Dec 082010

I’m not sending out Christmas cards this year. I couple weeks ago I thought to myself, “I should get started on those.” But then right after I thought that, I felt a pang of stress. It was just a quick little jolt, but it got my attention. So I immediately decided to tell myself the same thing I’d tell a friend. I said to myself, “It’s okay, G. You don’t have to send Christmas cards this year. No one’s the boss of you. No cards.”

And it felt so good. Soooo good. There is stress that is unavoidable and stress that is chosen, and I’m going to try to let go of some of the chosen stress this year. I choose to rest and watch Christmas specials and take baths and trust that even without cards, my friends and family will remember that the Meltons exist.

So Merry Christmas, friends! We all look pretty much the same as we did last year.

Even so, I do have a very special card to share with you today. It’s the Christmas card that my best friend, Adrianne, is sending out this year.

Adrianne used to write for Momastery. She was the first Monkee to read the posts each morning. She was part of our heartbeat. But something happened to Adrianne six months ago that knocked her down. Hard. And she has needed to save every bit of her energy to try to stand again. And she has needed to protect her heart for a long while. But she’s decided that she’s ready to open it again, to us. She’s ready to tell us where she’s been, and where she’s going.

Monkees, My Adrianne.

This is the umpteenth time I have sat down to draft this year’s Christmas card letter. Never having suffered from a loss for words, I’m a bit surprised at how difficult it has been for me. I’ve decided that the most fitting introduction I can come up with is Dickens’ line, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

I’ll start with the worst of times. Brace yourselves, because this is a doozy.

On Mother’s Day, I received a text message from Trent saying that he is no longer in love with me. (I told you it was a doozy.) I am unable to go into specifics regarding the abrupt ending of my marriage because I have upcoming court dates, and discretion is necessary. But to those of you who might be saying to yourselves, “I’m shocked! I thought they were really happy,” I reply, “Yah, SO DID I!” Needless to say, it was a lousy Mother’s Day.

Without going into the gory details of the past six months, I’ll bring you up to date with where I am now. Trent and I have been separated since May 10th, and I am hoping to be officially divorced in March. I am living with the kids in our townhouse, and I am okay. Trent is living in a nearby apartment, and he spends time with the kids regularly, based on a schedule negotiated by our lawyers.

This spring and summer were dismal. I’ve tried to write descriptions of the pain this sort of thing causes, but I simply do not have the vocabulary to explain it. I feel like I would have to create an entire new language to accurately portray this experience.

The most difficult part of the entire situation, by far, has been watching Paige suffer. She has been seeing a therapist regularly since the split, and she has come a long way. Thankfully, she has a wonderful first grade teacher this year, and she is doing well in school. She is also enjoying Tae Kwon Do classes.

Even though the Grinch stole Mother’s Day, I decided that he would NOT steal Christmas. So Paige and I recently took a girls-only trip to New York City with a dear friend and her daughter. We had a marvelous time! Paige’s favorite part of the trip was the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular. It was a magical start to the Christmas season.

Grey has truly been the light of both my life and Paige’s during this difficult year. Although he displays some confusion after transitioning from one parent’s home to the other, he is too young to understand what has happened to us. He is concerned mostly with cars, trains, airplanes, and anything that moves. He remains a jolly, happy soul.

Dear ones, my heart is full and truly grateful as I sit here and type. After my world collapsed and the dust began to settle, I learned some beautiful truths. I learned that I have a family who loves me fiercely. I learned that I have an army of friends ready to come to my rescue. Friends, new and old, came out of the woodwork to cheer me on, laugh and cry, and commiserate. I feel more loved today than I ever have.

At the risk of sounding overly Jesusy, I must also give a shout-out to my best friend, who was born in a manger. In the midst of my panic and sadness, I felt the warmth and calm of God’s loving arms holding me tightly. There is no doubt, friends. God heard my cries for help, and He answered me.

At this moment, our house is warm and lit by a beautiful Christmas tree and a whole lot of love. My children are upstairs sleeping under peaceful skies. I am optimistic about the coming year. I am a lucky woman.



Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  27 Responses to “Adrianne, A Christmas Miracle”

  1. Adrianne,
    WE ARE HERE FOR YOU!!!! You are a brave, strong woman an INCREDIBLE mama to Paige and Grey. They are so, so lucky to have you.
    And, God, I love your hair!

    Sending HUGE, GYNORMOUS Hugs to you!!!!

  2. Thanks so much, everyone, for your kind words and support. And especially for the hair compliments.

  3. "I survived because I pictured the type of person that I wanted to be and made my decisions as if I were already that person, rather than making my decisions based on what the person I was currently wanted."

    Really, really, really good advice. I might try it.

    Princess Max for president.

  4. Oh Adrianne. I have BEEN there. I didn't have kids but I had that same surprising announcement. You may also be finding out lots of things that you never knew about the man you married and that takes a whole different set of processing. I'm sorry, honey.

    But, like you, I learned so much from my world crumbling around me. I was young when this happened and it was the first time that I really knew that we can do hard things. I bet your discretion about the gory details is not just for legal purposes. I bet your discretion is also just a little bit about knowing that you are (or want to be) the kind of person who paves the path to forgiveness by not taking his eyes and teeth, too. You know that your own soul will be lighter if you work your way along the continuum of forgiveness until this hurt is expelled entirely.

    My divorce was so crazy-making and confusing and knocked down and in a fog. I have literal black-outs from that time. I survived because I pictured the type of person that I wanted to be and made my decisions as if I were already that person, rather than making my decisions based on what the person I was currently wanted. Because the person I was currently wanted eyes and teeth and jugulars and a pity party.

    You are loved, Adrianne. Thank you for letting Glennon share your letter.

  5. Such a brave, beautiful letter. Thank you for sharing that with us and know that you are getting a whole new infusion of prayers for you and your kids. And a beautiful witness to Jesus' presence in your life.

    And a text message?! The opposite of brave and beautiful. Glad the kids have YOU to be their role model. But also glad that you are being the bigger person and working to keep the divorce process dignified. Still, if I ever meet your ex, I will punch him in the nose. He may want to stay away from California.

  6. Phew!

    I got not much to say, but Hurrah! for strength, resilience and community! Boooo! to nasty texts on happy days and DAMN! to the pain in life.

    LOVE, HUGS, and I love Chimmy saying it's amazing grace, and MK saying it's a real Christmas letter. Cause it is. Keep it real, lady!

    PS. Oh, and don't forget to ask for help when you need it. I always forget that part.

  7. Adrianne dahlin,

    I've missed you so. Thanks for sharing your heart with us again. Let me get this out of the way… GOOD GRIEF and curse words!!!

    I can't help but think back to your fire analogy for sharing your heart with someone. Sometimes sparks fly and flames rise unexpectedly. I'm so glad this one did not consume you entirely but rather shone brighter lights on the truer more beautiful parts of your life. I'm sorry for the burns you've had to and continue to endure. But your heart shines brilliantly today.

    Much Love and Big Squeezes,

  8. I can only imagine the heartache for you. As a child of divorce, know that your little ones will survive it and with your love, turn out just fine! Thank you for the strength to share!

  9. Adrianne, you blow my mind away! Your christmas letter is amazing grace. Thank you a million times for sharing it.

    I am so glad that you, Paige and Grey are coming through so you sing, swing and get merry like christmas! (stole that from a maya angelou book title)

    You come from a long line of resilient, fierce, and loving people :) so I'm not at all surprised!

    Thanks again for sharing and letting us love on you today.

    Much Love and Peace!

  10. Wow, Adrianne. So beautiful. And I don't just mean your hair, which is so gorgeous I just stared for an extra sec before I even read your letter. I also mean your heart, your strength and your focus on what truly matters. Thank you for sharing them with us. My love and prayers to you and your babies.

  11. My heart is broken for you. I have tears rolling down my cheeks. I believe the tears are shed in both sadness, from your loss, and yet also in joy from the strength, love and hope you shared in your Christmas letter. I am glad that you have been surrounded with love by family and friends. Please know, now, others out here are also thinking of you. (Equipoise, my heart goes out to you as well.) Hugs, stay strong and Merry Christmas to you and your little ones.

  12. I love you, friend.

  13. Adrianne – Thank you for sharing the hard stuff. I thank God for your heart, your perseverance and the strength He has given you! Praying that it gets easier with every passing day…and that you get to keep sharing with others how to stay strong!

    Equipoise (up there who commented) – I am praying that you would be given the strength to share your story!

    "But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble."
    Psalm 59:16

  14. For God didn’t give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control. (II Timothy 1:7)

    A friend had this on FB yesterday and it jumped right off the screen to me. I think it's meant for you. Know that you are in my heart and prayers. Your strength is an inspiration and your children are so blessed to have you as their mother.

  15. PS – you have gorgeous hair!

  16. Bless you sweet Adrianne. I have tears in my eyes for you. I wish we lived closer, or that I even really knew you so we could go out for coffee or wine and laugh or cry. It sounds like you have surrounded yourself with some wonderful friends and family and that God has been there all along to pick you up no matter how many times you have needed it. You should be proud of yourself. You sound like a strong beautiful spirit of a woman.

    May you and your children have a Merry Christmas together.

  17. Adrianne, you wrote straight from the heart without guard or pretense. And, it went straight to my heart. Thank you.

    Honestly? Damn. Damn. Damn. Life is so hard sometimes.

    For so many years I operated under my kindergarten premises (which are great), that as long as I was playing nice and doing what I was supposed to, it would be returned to me. Unfortunately, It just isn't so. Everyone has free will. Now, I still try to play nice and do the right thing, but I have been made aware that some people may choose to not play nice with me. I cannot control that; ever. The sooner I let that go, the more weight off my shoulders… The only things I can control is how I react to those individual's decisions and my own behavior.. You sound like true grace.

    I know that this has been a dark time for you. I have experienced something similar and you are right. The pain can be indescribable. I liken it to grief. You are truly grieving for what you thought you had.

    It is beautiful to see the hope and love of your heart in your letter. You will persevere. Actually, you already have.

    Jeremiah 29:10 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."


  18. Wow Adrianne, I totally was not expecting that. I know all too well your anxiety and the battles you will be facing in court. I know it all too well and it sucks. Although I was not married to my daughters Dad he still takes me to court anytime he has some major life change going on. It's really become a real pain in my butt, but each time it turns out ok and all the stress and anxiety I had was so not worth it.

    I will pray for you and your kids. I can tell you this though; being a single Mom is hard but it's one of the most rewarding jobs you'll ever have.

  19. Thank you for sharing your story, Adrianne! You wrote it so honestly and beautifully, and it sure beats those treacly Christmas letters we are are used to receiving. Equipoise– I'm thinking of you at this hard, hard time.

  20. Adrienne, wishing you all the strength in the world. I can't imagine the fallout that text created for you, and I don't know the details that you have had to immerse yourself in to right your life and the life of your children. I know from Glennon how many people love you and are supporting you at this time. Wishing you happiness and some peace this christmas.

  21. Adrianne, my husband did the same thing to me four months ago after just giving birth to my youngest daughter. He decided to stay and "work things out" but never was really here after his announcement. Two months ago he left me with a two-month-old and a two year old to care for all on my own. He does visit my girls and recently started taking them for overnights, but my two year old breaks my heart almost daily with questions about her Daddy. My divorce should be final soon but I am still a mess. The holidays have been difficult for me to get through so far. Coming up this month is my Birthday, Christmas (of course) and what would have been my seventh wedding anniversary…so there are still a few dark days ahead for me. I appreciate your story because it gives me hope that I can get to a good place again. Like you said, the pain of divorce is indescribable…but I've learned that the people that surround you in tough times like these can be truly amazing. I truly hope you find peace and happiness now and in the future…and I'm so sorry you had to go through this. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. I have not been brave enough to write about my story yet so my blog has been seriously neglected…hopefully that will come with time. Take care, and Merry Christmas.

  22. What a Christmas letter. OH MY! WHat a woman, and so truthful and real. This was AMAZING! Cant wait to hear more from Adrianne.

  23. I love seeing the strength of women. And, to have a grateful heart is the most amazing gift you could give to your children this Christmas. Truly. And, what in the world would possess a man to tell the mother of his children he isn't in love with her anymore on MOTHER'S DAY??? Seriously? P.S. Your hair is amazing.

  24. Adrianne – Thank you for your letter and your strength! I am glad to see that you are having a dazzling winter after a dismal spring and summer – and seriously admire you for focusing on everything you have to be thankful about. You are an inspiration. Merry Christmas! xxx Kathleen

  25. Wow. Adrianne, that's everyone's nightmare and I'm so sorry it happened to you. I wish I had known because I would have brought you some soup and I'm so glad to hear that so many came out to support you. You are one strong woman, sister.

    And what an amazing Christmas letter . . . the first real one I've ever read.


  26. I never comment b/c I am a chicken, but I felt compelled to today. I am so sorry Adrianne. I'm sure you've heard a million stories like this, but make this a million and one – a similar thing happened to my sister a few years ago. He left on Father's Day – what is it with people? Anyway, that year we decorated her tree hot pink complete with a hot pink bedazzled santa hat on top. And she is better now. And happy. And you will be too.

    Thanks for your story. It was beautifully written. You've been missed.

  27. Folks, Adrainne is a brave, brave woman and has been during this very difficult time. I am glad to call her friend. After a storm, there is a rainbow. I wuv you Adrianne.

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