Well, we made it home safe and sound. We pulled in the driveway a little before 7PM last night. It was a long trip and I was absolutely EXHAUSTED by the time we got home. I didn't expect it to be such a hard trip home. Not hard as in driving problems, hard as in emotionally hard and draining.
D woke us up bright and early yesterday morning so that he could say goodbye before he left for his fishing trip. That was hard. I teared up when he hugged me, and I realized how much I was really going to miss him. Peanut came out of her slumber for a few minutes to get her hug goodbye, and it really meant a lot to her. Unlike her though, once D left I wasn't able to go back to sleep. I just had too much on my mind, and I just couldn't do it.
After I wrote yesterday's blog, in tears, I decided to get dressed and then woke up Peanut. She got dressed and then we headed on over to L's hotel so that we could have some breakfast and say goodbye to her. I was an absolute emotional wreck. Just opening my mouth to speak caused a lump in my throat.. I don't know what was the matter with me. I mean, I spent two days with people I haven't seen in 15 years, why on earth was I so dang upset about leaving? But I was. So upset. I knew I was going to miss L, miss D, and be sad that we only had such a short visit.
We finally made our way to the car, in tears, and ready to head out for our drive home around 9AM.
The first couple of hours were hard. Peanut and I listened to the songs that I had shared with Peanut as being meaningful to her father and my relationship. A bit of backstory on that...
While her dad and I were together, there were a few songs that were "our songs". We listened to them every night. After C and I started this whole process with him connecting with Peanut, I made a playlist of them so that I could share them with Peanut and talk about the old times. A kind of window in to our relationship. Back then, they were just songs that we both really liked and we went to sleep each night with those same songs, and over the course of our short relationship became very meaningful to me. Now, the words of those songs rip a hole straight in to my heart. There's so much power in every word to every one of those songs. They were almost like an eerie foreshadowing.
So, we listened to every one of those songs and some new ones that I've collected over the past couple of months that remind me of him. I know that sounds bad, or weird even... but the sad truth is C and I had an amazing relationship. It was a good, loving relationship that made us both happy. The fact that it was ripped from us has always been with me, and I've never shaken it away. It's one thing to break up with someone cause things aren't working out, it's totally different when the boy you love with all your heart is ripped away from you...never to be seen again...without a word of notice. So, yeah, I still hold some very strong feelings in my heart for him. I don't think they will ever go away.
Back to driving home...
I'm driving along with each of those songs playing, and me trying my hardest to relive certain moments of our past relationship for Peanut, both of us bawling our little hearts out. Thank goodness we had good weather driving home, because seeing through tear filled eyes is tough. Peanut told me how much she'd loved meeting her grandparents, and her dad... and we discussed what I thought life would be like had our relationship been left alone without being interfered with.
That's a tough conversation to have. I mean, I am a strong believer in everything happening for a reason. I am also a tough proponent for not ever wanting to change my past, because each moment in my past has led me to where I am today. I have two other amazingly wonderful children that wouldn't be with me right now, had things gone differently between C and me.
Do I think C and I would have tried our best to make it work? Yes. I do. Do I think C and I would have made it through having a baby at such a young age? Yes. I do. Would I have liked the opportunity to try? Yes. I would have. Because I know that both of us loved each other, and both of us were happy despite being so scared. Not just that, but I know that we would have had a good support system to help us along the way. I mean, his family are pretty freakin' great. I know they wouldn't have stood by and let us struggle too much. But, because of one certain family member who decided to pull the plug without even giving us a chance, we never got to try. And life worked out the way it did.
Sometimes I wonder if everything would have been easier if we had just ended our relationship. That it had been our choice. Feelings would have been sorted, dealt with. But, even after fifteen years, I still can't help but wonder what life would have been like simply because we didn't get that choice.
Anywho, the tears finally disappeared once we got close to Memphis (almost 3 hours in to our trip). We didn't cry the whole time. We laughed, I shared, we cried, and then laughed some more because I remembered a funny story to share that was somehow related to one of those songs.
We had made one stop at a truck stop by then, to sort ourselves out a little and so that we could try and find some souvenirs for everyone. In the two days we'd been in Tennessee, we'd somehow forgotten to do any shopping for anyone. Thankfully, D and L had helped us out and given Peanut some pretty awesome gifts for Butter and Jelly. But, we still wanted something specific from Tennessee to give them. Unfortunately, we were only able to find some TN hats at the truck stop, so we bought one for Butter and K (C's brother). Peanut thought he needed one too.
So, we thought we'd try again in Memphis right before we crossed the state line back in to Arkansas. Unfortunately, it decided to POUR rain down the minute we drove in to Memphis, which caused me not to be able to see, and then we spent about 30 minutes driving around trying to find our way back on to the interstate. And in that whole time, we didn't find one place that sold TN souvenirs.
We finally gave up, and just decided to continue driving on home. We made a stop just outside of Little Rock, and opted for some toys for Jelly instead of a state-specific souvenir. We also decided to grab some dinner, so that added even more time on to our journey home.
After ten hours of being on the road, we finally pulled in to the driveway. It felt so good to be home, but I was still a little sad that it all had to end so quickly. Once Peanut and I got inside, we handed out the gifts and Butter and Jelly were so excited with what they got. Butter got a GIANT banner that was signed by Toby Keith (thanks to "PawPaw" D), and Jelly got a make-up set (thanks to Grandma L). I gave Butter his TN hat, and Jelly the Frozen backpack and Frozen beauty sets we'd picked up on the way home.
After I got everything unpacked and I'd sat down for a while, it wasn't long before my behind was ready for bed. It was a little after 9PM. I don't even remember my head touching the pillow, and I didn't wake up again until my alarm went off at 4:30AM.
It's currently POURING down rain, and storming. Peanut and I took the rain to Tennessee with us, and apparently we brought it home again. It is nice, though, to spend a few minutes sitting out on the covered patio listening to the rain. I guess I should think about going inside to get ready, though. Life is now back to normal, and I need to get my head back to normal.
It was definitely one of the best long weekends I've had. Ever. I've already started a countdown to the next long weekend we'll be going back. Just a little under two months and we'll get to do it all over again.
But, right now, I need to focus on here. Now. Try to, anyway.
Have a great Tuesday, everyone!