An Ex-Wife
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Dear Mr. Half Smile

This one is for the memories.

This is to you, the person I never really thought I’d be writing this to at 3 o’clock in the morning. It’s a regular Los Angeles morning in November. A little brisk, but lovely without the rain. Today, our oldest child asked me if I still loved you. I smiled at her, gave her a hug and said, “of course, I do. He gave me you.” Which was the truth but also lead to me sitting in my pajamas in that brisk cool air out on the patio, writing this, coffee in hand.

Of course I love you, I love you for giving me those beautiful kids and our two angel babies. How? Why? That's what I asked myself after she asked me that question, I asked myself my own questions, well not questions, mostly just one. Would I love you still even if there wasn’t a Marley-Skye (angel), Amora, Zayden (angel), Kingston, and Zara? I truly believe so. Looking back over the last 6 years, they helped me grow more and more in love with you. Let’s go back to the beginning, before we had the twins (and the three more that followed), before there was a marriage license, before there was so many unanswered questions, back to the man I use to love like crazy. Back to the night that started this 6+ year journey. To that party.

Oh, the party. The party I was forced to go to. The party I begged my best friend not to drag me to. It was in March, it was colder than it should be for an LA night. Looking back, I remember thinking I’ll go for 15 minutes, to just show my face and to meet (unknown to me at the time) your best friend, the friend my best friend would fall head over heels in love with, causing me to see you after this party (thanks P&S, who knew you two falling in love would become such a long adventure for me in the long run). I walked in, met P and laughed, knowing exactly what was going on with him and S. However, I wasn’t getting into the middle of that (at least not at the time). I turned the corner and there you were. You were sitting on the couch with 3 other people, mostly females. Telling a story I could verily hear. I walked over to hear a little better, unknowingly walking to the man who would hold much of my future for the next 3+ years to follow. I won’t rehash the story you were telling. Mostly cause my views and your views on it, will forever be two very different views. Cliff notes version? I called you on the carpet for the story you were telling. You got in my face, and I turned and walked out the door. Never ever wanting to see you again.

A couple weeks later P&S were hosting a dinner, letting all of their friends and family know that they had started dating. I had to go because 1) I was S’s best friend, sister, family 2) I wanted to warn P not to hurt my best friend. I walked in late. Met about 10 different pairs of eyes all at once, but the one pair that caught mine was yours. “Great, it’s the guy from the party. Please just strike me down now, God” that was the first thing that ran through my head when I saw you. My second thought was a little more… R rated. In fact it was more along the lines of “F-bomb, why the F-bomb do I have to sit next to that a**hole, f-bomb” I would find out, weeks later no thanks to P&S, why in that moment (and every moment after) why I was stuck sitting next to you, but I’ll cover that little bit later.

That entire dinner I was thinking of the many ways I was going to kill S, knowing she probably had something to do with me sitting next to you. About halfway through, you finally looked at me and said “What are you even doing here?” I neared my eyes at you and simply said “I’m P’s new girlfriend’s best friend.” I’m not sure, even to this day if you even know that you groaned at me, looked straight at P with an “I’m going to kill you in your sleep, thanks for the warning” stare. I laughed to myself, and you shot me a look. I shot you the same look back and you half smiled at me. I didn’t know this at that time, but that half smile? You only did that for me. The rest of dinner, was an awkward event for us both. My only two thoughts were “don’t touch his arm when you move yours” and “why is he even here?” I pulled my phone out of my pocket very carefully, of course that pocket was the one near you. I nearly elbowed you, thankfully I was just smooth enough not to do so. I texted S next and asked why the F-bomb you were there. She glared at me over the table, and mouthed “P’s best friend” I all but shouted at that moment. Your best friend, was dating my best friend, which meant, every party, dinner, game night, night out, BBQ, and whatever thing in between, you were going to be there. Dinner was nearly over when I decided I needed to go home and think about how S and P dating had basically just lead to me having to be around the weirdest, *semi* rudest man, I have ever met. I got up from the table and could feel your eyes watching me, I went over hugged Skye while whispering in her ear “I’m going to kill you later, I hope you know that.” she whispered back “we shall see” and she let go of me. I remember thinking “whatever she means by that doesn’t save her from anything” I would find out in less than 3 minutes later, what she meant by that. I would also unknowingly be changing my future completely.

As I walked out to my car, thinking about what S had whispered in my ear, I heard my name being yelled. I turned around to see you. At first, I thought you were yelling for someone else with my name. I mean, I do have a very common name. So I wrote it up to being just that, as I continued with my angry thought process and my walking you caught me by my arm. You asked why I didn’t respond to you yelling my name. I looked up at you and not to sound overly cheesy I looked at you up close for the very first time. Your eyes, your brown eyes, had so many questions. And my first thought was “are those questions for me?” you watched me for a moment and smiled that half smile again. You let go of my arm right after I tried to pull my arm back. And for the first time, I saw you get nervous. I asked what you wanted in the sternest voice I could come up with, you laughed and said “just to ask you a really stupid question.” I rolled my eyes at that moment, coming back to my normal, not fazed by this man state of mind and said “and that is?” in the most sarcastic way I could come up with. I watched your face drop a bit, and as it did, so did my stomach. “Are you leaving because of me?” that was your question. I snorted, yes snorted and said “No. I’m leaving because…” I had to stop and think. You know that light bulb moment people sometimes have? I had mine in that moment. I was leaving because of you, but why? Who were you to make me feel that small? (Besides the fact of you being a whole foot plus some taller than me) luckily you saved me at that moment. “Do you want to go for a walk with me?” A walk? This man is asking me on a damn walk? “Sure.”

An hour later, you had me laughing. Laughing a laugh that I hadn’t even heard from myself, ever. Of course you didn’t know that. In that hour I learned a lot about you. You gave the biggest front ever, but you were kind hearted, funny, a little strange but for the most part a very caring, respectful person. Not my type at all. However you knew how to make me smile, laugh, groan, and roll my eyes without even trying. The scariest thing you made me do that night though, was making me start to fall in love with you.

We talked and talked for weeks after, meeting up for 2 dinners, 4 lunches, and 1 very early breakfast. We both agreed not to tell P or S. Just because we didn’t want them to start pushing us together. P and S had a dinner party 5 weeks after their first dinner. We were both supposed to go. We talked about not saying anything to them, avoiding each other, and acting like we normally would. Which at that point was to just show pure hatred towards each other. I got there before you, just to make sure we weren’t sitting next to each other again. When I asked S where everyone was supposed to be sitting she said “Don’t even try it, you’re sitting by him. It makes us feel better having you guys by each other.” Of course it did. Why the hell wouldn’t it? I remember rolling my eyes at her. And texting you, “We have to sit by each other, again.” You didn’t respond. Which I found strange, mostly because you would respond to my text messages within a moment of seconds, usually. I followed S around for the next 45 minutes listening to how her and P were. What they had been up to, and realizing I hadn’t seen much of her in the last 5 weeks. Which was odd for me because, normally she would be grilling me on it, but she wasn’t. I felt you (there’s that cheesy side again) before I saw or heard you. Every nerve ending in my body knew you were close. I sighed and sat down at the table, knowing in a matter of minutes you would be at my side. You walked in with P at your side. You and he were in a deep conversation about something and you looked like you had won some kind of lottery. You sat down next to me moments later. I cocked my head at you and you just winked and gave me that damn half smile.

Moments later the other people started to come in. We knew what the dinner was about. It was a “surprise we are moving in together/she already actually moved in” dinner. So when P&S started to talk about it to the other people, I phased out. Only to realize your hand was on my knee, and drawing circles up to my thigh. I looked over at you and you were focusing on P talking. I looked around to see if anyone else was paying attention to what your fingers were doing against my thigh. The answer was no… for everyone but S. She was smiling at me in a way I had never seen before, and P was smirking at me when I looked to him. Moments later, I figured out why. I figured it out about 2 seconds after P said you had something you wanted to share with everyone.

Your hand stopped, as you realized P had said your name. You looked at him with the same look you gave him the moment you realized I was S’s best friend. I laughed to myself. I watched you stand up. I was a bit confused, and worried about what you were about to say in front of our best friends, friends, and some of the people who we now consider family. “8 weeks ago” You started and I swallowed air, my gut, and my “oh my god” feeling, and probably half of the oxygen around realizing why you were so secretive about what you and P were talking about when you walked in. Why S was giving me a weird look and why P was looking at me like a fat kid on Halloween. In a matter of 5 minutes, we had gone from “let’s not say anything to anyone” to “Hey I’m telling everyone around us at this moment, we are dating.” Wait… F-Bomb we’re dating? You finished talking and sat back down, taking my hand. I probably looked like the cat who ate Big Bird. I took your hand trying to work things out in my head.

I ate probably 4 bites that whole dinner. When I looked at my phone and saw that I had phased out for almost 2 hours I decided it was probably best to tell everyone goodnight and go home. I looked at you and said “I’m going home, I’ll talk to you later.” You just half smiled at me and said “Okay.” As I stood, S stood with me, and grabbed me as I left the dining room, pulling me in the kitchen. She seemed excited, mad, and looked like she was going to stab me in the kitchen.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” She asked me. “Tell you what?” She rolled her eyes. “I’ve known for weeks. P told me shortly after the party.” I narrowed my eyes at her, mostly in confusion. “P told you what exactly?” She rolled her eyes so hard at me, I’m still shocked they didn’t get stuck. “He’s been asking for your number since that party. He asked to sit by you at the last dinner we had together, you guys have been hanging out the last couple weeks. Why did I have to find out here in front of everyone you were dating?” I looked at her like she had just told me where the city of Atlantis was hidden. You had been trying to get ahold of me since that stupid party? At that moment all I wanted to do was walk into the dining room, and yell at you. I held my temper though. I said sorry to S, mostly because she had just poured more information onto me than I even thought possible. I hugged her goodbye and told her I’d call her later and explain when I wasn’t tired.

I walked out to my car, with a blank mind and probably the most extremely blank stare known to mankind. When I snapped back to reality, I realized you were leaning against my car. I groaned to myself, not really sure what to say to you at that moment. “I just wanted to say goodnight, and I’m sorry.” Those are the words you said to me when I was in ear shot. I looked at you confused, and probably a bit angry. “Sorry? You mean for putting me on the spot? Or lying to me for the last few weeks?” You looked at me confused and hurt, but after a moment you half smiled at me and shrugged “how about both?” I rolled my eyes. Stupid half smile. In a split moment you grabbed me and kissed me. You hadn’t kissed me before. And (get ready for that cheesy side again) in that moment the stars, the moon and every planet in the solar system aligned and no matter how mad or embarrassed I felt in that moment, I knew I wanted you.

The next 2 months went by with ups & downs. You were working. I was working. When we saw each other it was magical. When we didn’t time was slow. Finally August came, you were finishing your work, I was finishing mine, and I also had news to tell you that was some of the scariest news I would tell anyone. I had found out 2 days before that I was pregnant with twins. You got back into town, and we were supposed to have dinner with P&S. I had worked out in my head the way I was going to tell you. Secretly happy, P was going to be there because he was your voice of reason when you were pissed off or upset. I sat the whole dinner quietly. I had told S early in the day and she was excited but also nervous for your reaction. P&S got up to go outside after paying the check, after they had got up you looked at me and said “Okay, tell me.” I cocked my head at you confused and worried “Tell you what?” you rolled your eyes and half smiled “Tell me what’s on your mind. You’re radiating worry and stress.” Crap. I should have guessed you would figure out something was up. In a split second I didn’t even think I just said very quietly “I’m pregnant.” I watched your face go from the man I was now madly in love with, to a complete stranger. “You’re pregnant?” you said probably in the harshest voice I have ever heard. I just nodded. You stood up, took my head, lead me outside and left me standing by P&S. You grabbed P’s shoulder, and walked him out of mine and S’s earshot. She looked at me, and I knew what she was seeing. I was close to tears, probably very pale, and honestly she probably knew I was about 2.5 seconds from vomiting on her. “You told him?” she asked in almost a whisper, I nodded.

At the moment we heard P yell at you “Where the F-bomb are you going” You didn’t say anything. You just kept walking. P walked back over to me and S, gave me a hug and said he was excited and happy, and you’d come around.

This next part we still argue about, you say the time period changes every time I tell this story. So to save the argument, for what felt like 2 weeks, you were gone. No calls. No text messages. No emails. No anything. P kept telling me, you’d come around and if you didn’t he would help me, and kill you when he finally did see you.

You came back on a Tuesday night. I had been sleeping, and felt like I was being watched I woke up to you staring at me sitting on the foot of the bed. I had been staying with P&S, because I didn’t feel comfortable at my house by myself. I sat up staring at you, and not sure what to say. Luckily you spoke first. “Hi.” I let out a laugh. Not because I was happy, or actually laughing but because I hadn’t spoken to you in 2 weeks and the only thing you could think to say to me was hi. You half smiled at me and I felt my stomach unknot for the first time in those 2 weeks. I didn’t realize I had started crying until you reached up and wiped my eye with your thumb. We sat staring at each other for what felt like forever. You finally moved up to lay next to me. You put your arm over your eyes, and let me lay my head on your chest. I closed my eyes, hearing your heartbeat. Beat. Beat. Beat. Beat. Beat. We laid like that for what was probably an hour. I was half asleep when you said “I’m scared.” My eyes flew open. I lifted my head up and you pushed it back down. “Don’t look at me, it’s hard to even make words when your eyes are on me.” I rolled my eyes. “And don’t roll your eyes.” We didn’t say much for the next couple minutes. “P said when I came in the house, he was going to cut my balls off. Oh, and that you have two little people in there.” You said putting your hand on my stomach. I felt like crying. I wanted to say something but I still haven’t found my voice. How could I? We hadn’t even said we loved each other (well you had, in your sleep. And I would later find out 2 years later, I said it first… in my sleep) and now we were having a baby. No, no, not a baby. Two babies. I fell asleep that night, laying on your chest, sad, happy, worried, and scared.

The next couple months were a blur, you were working so much, you called home when you could, and that slowly turned into our regular day to day routine. You were supposed to be gone all of October, which was heartbreaking for me, but I got through it. I missed your birthday which you told me over and over was okay that you were “use to it.” However, I would later find out you just didn’t like celebrating your birthday because it somehow lead to someone always getting into a fight. The day after your birthday is when I told you that you were going to be falling in love with two new little ladies. Halloween of that year you scared the crap out of me, not because you were trying to, but because you made it your mission to be home for it. I stood outside of P’s house, getting ready to go to a party when someone came up behind me and covered my eyes. I almost screamed, but I recognized the hands over my eyes, and busted into tears (thanks pregnancy hormones).

That was our first “official” holiday together, and for me, my favorite Halloween to date. A week later we had moved in together and gotten a cat, Gizmo. You just had to have him, I wasn’t that impressed. However he would grow to be an important family member to us both. November was going great. Besides you still going back and forth from work, we were together as much as we could be. That was the same month P&S announced their engagement. Which you and I were both caught off guard about, however the ending of that month will have caught both of us off guard even more than P&S’ engagement. The weekend before Thanksgiving, you were leaving for work again. I was heartbroken because you weren’t sure if you were going to make it home for Thanksgiving. You told me over and over you would make it back because it was our first “major” holiday together (I to this day still roll my eyes at that comment). However that night… would prove it not only being our first major holiday together, but our first holiday as an engaged couple. For those reading this, not just you, please bear with me because I can’t exactly remember what exactly happened up to you proposing marriage. So no, you aren’t going to get some long explanation on how we became to be engaged. Because honestly it wasn’t a huge thing, but to this day I’m still over the moon that it wasn’t.

The next morning I was wearing the engagement ring, to drop you off at the airport. And I swear you got out of the car and not even 2.5 seconds later, S was calling me. I was over the moon to be your wife, don’t get me wrong. However S? She was in a different universe all together. In fact she seemed to have everything already planned out. Big shock. I know. The next few days were slow, and mostly heartbreaking because you told me the chances of you being home for Thanksgiving were slim to none. You had to work that morning and the airports were stuffed with last minute travelers. Thanksgiving morning, I came to terms with the fact that my fiancé was going to be on the east coast for our first major holiday, while I was on the west. That night I sat at a big table for the first time with your dad and step mom, your sister and brother, my family, S&P’s family and as we started the chair on my right stayed empty. Halfway through dinner, I locked into a conversation with the man on my left, your dad. I knew you got your sense of humor from him, and your looks, but what I didn’t know is you got your sense of adventure, drive, passion, and kindness from him also. He had me so involved in the story he was telling that I didn’t even notice that you had slipped in the room, gotten a plate, and sat next to me. In fact I didn’t even notice until I felt you tap my shoulder and ask me for the potatoes. I swear I was the Flash for a whole 2 seconds because as I turned in my chair to face you, I got more nauseous then humanly possible. You had made it home, by some miracle and even though it was over 2 hours later for the start of dinner, I took it.

The next couple of days were the same over and over, us arguing over our daughters. Their names, the color of their room, clothes, car seats, and so on. On Tuesday November 29th, it wouldn’t be the same, not at all. It started off as our normal Tuesday. You were already awake when I got up (welcome to living with a dreamer and a human being with insomnia, and no it’s really not a romantic thing) you were grumpy, as usual. So I avoid you by going to P&S’ house. I hung out with S nearly all day, however during the afternoon you asked me if I wanted to do dinner. And I agreed, because 1) food and 2) food. As I got dressed for dinner you seemed, more off than normal. I wrote it up to you just being tired. I wish I would have looked closer at that now. I would have worn something a bit different.

Not completely different, but something with longer sleeves. We were walking after dinner, in a quiet park you had found years earlier and had shared it with me. As we were talking you looked at me and said “you want to do something completely crazy?” I laughed, and said “sure, why not?” you got down on one knee and it took everything in me not to push you over. You looked at me, laughed and stood up. You looked me in the eyes with your half smile and said my whole name and asked if I would marry you, I said yes… again. You half smiled as if you meant something completely different, and you did. You meant right there and then. Standing at the tree that had become the tree we always walked to because in our opinion it had grown in the most random place in that park, and to me it was us, but in tree form. Standing by the tree was our best friends, and a marriage officiate. At 11:47pm I went from your fiancée to your wife. And for the next 3+ years, that day would be the one day I didn’t have to remind you about, and nearly 6 years later, it’s still the day I remember detail by detail.

The first part of December was calm. I travelled with you for the few work things you had to do, and we prepared for the two little girls who were coming in what we thought was going to be 2 months. There’s a quote that tells you to never count time by days, but experiences and memories. And that’s exactly how we counted up to December 18th, the day we both would go from expecting parents, to the parents of two little girls who were given a 62% chance.

That morning I woke up in tears and pain. I left like someone was stabbing me in the side. I wrote it up to the twins just being little trouble markers. Which, to be fair was a good way to think. You were with P when it happened. Around 6pm that night, I learned it wasn’t the twins being total trouble, it was the twins demanding to come out and be with us in person. My water had broken, and you weren’t answering my phone calls. I called S, and she said she would call P on her way to get me. When she picked me up she was scared, nervous, and pissed. We couldn’t get ahold of either of you. We got to the hospital by 6:45pm and still nothing from either of you. I finally messaged P and told him “you guys better get you’re a**es to the hospital because the twins are f-bomb coming!” By some miracle he decided to check his phone minutes later. He called me and all he could manage to get out was “we are coming, don’t start without us.”

At 11:07 and 11:11pm, we welcomed at 32 weeks, Marley-Skye Celeste and Amora Sophia. Both named after people who changed our lives and kept us together, even in our darkest moments. Over the next few hours, our family started pouring in. P&S were the first people besides us to meet the girls. I didn’t get to meet them with you (this time not gooey or bloody and screaming), because they only wanted one of us at a time in the little toaster room, as we called it. However, through the window into that room, I watched the man who months earlier told me he was scared, who ran away because he didn’t know how to be a father, become not only a father, but a man in love with the two small little babies laying in their “toaster boxes.” You were so tired, proud, happy, and in love.

They say a man will only fall in love, true love, once in his lifetime. I don’t believe that. You were in love with me, that I knew, but you were more in love with those two girls. And to this day, I still wouldn’t have it any other way. The first time you did skin to skin, I thought you were actually going to combust. My heart never felt so full the first time that happened. We spent Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, New Years, and the two weeks after in that hospital, in shifts.

We had named P&S godparents, so they were in the shift rotation with us. Uncle P, to this day still takes credit for their first smile. I still call it gas. On January 21st, we got to finally take them home. One of them had to stay on the oxygen tube, but besides that, we had happy, healthy, and non-sleeping babies. Which for you, was so exciting because you didn’t sleep anyways. In fact, I didn’t ever really have to get up with either of the girls, because you took care of them. Which as someone who does enjoy their sleep, I’m forever grateful for.

The next couple of months involved diapers, moody babies, more diapers, and pure joy. I remember the day we found out that we were having another baby, later to be named Zayden Gabriel. It was 6am in the morning, and just out of pure crazy I took a pregnancy test. When I saw those two lines a couple minutes later, I started laughing. Nearly crying, I woke you up and showed you the test. You looked at me shocked, and then started laughing also. We would later learn that I was 2 months pregnant already. You wanted another girl. I wanted a boy, and you called me crazy. When we found out it was indeed a boy, I laughed right in your face and I remember thinking “oh yeah, he’s going to punch me.”

In late August we welcomed that gorgeous little boy, and for the second time in my life, I watched you fall in love again. This time with the son, you didn’t know you truly wanted until the doctor handed him to you.

Our first wedding anniversary was that year, and I to this day can’t even recall what we did, where we went, or how we celebrated together. I just remember both of our parents laughing at us, and then reliving the rage they felt because they didn’t share the moment with us. Right before the twins first birthday, and a couple months after Zay, we found out once again, we were expecting again. This time, we both almost lost it. I remember thinking if I could run, I would. I told you that, and you gave me this “go ahead and run, because it won’t change anything for you” look. And I hated it, because of course you were right.

The twins first birthday was amazing, since it was so close to Christmas all of our families were already in town. Members from your family who couldn’t meet them the first few weeks of their life, were meeting them for the first time. They were already walking, talking (well their version of talking), and causing more trouble than you or I even thought possible; with their little brother, right by their side, or well trying to be. Christmas that year was at my parents’ house, and to say it was large, loud, and crazy would be a huge understatement but we got through it. Barely. I started back to work shortly after New Years as did you. I remember us talking about how it should be easier since there was two of us. However, it wasn’t even close. I caved first, putting it lightly… You walked in on me crying my eyes out because I was struggling being a working mom. You told me to focus on the work I could do from home, and you would go back full-time to your work.

*Side note: I have gotten the hang of it after years of practice. To you moms who do it every day, my love, respect and pure sheer aw of you, is clear. Especially to the moms doing it by themselves, you are amazing and I am always cheering for you.

In June, we welcomed Kingston Mychael. Our fourth child, and what we believed would be our last. Named after P and my dad, which made both of them very… very happy. A month before we welcomed King we had agreed to get married again: a vow renewal. This time to be shared with our friends and family. We decided on August 4th, we would do it. After welcoming King, I went straight into “wedding planning” which as you know was just a lot of me complaining and hating the whole thing. August 4th came in fast though. We had flown to the location we dreamed of having it on the 2nd, with nearly our whole wedding party in town. Shout out to P for nearly missing the whole thing, way to go “best man!” He got there probably 2 hours before everything started. I didn’t get to talk to you, but I was told you were completely stressed because he wasn’t there yet. For your sake, and mine I’m glad he showed up. To explain the whole ceremony in simple and plain, it was beautiful, magical and the most romantic thing I would ever share with you, our family and our friends. It started just before sunset and ended probably 2 hours after sunrise. We both talked about how it was a blessing to have our children there with us. Even with King being only a couple months old, he was the calmest out of our children.

The next couple months went by. We seemed to have a child’s birthday every month. Or one of ours, our friends or family. To say it was a bit crazy is putting it very, very lightly. In April of the next year we found out, we would be welcoming our final child, and of course you got your wish: Another little girl.

However, before I get too much into that. A warning for the people reading this, this is a trigger warning, for many, many reasons. November, December, and January of this year of our lives, was very… very life changing and unfortunately not in the way either of us would wish on anyone.

My parents hosted Thanksgiving that year, and it was beautiful. However something was very off, with P&S. We didn’t figure it out that night, and unfortunately we wouldn’t figure it out for another month. Our wedding anniversary that year was quiet and to be honest, both of us nearly forgot it. 3 years, it was amazing because honestly, we didn’t think we’d make it to marriage, year one or even, a couple months. The twin’s birthday followed. Our 3 year old daughters, one who was very much me, and the other very much you.

Christmas came days later, and we were hosting it at our house. It was crazy, insane, and neither of us ever wanted to host it again because our living room looked like a camp for the homeless. You, P and a couple of the other guys were put in charge of putting together the big toys. I am still completely unsure how you AND P got stuck in the playhouse together, but we’ll just blame the alcohol. As much as I swore we would never host another Christmas at our house, by the next year… I would be eating those words with a very heavy heart. We found out the day after Christmas, P&S had decided to split a little before Thanksgiving, and were putting on a front so they didn’t ruin anyone’s holiday season. To say this broke our hearts, was putting it extremely lightly. We both thought, what else could go wrong? We were a week away from a New Year and we both prayed, it would go smoothly, especially since we would be welcoming our daughter a few weeks after the New Year. However, sometimes God or whoever is up there can’t answer everything. Or maybe he can, and we just… didn’t expect or dream of the answer he gave us.

***Trigger***

New Year ’s Day, 2014.

I haven’t put a year with any of the dates before. Strictly because, they mattered… but not as deeply as that day. A family member was driving home with our son that day and a drunk driver hit into the car. It was at 3:32pm when I received that call from the hospital. Time stopped completely. The family member had been badly hurt, and Zayden, even worse. I called you, and I don’t even think I made actual words, besides the hospital name. S drove me, P drove you. At 6:03pm, we as his parents, chose to take him off life support. We were told that his brain had gone dead, and the only part of our child left with us was his body. You stayed in the room with P, and I sat against the wall, my head in my hands, and my body against S’. At 6:17pm, on New Year’s Day, we lost our first born son.

It’s been said that when a parent loses a child, their minds, bodies, hearts, everything shuts down, and they’re right. The next couple weeks, there was no laughs, smiles, jokes, or happiness in our home. We watched our twins shut down, and we tried our best to explain to Kingston what had happened. Thankfully, he understood enough to not really ask questions. The amount of tears that were shed in those weeks, probably added up to the amount of a lake.

January 24th, we welcomed the little girl named after the brother she would never know. Zara Olivia. A miracle in my eyes and yours, born in the middle of the worst time in our marriage.

The next few months after we lost Zay held a lot of fighting, tears, heartache, and a lot of lonely nights for me. I won’t speak for you because I can’t. A month later, I had my fall out with P. Which put you in a very uncomfortable position. P, if you read this, I am so sorry.

One thing everyone reading this should know, is there is huge parts of this story missing. We weren’t perfect. We fought in those 3 years, sometimes little fights, sometimes extremely large fights. We had close calls to calling it quits, we had fears and doubt. We worked on them though, and until that September, we believed we would heal and grow as husband and wife, as parents, and as people. We lost ourselves however, and communication just didn’t happen anymore. Which resulted in you leaving. I can’t say I didn’t know it was coming. I can say, it still breaks my heart, it did.

There has been many talks since that last year, nearly 4 years ago now. Talks about what could have been done, what should have been done, talks about what was really felt, what should have been felt, and what needed to be felt. We did talk about what would happen if we did divorce. It wasn’t the most common subject in our marriage, which as he and I would agree, it shouldn’t have been. We both agreed however, we would be the best parents we could be in the situation we were now in. As we learned however, that is easier said, then done.

The first couple months, to say the very least, were hard. We both used those kids against each other, knowing full well what we were doing. The twin’s birthday was the first birthday to come up since we had separated. Amora will tell you to this day, it was the second hardest birthday she had. She was only 4 but she remembers it way better than I as her mom, wished she did. The hardest birthday she had would be 2 years later. The months following, are still a blur. Fighting, hurting, drinking, and a world of things I will never be proud of. In fact the next year was a whole world of ups and downs with you, it would grow to the point where we couldn’t even talk to each other in a civil manner. In 2016, however we would be forced with no other choice but to come together as parents.

***Trigger Number 2***

I can honestly say, after losing Zayden we changed as a family, as parents, as a married couple, and as people ourselves. We both would tell you, even to this day, no parent deserves to lose a child. It messes with everything you are, in ways you didn’t even know possible. Unfortunately 2016, would be another year, we would test ourselves as parents, a divorce couple, and as you and me as wholes.

In June, Marley-Skye got sick, we would later learn, that what we thought was a simple surgery would grow to be our worst nightmare. She had stomach surgery that month, and would spend 5 days in the hospital, and 10 more days at home in recovery. July would go by without any huge changes in her.

However, August 9th, would prove that doctors, I as her mom, you as her dad, and her godparents, wouldn’t catch what was going on. That morning, she would wake up crying, because her stomach was hurting her so bad. I would end up taking her to the ER, just to be told I should call all the family members I could think of that would want to say goodbye to her. An infection that showed no signs from her surgery is what took her from us. You and I were told that it happens in every 1 in 5 case. I remember the doctor told us that in the family waiting room at the hospital, he was trying to tell us everything in private, but by your reaction and my body language we didn’t have to explain it to anyone in that room.

It’s said that when people get bad news, or someone passes away, people handle it in different ways. I got quiet, and you put a hole in the wall. After you cooled down, and I could stand without being sick, we sat down for the first time in a little under 2 years, as actual parents and talked about how to handle telling Amora, Kingston, and Zara. In the end I would end up talking to Kingston by myself, you talked to Amora by yourself, and we both sat with each other to tell Zara. Kingston understood, for the most part, it took him a couple of times of him asking questions for him to fully understand. Zara got it, she told us she was sad sissy was gone, but she was with her brother, and they were flying in the sky together. Not in those exact words, but in her 2 year old, not really words but words to her parents' words.

Amora… Amora was the child who, couldn’t understand. It wasn’t that she didn’t understand it was the fact that she couldn’t bear to try to understand for the first few days. Marley was her big sister, her twin sister. They had their moments when they fought, but for the most part they were best friends. They leaned on each other when you left. To this day, nearly a year and half later, I can still not tell you how Amora has changed. She went from our happy, loving, full of life 4 year little girl, to a nearly 6 years old, happy, but careful little lady.

Marley’s funeral was on a Saturday, you and I sat with Amora between us, and you had your hand on my back nearly the whole time. You had stayed at my house since Tuesday, to help me with the kids, and to talk when we both needed. I’m going to quickly sum the next couple months up, because this was one of the hardest times in mine and his whole lives, not only because we had lost another child, but we had lost our first born child. A child who we had watched grow for nearly 5 years, a person we talked to every day.

Some people say death can be bonding, no matter whose death it is. I have to disagree. Both times death happened to our family, we grew further apart not only as a family but as individuals. The rest of that year, birthdays, the holidays, the twin’s first birthday without Marley, were all learning experiences for us. Especially with Amora, because even though the doctors and therapist wouldn’t label her with it, we both knew she was depressed. In fact, she would be depressed into the next year, this year, up until around May is when we watched her become more of herself again.

Over 7500+ words later, we are caught up, into this year. This year, the year we have learned more about each other than any other time before. As much as I want to say we got back together for the people hoping we did. We didn’t. It doesn’t even come up. You see, he had another child nearly 2 years ago. And as of right now, we are in a relationships with other people. I can’t speak for him, but I’m happy. I truly believe he is too. Why did I write this however? To answer my question, would I love you still even if there wasn’t a Marley-Skye, Amora, Zayden, Kingston, and Zara?

Yes.

I loved you before those babies came, I loved you more after, and I loved you even after everything ended. Our love story isn’t the most romantic story of all times, but for me, it was the perfect love story. We had our loss, our priceless moments, and our fights. I didn’t mention the fights, because I tried not to let that define us. I didn’t give the full explanation on how everything ended, because that is the biggest thing I didn’t want to have in here. You know what happened, I know what happened. Our families, they know too. And in my opinion that’s all that matters. Why did I not once say your name? Or give out our best friends names? Why did I use our children’s name? Why did I write this to you and not as an actual story? That answer to all those things remains the same and can be answered in three words: because of you.

I don’t mean any of that in a rude or hurtful way. I know how important your privacy is to you, and I will respect that as a writer, mother of your children, ex-wife, friend, and someone who will always support your hopes and dreams. I used our children’s real names because they deserve to be recognized for their strength, courage, and all around great spirits. Plus, after the first night of writing this I asked Amora if I could use her name, she said yes. As did Kingston, and well the 3 year old isn’t very sure what I meant but she agreed. I used Marley and Zayden’s names to remember them as people, as our children.

I wrote directly to you, because… because I don’t know how else to make sure this holds your attention. I wanted you to see this next part, after reading and possibly reliving our past. So take a breath. Smile. This is to you.

You are a fantastic father, far from the man who ran away because he didn’t know how to be one. You are those little human’s best friend, strongest support, and all around favorite person. And yes, that means I take back seat to you. Which is fine, because I knew it would happen. You were a great life partner, and I mean that in every aspect of the words. Yes, we fought. Yes, sometimes I wanted to punch you in the face. Yes, sometimes you wanted to scream at me to pull my head out of my a**, how neither of us ever did. Which to some people is probably the most amazing part of this whole thing. Our marriage, was not a joke. To me anyways. Yes, it was sudden. Yes, it was a rollercoaster for the most part, but not a joke. I love you, I will always love you. You were the moon, stars, sun, and everything else that may be up in space, for over 3 years.

Thank you for being you. Thank you for being an amazing dad. Thank you for being someone I know I can talk to if I need to. But mostly, thank you for telling that stupid story, at that stupid party, because if you didn’t I may have never wanted to punch you in the face. Meaning I would have never met you at that time in my life. Which means there’s a possibility I would have never loved someone as deeply as I loved you. Most importantly I would have never gotten the amazing, little people who call me the Cheerio keeper… I mean mom.

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