Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Being thankful for the simple things

I have been with my husband for almost 19 years now - married for nearly 12. In that time we have had great times, sad times, a couple of rocky periods and lots of just normal times!
To me this is what a normal marriage is all about.
I have met one of my oldest known friends today for lunch. I haven't seen her since my birthday meal at the end of January. We met when we started working together just a week apart in 1994. She then bought a house in the same village as me the following year, I was bridesmaid at her wedding and am godmother to her youngest daughter. She married her husband a year before I married but then left him in 2006 as she could no longer deal with his mood swings and was concerned for the safety of herself and her 3 children. She moved about 20 miles from where I live now and started a whole new life. I have every admiration for her - I don't think I would have found the strength to do this. She has now divorced him, and met a fabulous bloke - albeit 15 years older than her - and he makes her happy. The children think that he is ok too - bonus!
I had had a weird text from her at the weekend saying that she was moving again - back to the marital home! I replied saying we needed to meet for lunch ASAP!
So lunchtime arrived today, we meet in a pub we used to have lunch in all the time and started to chat.
Ex husband has split from new long-term girlfriend and has now rented a 1 bed roomed flat in the city close to us - about 30 minutes drive from their village. He has also started a relationship with the mother of his first-born child again - this child is now 16, has been in trouble with the police, has been to court twice, charged with ABH and is now tagged!
Friend has moved back into marital home - it is a pigsty - it looks as though no cleaning has been done since she moved out! She is having to clean every surface, bleach everywhere and has a garage full of old boilers - ex-husband is a plumber and has used the garage to store the stuff he takes out of his customers houses!! The master bedroom alone filled the dyson!
My friend also works full time plus extra hours due to the demands of her job.
Her youngest daughter - my goddaughter - has had lots of problems since birth and at present has been kept back in the Reception class when she should be in Year 1. She has many developmental problems, along with social and motor skill problems. She is also lacking in communication skills, is 6 and half years old and still not toilet trained. Her school is not helpful and this has left my friend having to struggle with the "do I or don't I" problem of having her statemented. Will this leave her stigmatised? Will it label her? Will it affect her development further if she is moved to a "special school"?
We talked through lots of options and what to do next about the house, her partner, her ex-husband and the 3 children and how everything is affecting them!
At the end of lunch, she says "what about you and your husband and son - how are things?" I replied just plodding along really, nothing as dramatic as you!
We said our goodbyes and she went back to work - she had taken a two hour lunch break the joys of being the boss! - and I came home to my husband who was on a day off.
Once I had told him the dramas that my friend had been going through since I had last seen her, he came out with the usual reply - "you don't know how lucky you are having me"! For once, I didn't give him my usual reply about him being lucky to have me. I stopped and thought about it and then said - "I do know how lucky I am and I am so glad our life is simple with only the odd drama to deal with!"
Sometimes, things do seem mundane, but then again, I am just thankful that I am where I am, with what I have and that I am thankful for the simple things.