We don't get along well since we broke up, TB and I. Maybe that's not quite an accurate statement; TB is angry with me because I don't want to remain friends. He doesn't mean me harm, I am certain, he's just hurting and I am the source of some of that pain. But I have been through far too much of TB's drama in the past several months to even care about any of it any longer. Drawn in too many times to defend, to care, to argue, to respond, I've found my words twisted, turned, spit upon and thrown back at me. I'm worse than angry, I've become apathetic.
But I have to say how grateful I am for one small gift that perhaps he wishes he didn't give to me, or perhaps he wishes would do more than just warm my heart, but whatever the spirit, I appreciate it regardless.
Every other week, when TB has The Rentals, they come down to my pew in the sanctuary at church and say hello. They talk for just a moment and then they are back to their pew to sit with their dad, but it's that small moment when I get to see them again for which I am so grateful.
I love those kids. TB knows I do. And the hardest thing about realizing how wrong my relationship with TB was is to realize that means I have no relationship left with The Rentals.
And while I cannot be friends with TB, and I understand that my relationship with the kids had to change dramatically, too, I am still grateful for one small little moment every other week when I get to hug them and tell them that I love them and to hear about their latest joys and sorrows.
I am careful. I don't make promises I can't keep or agree to things I'm not willing to do. I won't go see him play ball and we aren't all going to lunch after church, our relationship is now simple an exchange of hugs and loves at church, but they seem to understand that things have changed and they seem just fine with that. They don't come to see me out of a sense of obligation, but they come with giggles and grins for just one extra dose of love.
And I give it freely.
And I remind myself of the 101 reasons why their father and I are not a good match, and why we cannot be friends, and why I believe God introduced us in the first place. And I say a prayer for all of them as I wipe a tear from my eye knowing that's the only time I'll see them for the next two weeks.
But for that moment, I am so grateful.