When you asked me to marry you all those years ago, I didn’t know we’d divorce, but I knew about our son and how he’d probably be missing you alot as you deployed. When you called me a few years later and asked me if I had time to talk, I knew something was really wrong, but I didn’t (yet) know it was cancer. When you came to visit a few months ago, I knew it was getting close to the end, but I didn’t know it would happen here, with me and your son.
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We’d been such a great divorced couple. We were still genuine friends and still cared very much for each other. We raised our son united on every big decision. And when I remarried, you didn’t blame me. The military’s been unkind to both of us in relationships.
But I want you to know how disappointed I am in your last few months of life. I begged you to let me and your son move closer to you, to get more time with him. I begged you to follow your doctor’s instructions about food, drinking, smoking, medications. I (and other members of your family) tried to get you to talk about your wishes. But none of it mattered—it was more of a priority to hang out with your friends.
In some ways I can’t blame you. Your friends thought you were a Demi-God, the life of the party. They didn’t how how much of an absentee dad you were. You lavished them with your time and left your own son in the cold.
All these years I’ve known you, you were a good person in your heart, but I’d been somewhat looking forward to the future, where your son would see for himself just how low on your priority list he’d really been. I’d hoped that after the military, those priorities would change and you’d forge a true relationship with him.
Now, you’ve become this perfect martyr. In his eyes, you were perfect and taken too soon. In mine, you left before the Big Revelation.
Now, I’m forced to raise your son in your shadow, without the benefit of your humor and humility.
Every day, I thank the Lord that I met you, was blessed with our son. I just hope I can show him the priorities and meaning in life that you didn’t find.
Your (still) loving ex-wife, age 32