A Final Vow to You
Once we meant something uniquely special to each other. To our sons, we always will. No man will ever love them as much as I do; no woman will ever love them as much as you do. To them, we will always be family, and when they think of their family, they will think of us. Today I can see they would feel any attack between us like an attack on them — so it’s in our good relationship as their parents that they will think of the world as safe and themselves as worthy. I thank you for knowing these things before I did, and I’m truly sorry for the hurt my attacking caused to you and to them.
Our union made these three miracles — Zack, Tom, and Jason — who now depend entirely on us to tend the garden of their innocence. Through all my sadness, I will always thank you for our miracles and our chance to shelter them still. From today on I will experience my sadness as honest sadness and my grief as honest grief — and do my best never to distort them into hate, that fire that never says, “Enough.”
I will be generous with forgiveness — for two reasons:
- first, because our children’s protection absolutely requires it — and
- second, because we deserve it ourselves, for I can see now that in forgiving I open the prison door and discover that all along I had been the prisoner.
I forgive both you and me for living in a time when people aren’t taught how to grieve instead of lashing out. I forgive us for not knowing until now that true forgiveness has the four promises I practice today:
- I will not think or brood about what is forgiven.
- I will not speak of it or bring it up to you.
- I will not speak of it or bring it up to anyone else.
- I will not let it stand in the way of our protecting Zack, Tom, and Jason.
I have no right and, what’s more, I have no wish to destroy anyone’s one and only childhood by my resentments. I will not live in or argue the past. From today on, my eyes are on the future — and our partnership to shelter our miracles. If you should ever slip in this, our new partnership, I will see it not as an opportunity to criticize or play the victim, but instead as my chance to quietly save the day in a way that is respectful to you.
I am grateful for your loving relationship with our boys, including the ways in which you relate with them differently from my ways. They learn and grow from our different ways. I will protect and nurture your relationship with them. I will tell them every day about something good in them they get from you. I will gently but instantly stop any unloving statements about you from anyone else. By everything I say and do, I will show everyone close to me that ours is a respectful partnership for our boys.
I thank you again for our miracles — and for the chance to shelter them with you.