Yeah, I know the title was harsh.
You're probably cursing me out from the other side of my Macbook screen.
But in all seriousness, I am happy he's gone.
Not for the typical reasons you may be assuming.
My baby's daddy and I were, for the most part, civil when it came to our kids post breaking off our engagement several years ago.
But I won't lie to you: on one side, I will not pretend like this man didn't give me years of headache, hurt, disrespect, lying, and inconsideration towards me and his family on occasions.
So, yes, I'm happy I don't have to contend with the arguing no more.
Yet on the other side, I will not pretend like this man didn't love his children so, so very much. I will not pretend like his son didn't look up to him or how his little girls didn't fly out of my arms just to be in his.
And yet again, I will not pretend like this man was not suffering immensely in a plasma cell leukemia-ridden body, struggling to breath daily, struggling to move daily, struggling to pick his seven-year-old up and twirl her around like she was still in diapers.
This was a man who gave nine years of service to the Marine Corps. The most physically fit guy I ever knew and dated. When I was pregnant with our first child, he would make me gulp gallons of water to keep our baby healthy. He was a star in track and field in high school and almost became a semi-pro boxer as an adult. He was a model athlete.
In the final weeks of his life, I could tell he hated his body. He would tell our children he'd get them for his weekend custody visits but deep down, I believe he knew his time was very short. He was becoming too feeble to take them, sleeping for entire days, drained of energy.
An athlete, a man who would train for boxing almost daily. A man who would run for miles almost daily. A man who avoided too much smoke and liquor for years was now damn near bed-ridden.
I knew it was bad news when he was placed in comfort care at a local hospital because of a severe nose bleed. Blood spewed out of his nose, mouth, and eyes.
I thought to myself "Man, this is such an effed up way to go!"
And even after the blood loss was contained, I knew his time was very limited.
From there, he went home to palliative care. My kids saw him often, a few times a week. My sweet little ones kept hope alive that he would get better, that he would bounce back like he has for the past 5 years with cancer.
But February 27, 2016, he was done fighting.
And frankly, after giving myself some time to process it all, I realized something.
I wasn't overly sad and sorrow-filled. Yes, I was plenty hurt for my kids, but what I felt was much more uplifting.
I wasn't on this "woe's me" trip, thinking I'm definitely up poop's creek now that I'm a for real for real single mom.
I was happy.
I was happy for him, his kids; just happy.
I was happy he, a robustly healthy 36-year-old no longer had to deal with a body shutting down on him.
I was happy his wife, while still very heartbroken and hurt, can take a breather from the hospitals visits, doctor's offices, and medication refills that seemed to do him little help.
I was happy our nine and seven-year-olds, while still young and trying to process his death, got to know their dad and will forever have him sketched in their heart and minds.
(Sadly, many children of unwed couples don't always have a close relationship with both parents; my kids can say they knew their dad very well...)
I was happy his older children, now teenagers, where able to develop a bond with him in their short lives, too.
I was happy I was able to come together amicably with his other baby mothers and even plan some future events to keep our children close.
I was happy to no longer have to argue with him about custody or child support or some other imbecilic nonsense (and I'm sure he is too!)
I was happy some families were able to come together, putting past annoyances and bitterness aside to honor my kids' father.
I was happy he cared enough for his kids to set them up for financial benefits in the event of his demise.
I was happy he was able to find love again; someone who sacrificed and gave so selflessly of herself to him. I hope to be so fortunate one day soon...
I was happy he was able to see his entire family one last time, weeks before he passed away.
I was happy so many people in my life came together so quickly to support my children deal with this loss.
I was happy that his passing forced me to get more serious than ever about financial responsibilities since I'm now an official single mom. I even started a blog about it, A Rich Single Mom, where I explore many financial topics catering to solo moms.
Certainly, I did not look forward to hearing the news of his passing even though I knew the day was on the horizon. I did not enjoy watching his once perfectly healthy body being reduced to constant pain, bruises, and blood loss.
I do not look forward to his children, friends, and family having bouts of sadness for years to come. But I'm grateful for the time he did spend on this earth and the imprints he left on those most important to him.
So, even though it took me some time to truly admit, in many ways, I'm happy he's gone.
About the author: Monica enjoys writing about parenting and the single life. From finance to math homework, she loves exploring the complexities of solo child rearing. Find out more about her at A Rich Single Mom.