The bookends of experiences hold time in its place.  We celebrate beginnings: births, weddings, first days, and first times.  We sentimentalize endings: death, retirement, movings, and goodbyes.  And then there’s divorce.  This thing we don’t really talk about.  The gray area that is smudged around the edges.  It stretches across months, sometimes years, and then eventually capsizes.  Heavily.  But finally.

And for me, I felt like it needed a bookend.  Something tangible to symbolize the end.  The release.

I wanted my kids to have a moment to look back to.  A ceremony of sorts.  So, with my friend capturing this sweet and solemn rite, we hiked up to Sunset Hill.

As the sun went down and the wind picked up, we let our butterflies float away.  Then, with my emotions getting the best of me, I read them this:


This past year has not been easy.  You have had questions and doubts.  Anger and tears.

You don’t understand why Dad and I couldn’t work it out.  You don’t like splitting time between us.  Splitting homes.  Splitting lives.

         It’s okay to be upset.

         It’s okay to be sad.

         It’s okay to cry.

I wish I could tell you that things will get better.  That life will be easy.  But I can’t.  Because I don’t know.

I can’t promise that I’ll never disappoint you.  

     I will lose my temper and say the wrong things.  

     I’ll forget something that means a lot to you.  

     I’ll embarrass you.  Hurt your feelings.  Let you down.

     I can’t promise that I won’t make mistakes.

But, I can promise you that you were not mistakes.

I can promise you that our divorce was not your fault.

I can promise that you will always have a place to call home.  That I will listen.  Hold your hand.  Help you out.

I promise to accept you – regardless of what you do, how you look, or who you become.

I promise to never leave you.  Nor forsake you.

I promise to protect you and keep you safe.

I promise to love you.  


      No matter what.

A few weeks ago, I got a letter saying our divorce was final.  That same day, the first caterpillar started forming into a chrysalis.  If you didn’t know any better, you would have thought it was dying.  But, in fact, it was quite the opposite!  The stillness and covering just meant that it was changing.  

What was, was dying.  But what is, has been reborn.  It’s the same, but different.  It grew wings and can fly.

Kind of like us.  Our family is the same, but different.  We’re bigger now.  More colorful.  Transparent.    And when things on the ground get difficult, we can float above it.

Because like the butterfly, we grew wings.

And with love propelling us…





It was sacred and beautiful.  Forever, I’ll hold it in my mind.  Together, on top of the hill. Together, closing that chapter.




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