Monday, December 14, 2009

“Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.”~ Dr. Seuss

Saying goodbye is never easy. This weekend I had a goodbye that will remain with me for the rest of my life. I saw Princess Belldisa for the last time. It was heartbreaking but the anxiety and uncertainty leading up to it was worse. I really just wanted it to be over with. CL told her on Friday while I was out that I am moving out soon. Saturday I got home around 2:30. CL was napping (hiding) and PB was in her room playing. I went in to chat with her and catch up. We went over how school was going, how her mom and sissy are doing and her sister’s new boyfriend as well as her own current love. She wanted to read me her letter to Santa she had written that morning. Basically she wanted a phone, TV and toys. It was really the last 2 lines that got me. “I am very, very, very sad that Toni is moving out soon. Please help me”. I told her I was sad too and changed the subject as I was about to lose it.
She started to play with her stuffed dogs, reminding me that I had a black and white stuffed animal that looks like Bo that I was going to give her. I went to get it and presented her with it. She said, “I will call him Bo-Bo and it will help me to remember the real Bo”. That was my 2nd borderline breakdown. We played with the dogs and just hung out for a while. Then she asked if she was going to see her grandma this coming weekend. I said yes, she was. And she said, “Just me and daddy?” I told her yes again and then she asked, “So will I have Christmas with you this year before or after?” Last year we broke up the first week of December and CL never even told PB. He was “sick” (depressed) on the couch for the few days he had her so she really didn’t have Christmas. She still talks about it to this day, “remember daddy; last year on Christmas when you were sick?” She didn’t know why I wasn’t there and it was never explained to her. I can’t let that happen again. These are the things that scar children for life. I told her I didn’t know about Christmas yet for now. I think that is a conversation to be had with my therapist before I go any further with PB.
CL got up from his nap and told her to put her coat on and get ready to go to her aunt and uncle’s house for the night. We went downstairs and she checked her book bag for homework and determined that since she didn’t have any she would get her book bag on Sunday when she came back. Well, CL didn’t tell her she wasn’t coming back on Sunday so he told her to get her bag then she said she didn’t need it and he snapped off at her. I hate it when he is sad, frustrated or pissed off and takes it out on her. I know most parents do it at some point but I remember how it felt as a kid and I hate seeing her little face feel that same pain. I hugged and kissed her and told her that I loved her. CL told her to get in the car (he couldn’t handle witnessing our goodbye) and I was crying before I turned around. She didn’t see and neither did he. My sister texted me at that moment asking how things were going and I called her to absolutely fall apart.
I don’t KNOW that was the last time I will see her. I wanted to tell her she could call me anytime but the truth is if she calls from CL’s phone, chances are I won’t answer. Plus, is it harder on her for me to stick around or easier to forget if I just go away? I don’t think CL explained that not only am I moving out but I won’t be around anymore. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that Bo and I will be gone when she gets back from Indiana next weekend. She won’t come back to the house before going home and the next time she sees CL they will be going to South Carolina to see his dad for Christmas. It could very well be into the New Year before she realizes we are not there anymore. I want to offer to keep in touch, perhaps via her mom; if that is something she wants to do. If not, I have to let her go.
I am grateful for the experience of having known her. She is like my little mini-me when it comes to how she dresses and even acts sometimes. Even Saturday she was wearing an outfit that made me proud. She repeats things I have taught her and she admires all that I do. She looked up to me in a way that I don’t think I understood that anyone could. She loved me for who I was, not just to her but to her dad too. She made me want to be a better person just for the influence it would have on her. I think my relationship with her and my allowing myself that capacity to love may have been one of the main lessons of my relationship with CL. I will always think of PB with love, appreciation and many wonderful hopes for her. I don’t know what the future has in store for us or our relationship but I will always smile when I think of her love, light and laughter in my life.

1 comment:

  1. I love your title for this blog. I read this earlier at work and was brought to tears. I don't think any of this will make sense to her, and as she grows and learns about her dad's illness, maybe some things will be clearer for her. I'm sorry you have to go through this. Sending loving thoughts your way!