemy this Christmas!

45 comments:

Karen H. said...

Good Morning Julie,
"PRAISE GOD" that you have moved on and accepted you boys Mother. I am glad you overcame that situation. You are a Godly Woman and I'm sure God is proud of you as well. Me and my ex-hubby parted on bad terms. It's been years since we have spoken to each other. We didn't have any children together tho. I do have 2 girls with my hubby now and that was God's plan for me not having children with my ex. I am Thankful it worked out this way. A Mother's Ring, wow that was very thoughtful of her to give that to you. I don't think you would see very many Women doing such a thing. You will have to take a picture of the ring and share it with us. It sounds beautiful. My hubby now bought me a Mother's Ring for Mother's Day after our oldest daughter was born. After our second daughter was born I took it back and had her birthstone put in it. It has hubby's and my birthstone on it as well. It is beautiful and I will always cherish it. Well, take care my friend and "THANKS" for sharing such a wonderful story with us. To me, that is a True Meaning of Christmas. May God Bless You and Yours.

Hugs,
Karen H.

Anita said...

Julie! This even brought tears to my eyes... What a wonderful story of forgiveness and love...
A mother's ring! How wonderful... Such an amazing gift!
Thank you so much for sharing this story... :)

Have a great week!

Alice said...

Wow, Julie, this is one of your best posts ever. You start out telling us your early feelings in such an honest way and then we get to see how far you've come in accepting the birth mother. And for her to give you the mother's ring seems to be the ultimate respect and acknowledgment from her. Your sons are really blessed to have you as a Mom.

Supermom said...

YOU GONNA MAKE MY MASCARA RUN, WOMAN!!!!

That is awesome.

JANET said...

Letting "stuff" go is the best way to celebrate the season and the rest of your life! Congratulations.

Mary said...

Oh Julie, what a beautiful story! How fortunate your boys are to have such generous adults in their lives!
xoxo,
Mary

Alexandra, Writing & Baking Enthusiast said...

Gosh, what a sweet testimony in forgiveness,love, compassion, and self-refining. Just love you, Julie.
Alexandra

willzmom said...

Julie! How wonderful! I can hardly type because of the tears in my eyes. These have got to be two of the luckiest boys in the word, to have TWO mothers that love them so.
I know that you will wear that ring proudly-you've earned it through lots of love.

bj said...

All the glory is GOD'S and you AND Kerry benefit from it. And, the boys, and the husbands, and all the people connected to you in any way. God's love is so joyful, every one feels it.
Merry Christmas,
bj

From the Doghouse said...

This one is awesome beyond words!

BittersweetPunkin said...

Julie...I am crying over your Gift as well...how very special...your children are double Blessed to have such wonderful mothers in their lives...
Love,
Robin

NeereAnDear said...

I can barely type this through my tears... this is a story you usually see only in the movies... what a testament to you and Kerry for the love and friendship that has grown between the two of you and how lucky your children are that they do not have to choose between two "mothers"....

I am so proud to know you

HUGS BLESSINGS LOVE

JO

Kari (GrannySkywalker) said...

How wonderful that you've gotten to this point. It's really so much better for the kids, for her AND for you. [Oh and I'm sure it's good for your husband, too. :)]

Dena ~ swaddlecottage said...

Hi Jules,

That is such a beautiful story to share. What a blessing that you two have accepted each other and that you can share in something so special.

Hugs,
Dena

PAT said...

Great post, Julie and Blessings to you!

Pat

The Feathered Nest said...

Well, I cried just reading about it so I can just imagine the crying you did!

That was a lovely present she gave you - with so much meaning behind it.

Manuela

FarmHouse Style said...

Julie, what a wonderful and thoughtful gift! I am crying from this beautiful story of two strong women who have accepted each other and moved past the hurtfullness to the better of both their boys and themselves.

Love ya girl,
Rhonda

Terri and Bob said...

What a touching story of how families can work things out. I love this and hopefully will be able to share it from time to time with the families I work with. thanks for sharing it with us!

Brenda said...

Julie that is such a blessing! It takes some one special like you. Brian was married before me for a few years he was very young and had no children.When we go back to our old town and I see her I shiver..I hate to hear the name. I know I need to forgive.

Counting Your Blessings said...

Oh how precious! God moves!! My heart is overflowing for you (and my eyes too)! Blessings... Polly

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Oh, Julie what a a wonderful testimony! You're such a giving person & it shows in your posts. Thanks for sharing your struggles with us & how far you've come with it all.

Blesssings!
Rhoda

restyled home said...

Hats off to you Julie...you have not only done right by your boys, but you have forged a friendship which will make the boys' life easier forever. You are such a great person...and she sounds like a very grateful woman...

Linda

Nan said...

It's great that you can all get along now. Hope you have a great day.
Nan

Donna said...

What a wonderful story and a wonderful gift!
Big hugs to you!
Donna

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

That was huge! I really enjoyed learning more about you and your life experience. Two incredible women loving two wonderful sons isn't a bad thing. Though family trees are getting kind of gnarled these days, beauty abounds in imperfection. Thanks for sharing your story.

lori said...

darlin' you are such a GOOD mommy! What a gift you have given them by being 'friends' with their mom...

You have given them and unspeakable gift by making it work!
You know...you are special in that you can see it...
check in tomorrow and see the quote I chose for In Other Words.."you are living a life that, if everyone would live in such a way..." I won't spoil it...but you are making HIM smile with your acts of kindness!!
YOU WILL BE BLESSED over and over!!

now about dem' Steelers...
AGHHHHHHHHHHHHH....
the bad thoughts have subsided...but I still think they should have taken Brady out at the knees early in the first quarter...
not nice from a Christian gal, huh...
I'm working on it!!!
I AM WORKING ON IT...:):)
hugs to you!!
you are such an example to all of us...
forgive and MOVE ON...one life...
hugs,
lori

joan said...

Hi Julie,

That is truely a wonderful story. You listen to God and now you both reap the rewards. How wonderful and what a great gift! Love your honesty girl!

Auld Hat said...

The power of forgiveness has worked magic in my life as well. What a tremendously moving post! (wipes eye mist)

Lorraine said...

THAT is a terrific story. That ring is a precious, precious gift.

Bristol said...

Julie- I can say that I experience the same things. I have two step kids that are 17 and 18, I have been in their life since they were 3 and 4. While I am not close with their Mom we get along really well. She is very good with my son Griffin, she has watched him before and the kids take him to her house. It is good for everyone involved. So I am with you and understand. It makes all the difference to get along.
Bristol

BellaColle said...

Oh my goodness! get out of town!! What an incredible testimony to God's healing Grace!! Thank you so much for sharing that!! Sniff..Sniff.. That is a blessed Christmas presant!
hugs.

Bethany Hissong said...

You don't realize how much you've just given your boys by doing that! I still deal with ill feelings between my mom and stepmom and it just hurts to be the one to try to make everyone happy. I think as the boys grow up, they will see what happened and see who YOU are and love you that much more because they'll know what a special person you are-- there's not many like you Julie!

Alison Gibbs said...

Julie what a wonderful post. How lucky that you have ended up with a relationship like that. All the hard work was worth it.
How well adjusted your boys will be.
Alison

Meggie said...

Wow, and double wow! I would say that is the ultimate compliment. I think you are both very special women who are sensitive enough to put the boys first before your own needs. It seems that you now reap the plentiful harvest for all your efforts of love and caring. What a wonderful example you are for your boys. Such a beautiful story, Julie. You are one special lady!!

Rosemary said...

Julie,
You always have the best posts. You are a really good person.
Rosemary

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

Julie, that is so nice. I am a true believer of adults getting along where children are involved and if it can turn into a good relationship all the better. I know it had to be very hard for all adults involved to get to this point. Great story!
Penny

Debbie said...

Isn't God good when he asks us just to love like he does? And aren't we blessed when we do?!

Kari & Kijsa said...

What a wonderful story of life and love! God's path is so amazingly wonderful for us when he is leading!

blessings,
kari & kijsa

http://petticoatjunction.typepad.com/petticoat_junction/ said...

Julie
Now you made me cry! I am so proud to know you. Thank you so much for being so honest and real!
xoxo
Diane

Our Red House said...

Wow. What a totally amazing post.

I have tears in my eyes.

Thank you *so* much for sharing this journey with us. You are a truly amazing person.

hugs,

Kate

Cottage Contessa said...

Wow Julie, that's an awesome story! You and Kerry are obviously very special women, and what a wonderful example to set for others. Hugs for you sweetie!

collard green queen said...

What a great post ...sounds like you are on your way to a great CHristmas already

lori said...

RIGHT click that quote and put it on your post...it needs to be part of this weeks IOW...it speaks to who we NEED to be...
I LOVE IT...

lori

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Sorry Julie I haven't made it here in a couple of days and when I do .....oh wow. A mother's ring...sniff, sniff. I don't know what to say.

Emiline said...

You tell the best stories.

I'm glad the two of you are coming together. The ring is one of the best presents you'll ever get.

How lucky for your boys to have 2 moms?