Sunday, October 25, 2015

the change jar


How do you let go of hurt and anger toward someone who has so completely misused your child? 
     Every day it’s like my daughter comes home with another handful of coins in her pocket, it is the change made up of the remainders of hurt, anger, and unresolvedness that she’s picked up throughout the day.  She carries it around and takes it all on herself.  She has not lashed out, been vengeful, or vindictive, but just carries the weight of each new burden until she can come home.  And then I listen, pray, and cry - picking up the handfuls as she lays them down.  
But, each day she picks up more, and my pockets are getting full. 
This is a different knot in my stomach than the grief we’ve all shared.  Though that grief is deeper, it is a shared grief.  It is a sadness that we all participate in and help each other through.  This is my daughter’s grief alone and I am helpless on the sidelines with nothing comforting to share except that dreaded word, “time”.  I do not wish to give this person power over me any longer by dwelling on unanswered questions and unresolved anger. So, while I will continue to hold my daughter’s hand, to buy more tissues, and to patiently wait for her to be ready to heal, I am also going to speak my piece on this blog, I'm going to empty my pockets. Because this is my space and I owe no apologies. 

An Open Letter to that boy
          Tucked away in a corner of my basement amongst boxes of unused picture frames and toys long since outgrown sits a box of Christmas lights.  When we bought the lights last year, I was apprehensive.  You reassured me that you would help hang them along the outside of my house and take them down when the season was over.  You promised that you would come back for as many holidays to hang them up again.
          The lights won’t get hung this year.  They will stay in the box, untouched, just another broken promise. 
            Not too long ago I spent the morning at the seamstresses while Sarah had her last fitting on the wedding dress she picked out.  When you unapologetically walked away from the wedding, the dress had already been purchased and cuts had been made to the fabric in order to alter it into her dream dress. The only way to complete the project was to have the bride-not-to-be try on the dress since it was being designed to perfectly contour her shape.  She had to stand, still and stuck, in that dress, in a room full of mirrors while adjustments were made.  So, while you have moved on with a brand new Facebook that completely erases any sort of involvement you had with our family and you have gone on to a new relationship (when you swore up and down that there was no one else. It’s a small town, voices carry), things have not been so easy for Sarah.
        With the recent announcement of your brothers’ engagement, your family gets to plan and prepare for a different wedding. It's almost as though these last two years didn't have to exist for you. 
But, for Sarah, it's not so easy.
          There was a registry at a department store that she forgot the two of you created which sent her a reminder saying a while back saying, "your wedding is one month away, time to update your registry" or there were the decorations for the tables that arrived a couple days after you disappeared without explanation, just more souvenirs of your disregard. These are just moments of the called-off wedding, but the hurt and anger that lingers is strengthened with each different reminder.  It tosses her back into the inexplicable loss making it nearly impossible for her to go forward. It hasn't been easy.   Not easy at all.  
           I saw you the other day, your truck followed me to a grocery store parking lot, you didn’t recognize the different car I’m driving now and so, you did not see me.  It was the Monday after the wedding date came and went, and I was so angry at you in that moment.  Angry that you’re still in this town and that you looked just fine.  I suppose you’re allowed to go on, your reasons your own.  I suppose you’re allowed to shop and drive and exist. To date and to have a life.  To present yourself as healthy, whole, and a democrat. I suppose you can just think yourself blameless (even though Sarah is not the first you’ve abandoned like this.  She’s, sadly, not even the second).  I suppose.  I just needed you to know – it hasn’t been as easy for Sarah.  Not easy at all. 
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