Monday, November 15, 2010

(I) Care Packages.

I have pictures, from the weekend where my whole life fell apart. I have snapshots of moments forever caught in time, smiles, looks, pure joy and happiness, sunshine. I have pictures, as a proud proud stepmother, I have pictures, as a proud, proud wife. I have these pictures, of a family, that I vaguely yet intensely recall.

Christmas, year two. Will it always be like this? Does the grief somehow end or slowly fades away to when you stop counting everything as before, or after?

I asked permission today, if I could send a card, a gift in the mail.

But tell me, how do you put so much love and so many hopes and wishes and dreams into a card? How do you find the gift that simply just says I love you.

You are, and will always be, my first child. Not from my flesh, not from my womb, but from my heart. Somewhere, where love grew, you were born.

I remind myself that you are matured beyond your years. You get it, even if you don't quite know the words, or have the specific conscience to figure it all out, you know. You are beautiful, but more than that, you are smart. And you know how this game works, the rules, the complicated twists and turns, the complexity of needing a father and forgetting the hurts.

"I knew it, I knew it!" you said.

and in that one sentence, I was relieved but my whole heart shattered and broke and crumbled.

All the things, all the prayers, all the wishes and dreams of all the things that I hope you would never had to experience, all the things I wanted to fiercely protect you from.

In five years and even when it ended, I did everything the best way I knew how to, the best way I understood it to be.

My biggest fear, is that if you ever question if I loved you at all.

I chose, to step away. I chose, to let him have his say. I chose, to let him tear me apart, poison you with lies, remove every ounce of me in your life, and forbid you to say my name. I chose, because I didn't want you to have to choose.

I wanted to protect you, I wanted to shield you from all the nasty, from all the heartache, from all the yucky that we had become.

I let you think and believe all the things that your father told you, and yet it blows my mind that you knew.

And that is why my heart broke.

Because this, this wasn't just my story. This is the story of his life, his life that is completely intertwined with yours. I am not the first stepmom, nor the last.

You deserve, so much better, and so much more.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.

We are all moving on in separate directions, carving out our futures of happily ever after. I wish nothing but the best for you, I wish you all the sunshine and happiness and rainbows.

Do I get moments where I desperately crave for just one more day, just one more hour, one more chance before our whole lives changed...just so I could sit you down and tell you just exactly how much you meant to me and how loved and wanted you are.

My fear, my biggest scares-me-out-of-my mind fear, is the thought of you ever questioning that. The thought of you questioning if I care, or if I loved you, or if you meant enough to me.

So that is why, I slap my thick skin on and ask your mom if it's okay, I put up with his harassing calls, and I send you a card. On your birthday and Christmas.

A card that says all the things I cannot. A care package, that has so much love in it, and a care package that I hope tells you just how incredibly much you are loved.

And the other days, I walk away. I let go, I let life take over and pray she loves you more than I do, I pray this lasts forever, I pray you don't get lost in the shuffle.

I had to grieve this loss, among all the other losses, in order to move on. In order to get to a better place, a happy place. I had to come to terms that I would never know, and that I would never have just that five more minutes. There was no more looking back, only forward.

So once in a while, a random memory pops up, and a little part of my heart smiles and hurts all in the same breath.

Or I accidentally catch a glance at an old album of us.

And sometimes, I take the time to flip through it, let a random tear and laugh escape or two, wish you well, be so stinking proud of you, but always, I have to close the chapter. I have to let go. I have to move on.

I love you M, hope you're so so good.

I miss you so incredibly much.

This picture and the ear-to-ear grin of you opening this year's birthday care package? So completely worth it.

"Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies."

- Mother Teresa