Robin in Las Vegas writes:
I have three kids. My youngest two live with their dad and stepmom in Washington, my oldest lives with me in Las Vegas. My ex husband has been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. His wife can’t have kids. I desperately have been waiting for the day my kids and I are reunited as a family. I never expected my ex to end up with cancer. I do believe in Karma, and if I had more time I would tell you how it was living with this man and how he pulled our kids from me. He wouldn’t allow me to see them unless he felt like it. He is very controlling and manipulative. So is his family – especially his mother. My question to you is, are we going to be reunited as a family? Is there anything that I should be aware of that he may be planning?
While life with your ex may have been horrible, his health issues are presenting as more of a consequence of exposure to toxins than anything else. Karma can be wicked and even cruel, but his disease isn’t karmic retribution for your suffering.
If you want your children at home with you, permanently and legally, you are going to have to fight to make that happen. I must warn you that it will not be a simple or easy victory.
First of all, there are reasons why your kids are living with your ex. If you want your family back, you would be wise to enlist legal counsel now in order to be prepared to deal with all that will follow. Of course your ex, his wife, and his family have plans on keeping the kids in their realm and reach. They believe it is the right thing to do, and what would be best for the children. Your kids once had a sense of support and stability with their lives and living arrangements. This is going to add to the challenge that you face.
The whole experience of losing their dad is going to be hard on your children. His death is going to be understandably traumatic – and they will have feelings of guilt, fear, loss, and betrayal to deal with. They will be vulnerable. They already are.
The best thing you can do for your children is be there for them. You still are their mom. However, don’t lose sight of the fact that they are losing their dad, and their world is upside down. I don’t care how much you hate the man, his impending and eventual death is about them, not you.
It would be nice if all of you adults could come together during this horrible time and work out arrangements so no one was “losing” the children and instead, they’d have a more cohesive family foundation. That would be ideal, but I don’t see it happening. I would love for all of you to pull together and prove me wrong.
Eventually you will get your wish. You will once again have your family under one roof. You can make it happen sooner, or you can wait, and in time the kids will decide to live with you. The most important thing right now, though, is just to be there for your kids, however they need you to be.