Blended families have many interesting challenges. Working through the issues is like cooking in a crock pot, not a microwave. Today, James and Jessica Fox are going to have to forget the painful events of the past and learn how to move on with their lives.
The sun beat lazily down on their suburban house. James A. Fox sat in his chair in the family room in back, with his book in his lap, and enjoyed the warm sun against the windows. His favorite collectibles filled every crack and crevice on the walls. They provided James with a level of comfort that James was having trouble feeling right now. James looked over at his lovely wife Jessica as she played at the computer. He was very happy here. He prayed that his happiness would continue. From out of nowhere, the front door burst open and four children came scurrying in.
Jessica jumped out of her chair. “Daniel, Sean, Brooke, and Samuel close that front door! We don’t live in a barn!”
Samuel spit his words out. “But mom, she’s here! She made me come in and get dad. I just wanted to throw mud cakes at her.”
From the front door, they all heard her. “Don’t make me wait at the front door James. I hear you plain as day!”
With a groan, James stood up. “Be civil Samuel. I shall go out and see what she wants.”
Jessica reached out and took James’ hand. “We shall face this together.”
James and Jessica walked to the front door. “Hello Lisa. Do you still mean to try to steal the kids from Jessica and me?”
Lisa Fox stood there defiantly. “Three of those children are mine by birth. She is NOT their mother! She is merely trying to make me look bad by poisoning their minds.”
James opened up his mouth to say something, but Jessica squeezed his hand hard and whispered in his ear. “Don’t you lose your temper again. That’s how this mess started in the first place.”
James stood there for a moment and remembered one of the many fights that he and Lisa had endured. They both had become masters at using words to torture each other’s souls. Of course they had all been ‘civil’ fights argued when the kids were fast asleep. At least that’s what they both thought until Daniel set them straight. “We heard every fight. We all sat on the stairs and held each other. It was a really scary time. We don’t want to do that again.”
James turned to see the children standing and watching him. The fear in their faces was overwhelming. James looked down at the floor. “Do you have the letter Lisa?”
Lisa threw the letter at James and then stomped away to her car and drove off.
Everyone went back into the family room.
Daniel said “Will we be able to stay with you and Jessica?”
James sat back down in his chair. “This letter will tell us Daniel. Come, everyone sit down.”
Daniel sat down at his father’s feet. “She’s a mean lady. We should have let Samuel throw his mud cakes at her.”
Jessica leaned gently over Daniel. “Daniel, if you cannot say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”
“But Dad used to speak mean about her all the time! Why can’t I.”
James put a hand into the air. “That’s quite enough. Just because Lisa and I can’t get along, it doesn’t mean that you have a right to learn our bad habits.”
Jessica took a deep breath. “It’s about time for all of us to stop looking backward at the painful times. Every time we do that we relive bad times over and over. We need to see today’s good things so we can start looking forward.”
“What does that mean Mama?”
“Daniel dear, you can’t get to today’s good unless you went through yesterday’s bad. Once you realize that, the past doesn’t look so bad. It’s like when you’re learning to play ball. You have to learn from the bad to get good.”
James interrupted. “Sometimes dads and moms can figure it out and get back together, but sometimes they can’t. Lisa and I could never figure it out, but that doesn’t mean that we love you any less.”
James stared lovingly at Jessica. “It was really hard to live through at the time, but I learned to look at the past just like Jessica said. Then I realized that none of us would be here unless that divorce happened. There’s a whole lot of good here that I’m mighty happy about. Learn from yesterday so we can live for today!”
“Well, I can’t put it off any longer. It’s time to read the letter.”