I was eight months pregnant with my third child when I received a call from a friend telling me that her marriage was over. There aren’t many words that can describe the heart wrenching, identity-shaking despair that takes up residence in your heart when you go through a divorce. Having been through a divorce myself, the decision to drop everything to run to her side was an easy one. I put my very pregnant body into the car and drove to her house over 40 minutes away. It was clear when I arrived that the pain and fear she felt was intense. A young mother of two boys, a stay-at-home mom who put her career on hold to help build her husband’s business and raise her young sons, was now faced with an unknown future. I held my dear friend and we cried together.
This is a story many women can tell with perhaps one exception: Meet my best friend. Meet my ex-husband’s second wife.
Our story is an unusual one and while we have many differences, the similarities and the desire to turn sadness into beautiful love and greatness was so strong that we overcame our egos, our shame, our fear, our hurt, our blame, our sadness and ourselves for the sake of one special young baby, my first child.
After my divorce she became stepmom to my infant son and treated him as if he were her own. Without fail, when my son began to talk, he would walk through my front door after a weekend at his dad’s house, and the first words about his weekend would always start with one word; “Wendy.”
“Wendy took me to get donuts again!” “Wendy made me wear a life vest!” Wendy refused to go into the car without my car seat!” “Wendy taught me how to roller blade!” My son’s first love was me and his second love was Wendy.
My overwhelming love for my child demanded that I “see” this woman in a way that took incredible humility and she in turn did the same. Our friendship grew over the years as I remarried and had two more children and she had two of her own. Five boys between us, my first child as the oldest and the glue that binds us all together.
One of my favorite bloggers, Glennon Melton, frequently uses the phrase “LOVE WINS!” and I can tell you it absolutely does. Wendy’s boys are older now and interestingly enough are the same age as my own two younger ones. They proudly tell other people outside of our little extended “family” that they are “brothers from another mother. ” They are “more” than best friends, our sons are family in every sense of the word with their eldest brother as ring leader. When we are all together the love in the air is so strong and so intense it just brings joy to everyone who encounters us.
Wendy’s divorce was over seven years ago and we have both learned a lot about each other and ourselves. We have grown from twenty-something year old women to self-assured mothers and friends, making memories and taking no prisoners in the process. We look forward to our sons’ weddings where we will tell our stories, laugh with them and continue to grow as a family.
An unlikely friendship, the bond between women and a legacy of love.