To Nicole who publicly reads my Facebook posts without being my friend,

I want you to know that over the past few weeks,

I have been slowly falling in love with your brother.

Watching him as he handles this difficult time

On his own

As I Am

Watching him unselfishly make choices in my benefit and in our children’s benefit

Watching him willing to take a good long look at himself

And make changes if that is what needs to be done

Watching him find the man he really is

Underneath all that protective muck he built up around himself

And yesterday as I went to the same courtroom where I was

Three years earlier taking my ex-husband back to court

Eerily reliving this opportunity Life is giving me to

Learn a little bit More and Live a little better

My lawyer mentioned our monthly budget and the

Financial papers that I had filled out …

And of course, being that right now, there is not a way of

Making that budget,

Your brother’s voice cracked a bit, as he said,

‘Karen, look I know this has been hard on you,

But I have been under a lot of stress as well ..

Don’t you see ..’

And my lawyer interrupted him and said,

“Yes, both of you are going through

Some very rough times, and

I would suggest

That you Not Compare Cuts.

I would suggest

That instead you be

Extra Gentle with each other

Especially in the midst of

Everything going on.’

Extra Gentle.

I like that.

And maybe, just maybe if we had grown up

Surrounded by that advice

We would not have found ourselves in this mess right now.

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;

If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

By Rudyard Kipling