I had the most wonderful experience this past weekend at a post funeral dinner. The funeral was for my one time mother-in-law (MIL), and forever mom and friend. The service was beautifully orchestrated by the aforementioned MIL. It was a fine send off, with some tears, and a whole lot of celebration of her life. And there was a lot to celebrate.
Afterwards, there was “the Luncheon”. This was a somewhat uncertain event for me because it would be the first encounter with my ex-husband since our divorce some 17 years previously. And calculating out just how long it had actually been, makes me wonder why I gave it any credence at all. That is one heck of a long time!
I have remained family and friends with the ex-husband’s relatives over these many years. They continued to play an important part in my life, even becoming friends with my new husband. This was as it should be. I got divorced from one person, not a family.
There were some minor concerns in my mind about how the whole day would go. I didn’t know how my reception would from my ex and his current wife. Over the years I had thought there were some negative thoughts and impressions of me, and no doubt at some point there were. That would be natural and expected.
However, at “the Luncheon” my ex’s wife approached me with something to say. And what she had to say was this, which I will paraphrase. “Thank you for coming. It was very kind of you to come. Insert MIL’s name, loved you and she would be happy that you are here.” There were a few other pleasantries of a similar nature passed back and forth but this was the crux of it.
I can’t think of a more kind, compassionate, heartfelt gesture she could have made. This was a true gift. I didn’t have to wonder any more how things would go. What a special person she has proven herself to be.
I take a lesson from this encounter. Be kind. Always. It makes the world a better place.