We all know today is the 17th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks on September 11 2001.

What only I and a couple other people know is that today is another anniversary. It is the 25th anniversary of the date of my first marriage. While not as huge a disaster as 911, my marriage collapsed just as dramatically as the twin towers – at least in my eyes.

Donna and I never made it to our 25th wedding anniversary. We had fifteen years of toil, tears, and trouble. We also had a lot of laughs along the way, and a seemingly solid marriage buttressed by the sacraments of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. We prayed the rosary as a family several times a week, prayed novenas for special intentions, prayed grace before each meal, didn’t use birth control, grew a big family (nine), went to Mass every Sunday, had our house consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and basically tried to model our family after the Holy Family.

It seemed to work just fine for many years. We tried home schooling, and private Catholic schooling, but found the public school system in our small town to have better teachers and a more organized administration. It wasn’t until our oldest son went bonkers that things took a turn for the worse. He required more of our time than our other six (very) young children. Eventually he ran away from home to live with his girlfriend and basically turn against everything we had tried to raise him to be.

As a parting present to his parents, he split us and got his mom to side with him instead of with her husband. That was the beginning of the end. I’d say we had thirteen good years and two bad years. The 2 bad years were the last two of our marriage, and wow, were they bad. Things got even worse after we separated, and divorced. She got the kids and the house and half my paycheck of course. Things were brutally grim and tense for a long time. Then four of the kids ran away from Donna to live with me. And so they have stayed.

So things finally got a little less crazy. But I lost my faith when I lost my wife and family. All the nice, pious Catholic stuff seems like a mirage now, as unreal as the strong relationships I thought I had with a lot of like-minded Roman Catholics. Nope, they left me to twist in the wind. Alone. Very quietly.

So today I am remarried, which I am told puts me outside the Catholic Church, or at least unable to receive Communion. Okay. I understand that organizations have to have rules. Remarrying was a big step, but the right one. I owed it to my new bride because she sacrificed so much just to be with me. And I feel in love again, this time with a woman I feel I can trust. And we didn’t marry on 9/11. So wish us luck, love, and happiness, as I wish the same to everyone reading this.

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