When children come into your life through marriage; you get to know and care for them as if they were yours. When they are wrenched from your life through separation and divorce, you will forever wonder how they are and what they are doing with their lives.
Almost a decade ago, three boys came into our lives and were welcomed with open arms. They had not had an easy life in some respects, and we were as concerned for them as we would have been had they been our own grandchildren.
The marriage and subsequent blending of two families seemed to run fairly smoothly, but there were kinks in the beginning. Children who are used to having the full attention of their father or mother, do not always take kindly to the addition of a step-mother/step-father and more children, whose likes and dislikes (and manners and methods of discipline) are different.
But (as far as I could tell) things settled down and were okay between the children, except for the usual squabbles and petty jealousies.
Seven years went by; all the children grew and prospered, were involved in their schools, band, swimming, drama, etc. Two made us proud by being inducted into the National Honor Society, and the others all had their various talents and did well in school. They seemed content with their lives, as did the adults (as far as we could tell.)
Then the problem started. The marriage vows were disrespected by one person and that person would accept no blame for that nor was interested in stopping the behavior that caused the problem. There was a separation and eventual divorce.
Instantly, the three boys that we had come to know and care for were gone from our lives. I know that the other grandparents felt the same way about losing our four. It is hard on all the children too, since they were once again wrenched from the apparent normalcy of their daily lives and made to accept changes they cannot have a choice in or voice against. Can you imagine the stress on all the people involved? Seven children, two adults, four grandparents, and the siblings of the divorcees and their spouses and children are all reeling from the stress this rift has caused. Who knows who else will feel the effects of it? Little do we know how far reaching the effects of our actions (and even our thoughts) are, and too bad we don't stop to reflect on the possible damage before we act.