My dearest kids…
Today is Monday, November 23rd – just a few days before Thanksgiving; one of the most family-friendly days in our family’s history because, normally, on that day, we celebrate the importance of family with an absolutely perfect meal (usually) and some quality Family Time.
It is a tragedy that mom and I decided on Friday to separate from each other, but it is especially saddening to me that it occurred during this time of year. For non-Iglesia, it would be equivalent to divorcing on Christmas day.
I know you both have questions. I know you both want answers. Quite frankly, so do I. Only 2 months ago, I thought my life was perfect. Life had transitioned for me, as it must do. Your Lola passed away after a full and blessed life. Josh – you are with a wonderful woman and you have an absolutely amazing daughter. Donday – you will soon be marrying your best friend. And until very recently, mom and I had been actively discussing the next phase of our life with just her and I in the house. Do we keep the house? Do we stay in Bellevue? Do we patiently wait until retirement before traveling?
It’s stunning how quickly and drastically things can change.
At this moment, I am understandably numb. I’m doing what I know how to do: I’m troubleshooting; I’m existing. I don’t know what tomorrow holds for me. So, in lieu of answers, I’m handling the manageable. I’m packing boxes with “stuff” that I’ve been wanting to jettison for years: old tapes, books, furniture, etc. Things that I no longer want or need. It is movement. It serves to distract. It keeps my mind and body occupied. It makes me feel somewhat productive.
At night, lying in my basement makeshift bed, I do my best to fill my head with white noise: playing one DVD after another, doing whatever I can to keep my mind from spinning in circles.
The questions I’ve been asked in just these last few days require more insight and future-planning than I’m willing or capable of at this time. They ask: Will you keep the house? Will you stay in Bellevue? Will you remarry? Then, of course, there are the “What” questions. What happened? What went wrong? What were the signs that you should have seen?
I have no answers for any of these things, and I am actively doing my best to keep these questions out of my brain. They serve no positive purpose at this time. Making any such decisions or determinations right now would be counter-productive. I am handling the manageable. I am packing boxes. I am eating when hungry. I am watching movies. I am spending Quality Time with my daughter and doing my best to be there for her in this heart-wrenching time. I’m trying my best to give her the best advice and support possible while, at the same time, giving equal effort into building walls around my head and heart.
It is inevitable.
She’s been unhappy for decades, she says.
I can’t reconcile her new reality with my old one.
So… I will continue to produce white noise. I will concentrate on the one thing I’ve always been 100% confident in – being a Dad. And I will eat and breathe and work and sleep and pack boxes and watch movies and count days until… something in me says that I can “live” again.
That day is not now.