I am ashamed to even admit that. Because it’s like admitting failure. I take pride in keeping a cheerful face, despite all odds. I can find the good in almost anything, maintain a cheerful attitude. I am a fighter.
But, the last few days, I feel like I am losing.
She’s so sad.
At first, I chalked it up to his departure. Really, it was so sudden. We had little more than a month to prepare, so no time at all. I had no support system set up, no “plan of action.” I didn’t have enough time to to work through my emotions, through the sadness, then anger, then self-doubt, to finally confidence. There’s a cycle to it all. This life is always a cycle. Instead, I never got through the sadness and anger before he left.
Now, I’m feeling the self-doubt.
We took him to the airport that day, he was blasting the AC in the van the whole way. Those uniforms get hot. The van was quiet. There was nothing more to say. We parked, walked inside, and said good-bye.
And she wept. Harder than I’ve seen her weep. In one moment, all four of us girls were in each other’s arms, sobbing. The travelers looked on, saw him walking away, and drew the obvious conclusions. It was horrible.
We went home, and she hasn’t been the same since. She started to improve. There was one week, when finally everyone seemed to be finding their groove. We were happy, despite it all. We were laughing, playing, making beautiful memories. I finally started to feel that peace of being in control. We were getting there-close to “making it.” We were almost to thriving instead of merely surviving.
And then something happened. I don’t know what. But, the floor fell out from underneath her.
And she withdrew into herself. Stopped laughing and smiling. She hadn’t slept at night since Daddy left, but then she started waking even more. I noticed it. I worried, because the following week would surely kill her.
Her best friend left. The truck showed up, and she screamed. Over three days, the movers packed their house. Then, that horrible good-bye. In one quick second, I saw it. The light went out behind her eyes. She looked at the ground and hasn’t looked up again. The little friend’s departure clinched it.
Now, she won’t eat. She won’t talk. We went to the splashpad, her favorite spot, and she sat next to me staring at the ground. Finally, she begged me quietly to take her home. “Mommy, please. Take me home. I need to go home, Mommy.” I told her it would be fine, that we had to make new friends. She closed her mouth, and stared back at the ground. Today, on our way to hourly care, she stared out the window, while silent tears fell down her face. She walked in, staring at the ground. They said she was quiet all morning, just sat there. I’ve never seen her this bad, never seen anyone quite this bad.
I’m a mother. I am supposed to have all of the answers. I don’t know what to do about this. I have no clue where to start. I have tried everything in my power to fix this. Different attitude perspectives, staying ridiculously positive. Acknowledging Daddy’s absence, not mentioning him for days. Distracting them when they cry for him, or taking them into my arms and holding them.
She misses Daddy. Plain and simple.
Please, when you ask me how long he’s gone this time, don’t say, “Oh! Well at least it’s only four months.” Please. Because to you, it’s a quick four months. To me, it’s four excruciatingly long months. To her, it’s a lifetime. Most people don’t understand it. But most of those people aren’t four years old.
Her innocent world has fallen apart. And nothing can be done to put it back together until he’s home.
Watching her suffer to this degree hurts my heart more than words can say. So many tears have fallen when no one is looking. My prayers call out to Him when no one hears.
Most of the time, I can fight it. The demons. I can win. God helps me win. I can maintain a positive attitude when all the odds seem against me. Against us. But, right now, I am trying not to drown. My face lies. My heart is aching.
Dear reader, if you see this tonight, will you pray for my darling girl? Will you pray for strength for her heart? Will you pray for this Mommy who has no clue what she’s doing. Has no clue how to help my tiny baby’s aching heart?
And, if you are family or friend, feel free to stop by, to come stay for a few days. Come, shower her with love. I am not enough for her right now.