June 05, 2009

D * I * V * O * R * C * E -- again

It is once again that time: Two and a half years into wedded, well, marriage, and bliss is not on the brother's list. Divorce is. Lawyer and joint custody are on mine. Finally, I have a niece, and I want to be damn sure that she knows me, knows her NYC clan. I am assured things are being taken care of. God, I hope so.

After announcing he and Kay's mother were divorcing, no messing around with trial separation or anything to that effect, the brother says, "I never should have married her."

"You say that every time," I replied, this being divorce #4. #1 through #3 didn't make much of a difference in my life. After the first or second, I stopped trying to get to know the wives. There would always be a woman; the hope was, the brother wouldn't try marriage again.

This time it matters: the brother has a daughter, my niece. My only niece/grandchild, and I want to make damn sure I will get to be part of her life. In truth, I want her the hell out of Tiny Town, Sleepy Southern State, and north of the Mason-Dixon line, where at least she will learn who won the Civil War.

(Our mother, raised in North Carolina in the late '40s/early '50s, was taught it was The War of Northern Aggression, and her teachers were hazy on how it played out.)

Perhaps I should have spotted a clue at Christmas, when the brother made reference at a party to his "current wife." Here today, usually gone tomorrow... but not this time, not with my niece in the picture.

I'm hoping my niece's mother -- until the papers are signed technically she remains my sister-in-law -- and my brother will remain on good terms and I will have the luxury of being the aunt/grandma to K. She is my link to the next generation, the only genetic one I will ever have.

I imagine all the things I want to show my niece, what I can do in my capacity as New York aunt that her Southern mother, half my age, may never have the ability to do and that might not occur to my brother. I want K. to feel special around me, around our mother, around everyone in her orbit.

It terrifies me that there could be any other options.


Blogger the only daughter said...

This pains and resonates. I'm pulling for you Aunt!


11:31 AM  

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