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Till Death Do Us Apart, or Maybe Not

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I was 12 years old, sitting upon the familiar leather couch in our living room. I had grown up with that couch in my life from the day I was born. So many incredible, unforgettable, memories had been created in that exact place. Family reunions, birthdays; young and old, running downstairs on Christmas morning and jumping onto the cushions, unable to control the excitement I was feeling. In my short twelve years on this Earth, so many of the big milestones and best memories of my life had occurred on that couch. However, on this exact couch, I sat, while my parents tried to find the words to explain to me that they were no longer going to be together.  My parents’ divorce was one of the most life-changing moments I have experienced.


It was a brisk day in August. As I looked out my bedroom window, surrounded by light purple walls, I could see the mixture of red, brown, and yellow leaves gently falling onto the warm grass, illuminated by the golden sun. I could hear the noisy, yellow school buses driving around, as they were making their final routes, just weeks before the new school year began. The fresh aroma of fall glided through the open screen.  All of the sudden, I heard my name being called by mom,

 

“Hey Kate can you come downstairs?” She questioned.


I quickly ran down the staircase to the living room, where I found my mom and dad sitting down on the couch.
“Can you sit down?” Requested, my dad.


As I sat down, an uneasy feeling came over me. that they did not have good news for me. Due to their fighting, my mind went straight to divorce, and I asked them fearfully,
“Are you getting a divorce?”


I was dreading their response. After looking at each other for a short moment, then right back at me, they both turned their heads back to me with a look of sorrow.
My mom glanced at me with a slight nod, implying, yes.


I had never before realized how much power a single word could hold. Little did I know, that word would change everything.


After she told me, I froze. My mind was flooded with endless questions, but I couldn’t speak. I was so overwhelmed and confused. We sat in heart-rendering silence for what felt like 2 hours. In reality, more like 15 seconds. I had always feared in the back of my mind, my parents getting divorced, but you never fully understand the agony, until you are sitting there, experiencing it.


Thoughts were going through my head a million miles an hour. What will everyone think? Will I have to live in two houses? Will I still get to see both of my parents? Does this mean I come from a broken home?  I couldn’t believe what was happening. It seemed so surreal. I knew that obviously this was a reality for so many kids, but I never imagined that this could ever happen to me. I was so grief stricken and heart-broken, but I couldn’t manage to cry. It didn’t feel real, and I hadn’t processed it all yet.


Almost 2 years have now passed, and along the way, I have learned that change can be such an remarkable thing. One month after the divorce, my parents began living in two separate houses. However fortunately, my brother and I still get to see them both, every week. It has made me appreciative and grateful for every second I am able to spend with them, which is something so many people overlook. It’s made me much more independent, and has taught me so many valuable life skills, that many kids my age will not learn for awhile, such as time management, organization, and coping skills. Despite the fact that initially I viewed it as a traumatic event, something I would never be able overcome, and something that would always affect me, everyone now agrees it was definitely for the best.




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