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 Category:  Biographical Non-Fiction
  Posted: August 5, 2021      Views: 234
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BethShelby is retired from the printing and commercial art field. She is married and has four children and three grandchildren. She and her husband presently live in Tennessee.

Painting, photography, and writing are her passion. She has ha - more...

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Chapter 133 of the book Remembering Yesterday
The family comes to terms with a first divorce.
"Dealing With Divorce" by BethShelby

Glen has asked Carol for divorce. Connie is getting over a break-up after four years. Connie and Christi are living together in an apartment. Don is about to graduate as a chiropractor.

For new readers, who may not have read my author notes, this is written in a conversational way as I talk to my deceased husband. When I refer to someone just as "you" this means I am addressing my husband, Evan.

Carol was horrified when we wanted her to get a lawyer. She was very emotional, and almost anything we said about the pending divorce seemed to hurt her. She talked to Glen by phone and told him we thought she should get a lawyer. He became angry and was afraid she was going to listen to us instead of him. He said he didn’t plan to see us when he came up later to bring the small waterbed and one chair she was keeping.

We told her she could live with us as long as she wanted to. The idea of living with us again didn’t appeal to her, but she said she would stay with us until she figured out where she wanted to go.  Since she’d been away over ten years, coming back to live with her parents wouldn’t be easy.

She told us she had still been in love with her old boyfriend, Tommy, the half Korean boy from college, when she married Glen. She and Glen had realized before their first week together they had made a mistake, but neither wanted a divorce. In the end, she felt she saw him more like he was an undisciplined child, who needed someone to take care of him. She admitted she had never loved him the way a wife should love her husband. Now it seemed the grief she was feeling was because she felt she had failed at marriage and was rejected as a wife. The idea of no longer being a wife was robbing her of her identity. She felt shame in the idea of being divorced.

Carol only stayed a few days, because she had to go back and give notice to Florida Hospital, pack, and tie up loose ends. While she was with us, she confirmed a nursing position at the hospital where she had applied earlier, when she and Glen had been thinking of moving back to the area. They assured her the job was hers when she was ready for it.

Connie was still grieving over her Christmas breakup with Lenny, but she was going out regularly with different guys. Shane and J.P were names we heard mentioned often. In addition to working at the furniture company and baby-sitting for the owner’s daughter, Connie was taking a photography class at Chattanooga State as an elective. By staying busy all the time, she and Christi weren’t seeing a lot of each other.

However, too much of Connie's time was spent doing things with friends and keeping late hours. She really liked the photography class, but in the end, she was forced to drop it, or fail, because she got behind with the assignments. I was not happy about it, because we had spent a of lot of money getting her back in college  for the one class. The book and supplies needed had been very expensive. It wasn’t something she needed for a degree, so it was unlikely she would take it again.

I had not seen Lenny since Christmas, and I was unaware he had taken a part-time job at the grocery store where I shopped. One day when I was buying groceries, I heard someone behind me say, “Now there’s a happy shopper.” It was Lenny, and I stopped to talk. When I told him about Carol and Glen breaking up, I choked up and had to fight back the tears. I guess he realized I wasn’t such a happy shopper after all. He said he’d heard Connie had moved into an apartment with Christi. He sounded sad as well.

In May, you and I decided to take a short trip. Since going to Florida was out, we settled on a little town in the North Carolina mountains we’d heard about, but never visited. It was a unique location where none of the motels, commercial establishments, or fast food restaurants had encroached on the landscape. We stayed in a beautiful little bed and breakfast. It was a very relaxing vacation in a scenic area with an amazing waterfall.

I enjoyed the much needed break from my job. I’d worked there over five stressful years and was starting to feel burned out. Scores of people had been hired and fired over the years, and I was amazed that I still had a job there. Linda, the girl the plant manager moved from the art department and asked me to train, was not a pleasant person to work with. She spent most of her time talking behind people’s backs and causing trouble. I was aware she was likely talking behind my back as well.

In May, Ca
rol came back and took up residency in our guest room and started on her new job. She planned to go back to Florida in June to finalize the divorce. One evening, Glen called to talk to her, and she was at work. He seemed willing to talk to me about what was going on. He said he and Carol had nothing in common and she had indicated that she didn’t really love him when they first got married. He said she didn't even like the same kind of food he liked. He said he was unhappy and couldn’t take it any longer. In the course of our conversation, I suggested he should get Carol’s name off the house, since he planned to be the one living there. Later when he talked to Carol, he told her he didn’t appreciate me getting involved and trying to mess things up for them.

Carol got angry with me for talking to him. She said he couldn’t afford to make house payments, and she planned to help him with the mortgage, and she would pay off half of the debts he had incurred.  In spite of everything, she felt sorry for him. I don’t think she really believed he could manage on his own, and instead, she felt he would likely want her back.
In June, Don graduated from Life College and was officially a Chiropractor. We all went down for the graduation. By that time, he had managed to restore the trashed house, which they had purchased as a foreclosure. It looked like a brand new house inside and out. We couldn't help but admire Don’s carpenter skills and creativity. He and Kimberly were planning to sell the house and move back to Tennessee before he set up a practice. Until then, he intended to continue building chiropractic tables and doing some construction work in the area.  
Also in June, Connie celebrated her twentieth birthday. Lately, she was having a lot of problems with recurring fever and a severe sore throat. The doctor said she needed her tonsils out. Carol had her tonsils removed in her early twenties as well. She encouraged Connie to get them out, and we made an appointment for that to happen. In the near future, Don would have a medical problem arise as well.

Evan is 63 and a retired drafting supervisor from Chevron Oil.
Beth is 54 and has had a variety of jobs. She is presently working with a local printing company.
Carol is 30, a nurse at Florida Hospital in Orlando. She is married and living in Florida.
Glen Egolf is Carol’s husband. He is 27 and soon will get his nursing degree from Southern College in Orlando.
Don is a twin. He is graduating Life Chiropractic College. 
Christi is Don’s twin.  She is working as a receptionist at a chemical plant and doing massages on the side.
Kimberly Dye is Don’s wife. She is a nurse working in Atlanta near Don's school.
Connie is our youngest daughter. She is twenty. She is working at a furniture store.
Lenny was Connie's boyfriend.  They have just broken up. He is a junior in college. 
Shane and J.P. are friends of Connie's.



The book continues with Ending and Beginnings. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
I'm continuing to recall memories of life with my deceased husband, Evan, as if I am talking aloud to him. I'm doing this because I want my children to know us as we knew each other and not just as their parents.
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