Saying Goodbye

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SELF REFLECTION

DAY 21

For those of you who don’t know, I have joint custody of my oldest daughter, Josie. She lives in Maryland with her father, step mother, and new little brother. I live in Rhode Island with my husband and three other daughters. Please read the entire story here. We have just returned home after spending eight days with her, and it has been quite an emotional roller coaster for me. Our visit was wonderful yet bittersweet. The time we were able to share with Josie went by entirely too fast, as it always does. I am still recovering from having to say goodbye.

My heart is hurting. There is no other way to put it. Saying goodbye to Josie after the summer and after each holiday is always hard. However, saying goodbye after our 8 days together was even harder. We had an amazing time, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the word, but this visit for me was one of the most difficult we have ever shared. I have this sinking feeling that from here on out my visits with her are going to get more difficult for me. I say for “me” because Josie is well adjusted. She is happy, she does great in school, and she has many friends. As she gets older, she seems more and more unphased by our custody arrangement. Joint-custody is all that she has ever known. I have had so many doubts about our situation over the years. So many times I have questioned my decisions, and so many nights I have cried myself to sleep. I feel beyond blessed to be able to say that even though her living situation has not been normal, Josie IS a normal child, and she is happy. I am happy that she is happy, but my heart is still breaking.

My daughter is growing up. She is no longer the four year old little girl that she was when we first had to move. I can not believe she is ten years old. I feel like all I did was blink and six years went by. For those 8 days that we were in Maryland, I was able to be active in a NEW part of Josie’s life, a part that I usually don’t get to experience because I only have her summers and holidays. Our visit was a brutal reminder of all the moments I have missed out on. The little things are the things that hurt the most. Things other parents probably take for granted. Taking her to and from school everyday. Getting up with her in the mornings. Brushing and braiding her hair. Making sure she is completely ready for her school day. Helping her with her homework everyday after school. (except math, “common core” and I are not friends) I was able to meet her friends from school, and let me say, I am so happy with the kind of ladies she has chosen to surround herself with.

On Friday, she was in the talent show. She preformed a dance with two of her friends. I was able to take her shopping to pick out her dance outfit, and I got the pleasure of doing her hair and  getting her ready for the show. You have no idea how much all of this meant to me. Not only being there to support her, but also taking part in preparing her for it. I was an emotional wreck sitting in the audience, but I never let it show. Honestly, I was a wreck before we even left the house. I was so nervous, the talent show was the first school event that I have ever gotten to attend. It was the very first time many parents and teachers got to see “Josies’ mom.” I was so worried of what they would think, and I was scared they would judge me. I spent all day trying to find the perfect thing to wear. Looking back now, getting as worked up as I did seems a little silly. I just wanted to be the best me I could be that night, for her. Does any of this make sense? Please believe me when I say, I was the proudest parent in th crowd that evening. My eyes filled with tears many times, but I did not let them fall. I never wanted that moment to end. I wish I could have stayed there in that moment a little longer, and I wish our week with Josie had gone by a little bit slower. Do you know how much it hurts to have a taste of this wonderful part of her life, then have to walk away? For one week I was finally the mother to her that I have been longing to be. I feel empty now, but I am trying to stay strong because I have to. I don’t have a choice.

 

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27 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye

  1. That is heartbreaking. I can’t imagine how you must feel. I’m so happy for you that you have such wonderful moments to look back on and can cherish those little things many of us take for granted. I can’t wait for summer to get here for you so you can see her for more than 8 days. *hugs*

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel for you, this is heartbreaking. But take heart in knowing that you are the best kind of mother there is – you put your child first & she is a well adjusted, happy girl because she knows how loved she is. Hugs to you.

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  3. In a way, you were able to stop time for those eight days. To recognize and savor and cherish each of the every-day-moments that are easy to miss or even get annoyed by. It may seem strange, but in a way, that is a gift. It is obvious you love your Josie beyond imagination, and the sacrifice you’ve made personally is HUGE. I’m sorry you are sad right now…and completely understand…but know how very special this summer will be. HUGS to you, sweet and dedicated mom.

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  4. You’re a great mom. Even though you only got a little bit of time with her you savored it, and I think that’s so important to do. Kids are awesome. Keep on doing what you can and take care of yourself.

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  5. This was beautiful, I completely understand I had joint custody with my son for a few years. I hated it and now situations have changed and he lives with me full time. I only have to share him with grandparents. When he lived with his Dad I felt like I missed so many little things as well. I completely hated goodbyes as well. Stay strong.

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  6. Oh man, this hits me right in the feels. My significant other lives 9000+ miles away, he often tells me he feels like he is missing out on our lives.

    Hopefully one day I can finally have him here to stay.

    Stay strong momma.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have nothing but admiration for you. I can’t imagine for one second being in your shoes. I’m in such a different situation. I wish my soon to be ex could for just 5 minutes think and reflect about the best interest of the children. I’m glad you live closer and can see her more often. Hang in there Momma. You have a beautiful story.

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