Christmas 1996

Family and Friends,

 Best wishes to ALL!  This has certainly been an interesting year and I can certainly say I haven’t been bored for even a minute -- there has always been plenty to do. Domenic is now 3 3/4 -- he’ll be 4 in February, and growing!  The issue of the divorce between Adrienne and I is still in the Court and I still find myself a “visitor” in my son’s life -- I get to see him from Wednesdays at 2pm, till Thursday at 6pm, and every other weekend.  For those of you who know me well, it is the most difficult thing I have ever had to endure -- to find Dom spending time at daycare and with babysitters, instead of with “daddy.”

For those of you who I called upon to testify during the Trial (I have the unfortunate distinction of not being able to afford an attorney for representation in this whole thing), I want to thank in a very special way! At times the feelings of helplessness I have in a “legal system” bent on separating a father & son are overwhelming. You never know what to say to people (afraid you don’t want to bore them with your troubles).  But I just want you to know that family & friends have given me a lot of strength to continue on with this thing. The smallest thing you may have done, whether it was a short phone call or sending a letter/card means so very much to a man who often comes home to an empty and dark house -- it is not forgotten!

As Christmas approaches I too realize how much I have to be thankful for, certainly friends and family that care!  My mother never ceases to amaze me!  She just turned 80 and is taking this whole thing in stride and I have found in her a very good friend.  I have her bouncing between her house and mine (she loves helping with Domenic), and I’m thankful she is still in good health and good spirits!   And of course, Domenic, many of you remember when infertility problems would have prevented Adrienne and I from having a child (and I am thankful for being a father!).  I am “fortunate” to be working only part time and trying to start my own business (check out our web site -> ).  When he is here, we are together -- and the nice thing is we do the simple stuff together and have a riot, whether is shoveling snow off the driveway, mopping the floor (he uses a squeegee for his “mop”), or cooking (he really knows all the steps to make a pizza, and he loves it with plenty of anchovies -- his grandfather would be proud!).  We work in the garden together, and he helped “make the wine” at Grandma’s house -- he loved tasting the juice (again, his grandfather would be proud!).

I am thankful for a faith that is helping me handle this whole “mess” without loosing myself or my principles ( I am humbled by this experience).  In a “legal system” which rewards exaggeration and attack, it is tough to just stick to the simple truth -- I don’t know how many ‘Our Father’s’ I’ve said in my life but one phrase hits home hard -- “thy will be done.”   As disastrous as divorces are for all concerned, I am thankful to God that Dom has been spared some of the direct turmoil -- it would have been really tough if he was older.  I guess I have been a believer for too long to loose faith know, and with God’s guidance I will try to keep the faith!  Many of you know I go on retreat to a local monastery where they keep sheep and live a rule of silence -- it gives me time to reflect and I want to close with a short reading I discovered while I was there:

Faith is not any conviction at all -- true or false, good, bad, or indifferent. It is a particular kind of conviction and it receives its power from the kind of conviction that it is. Faith is a good & true conviction. It is the conviction that something can and will happen because it is good and because it is true that goodness can and will triumph... The power of faith is the power of goodness & truth, which is the power of God.


© John and Domenic Murtari 2011