Sunday, August 28, 2016

When You Hope Your Stories Were Heard

One of the most peaceful and happy mornings I can remember in a long time, as First Daughter is sleeping sounding on my extra mattress.  What mother doesn't enjoy the sounds of her children sleeping soundly.  First Daughter is visiting, and we have had a very chockfull few days of adventures in Chicago.  Nothing too fancy or elaborate.  Doing some errands together, eating at new places, and walking around downtown trying to get lost and see new different things.  We didn't make the Skydeck as planned but the tickets are good for a year, so I will make it on less rainy day.  But we did make it to Second Daughter and Second Son's fifth wedding anniversary party.  And it was touch and go for a while if we would.  I was a bitter reminder of her break up that they were suppose to be at a wedding this weekend and to be going to an anniversary party surrounded by couples, was not an easy thing for her to do.  But she shouldered it much like I or my mom would have.  With grace and no one but Second Daughter and Second Son knowing how difficult it was.  I know her appearance made them as proud as it made me. 

See First Daughter is putting up a good front after a little over a month of tears and fears about the future now that she's single.  This is a serious time for her, and her emotions are on edge.  I don't know if she sees it but I know she's made up her mind about what will be.  As she does with every crisis that she lives through.  Because her emotions so close to the surface she gets like my mom when's shes passionate about a topic.  Loud and always right.  This makes me shrink back, mostly because I shrank back from my mom when she would 'win at any cost' any difference of opinion we might have. 

See I want what's best for her.  And she wants what she wants.  And maybe what she wants is best for her.  Maybe moving back to Chicago to find someone new is what will save her.  Maybe my opinion of staying put and healing and saving money is not what would be best.  Maybe my experiences of loss and love, and finding myself first before trying again, is not for everyone.  She thinks I'm career oriented instead of love oriented because she's never seen me fight for love.  But she couldn't be more wrong.  See she's only heard me talk about my past, could witness how I've fought for love or tried to keep relationships together when they were hopelessly falling apart.  Nor the nights I cried in defeat or fear at being alone forever.  She's only witnessed the aftermath.  The strength that came from finding myself and loving me enough to be alone rather than settle for love. 

I find myself in a place no parent wants to ever be.  Where I must support her decisions because she's not a child anymore.  She's grown up and knows what she wants.  Why wouldn't she, she's my daughter and I always went after love first.  And look where it got me.  Alone.  So while I can say I understand and I feel more sympathy than she'll ever believe.  I'm not perceived as the good guy right now, because I don't want her to make the same mistakes I made.  Break the same hearts I broke because I wasn't ready to love again.  No matter how much I desperately believed at the time that I needed love or I'd die.  She doesn't see that my advise is not because I wouldn't welcome her home but because I remember where the path she is on leads.  Sometimes I wish she could have seen me through all of that.  Then I realize she needs to make her own life and mistakes to grow. 

So I'm hoping our last day together will still be the honest loving relationship we have known instead of me shrinking back.  I want her to know I'm on her side no matter what she does, even if its been against my best advise.  Because she means so much to me, I can't stand to see her so sad.  But I'm lucky that she has chosen me as one of the friends she trust enough to help her through this difficult time.  Some parents never hear anything except, "We're fine," or "Nothing's new."