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Brenda has been writing since grade school. She attended journalism school where she majored in professional writing. She loves to decorate, garden, read and spend time with her Yorkies.

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Brenda Pruitt. Powered by Blogger.

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An Unexpected Surprise


I was planning to write about something else entirely today. But that was before I sat down with my cereal and fruit and opened my email.

I received a response from my second ex-husband, via a Facebook message I left him a month or so ago. Something I just felt I needed to do when I learned his dad had died.
Tears began to fall into my cereal and strawberries. 

I really didn't deserve his responding to me. I knew that. 

I had made a point of occasionally googling his parents. Since I never had parents or a family, they were lovely people who embraced me into theirs. I had hit pure gold. 

But after being married to him for eight years, someone from my past looked me up, my third now ex-husband. (I supposed it has long ago dawned on you that I'm not good at being married), and after a time I ended up taking off with him. Blinded by what I thought was love. 

Worst mistake of my life. But you know how love is. Or what you think is love. It grabs hold of you and you can't see the forest for the trees. You are rendered illogical for a time. Your emotions get the best of you. 

You do stupid, stupid things. That not only change your life forever, but take from you the very things you hold most dear in life. 

You hurt people who don't deserve to be hurt.


I wrote him when I saw an obit online that his wonderful father had died. He was a great man, as good as they get. So is his mother. I lost all that, and I've mourned that mistake for nearly 20 years now. 

I told him how sorry I was that he'd lost his dad, and that I held him in very high esteem. I knew his parents could not possibly have thought well of me, and I've had to live with that. I'll always have to live with that.

So today I wake up, get my bowl of cereal and sit down to check emails as I do every day while my coffee is dripping into the carafe. And I see his email, with the title: Memories.

A flood of emotions grabbed hold of me. All I could think was: "I didn't deserve it, but he wrote me back anyway."

Back when we were married, we lived in a cute little A-Frame house close to Austin. He enjoyed nature as I did. We both loved the yard birds. And gardening.


He is a very talented musician. He can play four instruments. 

He is a gentle soul. And he wrote that he has a relationship with a flute player. This made me smile. 

That must be a relationship made in heaven. Two talented musicians making music in every possible way. 

They have two CDs out of their music. I'm so happy for him. For the both of them. My loss was her gain.

The past is something that is immutable. You can never change it. But if you can make amends in whatever small way that you can, I believe that it at least puts you on the better karma list.

When he wrote these words, I could barely see the screen in front of me: "Your blog is very you, right down to the tile. All you ever wanted was a "cozy little house..."

A man who knew me better than any other, and I threw it away. Not only that, I took his two beloved dogs with me. He worked on the road, and he wouldn't have been able to take care of them. 

So he had to grieve losing them. Another thing I've had to live with. 



We make mistakes in life. That is a given. As sure as we live and breathe and pay taxes and die, we are also going to make mistakes.

It is part of learning. It is part of realizing how much we can hurt others and be hurt. It is part of knowing what guilt is. 

It is how we gain wisdom.

What happens after we make mistakes, and realize that we've made them, is, I believe, where we show our true colors. 

There is no going back and fixing it. You just have to somehow learn to live with it. 

Knowing that you had something very precious, and you threw it away. And you will take that regret to your grave.


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Cozy Little House
95 Comments
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95 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post. Yes we all make mistakes but it's how we handle ourselves afterwards. It seems like you are handling yours with grace. It would have been so easy to cop out and not send him a message. However, you chose to rise above your own feelings...that my dear is grace. Forgive yourself.

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    1. He wrote me back again. He doesn't feel ill will toward me. I think now maybe we can be friends. That would make me very happy.

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  2. Oh bless your heart Brenda. I'm glad he responded to you and I'm sure his parents have forgiven you too. As time passes we look at things that people have done and realize we all are doing the best we can. When people break up it's for reasons and even though you have regrets, it was probably the right thing.

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    1. Well, I don't know about the last part. I walked right into a nightmare after that.But it was my own decision. No one else's.

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  3. Oh Brenda, this made me cry. When a person has regrets, it means they have learned something...and will never do it again. It was so good you reached out. Forgiveness is very freeing for yourself and others...xoxo

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    1. He wrote back and said the following, and that took a lot of the guilt I felt away..."I don't regret leaving the dogs with you at all. You gave them love and a good home, a long happy dog life. What more could I want for our beloved beasts?"

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  4. Making amends is what you can do, yes. Your ex husband sounds like a nice man and one blink of an eye, it can all change like you said. I can hear in your words the gratefulness too.
    Very good post

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    1. I'm grateful that maybe I can now communicate with someone who was such a big part of my life. I have been married three times, and he was many times over the best of the bunch. How silly and naive I was. So many regrets...

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  5. Life really does turn in a circle. You aren't the woman now that you were then. And he is not the same man either. We all gain so much more wisdom as we age. I am glad you wrote to him; I am sure your words meant so much. And I am glad he responded to you - for the same reason. You were both able to share kind words.

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  6. Whew! I didn't expect that tear jerker Brenda! I am happy he wrote you back. It just tells me he did forgive you and still cares for you.

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    1. You never know what to expect from me! Time heals a lot of wounds I guess.

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  7. Thanks precious Brenda. I wept reading your post. So many sad feelings welled up in me. I always enjoy your posts. Thank you!!

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    1. I always hope that my words can shed light on things for someone else. That's why I'm so transparent. I don't just want to be a blogger who shows decorating and gardening. I'd like to use what knowledge I've gained to help others in some way.

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  8. This is so beautiful, Brenda, written in such a straightforward simple way. What a lovely thing for both of you to have done. Peace extended and accepted.

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    1. Now I can be more at peace with my mistakes.

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  9. A powerful post, filled with emotion and redemption. Your reached your hand out to your ex, and he reached back, resulting in closure, even if the act stirred up sweet (and bittersweet) feelings. Alice Walker wrote about how we can't cross the same river twice, not in the same, exact place, and that is so true; but I also think this is part of being human.

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    1. A wise soul, Alice Walker. We are all human and fallible. Might as well admit it.

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  10. I'm glad he wrote back to you, Brenda. There are many things I miss about my ex, and his family is a huge part of what was good in our life. But there are also many things I don't miss, and that's what I have to remind myself of whenever I start going down memory lane. We can't change the past, we can only grow from it and move forward. Big hugs to you, my sweet friend - no doubt this isn't an easy day for you. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I got my permanent crown put on this afternoon. The dental tech shared a story about herself with me that is still with me. She suffered so much as a child. The things people do to one another. The hurt an adult can afflict on a child...tragic.

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  11. I'm so glad he answered you. This shows how much you both meant to each other.

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    1. Yes, it does. I took it for granted back then. I shouldn't have.

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  12. Oh Brenda, I just sat down with a cup of coffee to read your blog for today, procrastinating before doing something I don't want to do and burst into tears reading it because it played right into my melancholy mood. You have really bared your soul, one of the many things I love about you. I truly appreciate your openness and honesty, and I think that is what your readers love about you. Sometimes when you post, I feel like I am looking into an emotional mirror. It took courage, I think, to reach out the way you did, but you are a better person for doing so. Look how far you've come! And I agree, I think he still cares for you and he has obviously forgiven you.

    PS: I am loving all of your photos, they are beautiful.

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    1. What I want is that he and I be friends. He lives about 90 miles from me. I just want that friendship we had when we were married. We were always more friends than anything else. And I think that I didn't cherish that friendship enough. I wanted more. Boy, did I get it! I should have stayed with friendship and so many things wouldn't now be part of my nightmares. There would be things I never would have gone through. But we don't get a do-over.

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  13. Your post is wonderful and brutally honest, especially in your reflection of your actions. Not many people will admit mistakes, but you have done so with honor. It was the right thing to do to let your ex-husband know how you felt about his father. Gentle thoughts during this time of grieving, XOXO

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    1. I have learned, after so many mistakes. I've learned humility.

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  14. I am glad that your ex husband has forgiven you. Perhaps now you can forgive yourself.

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  15. He has forgiven you, and that is truly a gift. Forgiving yourself will make it complete. I'm a true believer in all things happening for a reason. Perhaps the rest of your story has yet to unfold.

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  16. Brenda, this is a beautiful and heart filled post. Speaking honestly of life changing mistakes, and holding ownership of the lasting effects. I have true admiration of your reaching out and the honesty of your feelings. I am so glad that you had a response and a small peace can enter your heart! Have a day of warm and loving thoughts !

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    1. Oddly enough, he didn't get my message months ago when I sent it. He said he just got it. I thought he just didn't want to communicate with me.

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  17. Beautiful Brenda! So glad you heard back from him. We've all made terrible mistakes and it says much about folks and you to admit them and be sorry for them. Learning from mistakes is the key and so I should really be smart at this stage in life...lol!
    Many blessings,
    Cindy

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    1. If we learn from our mistakes, then perhaps they did happen for a reason I suppose.

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  18. Just when I think I can't like you better..

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  19. Wow! Forgiveness, a powerful thing. So glad you reached out and he returned the gesture.

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    1. We don't always get those chances to forgive and be forgiven. Such a beautiful thing when we do.

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  20. Brenda, beautifully honest! By you reaching out to him, a wall came down! So glad he responded with kindness and a forgiving spirit! We all need forgiveness and to offer it to others!

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    1. He has never held on to animosity. He truly is a gentle and sweet man.

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  21. What a poignant post. I hope that you are able to forgive yourself.

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  22. It sounds like he has forgiven you so forgive yourself. If you could now be friends that would be something special.

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  23. Brenda you are so honest and write so clearly and today your post was a gift. Forgiveness without negativity. I think sad weight has been lifted from your shoulders, a precious gift. Hugs.
    Joy

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    1. I didn't realize how sad this had made me until he wrote me back.

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  24. I'm so sorry Brenda for your loss, but overjoyed for your newly found peace.

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  25. Brenda it was thoughtful of you to send him a message when he lost his father. Just the fact he answered the way he did means so much. You can really see he still cares about you. Did you know he was reading your blog. I had to come back later after I first read this post. It was a tear jerker. Thank you for sharing. Hugs

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  26. Such a bittersweet reflection, Brenda. How we learn from ourselves clearly defines who we are. You are a class act. Sweet and honest. I'm so happy for your new inner peace. Hugs~

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    1. Well, I have made a lot of mistakes along the way.

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  27. One of the things I love most about you, Brenda, is that you are a straight-shooter--you don't sugar-coat things or make excuses. Bless you that you reached out and he was able to see your sincerity. Such a touching story...

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    1. I too am glad that he realized that I needed to know he didn't hate me.

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  28. Brenda, this is my favorite post of yours. I've always had a feeling that you are such a nice person and now...wow...you are a great person. What a special post and thank you for sharing it with us. I'm so glad you have reconnected and made peace, that's special. I can feel a certain peace in your post and that is nice.

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    1. Well, I try to be a nice person. Don't always succeed.

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  29. Oh Brenda, I am so glad that the kindness you extended was well received and kindness was returned. I hope it brings you some peace.

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    1. It does. We're still emailing back and forth, and that feels good.

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  30. Brenda, what a wonderful post! Our true nature does show up in how we deal with our past mistakes, I agree. But we DONT have to take those with us to the grave. We can lay those things down at Mercy's seat... And live free from that burden because of our experience, and how it changed us! I think it is comforting to have a clean slate. Whether you and your ex husband are reconciled or not, isn't as important as knowing there is always forgiveness.
    Well, that's how it is for me'! I have made mistakes in this almost 51 years... I hope I've learned from them ---

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    1. We won't reconcile in a romantic way, for that was never really our relationship to begin with. But being friends, and emailing back and forth, is a great feeling right now.

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  31. Thanks for sharing your heart and this experience with your readers. It reminded me of a time when I made a selfish choice, hurting people who had done nothing to deserve it. It was my wonderful husband who said something like this to me, trying to help me forgive myself. He said, "Your mistakes don't define you. What you do afterwards does."

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    1. A very wise man, your husband. My ex clarified that his flutist and he are not romantically involved. He is more like me, just wants to be friends with others. I guess we're not the romantic relationship type! That's the beauty of it for me.

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  32. Brenda,

    I don't think of this relationship and the end result as a mistake, it as an experience and in the end a lesson. We make choices, we will continue to make choices throughout our lives. Hopefully they are better as we gain wisdom with years. Looking back through new eyes and feeling good karma with this man is a new beginning and the past is the past.

    I have a lot of regret over past relationships, ways I think I could have handled them better. Still, I'm very happy where I am now. I can't imagine what life could have been like with these men, good or bad, but I know I am with the right person now and am very happy, as you are with your life right now. Good enough.

    I love he is reading your blog and is proud of you. Ties that bind forever.

    Jane

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    1. You found a great man, you have had years together, and I sure admire those that can achieve this level of intimacy.

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  33. He sounds like a man worthy of the admiration you feel for him. He loved you, and in some way, probably still does. I think you both have grown, and you're both where you need to be. Even though it feels like a mistake, it happened for a reason.

    This must have been a very emotionally draining day for you.

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    1. I guess it was for a few hours. I was just happy. Had to have my permanent crown put on, so that was a distraction!

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  34. Thank you for your honesty. This was a beautifully-written post. I can relate personally to your story. We often hurt very nice people in this life, and all we can do is try to learn from it and do better in the future. I have tears in my eyes as well.

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    1. We hurt and we are hurt. The human condition...

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  35. Oh Brenda...I feel so happy for you...now that you know he has forgiven you..it's a perfect time to forgive yourself...Let it go Brenda...Hugs..

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    1. My shoulders are not as weighed down for sure.

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  36. I think we've all done things we wish we hadn't done. Your ex sounds like a wonderful man. It's got to be a bit of a load off your shoulders, so to speak, to know that he doesn't hold anything against you and is willing to be friends. Good for him and good for you to have the courage to reach out to him. It must have meant a lot to him.

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    1. He actually reached out to me in 2009 when his older brother was killed, to tell me. But we had not communicated since I wrote my condolences.

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  37. Just beautiful - all of it. Beautiful that you reached out; beautiful that he responded. We all make mistakes, yes, but it's good to be able to learn from them and move on.

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    1. Mistakes at least have a reason if we learn from them. What I have learned is that if you gather the courage to confront the past, and try to make peace with it and others, then you learn even more about yourself and life. You learn to be humble in the face of mistakes.

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  38. Sometimes, the hardest thing in the world to do, is to admit that you were wrong. You have done that in such a beautiful way, Brenda. I hope that the two of you can be friends, maybe reverse some of the hurt for both of you. He sounds like an amazing man, and a forgiving one as well. I think that putting, pen to paper, or in our world fingers to computer keys, was a wonderful act on your part . . . I hope that there is much healing, and mended hearts because of it.

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    1. We are emailing back and forth, and I hope a new friendship is forged. I told him I would love it if we could become friends, and he responded that he didn't see any reason why we couldn't be.

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  39. Extraordinary fellow. He found a true friend beneath the smoke and mirrors of romance and then was able to forgive her betrayal. His message a bit of closure for you both.

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    1. Our relationship was always more about friendship than romance. It was a comfortable friendship where we supported one another.

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  40. life. circles. closure. You are so eloquent. You need to write for a card company! You are able to put feelings into words. It's a gift you have!

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    1. I learned to put feelings into words at a very early age. I think because I couldn't communicate vocally what I felt.

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  41. In looking back, there is only one regret I have about leaving my husband back in 1978. He drank and smoked pot as if there were no tomorrow, and it took him another dozen years after I left him, as well as two more wives before he was able to kick those habits. I don't regret not waiting around another dozen years for him to get his life together. The one regret I do have about leaving that marriage is that it broke apart my daughter's parents. It took her decades to get over the fact that Mommy and Daddy were no longer both under the same roof. Other than that.... I have no regrets. Life is good!

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  42. I have had many conversations with people after a divorce. So often it goes like this. "I should have tried harder. I thought life was passing me by. I thought I would be happy etc." A tough lesson to learn.

    Marriage can be tough, but sometimes love is a decision to weather the storms!

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    1. I was turning 40. Guess I had a mid-life crisis. Or something.

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  43. I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like if I had stayed with my first husband. He cheated on me, but we were very young and I was very unforgiving. We were best friends though before we ever became intimate. Who knows what would have happened if we were more mature and able to handle things like grown ups.

    The way I look at it, is that there are no mistakes and everything happens for a reason. It just wasn't meant to last and I'm happy with my life now.

    I'm glad he reached out to you and that he's forgiven you. Not everyone gets that in life.

    hugs my friend,
    rue

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  44. Brenda, so beautifully written. You have a profound way of sharing your heart. I am happy that you have learned of your ex's forgiveness.
    You are a kind and humble person.

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  45. Thank you for sharing your story, brave woman. You gave those 2 puppies a beautiful home and I bet he appreciated that. You are so right about living thru choices and realizing how they build us into the person we become. Be gentle on yourself, I know it's hard to do but clearly he has a a good heart and is happy for you Di

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  46. Oh Brenda tears are spilling down my cheeks. I think we all have made decisions we regretted. But forgiveness is truly a gift we give ourselves. There is such beauty in it. I believe that he has forgiven you. I do hope you accept the gift fully.
    It is such a joy to have you join the gathering at Thoughts of Home on Thursday. You really help to elevate it to something very special.

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  47. Dearest Brenda-
    Thank you for continuiing to share a part of you that helps others.
    You are one of the most generous bloggers in blogland.
    We are all blessed by it.

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  48. Wonderful story Brenda. I believe we are at a point where forgiveness is required for every soul. Thanks for sharing your story. Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

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I always enjoy reading your comments and having you join the conversation here at Cozy Little House. It is like having a gathering of friends sitting in my cozy apartment. Enjoying coffee and dessert, chatting and having a good time. I appreciate each and every one of you!

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