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Eulogy For Ex-Father

Hi. Patrick. I hope all is well with and Zara. This is a difficult letter to write. My apologies, to you and the other siblings, for the hurt that you all felt when your father left his marriage. You had expressed in your email, the hurt and frustration it has caused you, and your other family members. Please give me the chance to explain, how this all transpired and enlighten you, as to who I am. An anecdote of the past twenty years. I am writing, because of my own experiences, with my ex-husband, how much it has destroyed the relationship between myself and my children, by instilling in them hate, anger and resentment towards me.

Your father emailed you on trying to reestablish, a relationship with you and your siblings. Divorce does not always have to damage children. In many cases, mainly where there is a high level of conflict and animosity between parents the children get hurt. That was the case in mine and his. I met Ken in early 1996, where I worked as a bartender at the hotel he would stay on his commute. My interaction with him was one of a customer, at the time he said he worked as a pilot. I was also working towards my own pilot license a personal reason, we had something in common.

I saw him a few other times at the bar, continue on talking about my progress in my flight training. I ask him about himself, he said he had been flying for twenty years was separated from his wife, staying with friends Vancouver, occasionally he would ask to stay at my home, it was never intimate this went on for about six months. As I was going through an acrimonious divorce with my husband regarding custody. I did not see him for a few months and when he returned, we continued to talk as friends, gone out a few times and he ended up staying at my home.

It was later on into our relationship when I became pregnant found through an acquaintance he was still married. I confronted him and said he should tell his wife before she finds out from someone else. He left went back to the Okanagan Valley as if nothing had happened. My marriage ended when I refused to support an unmotivated /hot -tempered man, who spent five of the six years, that we were married in school at my expense. At the time my children were very young, with a 10 hours work schedule as a manager for a corporate catering company and child care took its toll.

When I insist he finds a job or help around the house he refused to do so. He then took my children away and quickly filed for divorce along with his entire racist family, who was against the marriage supported him in court. They collectively work to establish to the court, I was and unfit parent, on the premise he would get to keep the children, home and child support. He came from a well to do family, who supported him financially, throughout the court battles against me. In the end, he had won, children, home, and child support, only if that was the end.

He continues to humiliate, whenever the children would visit he would accuse me of being an unfit parent, consequently had me in supervised access with my children. Meanwhile, he had taken up with an alcoholic woman, where the children would be left in her care, while he worked long work schedule, he also became very physical and mentally abusive to them. Their lives became a dysfunctional family. A few months later I received a call from Ken, Ingrid had kicked him out, when she was told of our relationship. I was very hesitant to help since he had lied to me, he did not want to ask family as they were of the opinion he was in the wrong.

I help him because he had nowhere to go, he went out a few times to try to reconcile with Ingrid, they both acknowledge it would not work for the long term. When I pressed him for answers as to why they could not come to a resolution, his answers was 10 years into the marriage the bliss were gone, he found Ingrid to be lazy, unmotivated in and out of the home. He was worried once the children leave the home it would be more difficult for him to continue the marriage. He saw I was a highly motivated and assiduous person something that was missing from his marriage.

Had he been truthful from the start I would have never dated him. As I was not interested in a relationship or financial help. I spoke to Ingrid once by phone in June 1997, to let her know I was sorry, she was nonchalant in her responses, said her intent was not to continue with the marriage and asked me not assist Ken if he was to call for help. She was conceited of her physical attributes and was upset he had pursued her into marriage when she could have done better. Furthermore went on to state he was a domineering man, and heard from others he was having other affairs and was not to be trusted.

This left me totally flabbergasted, for someone being married for twenty years with children spoke of their partner with such disdain. It seems to me at the time it was more a marriage of tolerance, as she was well looked after and didn’t challenge him, he was not happy with his home life and lied to start a relationship with someone else. He claimed they have never had an argument or disagreement in their entire marriage. Had these two had a workable marriage, it would have been easier for them to give their marriage a second chance.

The family home was sold, Ingrid wanted her new home to be mortgage free, Ken abides by all her wishes on the hoping for an amicable split, did not happen. The proceeds from the home were split about 80/20 Ingrid receiving the favorable portion with his portion spent on legal fees. When Craig arrived, they collaborated to extract lifetime compensation in an unfair manner alimony (10 years) they relentlessly pursue Ken’s pension until he conceded. Emotional stress, mounting legal 8 years plus in court had taken its toll, Ken ended up taking a leave of absence from work on depression and ending his career early.

They had won, in the end, it was all money, as children were never mentioned in the divorce filings. The day after Kenny was born it was a turning point for me, Ken received a paycheck of a $1. 38, I saw what my son will have to face, had to make the necessary changes to better our lives. In Canada it was a struggle for us not only financially, emotionally, I had regained bi-weekly access to my children and my ex-husband made every one of those visits miserable for me and my children, he would have them question every effort made I made while they were in my care.

When they arrived back from their visits to his home, he would interrogate them as to what went on, I would then received an angry call from him. We decided to move to Florida, as I saw better opportunities for us. As I had managed many successful businesses for others in the past. I refinance my home started the first business and it was a success. I was able to take the profits and started the stone business and that too was on its way to becoming a multi-million dollar business, subsequently lost most our hard earned money to the great recession.

What is disturbing, when children of a marriage are used as a pawn to negatively influence them of the other parent. Fast forward twenty years later, I have now reconnected with my two children three years ago, only to find what a major disaster their lives had become, years of negative influencing from by ex-husband and his entire racist family against their mother. When the children were older and had teenage problems he wanted nothing to do with them, as he had taken on with an alcoholic woman, they were tossed out into the street when they were teenagers, furthermore was told I had abandoned them with my new family.

My older son is in and out of a mental home, having to deal with an identity crisis of being a mixed race, my second son with severe drug addiction and subsequently ended up in drug rehab. With constant reassurance, mentoring and guidance, they are now both back in University. Had I taken the approach of another divorce selfish vindictive parents takes my children lives would be ruined. My ex-husband today still remain a bitter angry man, and both boys want nothing to do with him. I am an optimist, came from Guyana alone at the age of 17, penniless to escape a dictatorial government, where my parents could not succeed as hard as they try.

Life values they gave me of integrity, morals and work paid off. I am successful beyond my wildest dreams, have a great husband, children, and business. Life can be great if we stop the hate, anger, and resentment towards others we feel have wronged us. Happiness is within all of us it is only us who can make the necessary changes. Your father is a good man, had I not given him a chance to redeem himself, we would not have had Kenny. We now have a wonderful son who really looks up to us as parents. Over the years we have had our share of problems with health, financial stress but we are stronger as a family.

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