Thank You and Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

by: Ganel-Lyn Condie

I think it is very appropriate to wish my parents Daniel Clay Killough and Lou Ree Ganel Larson Johnson a "Happy Anniversary" from way back in 1968....They haven't been together for years, but they have been a great example of how adults should and could handle divorce.

My parents have remained friends, which isn’t always possible. They never spoke ill of one another to their two little girls. We grew up and figured out, on our own, why their marriage hadn’t worked. They had no need to put one another down or involve us in their drama.

After all these years, my Mother still checks on my father, and invites him to holidays if he is alone. My step-father is respectful of my Father and is kind to him each time they are around one another. On the other side, my Father is my Mom's biggest fan, and is there to defend her in times of need.

Divorce brings a lot of complications and heartache; but today I say, ‘thank you, Mom and Dad, for giving me life and remaining friends long after your marriage did'nt last.’ I honor you both today and love you both. My mom has often said the love that remains after you are married, especially when children are involved, is in comparison to the love we have for any of God's children. They are in the end our brothers and sisters.

My parents both remarried. I love their new spouses. Those with blended families - teach your children that their new step parents bring more love. New people don’t replace the love and relationships that is already there. In our unique family, my parents not only showed love to us, but loved the new children that came after their remarrying. My siblings on both sides love each other, and support each other much like you would feel with a cousin.

During the holidays, and other family celebrations, children going back and forth between two different homes can be awkward and push buttons. I'm here to say it can be done with love and grace. When adults give their best efforts they inevitably show honor for their children. We are all half of our mother and half of our fathers. Speaking ill of your ex-spouse is essentially like placing shame your child.

I promise, you don’t have to tell your children much about why your marriage ended. They will grow up and figure it out, I did. When you are trying to explain the "whys" just keep it simple with young children. Share the good qualities and memories you have of their parent. Of course, not all divorced parents have positive feelings towards their ex-spouses, but if you do, it is a wonderful gift for your children to have. It teaches them the importance of mutual respect and acceptance of one another. They will grow up accepting their own characteristics more easily and they will learn that when things end pain doesn’t have to continue on indefinitely.

Thank you, Mom and Dad, for teaching me we don't have to be perfect to be an inspiration to others!

Ganel-Lyn Condie is a professional consultant, writer, and public speaker. She empowers people, helping them identify areas of their life where they can become more balanced. Ganel-Lyn is a former magazine editor and award winning journalist. She is a 200 hour certified yoga instructor and earned her BS degree in Elementary Education and Psychology. Ganel-Lyn just authored her first book. She has worked extensively in public relations and marketing. Ganel-Lyn is a contributing expert at HopeAfterDivorce.org, DivorceSupportCenter.com, and FamiilyShare.com. You can visit her website at www.ganellyn.com and follow her on Twitter @GanelLyn. 

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