Divorce, Life, Michigan, Nature, Photography

Then one day the sadness is gone

Fall Colors

You wake up each day feeling less sad. You think about your divorce less and you miss your ex less. The sadness starts to turn to indifference then it’s just a memory. That was a time in my life that has passed and nothing more. I no longer wish things were different or that I could somehow go back. Now I see it as a gift and opportunity to experience things I missed for so long.

Divorce, Life, Memories, Photography


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The boat has sunk. It wasn’t seaworthy for a long time but it still floated even years after it should have just allowed inevitable things to happen. Perhaps it’s commitment that keeps it afloat even when it’s sad and knows it should sink. It doesn’t know how to sink because it’s a boat and boat is supposed to stay topside always, no matter what.

When it finally gives in to disrepair and gravity, the water starts to trickle in. There’s a feeling of anxiety because this time the water is different, it won’t go away. Instead it pulls the boat down allowing more water to come in. The boat has no choice other than to allow the water in but there’s the old nature so it begins to struggle a little trying to stay afloat but soon enough it knows the struggle is futile.

My boat finally sunk on the 21st of this month. It stayed afloat for more years than it should have but I don’t regret any of those years, I’m glad for them. I’m also hopeful for what comes next. For me hope isn’t something you do while wishing on a star and waiting. For me hope is something you do while creating a path towards a better future. I’m on that path and the first few steps are looking good.

Boat in Water
abandoned boat
Divorce, Family, Memories, Nature, Photography


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There are things in life a man holds dear to his heart. Things that are such a part of his life they make up who he is. A man will lay down his life and sacrifice so much to preserve them. Freedom is one of those things and family is another. There are other things but I imagine these two are so important that for most they rule.

Sun Flowers
Sun Flowers

The loss of freedom,  death of a family member and divorce are three things that have a profound impact on the spirit of a man. I compare those last two closely because the pain you feel from losing them are not unlike. I’ve never experienced the first.  My heart is heavy always as I think about the loss of my family.


Divorce, Family, Memories


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Over the past few months I’ve been slowly putting things in order. I’m in no hurry but it’s a thing I do when I have free time like today. It’s quite a process really, to dig into stuff and find items that are attached to memories. I always attach memories to objects like that.

Large Box

A couple of months ago I threw away our old computer desk. It was a mess.  All the items in the desk were thrown into a large box right next to the loveseat with plans to sort it all out when I got a new desk. The new desk looks a lot better than the other one. It’s smaller and simple without drawers or little nooks to stuff things into. Our computer desks over the years always ended up looking like a junk drawer full of things that were more junk I suppose but not really.

This new desk is dark wood and clean with only one drawer on top that lifts up like a bar counter. The drawer is really thin so I can’t put much in it other than my inspection camera, batteries and a few other small things. There’s nothing underneath either so I can’t stuff papers or odd items in it. The large box has been just sitting but without a desk that can accommodate all the items so I need to throw things away and put things into boxes for storage. Today I have time to sort it out and I did.


The thing about staying behind in the house is you always see things that bring back memories. Cleaning out boxes or a corner of the house turns up things forgotten about. I guess knowing that makes it easy to procrastinate. That bouquet of flowers we had preserved from our wedding day are still sitting in the glass case in the living room. I’ve been meaning to box that up and put it in the basement but they’re really pretty so I think I’ll leave them for just for a while longer. I found a little note I wrote you years ago in the big box. I should have written more of those.


That large box had a small scrapbook our oldest daughter made. In it were scraps of paper, photos and a couple of art projects she made in school. While flipping the pages I wondered where she got some of the pictures. It’s just like her to have things that don’t belong to her but I wasn’t at all upset this time. Most of those pictures were of the two of us from a long time ago at your parents place, back when I first met you. I wondered what she was thinking by keeping those pictures in the scrapbook. Some of the items were fairly recent like a card from your youngest sisters bridal shower. Then there’s a wedding picture of us I don’t even remember ever seeing. She wrote ‘mom and dad’ on the back with a marker. It’s really a good picture too. I wonder why we never enlarged any of our wedding pictures and hung them up? If we had, this would have been one of them I think

Next week

In less than one week we have a court date. On that date we will submit the terms of our divorce to the judge. I’ve been meaning to thank you for being so considerate during all of this. The terms  are very fair, even more so than I thought they would be and I’m sorry for thinking you would try to take advantage of me, then again you never were like that. I wonder if you are as nervous as I am about next week? What should I wear? I always used to ask you what to wear during important events.

Divorce, Family, Life, Parenting

Is It Too Late To Capture This?

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These past few weeks have been stressful leaving me feeling particularly anxious and I have a hard time sleeping lately.  The truth is I have a lot on my plate right now with the divorce, trying to work things out here as a 50/50 parent, work stress  and kids who are being more than a handful.

I knew this would impact them, how could it not? Divorce is harsh even when the divorce terms are not and the communication is polite and reasonable. When kids see their family broken apart they don’t have a say or a choice other than to go along with it and just deal with it in some way. I think the impact on kids is the most unfortunate thing about a divorce. They act out in anger, hurt and resentment and I understand that but there’s a line.

This is most evident in my teenage daughter who over the course of the past year and a half to two years (even before divorce was considered) has progressively gotten meaner and more disrespectful, this is most evident in her interactions with her mother. The lying, stealing things from the other kids and her mom, sneaking around online as if I don’t know etc. But it’s the lack of remorse that gets me the most. When caught she simply does not care or apologize at all. I’ve tried to be understanding, to look for answers and hope that she will at least make an effort but it never ends. At times I feel completely lost in what to do.

Yesterday was another episode of lying by sneaking on social media using a basic flip phone. I really thought we removed any chance for that but as usual she found a way. So what now? I’ve taken things away, made her do chores etc. you name it but nothing seems to work. Her mother told me when she’s there it’s worse. The level of disrespect with her mother has gotten to the point of outright refusing to do something and saying, “no” and “so what if I don’t?” I can’t really understand that BUT again I look for the answer and hope there is one. “She’s a teenager and this is what teenagers do” I tell myself but this goes beyond typical teenage years rebellion. Is it a cry for help I have to wonder?

When I think back to my childhood and the anger I felt, I know that anger was rooted in feeling lost and without stability in my home. The environment didn’t feel safe to me and it wasn’t. I felt like I needed to build up a wall of anger for protection and as a result I acted out in a very similar way my kid is acting out now. So then I try to imagine how she must feel. A father who can be overbearing, angry, stressed often and perhaps worse of all poor at saying or expressing love and approval. For me I always felt like I needed to direct my kids to what’s right and allow their mother to express love.  She must feel like I’m always on the verge of yelling at her or looking for ways to scold her, she doesn’t make that hard that’s for sure but what’s missing?

The responsibility is in part mine. The larger effort needed is really on my part. The chance to capture something I felt was lost on me as a kid. She’s never had to face the things I did as a kid and she never will but the lack of connection with her own father is a travesty I think. I’ve tried to provide everything reasonable for my kids but it’s not the house, vacations or any of those material things it’s the love that matters most. I need to be better at expressing that last part. I’m not naive and of course I know she will continue to be a teenager who gets on my nerves and tests me on occasion but I also know as a parent I have to step up and try my best to let her know that while I won’t be walked over, I do in fact love her.


Divorce, Family, Michigan, Nature, Photography


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Lake Michigan
Stearns Park Beach – Ludington Michigan

When the sun goes down and I lay down to sleep It’s then that my mind won’t let me rest. The thoughts I fight to ignore during the day are unbridled. I dream about my marriage but never the divorce. Still in my dreams I know things are slipping away and I wonder why. I wake up and realize it’s over. For the better I tell myself but not the best.