Wednesday, August 09, 2006

ICE

Just when I begin to think that I am not needed as much anymore some little thing happens to show me that I am wrong.

Eight years ago I had a conversation with my husband that made me realize we would not be growing old together. At the time, I decided to hold out though, wait until my youngest child was enrolled in university before I made the ultimate decision. I suppose I still held out the hope that we would find what we had lost, or perhaps what we had never really had.

But as the years have passed, things have become much tougher, several times, especially in the past year, I have been at the point when I truly thought it best for the entire family that we end now, that I not wait 2 more years. But I stayed, telling myself it was best for my daughter, that I had to follow my instincts on this one...do what felt best in my heart.

Then being the child she is, she would say something to me, something that would break my heart, but also make me think, that yes, I needed to get past my fears, so many of them, and just do it!

One day she asked me if we were staying together because of her, and if so "that was just wrong!"

A few months later, she brought up the fact, that perhaps we would all be better off if the marriage ended...because she and her brother hated seeing us so unhappy, hated viewing their parents in a relationship where we were more like 'pals' than a couple. They remember you see, they remember when we had passion in our marriage, not just sexual passion, but passion in our conversations, passion in the things we did together.

We don't fight anymore, we don't even argue over a difference of opinion, or ideology, except in one area...a very big area, we only voice our disagreements if it has to do with our children.

My husband did not really become a part of our children's lives until a few years ago...he thought his role was to be the provider of financial security...the rest he trusted me to do...at one point when I was begging him to become more of a part to their lives, he told me he didn't have to...that I filled that role completely. There are a lot of things in his past that allowed him to see fatherhood in that light, but that is his story to tell, not mine.

The suicide of a loved one at about the same time as I knew our marriage would end, sent the message home to him...he needed to be more involved in our lives, more of a father and husband...before too much more time passed. It was too late for our son, (he recently told me that) which added one of those huge cracks to my soul, I keep hoping that this will change over time, and they will become loving friends someday, father and son.

My daughter says it was just in time for her. She was able to accept the changes his new involvement in their lives wrought with open arms...because suddenly her daddy was a much bigger part of her life, and she loved most of that. He still left the major job of parenting up to me, but he tried in his rather new-found fatherhood fumbling way to become more accessible to them.

We have very different parenting styles though, very different ideas of the freedoms and ideas that our children should be exposed to, very different ideas of who these two wonderful people are...he thinks of them as still unformed, still moldable...whereas I see them as two very separate, very distinct individuals, with ideas, dreams, passions, and yes even demons. So we do disagree occasionally on what seems to be best for these two very precious souls...we disagree with passion, and fire...but you know what?...95% of the time...he finds that I am right! (had to throw that in there :) )

So with observations from my "oh so emotionally open" daughter, I allowed myself to think...alright, maybe she doesn't need both of us in her daily life, that she would be Ok in a non-2-parent household, that I could face my failure, face my fear, and move on, move on to save myself, and to also save my husband, give him a chance for a future in which he could find the type of love he needs...at least that's what I tell myself. Because I also keep telling myself I am staying for a multitude of other reasons and fears, reasons that are weak and unfair...financial security for me, my daughter, my son, even my husband is a biggie...hate to admit that...but it is a truth..

I was so very close, I had gotten my mind there, and my bank account there, and then one day recently my daughter had to use her father's cell phone to call me, she had misplaced her own. Later that day she came to me, very upset. It seems under my cell phone number I was labeled ICE. This upset her so much, more than I at first realized. She whispered this information to me, and then asked, no begged, me not to say anything to her father.

The thoughts that rapidly zipped through my mind...was I not sexual enough for him...noo I am much more so than he..so that couldn't be it...was I missing his attempts to want to spend more time with me...no after examining that I definitely knew better...then it hit me..he knows I do not love him romantically, I have hurt him sooo deeply that I seem like the "ice queen" to him...and then she said..."He must think you are cold-hearted mommy." That sentence...oh that sentence...brought me closer to tears than anything I have allowed in a very long time. I asked myself, "Is he the one person in this world that I show no kindness to, no love to, no empathy toward? Has it become that bad?" I really didn't think this was true, but my husband is one of the few persons in this world who I don't trust my perceptions of.

That sentence should have also tipped me off to how much that upset her, because my darling daughter has never called me mommy. I was always momma when she was younger, and now always mom. But it didn't, because I was too busy focusing inward, thinking, I have hurt this man so much, so very much, that I must leave now, I cannot continue to do this to him. And so on and so on, deciding I must truly be an awful person.

Then a very special man, who did not laugh at me when I told him the story, told me that I should be honored that my husband had me labeled as ICE on his cell phone. That indeed he had his own wife labeled the same. I laughed, I asked if he was joking. Then he told me.

ICE means...In Case of Emergency, if anything happens to the person, and emergency personnel find the cell phone, they can search under ICE and immediatly find the right person to call. I of course had to google this to see if it were true, and it is.

I am not ICE because he finds me cold and unloving, I am ICE because I have been one of the most important people in his life for almost 30 years, and even though we no longer have what we once had, when the world is not on our side, we do know who will be, the person labeled ICE on our cell phones.

You may ask, how does that one little thing make me decide I can hold out for 2 more years? It was my daughters reaction to my telling her why I was ICE in her daddy's cell phone. Her eyes filled with tears, her whole body relaxed, and she gave me the tightest hug, she was so very relieved. She then gave me one of her room brightening, soul uplifting smiles. I cannot take away her family, not until she is ready, and right now, she is not ready.

14 comments:

Indigo said...

I see so much of your life in mine. I think I have so much to learn yet about life.

I'm glad you're his Ice woman


xxx

Sunny Delight said...

Indigo... me too, I am so glad I can be his ICE, there are so many things I am no longer able to be for him, but I can give him that.

I am also grateful for the friends in my life..online and off, I cannot imagine what I would have done, if my friend hadn't been there, at the right time, at the right momemt, to listen to my pain...and then to give me that gift...maybe there truly is some kind of Karma in life, that leads us in the right direction at the right time.

Life and learning, I've always said I wanted to be a lifelong learner, it seems I have only just begun.

*hugs and love* darlin'

Fiona said...

ICE - such a wonderful concept, one I'd read of a while back.

My ICE is my best friend in the whole world. It used to be my dad, it would never by my mum and my sister would crumble. So there sits my chosen sister, always ready to be there for m.

You are such an incredibly warm and sensual person SD, it hurts me to think of you not being appreciated the way you should be by your partner. But, sigh, there's a lot of that around.

Big giant hugs.

Sunny Delight said...

acushla...thank you, your words warm me..

Every relationship has two sides, most of the time I of course only see my side, but I also know I have hurt him as much as he has hurt me.

He is now ICE in my cell phone too, because no matter the pain we have given to each other, we have also shared pain, and no matter how it all ends....he will be a part of me til the end of my days.

Steve said...

The one thing that struck me when I was reading this... even before reading your epiphany... is that you both argue passionately about things...and then he ends up admitting to you that were right most of the time...that means that something is deeply felt there... it is alive... it is a "vital sign"... even if it is painful... it is alive.

Sunny Delight said...

steve, in my front yard there are two Maple trees that were planted to closely together, they have now formed at the base to become one tree trunk, one tree, yet you can still see where they were once two, as it reaches for the sky, it splits off in two different directions....when I can think clearly and lovingly about my husband, I picture us as that tree, we are firmly rooted together, and I sincerely hope with all my heart that no matter what the future brings, that will always be so.....

Polyman2 said...

Like the U2 song says; 2 hearts beat as one. I think we are forever entwined to someone we open our heart up to, even if their no longer in our lives.

Steve said...

Beautiful, SD...

It reminds me of what a friend of mine, Anu, wrote recently: a poem about two coconut trees. :)

Free

you stand so tall on the ground,
stubborn is your love for her
and straightforward is your approach

yet you let her flirt with the sky
dance dirty with the wind
go berserk with her feelings and emotions

you're love is so free and so easy, coconut tree
you don't need to own her, possess her and promise to her
your palm leaves kiss the stars in the sky,
yet her love roots are burried deep in your heart
infact she sprouts from you...free!

LePhare said...

Had to read that one to my wife. Our life has changed so much because of illness, but thankfully, it's brought us closer. Thank you.

IanS

NeverEZme said...

I introduced ICE to the place I work! I heard it on my local T.V. and Radio station. My wife is ICE and I am her ICE. I heard about it about 9 or 10 months ago.

Phil said...

You truly have wise and wonderful children, and that is a tribute to both of you. A very touching story Sunny.

Sunny Delight said...

poly--that is my hope, I hate losing people from my life, and I do not how one can love someone, grow up together, raise children together, and then no longer have them as a part of their lives, I know it happens, but I have never understood completely.

Sunny Delight said...

steve--that is a beautiful poem.

lecram sinun said...

That post made my Sunday. Thank You. :)