Monday, September 01, 2014
It's Hard to Say Goodbye
There it is. The photo that I've waited fourteen long years to have. The picture of Peanut with her dad. It's funny, her whole life I've heard from EVERYONE that she looks just like me. She has always been my "Mini-Me", but seeing them both together made me realize how much she really favors her dad. She has his nose, his eyes (my color), his smile. I just realized that for the past fourteen years, I've been looking at him much more than I realized.
Yesterday was a good, but tough day.
We woke up early, ate breakfast, checked out of the hotel, and headed on over to D & L's house. We spent some time hanging out with D and L before we decided to go and grab some lunch. We also got a small tour of Lebanon. After we got back, we spent some time watching movies and talking...and that's basically how we spent the rest of the afternoon. It was so relaxing and nice. Even though we were on a "mini vacation", I thoroughly enjoyed just hanging out with D & L at their house.
C and PE showed up a little around 6PM. I was a little sad that C had waited so late to come over, especially since we'd been there all day, but I'm not going to complain. He spent most of the time sitting next to Peanut on the couch, talking to her, and watching her play her game. They were a lot more comfortable with each other, and the nervousness wasn't as strong as it had been the day before.
PE stayed out of the room for a while. That was good for Peanut. Like me, just having her anywhere near her makes her skin crawl. She just wanted to be able to spend some time with her dad without feeling so uncomfortable because she was there, and I think they were able to do that for a small amount of time. Unfortunately, she made her way in to the room after they'd been there about an hour. At that point, the atmosphere changed somewhat. I could see Peanut tense up when PE sat on the other side of C on the couch. His demeanor changed towards Peanut, and they talked a lot less. That made me sad. I knew they wouldn't be staying too long, so I just wish she'd stayed out of the room a little longer... but again, I can't complain. It is what it is, and I am grateful for the time they did get to spend together without her around.
It wasn't even 8PM when they decided that they needed to leave. That's when the heartbreak ensued. Peanut stood up to hug her dad, and it was the hug that neither of them wanted to end. When it did come to an end, I saw the tears running down Peanut's face. That, then, started the tears in my own eyes. And, L also teared up. It was such a heartbreaking moment for both of them, and my heart broke for them. They hugged a couple more times before he left. Each time brought on more tears. Even though I had avoided eye contact (once again) with him since they arrived, I couldn't help but look at him while he was hugging Peanut. I could see the pain. I could see the hurt. And I could see that he didn't want that moment to end. I didn't either. But there was nothing I could do, it had to end... he had to walk away.
It took every part of me not to jump out of the chair and give him a hug, too. I mean, it's been 15 years since I last saw him, and I couldn't even make eye contact with him because I didn't want PE thinking there was anything to it. After spending the past two months talking to him almost every night, it just broke my heart that I couldn't speak a word to him, couldn't give him a hug, couldn't share stories with OUR daughter about when we were together. I didn't want to make his life anymore miserable. He had to go home with her...I just couldn't do that to him. But he has made it perfectly clear how he feels, and I have to accept that. I am nothing more than the woman that gave birth to his child.. and that's just how it has to be.
Once he was gone, Peanut sat with me on the couch so I could hold her. We both shed a few tears together, and I tried to comfort her by reminding her that it wouldn't be long before we would be coming back.
PawPaw and Grandma swooped in to save the day, though, and were able to turn Peanut's tears off by showering her with love. They made her laugh, Grandma brought out a few gifts that she wanted Peanut to have, and it wasn't long before the smile was back on Peanut's face and she was in a much better mood.
A little after 10PM, both Peanut and I decided to head to bed. We were sleeping in the spare room, which also happens to double as C's room when he's not with PE. Peanut and I laid there for a long time talking about him, about how she wishes things were different, and how much fun she'd had with her grandma and pawpaw.
This morning, D woke us up before he left to go fishing. He wasn't about to leave without saying goodbye, and that just further goes to show how amazing he is. After I hugged him goodbye, it sank in that we were leaving today. That this was going to be all over. And, that honestly hurt. I'm not ready to say goodbye, for this to be over.
L left for work a little while ago, and I'm sitting alone in the living room while Peanut sleeps. And since starting this blog, I haven't been able to hold back the tears. Everything has piled up on me, I guess. I am so happy that we came. I'm so happy that we got to spend this time with D & L. I'm so happy Peanut finally got to meet her dad.
This isn't how it was supposed to be. My heart shouldn't be breaking right now. I shouldn't be feeling this kind of pain. When I first planned this trip with C, we were happy. We were talking every day. We were so excited about seeing each other. I had pictured this amazingly happy reunion for the THREE of us. To spend two full days together, laughing, reminiscing, sharing funny stories, enjoying each other's company. I wanted Peanut to see her mom and dad together, in a happy way. Not together.. as in together... but at least comfortable with each other. Happy to see each other.
Even though that's not the way it went, I'm still happy that everything happened. I can't change anything that is..I just have to focus on making sure my daughter gets to have a relationship with her family. That I will do. Gladly. She deserves to be happy. I just hope she walks away feeling happy that we came, and isn't too upset about not being able to see him for very long.
The good thing, though, is that plans have already been put in to play for our return. Maybe, just maybe the situation will be different when we come back in October. Maybe, just maybe Peanut will be able to spend some time with her dad alone. The two of them. Going out to do something, like fathers and daughters do.
I'm sure going to miss being here. I'm going to miss D & L. I'm so thankful for their hospitality...and regardless of how C and I are, they are my family, too.
Well, it's time to wake up Peanut and for us to get ready for our long drive home. Time sure does fly when you're having fun. Hopefully time will fly by over the next two months so that we can do it all over again.
Have a great Labor Day, everyone!