It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Then it was the best of times once again.
I don’t think it’s fair to say that I struggle with Thanksgiving. It makes me a little wistful sometimes. Thanksgiving 2014 was the last happy holiday we spent with Jerry Lee. It was the last time our lives were truly normal. Happy. We honestly were happy that holiday, or so I thought.
My daughter’s best friend flew out from Utah to spend the holiday with us and my mom, brother, sister-in-law, 2 nieces, and a nephew all drove to Virginia to spend the holiday with us. I put on an amazing spread. We played tons of Phase 10 and ate Scotcheroos and went Black Friday shopping. It was one of the best Thanksgivings I’d had in years.
I thought Christmas was pretty good, too, until I discovered the text messages a day or two after Christmas where he told his sister he was heavily medicated and should never have tried to be happy. There went my Christmas cheer!
The following Thanksgiving was spent at my mom’s house- just me and my kids. The year after that I was toiling at Target so not really much of a holiday. Going in to work at 12:30 am will really suck the life out of your holiday.
Anyway, all of this to say that Thanksgiving of 2014 was really great and almost every year since I get all nostalgic. It’s not just that it was a really fantastic Thanksgiving. It’s also an acknowledgement that those days are over. That was my old life. Parts of it were really awesome and some days I miss those awesome parts.
I tend to focus on Thanksgiving 2014, how great it was, and how I lost everything after that year. It recently occurred to me I’m thinking about it this all wrong.
Yeah, life after that Thanksgiving got really tough. There were a lot of tears. A lot of change. Most of it not welcome change either. I went kicking and screaming into a whole new life.
But then I begin to think about Thanksgiving 2017 and I remember how awesome that Thanksgiving holiday was for me. Family time and playing Phase 10 and being kidnapped and forced to go Black Friday shopping made some amazing memories but you know what managed to top that?
Finding out that I won my court case only a day or two before Thanksgiving! Yep, no matter how weepy I may get thinking about that final year together I can always cheer myself up remembering the year I got the judge’s orders right before the holiday. I remember opening those papers and reading them out loud. It got better and better the longer I kept reading. Yep, there was the part about how Jerry Lee could do much more for his children but his money was obviously going towards his girlfriend and her children. His expenses were deemed “excessive” while mine were considered reasonable. Harley got named in the final ruling- at least twice. First and last name. I was awarded $25,000 in legal fees. He got imputed for wages. I was given spousal support for 16 years. I got more than double the amount of child support Jerry Lee had offered to pay. Hell, I got more than three times the amount he wanted to pay for both spousal and child support. Jerry Lee was told any mental health problems he had had been managed until he started up his affair which was a self-inflicted wound. He was also told he could make more money but he refused to move, and while he said it was because of his mom and his support system he never mentioned the girlfriend, Harley Butt-face Whore, with whom he immediately moved in. It was also pointed out that throughout all of our marriage he rose up in his career by doing exactly what he refused to do now- move for the promotion. The judge told Jerry Lee the story he told of why he stopped the three support checks “hurt his credibility”. In short, he got his ass tore up and I got almost everything I wanted. I had an amazing holiday that year and I have no doubt Jerry Lee had an absolutely miserable one that year. He doesn’t do holidays well to begin with but to add on losing so completely in court and finding out how much money he was going to have to pay me? Oh my! I truly hope he spent the weekend in bed catatonic. The gold-digging Harley probably wasn’t real happy either. Based on that alone I will always treasure Thanksgiving.
For so long I worried about what would happen in the final orders. Would Jerry Lee get away with his claims of PTSD? For so long I had no answers. Only questions and worries. Preparing myself for the worst all the while knowing there was no way to truly prepare for the worst. My greatest fear was that Jerry Lee and Harley would live happily ever after with all of their money intact because of his bullshit PTSD claims while I worked two jobs and couldn’t afford shit. Thankfully that didn’t happen, and how appropriate it that I found out right before Thanksgiving?
Instead of looking back and reminiscing about everything that was lost after 2014 and allowing that to dampen the holiday I am choosing to think of Thanksgiving as my victory. The tide truly did begin to turn at that point. No more weepy Thanksgiving memories for me. From here on out Thanksgiving is associated with me emerging victoriously over Jerry Lee.
2 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Past”
We were in Tennessee visiting my mother-in-law Thanksgiving 2017. My baby was only 7 months old at the time. I cheered when you posted about what the judge said. I told my mil your whole story and she cried laughing when I called your ex CousinFucker.
That is an awesome story! Thank you for reading my story, for being invested in the outcome, and for still reading today.