November 10,2015. Another milestone coming, seemingly going. A huge one. Officially one year since I have laid eyes on my girl. We went to Nebraska to watch her get married on her birthday, not knowing he was truly taking her way. The cold war had begun in September, we had no idea the enemy we were facing. Every move towards reconciliation was undercut, the charming exterior hiding an unforgiving narcissistic soul. My daughter caught in the web, believing her new reality and questioning everything she has ever known and trusted. Cutting off all who question her, all who have loved her long for one who says he loves her now. One year.
My son asked me last night, “how long? how long will you just sit here like this? It is hurting Chef, hurting Plum, hurting me.” I tried to argue that I was, am fine. He gave evidence: going out in public in pajamas, smoking, not eating. I could only say I am trying. but am I? I have stopped living, I have only been waiting. Autopilot. I have forgotten that others can see me when she doesn’t chose to.
The weight of this day approaching sent me to bed, buried under blankets for hours. I considered driving there, taking the last of her belongings and dropping them on her porch, driving home. A pilgrimage. Initially I promised I wasn’t going to stay to see her but then knew I had no strength left. I was already parked down the street, watching waiting. I saw her pull up, get her baby out of the car seat. I didn’t see me sit quietly and watch. I saw her scan the street and then my primal yell, running, begging, crying. Reaching for my daughter, aching to touch my granddaughter. It wouldn’t go well. My last bit of self-control was used to ask my husband to take this option off of the table.
I then planned to hide for the day, go away and mourn alone. Somewhere, anywhere. I didn’t want to take care of anyone, just wallow. For one day. But haven’t I done that for a year now?
Instead, I decided today we celebrate the birth of my daughter, her 27th. We are going to have food she likes and tell stories about her, actually bring up her name in this home. We will rejoice in who she has been to us, if not who she is. She is still breathing and so am I. There’s still hope. My present to her, to my family, is to start being present again. No more pajamas in public. I have to find a way to laugh. Otherwise there will be nothing left when she does return. And she will.
Happy birthday Stella. Mom is making beignets for breakfast.