Just one. Just one to start.
The past few days, I have been revisiting memories. This time a year ago, things were so rocky and unstable. I was still fighting the fight for my children to have a decent, loving father in their lives. I was still attempting to rebuild trust.
I know that God calls us not to dwell on the past, but, as I am human as all of you, from time to time, it sneaks back up on me. Knowing that we aren't supposed to be focusing our emotions and effort on the things we can't change, I make a conscious effort to stop and turn to God and pray when these times arise, but sometimes I don't even notice I'm doing it right away.
That said, the past few days have been emotionally taxing. I have spent quite a few moments confiding in a few friends and praying, and reminding myself just how much better my life really is this year. I keep telling myself that it is better to have stability in my children's lives than to have their father sneaking in and out, unreliable, inconsistent, and sneaking his boyfriend around them and sneaking the children around his boyfriend's family.
But almost every year around this time, for many years anyway, I have had a break. I have had a few hours to a couple days where I was child free, carefree, and spending time with a friend I see roughly once a year now that we are done with college.
This year is different, because their dad isn't around. While I am delighted and excited that our yearly visit is coming up, it brings the trauma back into my mind, remembering how it felt to find out what was happening while my children were away, and the repercussions that followed leading up to their dad being completely absent from their lives in pretty much every way nowadays.
But one day... hopefully... at least one day... someday...
He won't cross my mind at all. Not once. Not in a single memory. Not in any shape or form. Not a happy memory. Not a sad memory. Nothing. Just one day of peace.
I pray that, anyway.
I know that I will always be bound to him in some regard, because together we created three wonderful children. I see him in their appearances and their personalities and temperaments sometimes. And I miss him. Or I miss parts of him, the idea of the him I thought I knew, and what it was like to have someone around keeping me company in this crazy world of toddlers and preschoolers.
Even the happy memories make my heart ache just like the less happy memories. They leave me aching for myself and for my children.
One day, I hope that ache doesn't arise even for a second.
I don't want to forget him. I don't want to really forget the trauma that lead us to where we are, because it's a part of our testimonies and God has done miraculous and glorious things.
But, just one day, I would like a break.
Just one day.