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Dear Kath,

This is the seventh letter in my 30-day letter writing challenge. The assignment is to write a letter to your ex. While I have many exes I could choose from, you and I share the most—the longest time together, a marriage and divorce, and, of course, one incredible child. I’m going to try to make this as painless as possible. There will be other letters down the road that will involve you, at least indirectly, and those may be a little more uncomfortable (at least for me).

You and I found each other at a time in my life when I was at my absolute lowest. I’m not sure that you were ever able to honestly trust me again after that first summer and that will come up again in my forgiveness letter. Suffice it to say, you stuck by me through the worst of times and took a chance on me even when you could have run as fast and as far as possible. Before Lucas was born we had almost 8 years together. There were some tough times and some lean times, but we also had times of plenty and we never, never lacked laughter in our lives. The one thing I will say about you—and I know every one of your friends will say the same—you are the funniest person I know and you can tell a story that will split my sides  no matter how many times I’ve heard it!

We went through a lot together in trying to conceive. You were there with me for every moment of the biggest and most important thing I have ever done—giving birth to this amazing child. The years following his arrival became hard for us. I won’t go into detail and I’m not sure either of us was completely at fault. We were two people who just fell away from each other and became discontent. One of the letters I am supposed to write is to the person who hurt you the most and that was definitely not you (although I would imagine that if tables were turned, that letter from you would be about me). When all was said and done we slipped away from each other quietly and I feel certain that our divorce would have been quick, cheap, and amicable if it weren’t for the fact that I let the worst mistake of my life (and my only real regret in almost 46 years) influence and control my behavior and actions. I alienated you, your family, and our friends through my own fear of being alone and it took me four months before I found the strength to push that person out of my life and move on—by then the damage was done.

In the years since then, we’ve learned (finally) how to communicate. We seem to be better parents apart than we were together. Our son loves you very much and talks of you constantly. Trust me when I say that I understand how hard it is for you to be so far away from him. I know you talk every day and he cherishes the ability to communicate with you as often as he can. He looks forward to visiting and would love for you to come here and see where he lives now. I am truly grateful for the grace you showed in allowing us to move. He is close to my parents and his cousins. I can afford a much better lifestyle for him. I can give him far more here than I could ever have provided him on my own up North. I know you know all of this and that is why you gave us your blessing. I don’t get that once every two week break any more and having a social life is a thing of the past—but I never fooled myself into thinking that single parenting would be an easy job (it’s not a job, it’s an adventure!). I know that the small things I’ve given up hardly compare to your sacrifice in letting him go.

Thank you seems inadequate, but I thank you anyway. We had many, many years together and there are times that I miss your family and those people that used to be our friends but no longer keep in touch with me (again, another letter on that subject to come). While we both had our share of issues and, in the end it wasn’t meant to be, I will never regret the time we had together and the amazing, smart, beautiful boy that was brought into this world through our relationship.

Kath, I wish you happiness and peace and love. I hope for your sake that you find someone wonderful and deserving of you that you can settle down with. Don’t grow old alone—sustainable passion is possible. You have much to offer and there is someone waiting for the laughter.