Ex’s and Texas

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jim shinn column pic“All my ‘ex’s’ live in Texas!” is a line from a classic country song. It’s not true for me. My ex lives in San Diego, I think, but we went to my wife’s “ex” for our daughter’s wedding in Texas this past weekend. “What a long strange trip it’s been!” My wife wanted to call in sick, and she had my permission, but being the tough monkey she is, she gutted it out.

My daughter moved to Denton, Texas a few years ago, to a university town about an hour north of Dallas. She will soon be going to graduate school at the University of North Texas, where her handsome husband is one of their head “techies.” We were planning to visit them and our beautiful granddaughter, when they announced they were getting married while we were visiting, hence our ending up at the ex’s on our vacation. The trip is not the type of trip you plan on, but one you get “lassoed” into. I never liked the ex much, but when it is family or my stepdaughter’s happiness, the Shinnster is willing to put up with a lot. Also, the ex lives about an hour out of San Antonio, which required a 5 hour drive each way!

My wife hate’s flying and was diagnosed with anxiety a decade ago. Add to that, having had the experience of being in a plane during a tornado, she is not a frequent flyer. So a fearful flight followed by a day in the home of the guy she would be OK with never seeing again. His name will be kept quiet to protect the guilty of not being nice to my wife for several years of marriage. My wife made more of a sacrifice then myself. I just made a commitment to play nice and try to help my daughter have one of the happiest days of her life.

The whole thing turned out well. When you bring people together, it is easy to identify many reasons that you are glad that some family don’t live nearby. You all have some relatives like that I am sure. Some in-laws are very pleasant, and some, well you are glad they live far away. My son-in-law’s family was very cool and we look forward to another get together with them. They live in Pennsylvania, so we won’t hold our breath on that one.

The wedding was short, and it was a beautiful, lake side affair and fine food and fellowship were had by all. It was a small, intimate gathering, with fifteen of us. I was every knee shall bowdisappointed that God was not mentioned in the marital vows and commitments of affection. That was OK. Not my ceremony so I chose to go with the flow. I am comforted by the fact that “every knee shall bow.” People, young or old, should have control over important events in their lives, but life is accepting our powerless over people, events, vacations and vows.

Overall, it was a very good experience, so when you have to be around the “ex” here are a few rules based on my experience. Play nice. Try to sacrifice your needs for the more important people in the picture. Remember that we can all put up with people, philosophies and pain for a short period of time. I am very proud of my wife and daughter and my new son. May God bless them now and as they face whatever comes their way. I know my wife and I, with God’s help, can do exactly that!!!