(Continuation of I Have A Compartment For That)
“In the planning stage of a book, don’t plan the ending.” -Rose Tremain
There was never suppose to be a sequel; but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. As the quote above states, don’t plan the ending, even for a day. Over the years people have commented on my perceived strength. They don’t realize that strength is all I have left.
This won’t be the post to dog out my daughter’s father. This won’t become my wrath fueled monologue. This will be my call to any parent who has been left alone to pick up the broken pieces. You are not alone.
He was here twenty-one hours before the siren song called him home. After two years and four months away from his only child, he once again chose himself. While our child sat in the backseat he announced that the life he had been building the last few years was more important. While driving I began to build another compartment within my honeycomb to hide this moment from myself.
As he exited the car to make the self serving phone call home, I turned to my daughter. Tears welled within her little face. She asked me because surely she had misunderstood, surely he didn’t have to leave. I clasped my hand around hers, breaking the swell on my own rising tears.
“We will go inside, we will play games and we will have fun. We will deal with it as we go.”
We, my daughter and I, as it has been for nine years.
I kept my promise as we racked up arcade tokens. I discovered that my child was a spinning corn-hole master. I became the calming air that she so desperately needed, that I so desperately wanted to be. He popped in for a game of bumper cars.
The hour long car ride back was excruciating silence filled only with broken chatter between a mother and daughter. I strained my arm behind the seat until I found her anxiety riddled, sweaty hand, and held it tight.
Twenty-three hours and he was gone.
My sweatshirt, stained with tears, I held her for an hour. My baby, my priority, my home. Her tenderhearted nature matched only with her curiosity, kept whispering, “I hope he’s ok.”
I once again took my child’s small hands in mine.
“I want you to remember walking through the Christmas lights. And, I want you to remember him eating lunch at school with your class. Remember the bumper cars.”
Do not let your children fear they will become the parts of the parent that you hate. Let them love, and we shall pick up the pieces.