In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Marc Anthony offers this during Caesar's burial. Anthony tries to be ironic talking about the tyrant killed by Brutus, the new hero of Rome.
"Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar."
And so it is with people in our lives that have not yet died, but may be dead to us or gone from our lives by their choice or ours.
I was out Saturday night with my cousin after the Cavs game at the Wonder Bar on E. 4th Street downtown. He introduced me to a guy he knew who is in the IT industry like we are. That guy was there with a couple of his friends. I must have said something about my ex because the guy to my right asks me how long I have been divorced and I tell him it's been 15 months. In reality, it's not even been a year since our divorce was final, but it was 15 months ago that I moved out permanently. He went on to say that he'd been divorced for almost 6 years and had done some dating, but that it was hard with the kids so he was planning to wait until they were grown up even though his ex was already remarried. I made the comment that my ex was a great dad, but wasn't a very good husband. I think that comment hit home with him because he looked so defeated and I could see the thoughts rolling around in his head.
Seeing how what I said did to another person made me realize that while that's partly true, that's not the whole truth. My ex had his issues and his issues affected me and our relationship in very detrimental ways...hence, why he is my ex. There are good things about him now and there were when I married him and while I was married to him. So, as I tell my kids, for every bad thing you say to someone, it takes 10 things to make it right. Here are those 10 things good about my ex:
1. He is a good dad and loves his kids very much!
2. He was very supportive of everything I did to better myself personally or professionally.
3. He was my biggest cheerleader and always proud of all my accomplishments.
4. He would always tell me I was beautiful...and I could tell he meant it from his heart.
5. He applauded my strength and drive and intelligence and told me how I was all of those things.
6. He was with our kids when I needed to use all those attributes in my job: when I had to travel for business or training, when I went back to school to finish my BS and any time I traveled for HDI as a presenter or participant.
7. If I wanted to go out with my girlfriends, co-workers or my mom, he would always stay with the kids.
8. He says he speaks positively about me to others and has throughout our separation and since our divorce.
9. He prays for me every day now.
10. He has apologized a bazillion times for all things bad that happened in our relationship and accepts responsibility for his actions and part.
My ex is not perfect. None of us are. He has his strengths and his weaknesses just like I do. I wish him nothing but happiness and joy in his new life. We will be forever tied by 3 wonderful children that we brought into this world together with our love for one another. While it was a little difficult not to add BUT to some of those statements above or state other points, these 10 things are true of him and the good I still see in him.
Even in the bad things in your life or from your past, I hope you all find the good, the blessings, the lessons and, in the end, the healing you need to take the next step forward!