Four and a bit days

In this post we hear from a divorced Dad about how tough it is when your new reality means you see less of your children.

I have one last and long cuddle and feel the tears welling up in my eyes. Got to be strong now and resist floods of water cascading down on to my 13 year olds’ head. I snuggle in, smelling her beautiful long hair, closing my eyes and allowing myself to believe for a second that we will all be going home together now. My 17 year old stands impatiently, waiting for our embrace to finish and then… I watch as they slowly disappear out of view into the bowels of the airport. I stand there, motionless, looking into empty space. How can four and a bit days have gone so fast? Four and a bit days to hold hands, laugh and love in person two of the dearest, sweetest people in my life, taken from me by the selfish secret liaison by one that I also loved, yet who cruelly betrayed me.

Four and a bit days, the last being in the New Year and each day since, counted down, painfully, slowly. I allow myself these thoughts, caught up in the hatred I have for that person who killed all my dreams. This was not how it was supposed to be – snatched moments doing what every father in the land should be doing on a daily basis, loving and giving and receiving from their offspring. They will be back, fitting in a 400 mile visit to their Father who, through work, has to be in the south, their mother cavorting in her selfishness, yet another man in tow. Why dear God should this be so? Please explain to me why, why, why?

They have now come to a seated area where we can see each other again. It is like a prison visit, with a huge pane of glass separating me from them, discussion taking place via our mobile phones. God, please don’t let me be seen to shed a tear. I must be strong and fight this. Force a smile, be animated; come on it’s for the kids’ sake. Pull yourself together man!  Boy this is so difficult. I spread my hand out to the glass and my daughter responds with hers. I am talking rapidly down the phone and scraping out every precious second that I still have with them in front of me. Then the departure board signals their flight is boarding. Bugger, how I hate that departure board as well. We say our goodbyes again and I watch as they walk away, then they are out of sight. This time a big fat tear comes rolling out of my eye, followed by several more of its friends.

I compose myself and then turn my thoughts to reality and a reflection on the last four and a bit days. My mood lightens as these realistic thoughts flood my mind. It’s amazing what this can do even when you have allowed yourself to dwell in your own negative thoughts. I have now regained my composure and I know that I have rid myself of the hatred that had so consumed me earlier. Each time on this journey it’s becoming easier to do this and I know that I have almost cleansed myself through to forgiveness. I now turn to the plans for their next visit and this will be much longer. Back to counting the days … boy do I miss my children!