I strongly believe it was Devine intervention I didn’t get on the plane that day. Just a few days later after my ‘Lightbulb Moment’ I got the call. My father had gone to the Emergency Room. I immediately drove across the state to be with him. Many tests and procedures later, his team of doctors determined that my father had gone into severe congestive heart failure. He was lucky to be alive. Thank God I was there to be with him over those days…..
I’m skipping around a bit…..
January 7 – Are You In or Out?
The doctors told my father to put his affairs in order; the prognosis was not good. They were uncertain if he was a candidate for surgery; that was up to the heart surgeon to determine. With just the two of us in the hospital, I watched my father weep like a child. After my mother had passed, he had been counting the days until he could join her. Just a few months prior, he had checked another item off his bucket list when he jumped out of an airplane on a skydiving excursion. But now, faced with the reality of imminent death, he wasn’t ready. I held my father, sobbing myself, as he said over and over again that he wasn’t ready. He didn’t want to die or spend his final days in the nursing care facility where my mother had slowly and painfully passed. It was heart-wrenching. It was one of the worst days of my life.
I couldn’t believe that Scott planned a conference call with our marriage counselor today of all days. He knew I was in the hospital with my father. But that didn’t matter to Scott. (The universe is all about him.)
I had to wipe my tears as I stepped outside of the hospital to get a signal on my phone. I was worn out — my heart ached for my dying father. But Scott insisted that we speak with our counselor immediately as soon as she was available after the holiday break. Up until then, we had gone back and forth about next steps through text messages. One minute Scott would beg me to come back, professing his undying love. Minutes later Scott would send horrible accusations and lists of reasons stating what a rotten wife and mother I was. It was like dealing with a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde persona.
Meanwhile, I reviewed and signed my papers filing for divorce a few days earlier. I had retained a lawyer back in 2014. Divorce was something I had contemplated for a while now. I told a few of my closest friends over the last few days that I am staying in Florida for a few weeks and that I had filed. (Big mistake, somehow Scott found out from one of my friends.) However, while sitting on a bench outside the hospital during that conference call with our counselor, I gave it one last college try.
With the three of us on the call I explained to our marriage counselor what happened and my decision to stay in Florida needing time to consider next steps. We then proceeded to tell her that we had discussed divorce.
“What do you want to do?” Scott asked.
“I will consider staying in the marriage, but I want a trial separation,” I said, needing more time to my plan my escape. That’s when I suggested we take turns in an apartment.
That was unacceptable to Scott. He gave me an ultimatum stating, “Either you are in or you’re out?”
Without hesitation I said “OUT.”
(This was a pivotal point in the divorce. Forced with an ultimatum, there was no going back now.)
Returning to my father’s hospital room I told him what had transpired on our phone call. As we had no divorces in our family, I was afraid he would be upset. He already had enough on his plate, fighting for his life.
Instead, he congratulated me, saying “Finally, I thought you would never leave that asshole! I’m so proud of you.” I was shocked. It was not the reaction I had expected at all. I was so relieved. It touched my heart that my father was proud of me for standing up for myself.