Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year, New Life



Without a doubt this last year and a half has been the hardest time of my life. I don't know how to lead up to what I am about to say so I will just say it. My marriage is ending. Sam and I are getting divorced. I know that for many of you, this will come as a total shock. It still seems surreal to me on so many levels. I never ever thought I would be someone who would get divorced...that is something that happens to other people. I even remember assuring my children a couple years ago when they asked what divorce was, that Sam and I would never get divorced. Never say never.



I will not be sharing the details of why we are getting divorced here out of respect to Sam and our children. But I will say that I will always love Sam and I truly believe we will always be friends. He is a fantastic father and his children mean the world to him. I am proud of the life we had and the children that we are raising together. And speaking of our kids, by far and a way, the hardest part of divorce is trying to explain to our children why dad is moving out when they have never seen us fight or even argue. My children are heartbroken but are doing amazingly well for the most part.



I have learned so much through this trial in my life. It is so cliche to say but it is true that our trials refine us. This experience has changed me into a stronger, more compassionate, deeper person..the person Heavenly Father wanted and needed me to be. I am convinced that while Heavenly Father didn't want this for our family, he knew that this was the only way for me to grow in that way. My testimony is stronger, I have more confidence in myself and my abilities and quite frankly, I have seen miracles this year with my children and in my home. I know my Savior Jesus Christ on a more intimate level and His Atonement means so much more to me now.

I also have grown so close to my family and I can honestly say I would not have survived this last year and a half without their unwavering support and love. I am so lucky to have them. Ashley has given me hundreds of hours of free therapy. Sam's family is wonderful too and have been very supportive of both of us as well. I also have the most incredible friends. People who love me even when I am not funny or even all that fun to be around.



I know the path ahead is not going to be easy. I still have some really dark days. I was doing really well for a long time and some days now I feel like I am right back to where I started. My therapist tells me grief is cyclical and I am mourning the death of my marriage and the life I thought I was going to have. Sometimes, I think I am doing fine and then something completely small and insignificant will put me over the top. It is especially hard for me to look at old photographs and videos of our family. I don't know what to do with my memories of the last 13 years. I had such a happy marriage. And while I am grateful for that, it also makes this whole thing harder in a lot of ways.



The great news for me is that I get to stay in our home and I don't have to go back to work. It is a priority for Sam to have me stay home with our kids and he wants to keep providing for us and wants our lives to stay the same. He is a good person and I am so grateful that we get along and still do things together with our children. We spent a lot of time together over the holidays and I am happy that he will still be in my life.

I remember telling a friend that I was getting divorced a couple months ago. She looked at me and said "What are you going to DO?" and repeated it several times completely frantic. I just looked at her and said "Probably get up tomorrow morning, get my kids breakfast, put my shoes on, take them to school, go to the gym...." Life goes on. The point is to not let this break me. I can go to bed and be sad for months or I can just pick up the pieces and keep going forward. I know there are good things to come...brighter days ahead. I know that. And I am excited to see what this new year will hold for me and my kids.

67 comments:

Amanda Jones said...

Oh Brooke - I am so sorry to hear the news but I am impressed by your amazing attitude. I went through a divorce (mine was ugly and we didn't have children) so I know what you mean by ups and downs and what to do with the memories. You are a strong and amazing girl and I love you! Keep your chin up - life holds so many wonderful things.

Amanda

Liz said...

Through this whole process, I have been amazed at your ability to continue. You are still being you and your children are coming through very well, because you are strong. You are CRAZY strong! You always know I'm here and will do whatever needed. There is more wonderful ahead.....I can feel it. Love and prayers are always with you.

Linda said...

Well done, Brooke. You continue to amaze me. This had to be the hardest blog post you have written yet. We love you and Sam and will continue to be there for you.

Sarah said...

Brooke, I am sorry to hear the news, but you are doing exactly what you need to be doing... putting one foot in front of the other. You are in my prayers. My favorite quote by Linda Eyre is "life is long". This is much good ahead for you! Lots of love to you! ~Sarah

Kristine Gray said...

Sorry this is happening to you. Refining moments help us but sure are hard to get through. You are doing a better job than I ever could. You are lucky to have an amazing family. Here's to 2012!

Ashley said...

Great post. I like the bit about WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO?!? Turn your face to the eastern wind . . . .

This whole thing blows beyond words. The sorrow runs deep--but it also reveals the depth of your grace, class, and faith. And the Savior's ability to heal and provide.

I never liked him anyway. (I jest, of course. Hey Bro!)

SewSara said...

soooo very sorry to hear this. life is so hard. marriage is hard. you are so right - "never say never." so glad that you have felt Heavenly Father's love during this time. hang in there.

Carolyn M said...

Brooke ... what an amazing post. I love your honesty and the respect you show for yourself and Sam and your children. We love you all and are here whenever you need us. Thanks for your example and testimony. Carolyn M.

leandparkermakes3 said...

Brooke,
Even though I already knew about this, reading this post just made me cry. I cried for the loss you are experiencing. I cried for your kids. Mostly, I cried because I am so continually amazed by your strength and faith. You are such a wonderful person and you deserve the best that life has to offer. I KNOW that there are great things in store for you. Thank you for your wonderful example. Love you!

The Mostess said...

Lady...this must have been a heartbreaking post to write. I feel like my parents ended in the same way--friendly, no big blowouts...and yet the time came when they could no longer be together for various reasons. I hear you when you say it's almost harder this way. It is.

You have a great attitude--the only one you can have, really. Don't be a victim of circumstance, move forward.

I remember years ago when I realized Eriika wouldn't get better, and would most certainly die young. It hit me like a ton of bricks, and I mourned the loss of her future. But then I chose to--had to, really--look forward to future and spend what time I could in a positive way. I learned long ago never to say never. It's a tough lesson to learn.

Sam--I always felt like we were kindred spirits in a way. I hope that the future holds good things for you, and I won't be sad if you decide to chime in on Brooke's blog. I'll miss your funny insight, love of ghetto rap, and your sweet and adoring face at Disneyland. I'll always think of you when I see the Dapper Dons.

Hang in there, girl. You are loved beyond measure.

Lauri said...

Brooke~ You are such an amazing woman, mother, friend and example! You continually amaze me. I have seen you on a couple of those "harder days", yet your strength, values and beliefs NEVER waiver!

I know you know this already, but I LOVE YOU!! You are such an example to me! I admire the relationshiop that you and Sam continue to have...it will definitely be worth it! Especially and most importantly because of your kids. You have soo many who love you and your family and care about you so much! Remember always that we are all here for you!

I admrie the classy way in which you shared this! You are one awesome chick!!

Love you!!!!

D-dawg said...

hi Brooke- I pretty much feel like it's not my place to even comment since we have never met and I'm just a blog reader you know. BUT I feel like I really know you!! And this post made me cry. I am so sorry for all you've been through and are going through. What a nightmare and like you said, something none of us ever expect to have to do. I admire you for just putting it out there. Others will benefit from your honesty. I think it is amazing that you can see the positives already- that you already see growth, miracles, etc. from this trial. Wow. I wish you the best of luck as you go forward. You are a good example to me and I hope you will blog about the good things that are sure to come. Love, Denae

Andrea said...

Brooke,
You are such a wonderful person. I really love you! That is a great post on such a difficult topic. You have truly amazed me through this process.

On a lighter note, I caught a glance at your fabulous wreath on your car the other day at Costco before I realized it was you and thought, "look at that saucy mom! I have got to get me one of those next year." Was not at all surprised that you were the SAUCY MOM with great sun glasses I might add.

You are a classy woman in every aspect of your life.

Corrine said...

Brooke, I'm sorry that you're going through some tough times right now. I really admire your good attitude and taking the high road. I always love to read your blog because you are so real and honest. At the risk of sounding like I'm 65, you're a very classy lady. Good luck in the road ahead. You are such an amazing, strong person- I know you'll be ok!

melissa walker said...

Brooke, I am so sorry to hear your sad news. You are an amazing person and I am grateful to have you as a friend (even if most of it is through the internet) I wish you all the best in 2012!

Laura B. said...

Brooke, you are a classy lady! I'm so amazed by your positive attitude and your faith in the Savior. It makes everything easy to give the burden to him!
Super love ya!

Jill T said...

I love you Brooke! I have been SO impressed with your outlook, your grace, your dignity, your maturity, your testimony, everything about this difficult situation. You have been honest yet classy. You are a great example to everyone. We all love you so much!

Jill said...

This was beautifully written, you sound really good. I'm so happy you get to stay in the house and continue to stay home with the kids, what a huge blessing!!

alexandra said...

Brooke, I don't know what to say. I am sitting here at my computer crying. I feel sick for you and your family. I was passingly worried when I read your blog recommendations a few months ago and saw some of your comments there (blog about love) but thought I was over-reading. You are such a strong person to have the attitude that you do. I think that will make all the difference in your life as you move forward. Your kids are so lucky to have you and I feel so sad for Sam that he won't in that same way anymore.

cjdustin said...

I'm sorry and I wish you and your family the best for the future.

Amy M. said...

Although I already knew this, tears are streaming down my cheeks right now. You are amazing and so strong.
This is so crappy right now, but everything eventually is going to be alright for you and your sweet kids.

Denise said...

I thought I already posted, but now I can't find it.

I'm amazed at your grace and strength. I would see you post so often and wonder how you could keep up with the frequency and lightheartedness of your blog when, surely, you heart must have been heavy. I'm so glad to see that you will be able to stay home with the kids and that you are still friends. One thing I know is that the future will be bright for you. With your beauty, humor, positive attitude and faith in the Savior, how could it not? Jimmy and I are here for you, anytime. (((hugs)))

shelby said...

Brooke, I am so sorry for you and your family! I cant imagine what you might be going through. Hang in there, love and prayers coming your way!

Lisa said...

Brooke, I know I've said this before, but you really amaze me. I can't believe how strong, classy, faithful, smart and just amazing you are. You put down such beautiful words to describe what you are going through. I can't believe this is coming from the same girl who drove us to dance company in high school at 6:30 in the morning with both "paws" in the heating vents while you steered you car with your knee. Ok, I really can believe it's from the same person, I just wanted to put in that story because I think about it every time I have my hands on the vents in my car.
Anyway, I know you are strong and you will get though this. l continue to keep you in my prayers.

Em said...

Man, what a post. Those photos of you and Sam nearly did me in. ...You truly are a class act.

And Sam is a good man, too, allowing you to stay at home with your kids and continuing to be an involved and supportive father to them. It's to be greatly admired that you both are processing this challenge with such dignity.

So...in some Latin American countries there's a colloquialism: "Pa'lante!" It's an optimistic expression of moving forward without fear, toward success. Good things are ahead of you, Brooke, and from this post I know you know it, too. <3

The DeVito's said...

I echo everyone else's sentiments. I know we haven't ever met in real life, but I do feel like I know you. As soon as I read the first sentence I felt sick and my heart was heavy for you. I went through an amicable divorce almost 8 years ago (wow, that was a LONG time ago). I understand your feelings of what to do with the memories.

You are such an incredibly strong, faithful, classy woman. I hope that you find some peace and happiness as you go throughout this time.

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Heidi said...

You are amazing and have always been one of my favorite people, for all the reasons evident in this post!

Leslie said...

I only know you through your blog, so this was unexpected to hear. I am so sorry you have been going through a tough year and a half. When I am in the middle of tough times, I always think, "why do I have to go through something this difficult to learn compassion?" - but then as I'm looking back, I begin to realize why and, as you said, these experiences refine us.
I'm sure this is incredibly difficult for you and your children, but great things are ahead!

Greg said...

Brooke, no one would want to have to go through this process.

I am impressed that despite dealing with such a sensitive, personal topic, your post is so sincere and genuine, and dignified. It's no wonder you have such love and support from your family and friends.

May Heavenly Father continue to bless you and your family.

Amy said...

I second your mom's words. Well done. Well said. I expect nothing less from you. Know that you are and will continue to be in our prayers. Can't wait to see what the future holds for you. And listen, the first time you married for love. I say give money a chance! Just sayin'. Stay strong! Love you

Kristen said...

I was so sad to read this post. I love your positive attitude and how strong you are. Your kids are blessed to have such a wonderful mom.

katie said...

Your kids are lucky to have such a strong mom. You are such a wonderful example to them. We are thinking about you guys constantly.

Elizabeth said...

This post was both beautiful and sad. I am so sorry that this is happening to you and the kids. I KNOW that life is going to be wonderful for you in the future and so happy that you are surrounded by love and support.
Big Love
Ex

LKC said...

Oh, Brooke, I'm so sad and shocked to hear this news. Even though we are only cyber-friends, I think you're great! There are good things in store for you and your kids, I'm sure of it. Thinking of you,
Lindsey

Megan said...

Love you, Brooke.

Cindy said...

I'm so sorry to hear your sad news, but you seem to be such a positive person that I know you will get through this. Best wishes to you and your family.

Raderstorf Family said...

I thought you were kidding, at first. With your sent of humor I never know. People ask me all the time "Do you ever ask why me" and I think you have never asked yourself that. Maybe I am wrong, but it seems like to me you are lost in what goes on with your kids and what happens day to day just happens. That is ok, and needed. I am glad that you get to stay home and in the house and that you have a College Degree that will come in handy later.
I can not say sorry enough, I know that it will not help.

Sarah said...

I don't know you...but I enjoy your blog. I just wanted to post a comment and say I'm sorry. This is understandably very painful and I hope for the best for you and your family.

Toria said...

Brooke! I am in shock and so confused (as I'm sure you are or have been). I am so sorry but man. What the?? Is he crazy? this is really crappy. Good on you for keeping things going, busy and magical for you and your kids. Seriously. You are amazing.
I have no doubt you and your kids are in good hands. I too have been reading the blog about love after your recommendation and I've really enjoyed it. I'm so glad you found it at such an appropriate time.
If you need to vent to someone far removed from your current life or get yourself as far away from Utah for a few days, I think Dubai might fit the bill. Seriously. Open invitation.
Or I need to meet up with you next time I'm stateside or in Utah.
You're in my thoughts and prayers.
xx Toria

Claudia said...

Hi Brooke, I know you don't know me, i am a blog follower. just wanted to say I am sorry to hear the news. I wish you and your family all the best in the new year.

Christie said...

I am so sorry. That has got to be so hard. Way to look at the positive and kudos to Sam for trying to keep your life as-is as much as possible. Please know that you are loved and adored by peeps who have never met you. Hang in there!

3rdteacher said...

A sad day at our house! Hang in there! -Nicki

Lisa Cannon said...

I am in SHOCK! You guys seemed so happy. Mark and I are stunned. I am so sorry.

Linde said...

You did such a great job with this post Brooke. I know it has been hard for you and you have kept going with such a good attitude. Thanks for the great example!

Corrine said...

I hadn't read the other comments when I wrote mine. Glad I'm not the only one who says "classy." We must all be right about you! BTW, if ever you need a little escape I'm in Saratoga Springs, have a slide in the house for toddlers to play on and I ALWAYS HAVE DIET COKE. I'll be stalking- err, checking on you often!

Carolyn said...

Brooke
Always an example to me in so many ways! It breaks my heart to see a great family have struggles. I am here if you need anything!

Jenn J. said...

I'm so sorry to hear about this. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Hang in there.

nic said...

Brooke you are amazing. You have been so strong through this whole thing. I will always look up up to you and your example. What a hard post to write. I love you. Hang in there. I will be here for you if you need me.

Ashley said...

I know this post is not really about me, but I can't believe I wore that outfit to Grandma's funeral, when I was speaking no less! Could I have found anything less flattering?

Kami Galbraith said...

Brooke~ you are such a strong person. sorry your last year has been soo awful! Here's to making 2012 a better year and who knows maybe evensome hot dates:) You kids are soo lucky to have you. Love you!

Jaime said...

Dear Brooke,

I just adore you and Sam so much and know you two will survive this just fine. Being a kid of divorce myself I know without a doubt it was the best decision my parents made. We want the best for both of you and those crazy kiddos. I can't say we saw it coming. Our heart is bursting and we wish we could be closer to you all, but I know you are surrounded with love and support. Should you need to escape to NYC to shop, I would be honored to help you max out a credit card. So much love from us to you!

Madsen Family said...

We love you Sam. We love you Brooke. Two seriously great people.

Alyson said...

As a "blog lurker", I know we haven't met in person...I know (and adore!) Ashley...and through reading your blog, feel like I know you too. Just want you to know that my heart goes out to you, and your faith, class, and moxie are truly inspiring. The hurdles we face in life aren't easy, but refine us and push us to reach our divine potential. You're amazing...thoughts and prayers are coming your way!

GWACK said...

Although I don't know you in real life, I've been reading your blog for a while. I was shocked and sad to see your post yesterday. I'm so sorry that you and your family are going through such a difficult time right now. Just know that you have people all over the country are rooting for you and sending up prayers on your behalf.

Shavanna said...

Brooke, I hav so enjoyed your blog this past couple of years. I am so sorry and sad for you, but you are such an encouragement to me. I have been so sad lately and I'm NOT getting a divorce and I pray God's many blessings upon you and your family.

Natalie said...

I had a dream last night that Howard came to my house to visit and I was trying to figure out a sneaky way to take his picture to send to you! HAHA!
You are such an amazing person, and a great example. You and your family will be truly blessed through this trial, I believe. The future is bright! Love you!!

Quelly said...

Wow, talk about shock-&-awe – I don’t know you but I know your mother and I am not surprised in the least with your strength, class and perspective – (you remind me so much of her.)

Please keep blogging or I will have to resort to stalking you to see how you are doing (which really means I may show up unexpectedly with a Diet Coke)

Raquel

Stephanie said...

Brooke-
I just love you, "You Complete Me." :) Seriously, my life is better because I know you! You are one amazing woman! (Not many people are loved by so many people that they haven't even met!)~There is a reason for that!! You are always YOU,and such a GREAT YOU at that! You keep everything real--which makes it possible for even complete blogging strangers to love you! :)

I'm sorry you're family has to go through this trial. You are such a great example. "Your future is as bright as your faith." I know you will not just be okay, but great! You are a strong woman, stronger than you know!(Take it from everyone here, we KNOW this about you and admire you for it.) :) I'm just glad I can call you my friend!

Hugz, Stephanie

Bill said...

Brooke,

Well put. You are doing so wonderfully well. I look forward to bumping into you on my next errand - seriously, you are everywhere!

Jack's Mama said...

A reader here, it takes so much more courage to end a marriage then to live through one that is not working. I admire your decision. You are great mother and blog writer thanks for providing the connection us blogger readers seek by reading great blogs like yours!

Madsen Family said...

Brooke, We at the Madsen household do love and adore both you and Sam (though I'm not sure I've officially met either of you--but I feel as though I know you both through all the good things the Madsens say about the two of you) and our hearts are breaking for the both of you. I'm sure it wasn't easy to write this post and I'm sure it isn't easy to go through what you've been going through. But to give credit where credit's due, I believe Nate wrote the last comment and somehow inadvertently posted it through our blogger account. So now you know two Madsen families love you! Know that we are thinking of you and that we LOVE your blog and admire your style, your humor, your beauty and your strength. Please keep posting. And maybe someday I'll even get the pleasure of meeting you.
-Jessy

Jaime said...

Brooke... I didn't know how you were going to do this on your blog, but you did a great job. I love you and I wish there was something more I can say. I can say that I really admire you and look up to you. I have for a very long time. Who knew back in the day what life would be like. I am a better person for knowing you Brooke. We missed you last night. I hope you are feeling better.
Jaiem

WHITE said...

We love you and are praying for you Brooke! Hang in there, and if all else fails come to Arizona and lay by the pool with Amy and I, we will drink diet cokes and eat until we are all sick!!!
Love you!!!!

Charlotte said...

I'm so sorry to hear this, and I feel for you.

I must say that this is the most classy post on this topic that I think I've ever read. I'm so impressed with how you expressed yourself and shared this difficult news, all while protecting the privacy and tender feelings of Sam and your children. Many many of us could take a lesson from you, (and I hope we do!)

I hope the coming year brings a plethora of great blessing to you all.

Mac said...

I'm so sorry you are going through this. I saw your comment on Mara and Danny's blog and came over. Hang in there. Looks like you have an amazing support crew and a family who loves you so much.

lindsey said...

I haven't known what to say, but I just want you to know that I feel terrible about this. I think you are amazing and looking back at the posts from this year I am just so impressed that you have done all that you have. I probably wouldn't have even gotten dressed every day, let along continue being such a great mom as you have.

I honestly wish you EVERY good thing in 2012!

Brett said...

Have to admire you taking this head on. Well done and good attitude. Good luck in the second act of your life.