Friday, August 14, 2009

the note from mommy, to her baby. ( repost) from '05

I wasn't fully awake. Not quite asleep either. Somewhere in between.
I read part of a note in a Christmas card, it was hard to read and harder to understand what it was saying.
"I'm so sorry that your daddy could not be here today, I know he loves you. but he is with another little girl who needs him more than you do."
After that you can imagine I was wide awake, as the rest of the message, and the rest of the story had to be filled in by my own brain.
Why tell a lie on Christmas? Why tell such a terrible lie at all?
How did I know this was not the truth? isn't the writer of this note trying their best to explain the inexplicable? Were they right and just stuck doing their best with an impossible situation? I had to think it through, and know what happened to daddy.
Obviously he is missing, and missing from the life of his daughter, and to someone who cares is given the difficult task of explaining why he did not make the effort to see her on this important day. ( Just like she will on the birthdays, school plays, graduations, weddings, and important days to come.)
It matters not whether the speaker is a mom or grandma, or if the missing one is a dad or a mom. It could be any scenario, but being a father, and the way the card was written in my half dream, I'm about to lay into missing dads. ( warning lights)
The 'note from mommy', as I shall now call it will no doubt confuse more than it soothes. Its words though seemingly kind and thoughtful merely cover the wound and do not address the injury done. I felt so sad for the reader of such a note, and I am assured that many such notes are written or spoken each holiday.
So daddy has not shown up again, nor did he call. the only gift under the tree that says it is from him, was bought by someone else, wrapped and placed there as a substitute for another kind of presence. Someday this child will know, but for now the real gift with the fake tag will hopefully insulate them from being aware of their abandonment. Rejection so cruel and inhumane, that a generation ago it would have been nearly unthinkable.
Do you know that I did not know one person growing up whose parents were divorced?
Now it's a rarity when my daughters friends still have both their parents - together- married.
I had to assume Mommy married daddy trying to do the right thing. It was never perfect, but few marriages are. when the wheels came off she was left with caring for the innocent, and trying not to curse the man who gave her this most preciuos gift and then forgot about his child.

His next marriage did not go well either and he is now on number three, with a younger woman who will put up with his crap. The new family is consuming his time and his income. Being in another state helps his own (lame) excuses go down better with his morning coffee. perhaps he cusses himself as he realizes that anything he mails now will arrive too late, and vows to call. When he does not remember to call he will tell himself he is too busy and it has been so long she would not know who I am anyway, better if she just gets used to it.

more later - just writing this makes my stomach hurt

18 comments:

mreddie said...

And it makes my heart hurt for the child because of the damage done that will possibly last the rest of their life. ec

Shelley said...

This is a sad thing for sure...one that I cannot begin to even comprehend.

Veronika said...

Wow! So powerfully written!
This can be a scenario in anyone's life regarding the fact that the choices we make -whether good or bad- affect more than just themselves. More often than not, it's the innocent children who end up hurt the most.

Nancy said...

This is so sad.

I don't get it...

Thanks for coming by the other day.

When I saw Sugarloaf Mountain, I thought you from Maine at first.

Jayleigh said...

David, my sweet friend... I am bawling when I read this because it's sickeningly familiar.

My Mindy has led this very life. How many times have I had to insulate HER from her parents?

I pray for the person you're writing about.

God bless you.

Neo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Neo said...

David -Good perspective. There are plenty of deadbeat dads in the world. It's sad, but the truth would do the little girl better than the lie.

Because once you tell one lie, another is going to follow.

Peace,

- Neo

Joyce said...

As a one-time single Mom (my daughter is now 24, married, and has 2 beautiful daughters of her own), I can tell you from experience that this IS how it happens. And that it is horribly difficult to deal with. I'm not sure from your writings whether you are upset with the mom for lying--but let me tell you, that mom was placed in a very hard spot. I remember looking into two very anxious blue eyes and havig to make some difficult decisions about what to say. I don't think I ever said what this mom did, 'cause I wasn't about to defend him. But I can understand not wanting your child to feel that abandonment. Neither did I run down my daughter's father to her--mostly I just said nothing. It was not a fun road to travel.

Sorry, David, didn't mean to be so wordy on your blog. Guess you just touched some old feelings that had been buried deep.

Snaggle Tooth said...

Nancy, Maine has "SugarBush" mountain, I thought the same when I first hopped over then saw the location

Yeah, I know what Joyce means, having raised two kids from toddler to adulthood all by myself. Ya don't wanna teach them to be bitter about it, but sugar-coating doesn't fix anything either. My ex sent presents once in all that time. Better than never! n No, I don't n didn't lie...

tAnYeTTa said...

wow. i'm speechless

Kristi said...

Right on. Many a girl I know (myself included) who have made horrible choices just looking for the love of a father.

josh said...

you owe kristi a dollar.

Kristi said...

Yes!! Josh rocks. I'm gonna be so rich soon.... =)

Windfall Woman said...

First, I can identify with Kristi. (sigh) Poor child. I grew up with unhappy parents. At 18 while I was in college, they divorced - that was a bad time. Divorce is bad enough. When one or both wants you to make choices, it's worse.

Marla Bean said...

So sad.

Amrita said...

Written from the depths of the heart.

Rejection hurts so bad, whether your parents divorce or not.

I believe the majority of the world 's problems are caused by rejection.

Amrita said...

This morning I read Max Lucado for devotions and in he books he writes something which goes well with this post.

A note to his daughters.

David if you don 't mind can I copy with post and add it to that note?

Kathryn said...

David, i'm not sure i follow all of this, but the pain of the situation is clear, & it is hard to believe there are good choices in the situation.

I especially appreciated your line about pretty words trying to make it better but not addressing the hurt, but just covering it over.

This is so true in so many situations as we want to "fix" things & if their isn't a quick fix then we do what we can to cover over that deep pit of hurt rather than accept that some things just hurt.

Thank you for sharing.