Imagine your picture here

My lawyer is very, very good at what he does, and a nice guy, to boot. He knows law. He knows tradition. What he doesn’t hand off to his secretary he types with two fingers, and he had exactly no idea of what a blog was until I had to explain to him what I do for a living.

“So, you write about your life for anyone to read?” he asked, hand pausing in mid-air over his legal pad.

“Yeah, pretty much,” I admitted.

I don’t think he really understood that. Heck, some days I’m not sure I really understand it. But most of the time I assume that people come here for humor, and most of the time I try to deliver. And even after four years, I continue to be completely blown away by my readers’ warmth and compassion on those occasions when there isn’t anything funny about my life.

Anyone with half a brain can figure out that we’ve been wrestling with many of the issues leading up to my last post for a long time. I try really, really hard to keep that stuff off the screen as much as possible. My mindset is generally “hunker down;” it’s the kids’ and my family’s business and it’s horrible and depressing and I will vent to Otto and maybe my folks, but I keep it all as under wraps as I can, for as long as I can.

When I can’t sit with it for another minute, when I HAVE to get it out or suffocate under the weight of it, there you are. All of YOU. People whom I see every day, people whom I’ve never met, people who’ve just started reading, people who’ve read me for years. People who leave me kind comments, people who email me their own stories of hope, friends who call to check on me.

A friend who is about to embark on the journey of a lifetime to add to her family—who has a million happier things on her mind—took the time to reach out to me.

A friend who is dealing with her own heartbreak wrote to tell me to keep the faith.

A friend who is up to her eyeballs in work kept checking in, ever so gently, not wanting to bother me but needing to let me know she was there.

Several people I’ve never met and maybe never will meet wrote to say thank you, even as I was worrying I’d said too much.

A new friend at the very beginning of this same path simply asked how I was holding up, the subtext of understanding buoying me in a dark moment.

From Otto’s family came an extraordinary offer—simply from reading my post, before they’d even spoken to us—to open their home to us for however long we might need, if we need it, to stay closer to the kids for however long they are up north this summer. (Yeah, I’m calling you out. I love you guys—you have no idea what that means to me. I won the husband AND in-law lotteries.)

All of you helped to prop me up when my knees were buckling. This may be “just a blog,” but I am grateful to have every one of you in my life.

Happy Love Thursday, everyone. Maybe life isn’t fair, but I’m still seeing grace all around me—I cannot thank you all enough.

71 Responses to “Imagine your picture here”

  1. 1
    All Adither April 10, 2008 at 9:30 am #

    Sigh.

    And thank you for sharing. If I had a lighter, I’d hold it to the sky and shout, “Rock on, Mir! We love you and your blog!”

  2. 2
    Susan Getgood April 10, 2008 at 9:39 am #

    Was deep in the weeds yesterday so didn’t see your posts til now. Will be thinking of you today. Divorce and custody are never easy, but as an adult survivor of my own parents’ divorce, the way you are handling this is *so right* for your kids, hard as it is right now for you.

  3. 3
    mamalang April 10, 2008 at 9:44 am #

    How awesome of your in-laws. I’m glad you got what you needed to make you feel better, not worse.

  4. 4
    Dawn - Texas April 10, 2008 at 9:44 am #

    Mir,
    Your blog entry yesterday was timely. I read your entry yesterday morning, and shortly thereafter received a text from one of my teenagers. The text said, “Mom, one of the biology teachers at school killed herself and school is closed except for counseling for the students, parents, and teachers. This young 40ish lovely teacher was mom to 5, 9 and 12 year old children. She was in an ongoing dreadful divorce with custody battles lingering. I understand that she was being threatened by the soon to be ex that she was going to lose her children. Obviously something broke down, and now those precious children are without a mom.

    I’ve been in her shoes as well as yours. 9 years ago, my ex screamed repeatedly that “no judge in their right mind will give you these five children to take care of”. Needless to say I have had these fabulous five children on my own for 9 years, and we are all just fine and dandy thank you very much.

    Thanks for your words yesterday, and I’m asking for prayers for the children of the teacher who somehow gave up.

  5. 5
    Leandra April 10, 2008 at 9:45 am #

    That, what you just wrote about, that underlying support for people who “get you” — that’s what I love about blogging, the blogging community, and the friends I’ve made from blogging. People who don’t blog (either read or write) just don’t get that.

    I’m glad it helped you. We’re always here for you.

  6. 6
    carrie April 10, 2008 at 9:45 am #

    Aren’t people amazing?

    My family is just beginning to come off a rough patch in our life (hubby has cancer). In the past year the number of people who have reached out to us, who have performed unexpected acts of kindness, who have been there for us… well, it’s just amazing. I wish I had a blog so I could say a public thank you — although I couldn’t do it as well as you have.

    It all creates faith in humanity.

  7. 7
    Busy Mom April 10, 2008 at 9:48 am #

    Your in-laws offer made my cry.

  8. 8
    Ariel April 10, 2008 at 9:49 am #

    I so love you and your family, even though I’ve never met you!
    *hugs*

  9. 9
    Emily April 10, 2008 at 9:50 am #

    Your empathy in the midst of this very painful and unfair situation is setting the best possible example for your kids. As they grow up and begin to understand more sides of this for themselves, your empathy and understanding will help them to learn to make the best of even the most unfair situations.

  10. 10
    Amy-Go April 10, 2008 at 9:59 am #

    Still praying…

  11. 11
    Mandee April 10, 2008 at 10:02 am #

    Thanks for sharing your life with all of us. I forwarded yesterday’s entry to my sister (who called me in tears after talking to my nephew’s other grandmother) and to my old college roommate (who is in the midst of the same thing right now). Even when you know the high road is the right way to travel, it can feel really lonely. Knowing that there was another mom up there with them helped bolster them for one more day to make the best decisions for their children. Thank you.

  12. 12
    MomCat April 10, 2008 at 10:04 am #

    As the eternal optimist, I’m thinking positive thoughts for you and yours during this hard time.

  13. 13
    DR April 10, 2008 at 10:11 am #

    Mir, in spite of how difficult or unreasonable it gets, try to appreciate that your kids’ daddy wants to see them. I saw examples of both instances as I taught and those whose fathers had abandoned them were such sad children. I’ve also seen many heartbroken children when daddy didn’t show and the subsequent destruction of their trust in adults.

    I guess this falls under the “making the most of a bad situation” category but there must be a blessing in here somewhere since you’re going through so much turmoil. It’s probably going to be one of those you or the kids realize later in life.

    Sending thoughts and prayers your way.

  14. 14
    Jess April 10, 2008 at 10:13 am #

    Mir, your in-laws rock!

    I’ve been thinking about you. I’m a kid of divorce, so I’m especially thinking about Monkey and Chickadee.

    Just so you know, while divorce is rough on a kid, it didn’t scar me for life or anything like that. I’ve got my issues, but seriously? Who doesn’t. At least I’ve got something to talk about if I’m ever on Oprah. ;)

  15. 15
    Lucinda April 10, 2008 at 10:25 am #

    Love back to you. Your blog is the first thing I read every morning. It makes me laugh, cry, smile, empathize, and all that good stuff. I talk to other people about you as if I know you which seems ridiculous and natural all at the same time because of course we will never meet. But your blog and your life have become part of my life. Your gift of opening up your life and letting strangers like me peek inside is really generous. So many times you deal with issues with your kids that I know I will soon deal with and it gives me perspective and wisdom and some great tips too. Thank you and I will continue to pray for your family.

  16. 16
    Sara April 10, 2008 at 10:27 am #

    Isn’t grace wonderful? It always amazes me. Sometimes I don’t see it as clearly as I need to and other times it smacks me upside the head and says: “Yo! Look around you! I’m RIGHT HERE!!” But always, always, I’m amazed and humbled by grace.
    Lifting up your family…

  17. 17
    Melisa April 10, 2008 at 10:32 am #

    I don’t have anything profound to say, but sending love, hugs, and positive thoughts your way. And thanks for sharing the hard stuff too.

  18. 18
    Deb April 10, 2008 at 10:34 am #

    Wow, you did win in the husband and in-law category. What wonderful people they are! And I thank you each day for opening your heart to us and sharing your life with everyone. You make us (other mom’s especially) realize that we are not in this alone, others are going through the same things. For that, I will always thank you.
    Still keeping you in my thoughts today.

  19. 19
    Aimee April 10, 2008 at 10:37 am #

    Happy Love Thursday to you, too! It’s a mutual thing — reading your blog is a bright spot at the beginning of my work day, and I’m glad to have you as part of my day.

    Still sending out positive thoughts for you and the kids.

  20. 20
    jen April 10, 2008 at 10:43 am #

    Happy Love Thursday!
    I love reading your blog; the good, the bad, and the flat-out hysterical. I love blogs that are real, and yours definitely qualifies. I love knowing that I’m not alone in this crazy world of raising insanely bright kids with funky sensory issues. I love that you write so well and it makes my day to read here.
    Happy Love Thursday. :)

  21. 21
    Stacey April 10, 2008 at 10:46 am #

    I don’t know how you do it, being so personable and warm through this blog that so many of us really care about you, even though we’ve never met. I know that you’ve done much for me, for which I am truly grateful. I hope my comments do add to the collective love coming to you through your blog. (And it’s good to know I’m not just pestering you :-D !)

  22. 22
    liz April 10, 2008 at 10:47 am #

    Mir — Still thinking of you and the kids and Otto and praying that this situation gets better (or at least, resolves itself) soon. You are lucky to have Otto and his in-laws, and he’s lucky to have wonderful you!!

    Thank you, as always, for sharing with us and reaching out through your blog. You have touched, inspired, entertained and shared grace with more people than you’ll ever know!

    Happy Love Thursday!

  23. 23
    Beth April 10, 2008 at 10:47 am #

    {{{{{Mir}}}}}

    I don’t know you, but you’re a dear friend of mine. If that makes any sense. You allow us to be here for you and form a community with each other and your family.

    Another kid of divorce here; I’m also not scarred for life. Again, I have my issues, but they’re more from other things. You’re doing the right thing by keeping Chickadee and Monkey as the most important people in this situation. They will thank you for it as they get older, even as they can’t understand it now.

    My step-dad is flying out to visit me as I type. Otto will never replace their dad, but pretty soon, C&M will realize they’ve got it really good: they’ve got 2 dads who love them!

    Hugs to the whole MirODeeKey family!

  24. 24
    Alice April 10, 2008 at 10:53 am #

    Good luck with everything, Mir – I’m so glad that you’ve been getting such support from all corners. Especially since you’re a really put-together person who tries her damnedest to keep these things quiet, I’m so glad that you got such support. You deserve it, and I hope very much that you’ll soon be able to not need it, because things will have worked out.

    Until then, I’ll keep thinking good thoughts for you and the whole fam.

  25. 25
    birchsprite April 10, 2008 at 10:53 am #

    Ah but we love you too you see and it’s hard to be so far away and unable to offer help or solace!

  26. 26
    pam April 10, 2008 at 11:06 am #

    Happy Love Thursday to you to Dear Mir. You are Grace personified. And me, I believe in Grace.

  27. 27
    chris April 10, 2008 at 11:24 am #

    Making me cry in the morning is not allowed.

    Life isn’t fair. I say it to my kids all the time. Of course then I break out into song ala the Rolling Stones, which would not at all be appropriate right now. Unless I were drunk, or perhaps juggling.

    Love ya. (((HUGS)))

  28. 28
    Katie April 10, 2008 at 11:26 am #

    Your kids are really lucky to have a step dad who lovs them. My mom is on her third marriage, and I finally have a dad who loves me. I don’t remember much about either of the divorces, but I know how important it is that my step dad loves me. You are doing the right thing, and one day, your kids will know it and thank you.

  29. 29
    jennielynn April 10, 2008 at 11:57 am #

    (((HUG)))

  30. 30
    dad April 10, 2008 at 12:09 pm #

    Geesh!
    I love Thursdays.

  31. 31
    Shalee April 10, 2008 at 12:14 pm #

    I think your dad just said it all.

  32. 32
    Ramblin' Red April 10, 2008 at 12:31 pm #

    A friend who is up to her eyeballs in work kept checking in, ever so gently, not wanting to bother me but needing to let me know she was there. That was probably directed at someone else, but pretty Mir, that is me as a reader of your blog. My check-ins are clandestine lurks at work, and I comment when I can, but know that you knock my socks off with your heart, your brain, and your humor (I could get more detailed, but suffice to say that those three encompass all the things I heart about you on your blog).

    Your in-laws are a blessing. I’m so glad you have them in your corner too!

  33. 33
    Shalet April 10, 2008 at 12:42 pm #

    Your Dad is adorable! Happy Love Thursday!

  34. 34
    Sheila April 10, 2008 at 12:56 pm #

    Gosh darn it, Mir– now more than ever I wish we were neighbors so I could bring over a warm coffee cake and we could laugh between the tears while sitting at the kitchen table.

    It seems to me that your virtual kitchen table is very crowded indeed. We’re all just reflecting back what you put out for us every day. We came for the funny, we stayed for the heart. Happy Love Thursday right back at ya!

  35. 35
    Leah April 10, 2008 at 12:59 pm #

    Your posts are real. I can’t come up with a better word than that. Life is not fair and all we can do is rely on God and know that his hand is on and guiding our lives. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family today.

  36. 36
    Lisa- Domestic Accident April 10, 2008 at 1:10 pm #

    Mir- you handle your life with such grace and gratitude. It’s why I come back everyday.

  37. 37
    donna April 10, 2008 at 1:28 pm #

    It’s so nice to know that there’s still good people in the world and that nice people like yourself is surrounded by many of them when needed.

  38. 38
    Megan April 10, 2008 at 1:28 pm #

    See, sometimes it’s good to remember that while we notice all the times life isn’t fair AGAINST us, it’s often just as not fair FOR us. There is nothing more beautifully, wonderfully not fair as the way people give love and support and then give it again.

  39. 39
    Heidi April 10, 2008 at 1:30 pm #

    Dang, there you are, making me cry.

  40. 40
    Randi April 10, 2008 at 1:39 pm #

    That is so, so sweet. I never even though to mention that I live in northern VT and would be more than happy to have you both her if you ever needed a place to stay while the kids were up here – or if you ever want to go skiing! I promise we’re not axe murderers….only when the Pats lose.

  41. 41
    Ladybug Crossing April 10, 2008 at 1:56 pm #

    Mir… I may not comment often, but I read you every day. I consider you a dear friend – even though we’ve never met. This thing you are going through – it’s tough. You will make it. The children will know they are loved. And, your inlaws – they totally rock.
    xoxo
    LBC

  42. 42
    Heidi April 10, 2008 at 2:02 pm #

    Now that I’ve dabbed my eyes, here’s a quick video that is guaranteed to bring a smile to y’all–Birdtown! (Won’t you take me to…)

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=birdtown&search_type=

  43. 43
    Vane April 10, 2008 at 2:21 pm #

    I have always thought that putting down in words your thoughts and feelings for all the world to see is a very corageous thing to do, especially, when you talk about the hard things.

    You have created a wonderful community with your blog of people who truly care about you, even if we don’t know you.

    Ever since I almost died in a car accident six years ago, I have come to realize that angels touch my life every now and then and they help me stay in course. I think you are one of those angels, letting me know, that I’m not alone in the things that I go through.

    “Thou shall reap that which you hast sown” – Happy Love Thursday :)

  44. 44
    Headless Mom April 10, 2008 at 2:31 pm #

    That is also what I love about the blogging community. It is usually good and supportive.

    Hugs and love and continued prayers to all of you!

  45. 45
    Law Student Hot Mama April 10, 2008 at 2:33 pm #

    Lawyers suck! I can’t believe he’s decent! I’M certainly not decent! Heh.

  46. 46
    Andrea April 10, 2008 at 2:59 pm #

    Hey, my lawyer hubby ROCKS!! :) Thankfully he’s not in family law where he would have to deal with heartwrenching issues like this.

    Happy Love Thursday, Mir. We love you every day of the week!!

  47. 47
    arduous April 10, 2008 at 3:14 pm #

    Mir, you get love because you give out so much love. But you have GOT TO STOP MAKING ME CRY AT WORK!! You hear!! (Just kidding, don’t ever ever stop!)

  48. 48
    Sue April 10, 2008 at 3:23 pm #

    You are much loved, Mir! I haven’t been reading you long, but I feel like I could just reach out and hug you. I love your humor, but I love that you are so very real. You don’t have to be funny to keep the love going!

    And your dad, we’ll he needs a big squeeze too! (And your in-laws. Wow.)

  49. 49
    Kristin April 10, 2008 at 3:30 pm #

    Oh, Mir. I missed your post yesterday. I will be thinking of you and yours. I’m a child of divorce myself, and our family went through some very similar rough patches. I grew up to be a happy, well-adjusted adult. (Well, mostly well-adjusted. Heh.) My mother absolutely made the right choice by leaving my father, and I am grateful every day that she did. I think the most important thing that the experience taught me is that there are no limits on the capacity of the human heart to love. There is enough room there for everyone. I have a stepfamily now, but we never use the word “step” – we are just family. Your kids love you, they love their dad and they love Otto. They are very blessed.

  50. 50
    Shanti @ Antishay April 10, 2008 at 3:45 pm #

    Your post yesterday really touched me. It also surprised me because I’ve only been reading for a few weeks and didn’t expect anything but chipper posts… it was a welcome surprise :) We’re all people, and you are very good at writing your feelings so that they’re FELT by the reader. That’s a strong gift. My parents separated when I was 8 (and my two younger sisters were 7 and 5) and it was hard… particularly because I didn’t really understand what was going on. For a long time I told myself that I didn’t care, but as I got older and did more work on my self, I came to realize that I was upset about it. (NO, I wasn’t *deeply scarred,* and I don’t mean to trivialize people who are – I just wasn’t.)

    Your post yesterday made me think a lot about what my mom must have gone through, and my dad too… something I honestly never gave much thought to. My whole process of letting go of my childhood sadness and frustration was self-centered, and yesterday I thought a lot about my mom and how hard it must have been for her to raise three kids on her own while dad was off in Hawaii, goofing off and not paying child support. I don’t know, your post made my heart go out to her. And to my dad too, who has tried so hard for 10 years now to be the best father he can be, after having been absent for a few years when I was little.

    I didn’t comment yesterday because I hadn’t sorted out all of my feelings… so thank you for this follow-up where I could blather on. Your post hit me somewhere deep, and I’m very glad you wrote it. Keep writing what’s real to you – chances are you’ll always touch someone :)

  51. 51
    saucygrrl April 10, 2008 at 4:52 pm #

    It’s funny how a little network of people who don’t really know each other can keep each other plugging along. We all love you too, Mir. Big XOXO.

  52. 52
    Brandy April 10, 2008 at 4:57 pm #

    Happy Love Thursday Mir. I’m not very eloquent, but I wanted to let you know your post yesterday brought tears to my eyes and I’m praying for you and your family.

  53. 53
    kate setzer kamphausen April 10, 2008 at 5:07 pm #

    Praying for you in Chicago. :-) Wish things weren’t so hard for you guys. Hope the judge is kind.

  54. 54
    celticbuffy April 10, 2008 at 5:17 pm #

    Hang in there Mir. I have to let my children go halfway across the country this summer to their father and his new fiance. It breaks my heart to do this because he only calls once/twice per month and doesn’t really even know them anymore. I can understand what you are going through and how this is absolutely heart wrenching and heart breaking. But I know this…we will make it through. Cry when you need to, laugh when you can. We’re all here for you.

  55. 55
    Crisanne April 10, 2008 at 5:22 pm #

    My parents are in town this week, so I’ve been flying under the radar most of the week. You words-both today and yesterday-are so touching. I love that someday Chickie and Monkey will be able to look at these posts and read what you couldn’t yet say. My prayers go up for you!

  56. 56
    Daisy April 10, 2008 at 5:23 pm #

    Anyone who comes up with a drinking game based on the word “unilateral” in the midst of craziness deserves a hug, and more. That Otto — his folks raised him right, and he sure trained them right, too.

  57. 57
    Cassie April 10, 2008 at 5:48 pm #

    Life isn’t always fair, but it’s those rough patches that remind us what it really means to love our families. I am SO glad that Otto’s family has accepted you the way that they have. It’s obvious that they love you (and the kids) too.

  58. 58
    April April 10, 2008 at 6:02 pm #

    I’m still really new to this blogging thing, but I do find it so helpful in just dealing. I’m glad to be a new reader of yours!

  59. 59
    Woman with Kids April 10, 2008 at 6:09 pm #

    What a lovely offer from the inlaws, you did win quite the lottery with them!

  60. 60
    paige April 10, 2008 at 6:41 pm #

    Am still thinking of you and your family. Wish there was something more I could do.

  61. 61
    The Other Other Dawn April 10, 2008 at 7:09 pm #

    Heh! Your lawyer’s amazement at the blogging concept made me laugh. He’s so much more used to keeping things under his hat. The idea of putting everything (almost) out there for the world to see must have made him positively dizzy with anxiety.

    And of course we’re all here for you. I don’t comment often, but I read daily and love your sense of humour (a court drinking game – that would just about making appearing in court tolerable) I’ve been through the divorce thing and while it’s horrible at the time, it’s one of those “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” life experiences. Things will settle down and your kids will be fine. Hang in there!

    *resume lurk mode*

  62. 62
    Heather April 10, 2008 at 9:47 pm #

    We all love you too :-)

  63. 63
    Melinda April 10, 2008 at 10:26 pm #

    You know, I can’t even begin to count the amount of times your posts have touched my heart. You’ve done it yet again. (*wipes away tear*) Thanks Mir for sharing your life with the world. Has anyone told you how pretty you are lately? :)

  64. 64
    Flea April 11, 2008 at 12:17 am #

    Man alive! Yeah, you won the lottery with friends and family alike. We’re all smiling at you, Mir! Wait, that’s kinda creepy. Um, hang in there?

  65. 65
    David April 11, 2008 at 12:25 am #

    Mir, curmudgeonly hermit that I am, I still count myself very lucky to be among the folks who find comfort in the fragile but bold humanity of your blog. May God bless and keep you and your family, always.

  66. 66
    carson April 11, 2008 at 1:18 am #

    I love you too. You’re a real mom, with amazing abilities and the grace to acknowledge your flaws. And even though I missed yesterday, when I read it tonight it was just what I needed. Thanks.

  67. 67
    Ali B. April 11, 2008 at 10:35 am #

    Aw, jeez. Now I’m all teary-eyed.

  68. 68
    prophet April 11, 2008 at 10:53 am #

    Semper Fi, Mir.

    We are all breathless to know ‘what happened’ – and how I hope and pray that the judge is able to find true wisdom in reaching a decision in this case.

    There’s just no easy answer. It sounds, though, like God’s grace is smoothing the way, no matter what happens.

    You know one of the things I admired most about how you’ve been dealing with this? Your refusal to demonize your ex-husband. Not only that, but you have acknowledged how hard this must be for him, too.

    That’s what makes this such a compelling tough case. That, and the children. . . .

    Anyway: all the best to you. Glad to see the love and support that have rallied on your behalf, and on behalf of all the people involved in this case. Here’s hoping to be hearing some good news, soon!

  69. 69
    Nancy April 11, 2008 at 10:55 am #

    I read you most every day. I love the way you are raising your kids. I divorced when my kids were 16 and 20. I lived 24 years in an abusive marriage that should have ended many years before. He still does not acknowledge what he was, and it puts a huge rift between my kids and him. My daughter is getting married and he is not invited. My son sees him once in a while, and copes by making me laugh over the visits. We have not spoke in years. It is the only way to survive. So while life is not fair, and my children have learned that, they have learned to break the cycle. They are happy and healty, making good relationship choices. I am forever grateful for friends and famiy who prayed me through the horrific times. You are in my prayers as you go through this.

  70. 70
    dorothy April 11, 2008 at 3:27 pm #

    hang in there, sistah

  71. 71
    Lola April 17, 2008 at 4:00 am #

    You DO have awesome in-laws and they’re just as blessed having YOU in their lives. Keep the faith. It does get better. My husband has fought a 7 year battle to maintain a half-way decent relationship and visitation with his child, despite the horrific actions of his ex. It does get better. Till then, keep your head up and remember that you have lots of support out here. Me included. Lola

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