Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A few nights before Christmas, at about 3:30 in the morning, I woke up to a very faint noise. I got out of bed and went into Alyssa's room. She was quietly crying. I bent down to her and whispered to her "Alyssa, what's wrong?" and she whispered back in a very faint, sad, wimpering voice:

"I want daddy to come back".

My heart has been broken several times even since Joe died and I rarely write those incidents down here because they are too painful. But this was one of those times. I could have laid down next to her and cried with her as if I was also 4 years old. What was so strikingly sad to me was that she was not calling out to me in the night, I had heard her pretty much by chance. Here she was laying in her bed, quietly crying for her father in the middle of the night alone. Just like I do.

Her wish is so simple and easy to put into words. Mine seems complex and lengthy and hard to figure out and explain. But we both want the same thing. We want him back.

"Daddy loves you Alyssa, just as much as you love him. He would never want to leave you and he misses you the way you miss him. Daddy loves you Alyssa".

That is what I said to her. Every time those words come out of my mouth they seem inadequate. It is all that I can tell them. As a parent you want to be able to solve your children's problems; to give them real answers and take their pain away. Yet I can't and I struggle with the enormity of the questions they have and the answers that I don't have.

This all leaves me mentally tortured. I am sad at the whole situation but I feel angry too. I feel angry that Joe left me with all of this. To raise our children alone. I am left trying to piece together 3 shattered futures and answer questions about God and heaven and the accident and on and on. My children have questions that no one has answers to. I am left to tell them that their father's body is in the ground and try to figure out how that will affect them. I have not told them that yet. They assume that Joe's body is in heaven the same way that he was here, and I have not corrected them. How could I have been left with these things to tell them? I feel that it's not fair to leave me with all of this. I feel unprepared and unable. Ill-equipped and unsure. And I wait, hoping that some day I'll have the words and the time will be right. But it's all a gamble of timing and information that rests on two sets of small shoulders. I pray that their minds will be open and their lives are not shaped by the pain, but that they see it as an awful event that happened in their otherwise happy and fulfilled lives.

"Go back to sleep Alyssa. Dream about Santa and how much fun we'll have in the snow tomorrow" I said, not in an effort to minimize her feelings, but because I know all too well that sometimes your only option is to purposely change your thoughts to something else. She closed her eyes and I walked out of the room. As I walked back to my room I counted the words on my fingers "I-want-daddy-to-come-back". Six words. Six words from my daughter that I never thought I would hear. Six words with the crushing weight of a thousand painful thoughts.

6 comments:

CINDY said...

MAY YOUR NEW YEAR BRING YOU PEACE AND ALL THE LOVE YOU SO DESERVE. MY HEART BREAKS FOR YOU AND BRINGS BACK THE PAINFUL MEMORIES OF MY OWN CHILDREN BATTLING THROUGH IT ALL. I MUST SAY MY CHILDREN AND I ARE VERY CLOSE TODAY, A BOND THAT OTHER PEOPLE DON'T QUITE UNDERSTAND. BUT I AM ALL THEY HAD AND IT HAS BROUGHT ME MUCH JOY IN THE PAST FEW YEARS.. GOD BLESS YOU AND YOURS ROBIN

JoAnn said...

We all want those "magical" words that will fix our children's problems and take away their pain. All too often we don't have them.
But, even though it was the middle of the night, even though she was crying quietly, even though she didn't call out for you, you were still there beside her. You were there to comfort her when she needed you, as inadequate as you feel your words were. That is what Alyssa and Luke have. That is what you give them, and THAT is magical.

JoAnn said...

and...i want him to come back too.

Steph said...

What you said to her was perfect. I hope she and Luke can take some small measure of comfort in knowing that their Daddy is missing them just as much as they are missing him. And the same goes for you Robin. He never would have left you and he loves and misses you just the way you miss him.

Heather said...

Oh, Robin. As I was reading this post I was trying hard to imagine what it would be like to be in your shoes. Any mother of young children can imagine. But that is what it is for the VAST vast vast majority of us: imagining. I am so sorry that this is your reality. I look at what you're doing (and these perfect things you come up with to say to your precious children) and I just simply can't believe it. Even though it has been this long, I still cannot seem to wrap my mind around it. I look at my wedding pictures and see you and Joe in so many of them, and it is truly hard for me to realize that he's not with you still. I look at pictures from your wedding, and I think of making that MOH toast, and I remember looking at you and Joe sitting --madly in love-- at that head table at the reception, and I think of how he came to me with tears in his eyes thanking me for saying that toast, and I think of how he then went and jumped (literally JUMPED) onto the dance floor with you like only Joe could do, and I truly cannot believe that he isn't shining bright right there next to you still. Really, it is still hard for me to believe. So, I can only IMAGINE what this reality is for you. All I can say is that every single day I think of how lucky Luke and Alyssa are to have *YOU* be their mother. If this needed to happen (for WHATEVER reason it all did) ... then at least they do have *you* -- Robin Lord -- to guide them on this path. I know that burden is heavy. But you're doing an awesome job of it Rob. And there is no doubt in my mind that it is not a coincidence that you woke up and were there for Alyssa at that moment.
Lots of love, as always,
HBJ

Heather said...

Oh, Robin. As I was reading this post I was trying hard to imagine what it would be like to be in your shoes. Any mother of young children can imagine. But that is what it is for the VAST vast vast majority of us: imagining. I am so sorry that this is your reality. I look at what you're doing (and these perfect things you come up with to say to your precious children) and I just simply can't believe it. Even though it has been this long, I still cannot seem to wrap my mind around it. I look at my wedding pictures and see you and Joe in so many of them, and it is truly hard for me to realize that he's not with you still. I look at pictures from your wedding, and I think of making that MOH toast, and I remember looking at you and Joe sitting --madly in love-- at that head table at the reception, and I think of how he came to me with tears in his eyes thanking me for saying that toast, and I think of how he then went and jumped (literally JUMPED) onto the dance floor with you like only Joe could do, and I truly cannot believe that he isn't shining bright right there next to you still. Really, it is still hard for me to believe. So, I can only IMAGINE what this reality is for you. All I can say is that every single day I think of how lucky Luke and Alyssa are to have *YOU* be their mother. If this needed to happen (for WHATEVER reason it all did) ... then at least they do have *you* -- Robin Lord -- to guide them on this path. I know that burden is heavy. But you're doing an awesome job of it Rob. And there is no doubt in my mind that it is not a coincidence that you woke up and were there for Alyssa at that moment.
Lots of love, as always,
HBJ