Sunday, September 05, 2010
For the longest little while I have been wanting to put down in words what I've been feeling. The problem is, what I've been feeling just keeps changing. As well it should, but that makes writing about it difficult. I'll not promise you anything, but this is today's best effort.
I wish I wasn't writing about things that grieve me so often. It makes it seem as though I am nothing but a griever, which is not true. But I think if I am honest I will say to you that since our divorce there has been an undertone of sadness that simply doesn't go away. Whether it should or shouldn't have gone this way isn't the point. The point is, it did. You don't grow up believing that someday you'll walk through your days with a thick scar in the middle of your heart. Sometimes it seems as though every emotion that escapes my heart rubs up against that scar just to remind me that even the most thorough healing leaves a scar.
When my daughter was eleven years old I told her that her mom and I were getting divorced. When the moving truck drove away from the house we once called home I sat in my pitch black garage and cried. I have no idea for how long. I knew there would be no more day-to-day daddying of my babies. Essentially, I was walking my girl down the aisle and into the arms of the world. Playing catch with my boys would be a scheduled event--if we could fit it in--instead of part of normalcy. Life just wouldn't be the same again. It was the beginning of the chapter of leaving.
At sixteen my daughter drove away from the place I now call home in her little blue Honda--affectionately named "the little blue tennis shoe". Once again there was a familiar sense growing inside of me that felt like that day of darkness in my old garage. Sometimes familiar is a nasty word. This was one of those times. As segmented as our time had become, I knew it was about to become even more so. I stood in the road and waved until I couldn't see the little blue tennis shoe anymore and while I didn't feel as though she was quite as stolen this time, I did feel angry at Time for only moving swiftly when it involved togetherness.
Two short years later she and her mom loaded up the mom-mobile with everything a girl could possibly need to live in a dorm three hundred miles away. Now there was more than an imagined distance between us. Together time would be rationed down to a day or two during the year, plus a few when she came home for Christmas. Rationing and segmenting were not words I had ever dreamed about. No, they were words selected and added by others to this chapter I never asked to be written. I was growing. She was growing. Together, we were growing...apart.
When she graduated a year ago in May, I was delighted to have some time to get to know her all over again and, who knows, maybe even grow close again. She moved back 'home' to live with her mom (and step dad) and brothers. I can't say as I blame her...the rent was free. The problem that posed however, was that once again I would have to 'invade her mom's space' just to be together in a somewhat normal setting. Either that, or she would have to come to my house, which she hadn't done regularly since getting her license to drive. When you're the spare parent you never stop wondering how it happened. The together time was sparse and sporadic. Oh, we had some wonderful, fun times for sure, but to say we gained a lot of ground would simply not be the truth.
Two weeks ago my baby girl drove away sitting next to her fiance on their way to live in Texas. The grieving of which I wrote earlier has reached new heights (perhaps depths is more accurate). I know that my grieving is mostly selfish, but some of it is not. Some of it is for my daughter's broken life. No matter how hard I try I can't help but feel something trying to tear open that wound on my heart. It's the end of the chapter of leaving.