Once Upon a Time, I posted this on Facebook before I got rid of it. This sums up what it was like for me, deciding to leave Sara, and still be a father to my children… Let me know your thoughts:
Imagine that day that you stood in that hospital room, holding your screaming child as they came into the world. Maybe you cried, maybe you smiled and shared the miracle with your spouse. You spent the first months with virtually no sleep and midnight feedings, and soothing songs you’d sing to your child. Remember those nights where you’d just stand there watching them sleep? Thinking to yourself, “This is my son, my boy. My best friend”. Imagine that child crawling, walking, speaking their first words. Baths, coloring, sandbox, mowing the lawn together… Remember teaching them everything you knew.
Imagine that day that you got to kiss them goodnight every single night, then be the one who wakes them up in the morning, gets them ready for their day. They look up at you with love in their eyes. Those moments that they randomly approach you and say, “I love you Dad” (or mom). Those moments almost bring tears to your eyes. Remember teaching them to cook, clean, feed the dogs, brush their teeth, all the little things a lot of us may take for granted.
Now imagine all of that is suddenly taken from you. You no longer get to see your children at night, nor in the morning. You no longer get to hear their voices throughout the day. You want to, God you want to, more than anything, but you’re not “allowed” to see your own children. You’re not allowed to see them during the day, you’re not allowed to call them whenever you want, and you’re no longer allowed to know when they are achieving milestones.
Imagine your children, the same ones you held and gave your life to, no longer want to talk to you that one time per night you’re allowed to talk to them. They no longer want to share their lives with you, they no longer want to see you because of things that they are led to believe. Imagine your babies, now young men coming to see you and spending the weekend with you, but it doesn’t feel like your children; it feels like you’re babysitting someone else’s children. They don’t want to listen to you, they don’t respect anything you say, and they cannot wait to leave your house.
Imagine waiting what seems like an eternity to see your kids only to have them leave in the blink of an eye. Imagine thinking each day if you’ll ever have your kids again, not necessarily physically, but emotionally. That same baby you held and loved with everything that is you, is so far away; detached from you more than you can possibly fathom.
Imagine this is your life now. You can’t change it, you can’t help it, you are stuck; this is your relationship with your own kids now, these are your children, and they slip further away from you each and every day.
I wanted to say this because this only touches on what I’ve experienced in my 11 years of being a parent. If you have children, PLEASE don’t ever take anything they do, say, feel, ask for, or even the looks they give you for granted. I’m not saying I did, but I’ve lost so much of my children’s lives and I will never get any of it back.
When you kiss them goodnight, take a moment and look at your child, when they smile at you, take a moment and remember that smile, remember that laugh, remember that time they look at you and tell you that they love you, remember their innocence. It doesn’t last forever, and it could all be taken away in the blink of an eye.
Thank you for letting me share this.