Ray and I were married for 13 tumultuous years. During that time we welcomed two little boys, and a little girl into our lives. Those births were a time of great joy...but we struggled. Ray was born to two alcoholic parents, and he had many demons that he wrestled with.
He also wrestled with anger issues, and the children and I received the brunt of that. I stayed in the marriage as long as I could. I was the primary income earner for most of our marriage, and while I was happy to contribute, I was disappointed that I could not stay home with my babies.
I really did love Ray. He was such a handsome guy. When we moved to Muskoka onto 54 acres, I couldn't have been happier. That changed quickly. Our neighbor was a drinker and he and Ray became buddies..and his alcohol and substance abuse worsened. Finally, after many failed offers to arrange counseling, I left. I feared for the well being of my children.
I'm not certain that it was the best decision. Because when I removed myself from his life, he removed himself from our children's lives. Christmas and birthdays were never acknowledged. Such pain was inflicted on my children...
There was no reason to not see the kids. He had open visiting privileges. I forgave him child support twic. His anger at me was so all consuming that he could not be near me or anyone who had a connection to me. I was the sole reason for his unhappiness.
Before the ink had dried on our divorce papers, Ray found himself another family. He was loved, and for that I am very thankful.
Two months before he died he called his children to him. He admitted that he had been wrong...that it was not their fault...and that he was sorry. I am forever grateful for that.
My children are doing okay. They have forgiven...however, one struggles with depression. The other two are just sad. They are good people. My middle son travelled to his fathers home yesterday to tend his garden and comfort his grieving widow....the same lady who he rarely saw growing up.
The insurance policy that they should have been the recipients of was cashed out the year before Ray died. Momentoes were left to them, of a man that they never got to know.
So while I still feel bitter, I also feel a great sadness. I miss the man I loved...the man I married. I miss the father of my children and I also miss the hope that he will develop a relationship with his children.
I have not felt his presence since he continued his travels, but my children have. That is more important to me...that they finally feel his presence in their lives.
Enough said... Today I will celebrate the birth of one of the greates gifts that Ray left me...a daughter., who along with the her brothers, is the best part of Ray.
Rest peacefully Ray. I forgive you.