When i told people i was going to Maryland this weekend for my mom's wedding, most people responded with enthusiasm. "Oh, you must be so excited! Your mom is getting married! Are you in the wedding? How long will you be there? That's so wonderful!"
Very few people realized instantly that there might be some awkwardness associated with that. If my mom is getting married, that means that she's not married to my dad. So either he's dead or they're divorced. It is possible that she's marrying my dad, but outside of the Disney Channel, the chances of that are not exactly promising.
And maybe the divorce/death happened years ago and i never even knew my dad, or maybe he was a monster and we're all better off without him. But there is no reason to assume, right off the bat, that my mother's wedding will necessarily be an occasion of unmixed joy.
And it wasn't.
My parents decided to separate the day that i moved into my freshman dorm. By fall semester finals, they had decided to divorce. My dad moved out on New Year's Eve. My mom soon had a new boyfriend. I've never been able to pin down to my satisfaction the exact start date of their relationship. And i'd really rather not.
I haven't spent much time in my mom's house since freshman year. Massachusetts is my home now. Therefore, i really don't know her new husband all that well. And i've been dealing with it okay, but there have been some issues between my mom and i that will probably never be entirely resolved.
But she's still my mom, and when she asked me to be in her wedding, i couldn't say no.
It was a lot harder than i thought it would be. I was okay up until the toasts, and then her maid of honor said that she had never seen my mom so happy before. The maid of honor saw my face and quickly covered by saying that she hadn't known my mom when her kids (my siblings and i) were little, and that she missed out on a lot of that early happiness. But her words unintentionally tapped into a lot of my deepest pain surrounding the divorce.
My parents were not a good match. Individually, they are decent people, but they were not a good couple. They should never have gotten married. It was not a good idea, and it was not God's will.
It's really hard to know that and to not begin to believe that i am not supposed to be here. It takes a lot of faith to know that God can bring good out of even the worst situations. But it takes even more faith to know that and to not feel like i am an afterthought, like God looked at my parents' marriage and said, "Well, shit. What am I going to do with that?"
I spend a lot of time feeling like i don't fit in, feeling like i'm being excluded, feeling like i'm forgettable. It's hard to feel like i might be an afterthought to God, too. I know that i'm not. I know that. But there is a difference between the things that we know and the things that we feel, and sometimes i feel like God's afterthought.