[MOL] Chicken Soup for the Singles Soul.... [00093] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] Chicken Soup for the Singles Soul....


Have some chicken soup
and get well soon.

Get Well Get Well

Get Well

It's here ... another new one ... and WHAT a new one! Chicken Soup for the Single's Soul brings you heartwarming and inspiring stories written by and about other singles who are divorced, widowed or have been single all of their lives. Read from such chapters as Single and Happy, Dating, Finding Your Mate, Losing a Partner and Single Parenting to find stories of love and laughter, mixed with a little wisdom and a whole lot of inspiration. This book makes a great gift for anyone who is single or single again. Available at bookstores everywhere or visit our website at http://www.chickensoup.com to order this or any of the other books in the beloved series.

The Drawer Wouldn't Close

"I'm sorry, Ma'am. There must be a mistake. We have your husband scheduled as being on vacation."

The voice on the other end of the line spoke in carefully arranged words.

"Vacation! No, no. He's supposed to be on a business trip."

"I'm sorry." Pause. The voice began to falter a little as we both realized what was happening. "We have no information about a business trip."

And so it was that a life that began in bliss ended in betrayal.

It's not a cliche when it's your life.

My husband had kissed me tenderly before he left for the airport that day. "You've never looked more beautiful," he said. "Don't forget Wednesday is our date night. I love you."

I had noted how handsome he was, as always, with his tall frame, salt-and-pepper hair, and a sharp business suit. After 32 years of marriage, three children andthree grandchildren, I could honestly say my heart still flip-flopped every time he walked in the door.

After he left, though, I spent the day fighting off an unusual feeling of loneliness. Blaming it on the dreary weather, I spent the day by the fire with a book until I finally retired, still uneasy. At 6 a.m. I awoke feeling that something was very wrong. Thinking I'd had a bad dream, I waited for the panic to pass, but it didn't. Finally I decided to do something I almost never did: phone my husband at his hotel. Every night when he was away on business he would phone me. I had never felt the need to call myself. This time I did.

It was after the hotel call, the one where a desk clerk finds "no one registered under that name," that I called the office hoping for a hotel mix-up.

A few months later, my husband filed for divorce.

A few years later, still working through the pain, I began leading divorce recovery workshop groups at my local church. I had endured personal loss, defeat and rejection. I had dealt with the pain my family had to bear on my behalf. My deepest wounds, though, had been self-inflicted, brought on by my anger at being an unwilling participant in a divorce.

While doing housework one day, I was thinking about how much pain I could have avoided-and others could, too-when I suddenly turned off the vacuum and sat down with a notepad and pen. I began writing. Page after page. Spilling out words of healing, a few lines at a time.

When I ran out of thoughts, I looked at the pages and shrugged, wondering what it was all about. Then I stuck them in a desk drawer.

Yet I kept feeling the urge to get those notes out and read them again.

After a while, I did, and was surprised to find that they read like greeting card verses. Where was I going with this? I had no funds to hire an artist or pay a printer. I put the notes back in the drawer.

The nudgings continued. Then it occurred to me that I did know one artist.

Without giving myself a chance to back out, I called my former husband and in a rush of words, preluded with "This is strictly business," I told him my idea.

He asked me to read some of the verses, then after hearing a few said he'd love to design original watercolor art for them. He would provide funds for printing costs, as well.

A week later, my former husband delivered to my door a bouquet of eight beautiful watercolors, all perfectly matching the emotion of my verses.

I named the cards "Ex's & Oh's."

A front-page article about my venture and my unique partnership with my ex-husband appeared in the business section of the Colorado Springs newspaper. The story was picked up by the Associated Press, generating phone calls from across the country. I did radio, television and newspaper interviews, and even got a call inviting me to be a guest on the "Today Show."

Thanks to all this publicity, "Ex's & Oh's" have been sent to spouses, children, parents, in-laws and friends going through divorce. And the calls that have meant the most to me by far haven't been from media. They've been from individuals who have told me how they've used the greeting cards to work through the "I'll-get-you-back" kind of pain that can be the most debilitating in a divorce.

One woman who ordered the greeting cards wrote me saying, "Thank you for being a light in the darkness."

That's what astonishes me the most about all this. God had plans for me.

He somehow squeezed light from the darkest moments of my life.

I had a drawer that wouldn't close. So I looked inside it. And I found the plans for a new life.

Jan Nations
from Chicken Soup for the Single's Soul
by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Jennifer Read
Hawthorne and Marci Shimoff copyright 1999 Canfield and Hansen
Warmly, lillian
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