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December 21, 2014

Dear Tiffany,

It would have been 23 years ago today that we got married, December 21, 1991.  I can still remember seeing you in your white dress with your dad walking you down the aisle as if it were yesterday. What a sight! Then that night when trying to get you out of your wedding dress, I was cursing your mom for completely tying your corset in a knot and my having to use my car keys to saw my way through the string around your waist!  

As you know we often joked that we got married on the coldest darkest day of the year, the Winter Solstice.  The worldwide view of the Winter Solstice and interpretation of it has varied from culture to culture, but many cultures have held recognition of rebirth, festivals, spending time with loved ones, feasting, signing and dancing.  Boy did we celebrate that day.  Our entire life together was in front of us, and it had to get better mirroring the increase in the day’s hour and light from that day forward. On that day, I said these vows to you,

In the name of God, I, Kevin take you, Tiffany, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow."

For Better or For Worse

Together we reached the heights of Heaven and the deepest depths of Hell in our relationship. 

We had many good and great times from acquiring early married life material stuff, to buying our first home on Northbrook Street, but those were just stuff.  What I remember most is how being with you formed and shaped who I am as a 45-year old man.  You were my confident.  You were the one who would tell me things are goanna be “ok” when my depression was at its lowest, or if my insecurities were getting the best of me.  I had you on my side. 

You read or edited my school papers, or you gave honest feedback on my sermons.  You also reminded me that if one person got something out of a sermon, that was just perfect.  You were there to hear my excitement and passion for being in ministry and you were there to hear and stand up for me when church life wasn’t that great.  You had my back.

We had our own way of holding hands, or it was how we would put our thumbs up or thumbs down in the movie theater while watching the movie trailers for the upcoming movies.  Would we go to the movie, or would we not.  We had our own way of communicating.

We had lots of great times and fond memories of which I’m grateful and it’s often those fond memories that now bring me to tears.  Longing to be back in that place.  Longing to feel that “something special” again.  Also some of my tears are about the pain I caused for us.  For the Hell, we experienced as a result of my actions, my choices, and my “sin” Self Indulgent Nonsense. 

It wasn’t until I started to “clean up my side of the street” and take responsibility for the results of my choices that things began to change.  I began to change.  I started to be honest with myself, and then becoming honest with others.

Change and honesty became the foundation of forgiveness for me.  Forgiveness does not require outer change so much as it does internal change.  When I stopped blaming you and began to take responsibility for my own pain; the process of forgiveness started to work.  Though it has taken several years of ultimately coming to this place:

A place of rest. 

A place of compassion. 

A place of mutuality. 

A place of grace. 

For Richer or for Poorer

Neither you nor I, were ever the financial wiz kids.  Most of our life we were DINKS – Double Income No KidS.  I don’t think we ever “balanced our check book” our entire marriage.  If we didn’t have the funds, we stopped buying.  Probably one of the most financially poor decision we made was to purchase the timeshare in Florida.  We bought into the story.  The lifestyle of always having a place to vacation for a lifetime. 

And then there were those times of unemployment, or under-employment for both of us.  We both have worn those shoes, yet it seemed when the other wore the unemployed shoes, the other was there to walk alongside and to support what was the greatest good for our relationship. 

In Sickness and in Health

We also had our fair share of sickness and yet we didn’t experience any real life limiting illnesses that I hear of on a daily basis, though the illness we experienced was in the forefront when things came up.  You experienced lung issues and hospitalization for what we thought was cancer.  You experienced chronic pain at times for your Fibromyalgia and we experienced infertility.  Many treatments failed while our friends were getting pregnant.  But then again, our infertility led to the awesome miracle we call Spencer!

My sickness didn’t really manifest itself until our last years of marriage, and you couldn’t take it in the end.  I don’t blame you for wanting out of the relationship.  Carrying years of hurt compounded by my depression and poor choices, which didn’t contribute to a healthy mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing was not what you signed up for when you said, “I do” 23 years ago. 

To Love and to Cherish

Love… When I got married at a very young age of 21, I didn’t really know what love was, or who I was.  I just knew I wanted to have you in my life forever.  I loved who you were and how I felt being with you.  Our love grew as we experienced life together. 

I still love you today and I guess it’s difficult for me to “undo” a 22-year marriage with you.  And so I’m back to the memory of proposing to you under the gazebo of the Muncie church and wanting to have you forever so no other man could snatch up such as beautiful, loving girl who just wanted to make everyone laugh and smile and experience a carefree world

We’ll now, today, I’m releasing my selfish hold and need for you to be all my own and have faith that the Universe will continue to guide you by providing the wind in your sail and the many beautiful sunrise and sunsets in your horizon.  For you deserve the abundance of love and life. 

So today I begin to dream a new dream, and re-write my life story not having you as a life partner anymore, but as a co-parent with you for Spencer.  I know the road ahead will still be very difficult for me and I’ll shed many more a tear, but I pray that the tears of sorrow will become tears of joy for both of us as we both re-write our future life story. 

I pray for hope and healing
I pray for continued forgiveness and grace.
I pray for more connection with others and less loneliness.
I pray for guidance from God and others as we parent Spencer.
I pray for a shield of protection around Spencer for any harm or woundedness our divorce my cause him. 
I pray that you’ll always find Peace and Love.

Love always,
Kevin


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         Peace and Love   
By: Blessed Union of Souls

May every star you wish upon
And every hope you're hangin' on come true
Out of everybody in the world
There's no one who deserves it more than you
I hope you find
Everything you've been dreamin' of
Only good things
No in between just
Peace and love
These words did not come easily
Still you know I had to write them down
You must know what you mean to me
I wish that you could always be around
I hope you find
Everything you are worthy of
I'm gonna miss you
But I only wish you
Peace and love
Peace and love
Tears of joy
Kindness of strangers
All of your roads
Paved in gold
By guardian angels
Wherever you may be in this world
My salutation says it all
May you always have enough
Peace and love
I let you go unselfishly
Cause everyone needs time to be alone
Well maybe time will bring you back
And if it does you'll always have a home
I sign my name
No one to blame it on because
I'm on your side
No question of pride
Peace and love
Tears of joy
Kindness of strangers
All of your roads
Paved in gold
By guardian angels
Wherever you may be in this world
My salutation says it all
May you always have enough
Peace and Love
 
 
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