last August i shared a secret part of my struggle when i wrote a post called “there are days“. it has been read over 250,000 times, pinned on Pinterest more than 360,000 times and each week i receive a comment or a sweet, gentle note confirming that i wrote my post to give words to their hurt & struggle…
… it is a process.
a long, exhausting, excruciating and annoying process to let go of the days. the words below are hard to share because of my undying devotion to my two children that have been caught in the middle of a man made storm that doesn’t seem to expire… but as i process and share, i hope that those reading will also find words & healing to their story; the one that God authors.
i wrote the following in that post:
some days are harsh. they are reminders of days past that strike a chord. they are dark, deep pits of unfriendly brokenness. difficult, choking reminders of decisions, actions, abusive words and changes that altered the life course.
my head pounds, my belly seeks no sustenance, my mind closes in on the date and i overlook the moment.
these days are fleeting. being replaced by joy, wholeness, contentment, miracles, stories of truth & memories that smile.
i look ahead.
with social media still heavily littered with mom’s and children thanking their dads for being “THE BEST DAD EVER”… i grieve… for my children. because they can’t proclaim this.
it was not their choice. it was not their fault. it was not their doing… and yet they are the ones that will suffer the most.
after promising my two sweet children that he would move to NY to be close to them upon retirement, he changed his mind. he elected a premature retirement in August. he has chosen the “love of his life” and his “dream college” and 3,000 miles and too many excuses to count. he broke a promise. certainly not his first. he abandoned his responsibility. he chose a life without his children while helping his “love” to raise her daughter.
& yet my children are suffering. they affirm their opinions regularly and with great emphasis that even IF he changed his mind, he lied. that if he moved near us, they would require we move to be far away. he offered no explanation. no opportunity for them to ask their questions and find peace in his decision.
my grieving stops at the point where he ends and our life begins. nearly 3 years ago.
it is best.
during the barely present few years of their lives his impact was light. his time spent building a relationship with them was merely nonexistent. his desire to participate in parenting and raising children together and doing life together… never began.
& as thankful as i am that he had such little impact on their delicate lives… i grieve at the loss of a daddy to raise them daily alongside me. for a daddy to die to self for his wife & his children. to choose us over everything. to do anything necessary to warm up with a soccer ball before a game, watch with pride at their great education achievements, milestone graduation ceremonies, attend field trips, protect them from the monsters under their beds, fly them like spiraling helicopters through the house, nerf gun wars instead of folding laundry, celebrate a lost tooth or take the dogs for a countryside walk with earth science lessons along the way.
i have a daddy that received all of their “happy papa’s day” gifts for the third year in a row. he is monumental. he is serious about the role he plays to fill in the severe empty gaps left behind in their small chests. he loves endlessly. tirelessly. with eagerness & joy & light. he’s the best daddy there is.
i think my daddy deserves the title “BEST DAD EVER”.
hope is not lost. i have faith that God will continue to provide us with all our needs… and if God is grooming that man right now to be what i need and the children need, we will embrace him and love him all our days… or maybe he’s preparing us to be a family of 3 that spend our days honoring Jesus with thanksgivings and the community steps up and fills in those gaps alongside my daddy.
for now, i will go read that old post and remind myself that these days shall pass too.