Mrs. Doubtfire

By TOM CASKA
Posted 12/23/19

The holiday season brings its own share of joy and some tribulation, kind of a mixed bag. Families will be traveling near and far to visit friends and relatives. In a country with such high rates of …

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Mrs. Doubtfire

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The holiday season brings its own share of joy and some tribulation, kind of a mixed bag. Families will be traveling near and far to visit friends and relatives. In a country with such high rates of divorce, many children will shift from one household to another. On one of the early trains heading up to Port Jervis, I found myself sitting with a mom and her two children, a tall slender boy and his cute sister with red ribbons in her hair. The girl spoke to her mother: “I miss Daddy.” The mother kept staring out the window and said nothing. She spoke again: “Mommy, I miss Daddy,” and still nothing. The brother replied instead: “You will see him for New Year’s.” Then the three of them were staring out the window.

I put down my newspaper and spoke to her saying, “I am sure your daddy misses you too.” Now both children were looking at me. “You see,” I said, “I am a daddy too, and I will miss my children for Christmas, but I will see them the following week and that will be our Christmas. They actually will get two Christmases.” That was the end of the conversation, I went back to the newspaper and they all got off at Middletown where they were greeted by an elderly gentleman with a car. Hugs and kisses all around, and off they went.

I went through my own divorce around the time the movie Mrs. Doubtfire came out; I remember it being quite poignant at the time. Robin Williams dresses up as an old woman to help nanny for his children while their mother is at work. He does this to be close to his children. As in many of his films, there are many obstacles that he must go through in order to make this work, some quite funny and some very sad. I made a point to watch this movie with my own two children sitting on either side of me. I feel I am one of the lucky ones since we still have a very close relationship. This past weekend, they visited. Together, with their spouses and my grandson, we had our Christmas. It was extremely special since this was my grandson’s first one—he will soon be two. All the sparkling lights and ornaments on the tree, the packages, the smell a fresh apple pie and the hectic running through the house of three dogs was quite a sight to behold. He was hesitant to open his first gift but caught on real quick right after. We baked and decorated cookies, and he enjoyed doing that. The weekend flew by too quickly. As I watched them drive off, I felt a tug of sadness in my heart, but smiled remembering the good times.

We get to do this all again next week when my wife’s children come and bring the other three grandchildren. My wife and I are lucky that all five kids get along wonderfully; when everyone gets together, it is a really nice time.

I remember the quote from Mrs. Doubtfire: “There are all sorts of different families… They may not see each other for days, or weeks, months, even years at a time. But if there is love, dear, those are the ties that bind, and you’ll have a family in your heart forever.”

We empty-nesters know there is a family in our hearts, forever.

Merry Christmas.

divorce, holidays

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