Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Dilemma

As I sit here writing this today I'm facing one the biggest ethical, moral and challenging dilemma's of my life. How did I arrive at this point? Let me give you a brief biography:

Me: I have approached what most people would optimistically consider the halfway point in life. I'm a professional. I have worked for a very well known company for a long time and have thrived. Up until maybe seven or so years ago, many would have opined that I had a great life. And I did. Happily married for a very long time and with three beautiful kids to boot, I was also active in the church and had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Then, IT happened.

My beautiful wife was diagnosed with a terminal cancer. So the doctor's appointments began, along with the medications and the chemotherapy.

My wife was a great mother, fantastic spouse, and good Christian as well. She was a stay at home mom, but with three kids it could easily be argued that she had a more taxing job than I. I definitely worked a lot, but her job was certainly more important than mine. There was laundry to be done, meals to prepare, messes to clean and homework help. Of course, there was all the driving around to school, the sporting events, the music lessons and the sleepovers. Wow, she put a lot of miles on the vehicle and still found the time to do all the other things that go along with being a great mom. In retrospect, it really makes you wonder. HOW do they do it all?

Unfortunately, my wife's condition slowly began to deteriorate. There were some signs of hope. At times we were optimistic that she could beat this beast called cancer. Ah, remission....that's the word you want to hear, but remission doesn't mean it's gone forever. Sadly, cancer continued to invade my wife's body. She was fighting the good fight, but slowly beginning to lose the battle.

Oh, and our kids. We had to stay strong for them. Of course, as they got older, the more they understood the seriousness of the situation. While we didn't want them to carry any extra burden's, there came a point in time when we had to be honest about the inevitability of the situation. Yes, my wife had terminal cancer. It was not a question of if she was going to pass on, but when.

Therefore, I found myself in the unusual position of grieving for my spouse before her death. The process was grueling. I had to work, be strong at home for the kids and support my wife right up until the very end. What could be worse than what she was going through, though. Thankfully, my wife also was a very religious person and was also close to the Lord. As difficult as this all was, without God I don't know how we would have gotten to this point. After battling for about five years of being terminal, she relinquished herself into God's hands.

I was devastated not only for myself, but more so for my kids. Mommy is gone from this earth, but she is in a better place. How many times did I say that? Well, we did what others do when something tragic like this happens. It's not like you are given a choice. You have to pick up the pieces and keep going. I have three kids to be concerned about. Little did I know, but that in a few short months I would be facing "The Dilemma."

Her: "Her" is someone I have known for a while. She has two kids. They are similar in age to mine. One day her husband had come home and said, "I don't love you anymore. I want a divorce." This came as a total shock to her. She thought things were going pretty well. He actually stuck to his guns. They got divorced and she was alone to take care of her kids. I can just imagine the pain she was going through. Her husband comes home and apparently is having a mid life crisis and wants out. ALL the way out.

She and I began to talk and confide in each other. In a way, we were in similar situations. We had both lost the love of our lives. As we began to talk we found we had more in common. What started out as someone I could talk to about my situation, quickly developed into a good friendship.

I'm not going to be dishonest. I almost immediately began to have thoughts of being together. I know this may sound awful, but frankly I had been unable to be intimate with my wife for maybe five years. Yes, I feel guilty about it, but don't I have the right to make a life for myself again? Someone please show me the book that states how long one is to grieve and how long I'm "supposed" to wait to get involved with another woman. Rightfully or not, our relationship grew into more than a friendship.

We both decided to take the honest approach with our kids. We told them what was going on. Predictably, they were highly upset. Have I made some mistakes along this path? Of course. I vividly remember having a conversation with one of my one of my children where I intimated on this particular day, being with "her" was more important to me than going to one of my child's school activities. I wish I could take a mulligan on that one.

The fact is that I'm in love again. It's terrible timing. It's tough on all of our kids. My kids expected me to continue mourning the loss of their mother. Who could blame them?

There you have it. I'm in love and want to be with this woman. I also want to be a good father to my kids. Should we have to wait for all of our kids to get out of school? One of them is in elementary school still. I will pray to God for guidance as to what to do from here.

take the honest approach

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