71: We’ll Never Divorce You

71: We’ll Never Divorce You

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grand and Great

We’ll Never Divorce You

When doubts filled my mind,
your comfort gave me renewed hope.

~King David

Dear Grandchild,

Grandma and Grandpa know that you’re hurting right now because Mommy and Daddy are breaking up. It’s called “divorce,” and you probably know some other children who have gone through this, too. It happens a lot, more than anyone would like, but we want you to know that you’re not alone. When you’re at school, ask around, and you’re sure to find lots of other kids who have been through what you’re going through. And they are surviving. You’ll survive, too, although Grandma and Grandpa know that you probably don’t feel that way right now.

It’s no fun at all, is it? Just a little while ago, things looked fine, everything seemed to be just right, and now everything seems to have fallen apart. We really wish we could somehow “kiss all the boo-boos” and make everything right, but, sadly, Honey, we can’t.

We want you to know that this time is difficult for us, too. It makes us very sad to see the hurt and uncertainty in your eyes. When we sense that you are hurting, we hurt, too.

Mommy and Daddy have found that, for whatever reasons, they can’t go on living together. You must know that Mommy and Daddy still love you very much even if they are having problems with each other.

We want you to know several important things, things that we hope will help you to go through this scary and difficult time.

The first thing that we want to tell you is this: It is not your fault! You know, whenever a divorce happens, almost all children think that they did something that made it happen. And we want to promise you this — that is almost never true! Mommies and daddies who break up are doing so because they are having some big problems in their relationship. And you are not to blame. If you are blaming yourself, even a little bit, please let us know. Talk to us or write us, and we’ll be your special friends and listen to your feelings.

The second thing we want you to know is that you probably can’t fix it. Lots of kids imagine that they might be able to find just the perfect thing to say or do and, magically, Mommy and Daddy will start loving each other again. We’re sorry to tell you, that almost never works. Sometimes mommies and daddies do get back together again after a time apart and some time for healing, but that happens because they found their own reasons to do so.

The third and maybe the most important thing we want to tell you is this: We will never divorce you! We will always be there for you when you need us. Sometimes we may be far away, but you can call or write us. We’ll answer as soon as we can. And you can always talk to us because we promise to be the very best listeners we can for you.

You need to know that we won’t ever take sides between your mommy and your daddy. The only “side” we’re going to be on is yours. Instead, we’ll be good listeners, and we’ll also help you find good things to do and great ways to spend your time. We’ll search for fun, and we’ll make some of our own, too.

You might think that you’ll never be happy again or that things will never feel right again. We can understand those feelings. But we want you to know something that we’ve learned because we’ve lived so long and seen and experienced so many things — you will laugh again; it will get better. You’ll laugh and grow and experience joy again. Good things will happen. You will have many good times with Daddy and many good times with Mommy again, we assure you. It won’t be the same as it was, but your life will be a good one. And the love that surrounds you — from your parents, your grandparents and the rest of the family, and all your friends — will heal and help.

Now here’s a list of the things you can count on:

Nothing you can ever do or say will make us stop loving you. We’ll love you forever. When we’re in heaven, we’ll still love you. There are things you can count on now, when the world seems so shaky, and one of them is our love for you.

We’ll be good listeners for you. Share your feelings, both good and bad. It is a healthy way to help yourself get past these rough times.

We’ll give great hugs and warm, long back rubs.

And we’ll still make your favorite foods whenever you ask us.

You can contact us easily. We’re enclosing a card with our address, home phone number, cell phone number and e-mail address. So no matter where you are, you’ll always be able to reach us. If you have to, you can call us “collect.” We’ve also included a pack of stamped postcards addressed to us, so you can always send us a card. And there’s a stack of stamped, addressed envelopes for when you have bigger, longer things to write or a nice picture to send us.

Honey, you’re not alone. Your mommy and daddy still love you, even if they are breaking up. And we’ll always love you, no matter what. And remember: We will never divorce you. Never.

Love,

Grandma and Grandpa

~Hanoch and Meladee McCarty
Chicken Soup for the Grandparent’s Soul

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