This is a one of a kind photo. It, quite obviously, is different than my typical photo of the week. The photo illustrates the best Christmas gift I've had in years. It is a "double reunion."
Pictured, left to right, is my former wife, Cynthia, (and while I had two other long term relationships during my lifetime, one of them being to a second wife, I consider Cynthia my only wife), my 36 year old son, Pete, and yours truly.
The reunions? This Christmas is the first Christmas I've celebrated with my son in 12 years, he moved to the West Coast for the following Christmas. But, I said it was a double reunion. Indeed it was because it was the first Christmas in 25 years that Cynthia, Peter and I celebrated the holiday together.
We now live very different lifestyles. I, of course, have no fixed residence of my own any longer and consider wherever My McVansion is parked for an extended period of time as "home" for that particular period. Currently, my location is Clovis, California. Cynthia, although raised in Fresno, California (right next to Clovis), lives in a condo in Palm Springs, California. Pete lives in the "City of Angels," Los Angeles, California. Pete's home was in Seattle, Washington for just over nine years prior to his move to Los Angeles about two years ago where he rents a nice little house.
Palm Springs, Los Angeles and Clovis are all within about a three hour drive of one another. But, I, being an east coaster, born and raised in New Jersey and having lived the past 44 years in the Mid-Atlantic region (Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia), have a continent between us since I still remain in the eastern U.S. much of the time.
This is actually a banner year for me. I had the opportunity to spend time with my son once during the summer of 2014 and now again, during the Christmas holiday. The last time I spent time with my son was during the summer of 2012.
This second photo is of Cynthia, Peter and Cynthia's mother (my former mother-in-law), BJ Gardner. The photos were taken in the backyard of BJ's residence. BJ worked with me for many years during the latter 70's, the 80's and part of the 90's. We've been spending time reminiscing about the many projects we worked on together, the people we worked with and met and all the places we traveled to record conferences for clients from coast to coast. During the early years, Cynthia, Pete as a child, pre-adolescent and teenager and I traveled and worked on many projects together.
I think the most important thing is that despite the fact Cynthia and I only spent about 20 years of our lives together, we made it a point to remain friends and to care about each other over these past 25 years. Unfortunately, I see many relationships that have ended in divorce where one or both parties are very bitter and often hate one another. I never felt that way about Cynthia and I don't believe she has ever felt that way about me. It seems such a shame when two people have spent such a significant part of their lives together and then throw all that away to bitterness and hatred, especially if there is one or more children involved.
Additionally, Cynthia's family, mother, brothers and sister, their spouses and children, all continue to embrace me as part of the family. This is a blessing and gift to be truly appreciated.