Saturday, July 2, 2016

I think...

I think about that last day, a year go.  The sky was cloudy. The wind was blowing. You were in yellow.  The kids were anxiously excited. They hadn't seen you in many days. Their laughter rose over the rustling leaves as they squealed your name and ran to you, jumping into your arms.

You followed them around, playing occasionally on the park equipment.

 After 40 minutes or so, you asked briefly about your daughter's hospitalization the week before. After another twenty minutes, you declared you had stuff to do and had to leave. 

The laughter subsided and smiles faded. The kids all protested as we walked them to the van. You helped buckle them into their seat belts after giving them a hug. You told them you loved them, and you would see them soon. You promised to call your oldest son the next day, and planned to see them after the holiday weekend. 

I closed the van doors. They cried. They didn't want you to go. They missed you so deeply already. My heart ached for them as you drove away.

They never heard from you again.

I have been thinking about that day, the last times, frequently throughout this past week. I think of their joy and subsequent sadness. I think of your lies and broken promises. I wonder how much truth was in your salutations and hugs. 

I think about the days that followed. I think about how our son waited around for you to call. I think about how he asked me over and over to call you, and call you again, and you wouldn't answer. I think about the fury burning in my heart as you silenced the last calls and I told him daddy didn't want to talk today. I think about the next two days before you text me the last time. I think about how I asked you why you didn't call or answer and your response was an illegitimate non-answer, and when I pointed that out, you never corresponded with me again. 

I think about how I tried so very hard for the next few days, and weeks, and months to get answers. I tried to find meaning. I longed for even a stupid excuse. I tried to help your children find you and tried to foster a relationship between you and them.  

I think about all of the "I don't see daddy anywheres" I heard, or the "I miss my daddy" cries, or the "where'd daddy go" questions. I think about how I had to explain to our daughter who the man in the pictures was and how he had no idea what I was talking about, and decided to just call you Jake instead.

I think about all the cries at night. I think about all the prayers that we have said for you.  I think about the hours of therapy our sons have undergone trying to make sense of your absence.  I think about all the anger and sadness and frustration that they have and how they take it out on me, because I'm the constant in their lives, I'm their safe zone.

I think about how they used to say you were lost or missing, and how in the last week and a half, our oldest has realized that you're not just lost.  He has told me that his daddy ran away.  He knows it was a choice.

I think about how much I have struggled knowing you chose to leave.  I used to sit and doubt myself, my sanity, my mothering, my friendship, my love.  I used to think how much easier it would have been if your disappearance hadn't been a choice that you made, but just a circumstance of life or some other means, because a choice feels like abandonment, like being tossed into a dumpster, then crumpled and burned before buried in a landfill.  I think about how I am an adult and I can hardly wrap my mind or heart around it, and how our children are too young to comprehend as well as I do, knowing full well even I don't really comprehend.  It slays my heart to know they're going to question themselves and doubt and wonder why they weren't good enough for you to stay  or to even send a birthday card.  I pray that a miracle will prevent it, but mentally brace myself for what feels like the inevitable.

I think about how much I loved you, how I still house some love for you, and how badly I wish I could run you over with a piece of farm machinery, knowing full well that is completely an unGodly thought, and knowing it wouldn't really solve anything anyway.

I think about how I want to see your face.  I think about how I want to get answers.  I think about how your answers would probably be non-answers anyway, or lies that I would have to try to decode again, and how I know that maybe it's better that I can't ask you questions because the agony of trying to trust your answers would wring my heart dry.

I think about how I want to forgive you, and how often I feel like I have forgiven you, and other times I realize there's more I haven't dealt with that I need to deal with in order to forgive each piece.

I think about how people I know run into you, and tell me they run into you, and how you act like nothing is out of the ordinary and everything is normal.  I think about how not once in a year have we ran into you.   I think about how you were literally blocks away from our children last night and had absolutely no idea.  I think about what would have happened if you knew that or even cared about it enough to see them again.

I think about how much I wish you could see them now, but how much I do not want them to see you.

I think about all the lies you've spread about me. I think about your boyfriend and how he claims you tell him I'm a great woman, and our kids are amazing, and I think about how he was so excited to spend time with your children.  I think about people telling me you're both good guys, but how I know that can't be true if you can abandon and he can support it.  I think about the lies that have been told about me or are told about me, and the lies others believe about the situation.  I think about the webs you're still weaving and the messes you're still making.

I think about all the effort I spent trying to find you to divorce you, and all the effort I still have to spend in order to either find you again so that the state can force you to pay all the support you owe, or how I have to work my butt off to make ends meet all on my own indefinitely.

I think about all the ways, the words, the time you spent trying and often making me believe this all my fault, like I had this intense power I had no idea about while I felt crippled by weakness.

I think about how you walking away and shattering our lives and pulverizing my heart brought me closer to God, and how God brought such dear friends and supports into my life that I had never imagine I would find.  I think about all of these people who care so much for and love us all so much when for months I thought we must be completely unlovable.  I think about how your absense has given me freedom to gain mental clarity and personal strength and control.

I think about all that you've taken away, but I think about all that we have gained.

I think a lot.

I still think about you. 

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