Monday, September 22, 2014

Divorce and a snack.

I was eight when I found out.  I knew something was wrong because the night before I saw my teenaged sister crying and hugging dad out in the garage.  That they were embracing in the garage seemed strange.  I couldn't understand why my sister would be crying so hard, but it scared me and I hoped she was okay.

Mom sat with me in the living room while Dad drove my brother to Ben Franklin's for a bag of yard-long popcorn.  I wanted to go with them; I loved that popcorn.  During their absence my mom told me that she and Dad were getting a divorce and explained that that meant she and Dad would no longer live together.  She assured me that they both loved me, but that they just couldn't live with each other in the same house anymore.

My Dad and brother came back with popcorn to share, my sister appeared and we all convened in the living room to talk about how family life would soon change.

Some of the unresolved questions I still have 37 years later: Why hadn't we all been told together?  Why did I have to move away with Mom?

Finding out about my parents' impending divorce was horrible, but I was glad that my brother had saved me some popcorn.


  1. I made a film of a friend of mine talking about the moment she told her sons she and their father were separating. The boys were 8 and 10. There seems no right way to do it. It was very moving for me to hear her speak on camera about it as if we were back there again. She made me swear never to show it to anyone. Her two sons are still suffering and are now in their 40s, neither of them married or are in stable relationships. She is also still suffering.

  2. Rachel, thank you for sharing this story. Divorce can have such far-reaching effects.


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