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A Tale Of Two Woes
Two Woes Do Make A Right

By: Carolynn Rae

To this day I am not sure how the events of this particular year came about. What I can tell you…it is the best thing I could have done!

Friends, true friends as it is said, are very hard to come by. If you have a few through out your lifetime you are considered to be very lucky. I have been fortunate to have true friends and I have had what I thought were true friends. One of those 'thought to be' friends is now married to my previous [sounds better than EX] husband. After their affair of the heart and the torment of mine, I live alone and they live in blissful harmony…or do they?

Being one of the lucky ones, after realizing that my husband and 'friend' were leaving me, I found my way through the maze of pain and rejection. Assessing my situation and finding my condition to be one of determination, fears, tears, self-preservation and "extermination," I immediately sought a divorce recovery group, instead of packing a six-shooter. I needed the support of others who were in the same situation. Only one of my close friends had been divorced…she has my husband! She probably would not be supportive of my feelings.

Faced with walking into the recovering group, I could only drive by the meeting place finding it difficult, being of a "non-loner" personality, (never liking to do anything alone) to walk into a room full of strangers, by myself! However, being determined not to let the "blissful couple" ruin the rest of my time on earth gave me the strength to hold my head painfully high and proceed. I saw what appeared to be a sea of strangers; there were no faces only sounds, some sounds of laughter. How could they be laughing? There is nothing funny about this divorce thing. I recognized the voice of an old friend, not an old friend, but a friend I have known for a long time. Emmie hugged me asking, "What are you doing here?" I simply answered, "He left me."

I had seen Emmie several months before. Looking back on that brief meeting I remembered thinking she might have been ill, she looked so different. Meeting her in a restaurant, she with a group of people and I with the perpetrators, if you get my drift, we only said hello to each other. I later heard why she looked ill; her husband took his secretary to lunch and never returned.

It took a little time before I was laughing with the others, but not long. Humor does help me through crises. Each week I became a little more a part of the group and a little more recovered. Emmie helped that process. She saw that I was included for movie night; dining out and helping her wash her car! On Sunday we would attend church and usually go out to eat. It became a routine, most evenings, for us to eat dinner together. She needed some repairs done around the house and I needed to eat… I am handy with tools and she with food so I repaired, she prepared and we were company, we were friends. Like kindred spirits God put us together in caring friendship. We pulled each other up to a higher ground and found it less painful there.

Waiting for my "previous husband," living with my "previous friend," to admit that he wanted a divorce, took quite sometime. A knock at the door produced the papers stating his intent almost a year after his escape from our 26 years of marriage. His decision, not mine, was in my sweaty little hands officially announcing the interruption of our lives together, for his extra curricular activities. Well, that was not written in ink, but I can read between the lines!

Now I was forced to make decisions I did not want to make. I would not allow him to take the house away from me, he had no right not when he moved out to find greener pastures or what was grazing in them (a little sarcasm is good for the soul). Suddenly, I realized I was thinking in another direction. Why would I want to stay in a house that was in need of repair? I was having a hard enough time repairing my heart and I would need to pay him for his HALF??? The kids, into adulthood, one married, one in college, would not be around and I would be alone with painful memories. "Sell," that is what I said. To this day I am not sure how the events of the next year came about. What I can tell you…it is the best thing I could have done!

Emmie and I put "for sale" signs in our yards and began looking for a twinplex. For those of you not familiar with that term, it seems to be an Ohio word. Similar to a duplex, a twinplex is a two family dwelling side by side instead of up and down. Our disappointment mounted when we could not find anything in our area to purchase. We decided to build; with some research and a stroke of luck we found a good possibility. As we walked into the model we looked at each other and at the same time said, "this is it." Imagine two women with totally different decorating ideas at the same time agreeing on the same house. Better get John Boy, it's a miracle! And that it was, the builder consented to hold our chosen lot until both houses were sold. Believe it or not they sold and closed within a week of each other. Convince me that it was not meant to be! Now two long established households, meaning lots of stuff, would be moving within one week's time. Construction was not going to start for several months so we rented a place in the same allotment where we could constantly monitor the building process, much to the dismay of the contractors.

Moving day was more than loading the truck and leaving the house where my children grew up. That same day my daughter and son-in-law said goodbye and moved to Florida and my youngest daughter left for college. I locked the door, shed a few tears and started a new life.

For nine months, Emmie, her grown son, my daughter, occasionally home from college, two dogs and myself, miraculously shared rented space. We would work our "day" jobs and come home to build two houses each night. Doing all the finish carpentry work, dry walling both basements, clean up plus many other construction jobs through out the building process. After hanging fourteen doors on one side of the house, we would pack the tools and head for the other side. Hanging cabinets, staining, varnishing, cutting and hanging wood trim, setting vanities and sinks, we worked against all odds from the foreman who said we would never be able to complete the job, to the icy cold weather. The job was completed in the time allotted as the song says, with a little help from our friends. Moving was once again upon us and it took many helpers, a professional moving company and an entire weekend, but when the sunset over our one point two acres of dirt we were home.

Life has worked out well. We have a lot of grass to mow, but at least it is the same shade green on both sides of the fence. What a great idea this turned out to be for two women who felt the pain and went for the gain. We each have our own house, our own decorating but share duties of yard and maintenance and always have a friend close by. I am thankful everyday for the rekindled friendship. Living by the "F" words proved to be successful. "Fear" produced Faith, "Faith" produced Forgiveness, "Forgiveness" produced Freedom and "Freedom" produced "Friendship." If you sow good seeds in the right soil, you grow a beautiful garden.

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