Emily Levenson: 30 Days of Gratitude: Prompt 2: Family

Family can mean a lot of different things. When most people first think of family it implies our immediate family…

Growing up that is our parents and if we have any siblings. As we grow up and become adults if we are lucky enough we get married and create our own family.

I dreamed of getting married and creating a family with a spouse since my parents brought my sister home from the hospital when I was almost 12.

Helping raise her and my brother who was almost 17 years younger than me made me want kids even more. Meeting my spouse and having kids with her fulfilled a dream that was an almost 25-year process.

There were many times in my life I never thought this would happen for me. Meeting and connecting with women has been difficult for me at times. The want and need to connect with someone has always been deeply innate for me.

I didn’t meet my spouse until I was 33. We got married when I was 35 (she was 31) and had our first child when I was 38.

It was a surreal journey for both of us. When her water broke we both kind of looked at each other as if to say is this really happening? The joy and love of beginning our own family took a sour turn when her sister was upset with who we invited into the delivery room.

Her sister didn’t approve and wound up in the room. The first few years of our oldest’s life are the most joyous in mine. With a family of three, we were able to take him out for dinner with us and loved watching him grow.

When our oldest was two and a half we got pregnant with number two. We were very excited to get pregnant with our second child. My ex-had a difficult pregnancy. In her second or third trimester, she developed vertigo.

At seven months pregnant and three days before we were to move from a townhouse to a single family home, my ex lost her job. I was home with our son. When our daughter was born, neither of us was working. We brought her home on father’s day.

About five months after we had our second child we got pregnant with twins. It was the shock of our life. We didn’t break out of the daze of being pregnant with twins until about five months into the pregnancy.

After leaving the hospital one year on father’s day we went back the next on mother day and had the twins. My ex went back to work when they were three and half months old.

One year to the day of her returning to work, she became paralyzed with an illness. I was left to care for four children five and under. Three of the four were two, one and one.

Eleven months after her illness she filed for divorce and nearly three years after that she gained custody of our children. Now the judge has given my ex my house that she has never been in.

My family has abandoned me particularly¬†emotionally. The new “family” I have had to create is on social media. Without those friends, I would have virtually no emotional support. Family is truly who and what you make of it.



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