The very next day I began to separate our things. I washed and folded his laundry, I made a list of what he could take and what I would take and I gave him two baskets of toys for the kids. We called my then three-year old into the room and said mommy & daddy are getting a divorce. Not that I assumed she even knew what we were talking about, but she looked at each of us for a long time, then said “But I’m coming with you right mommy?” Yes, yes you are. I called the landlord and explained my situation and within a week I was gone. We had $400 in our account that night and he must have taken it, cause when I checked the next day it was gone. I left with my kids, some stuff and my tail between my legs. I left feeling defeated and ashamed. I left feeling like a failure and how I couldn’t hold the interest of anyone long enough to be successful and reap any benefits of my efforts. I again moved in with my parents for three weeks before none of us could take it anymore and I got an apartment. I had my first apartment as a single mother of two and I was scared shitless. Not only was I a twenty-six year old single mother of two I was a working full-time single mother with a three-year old and an eighteen month old. Over the next eighteen months I spent a lot of time visiting his mother. Some of our chats were great and some were hard and it was there that I learned that most of what I knew about her son was a lie. A lie he had told me and himself about who he was, what he’d done and where he’d been. She would try to convince me to take him back and that the family is the most important thing and at first I agreed with her. Maybe I could take him back, maybe you don’t walk away. What about all the things my parents showed me about never giving up and working through it. I wrestled with that thought for a long time, but I kept coming back to the same conclusion: I could teach my daughters through my actions that you can get through anything and that as a mother and wife you never give up or I could teach my daughters through actions that as a woman you deserve better and you should never have to settle for less than that. The divorce was final in 2001 and he didn’t show up. How do you like that! He didn’t even show up! I got full custody of our girls and child support and nothing else. I called him after to let him know it was done and all he said was “Oh ok” My first marriage to the father of my children was over and all he could say was “Oh ok” As if I told him I bought Sprint instead of Ginger Ale. As if I said we are having Pasta tonight instead of Chicken. OK!!!! Guess there was really no other words left to say. It had all been said…a thousand times over. I think back on that day a lot. Not the divorce being final, but coming to the conclusion of determining what I wanted to teach my children. From my perspective, albeit somewhat skewed, my intentions were to always show my daughters when life knocks you down, you get back up and keep going. You keep pushing forward, you work hard, you take care of yourself and at some point life will reward you. Unfortunately in the process of this life lesson, they have seen me brought to my knees possibly one too many times. They had at least a fighting chance to believe in love, up until this past summer, but lets not get head of ourselves. So as I have worked killing myself to show them love does conquer all, love is all you need, there’s nothing better than love…I can’t prove it with any certainty. And for that I feel horrible….for all three of us.