It’s been a long time since I wrote to Dan here (and if you are new here…you may have no clue who I am talking about…give me about 6-700 words and you’ll have it figured out)
Do y’all remember the “Watch” post? I also discuss this strange watch phenomenon in the podcast to your right “Redbackpack.net”
I’ll give you a minute to read it or listen and please take your time.
Well, there is this thing that has been eating away at me. More correctly two things.
First, after Dan’s suicide and not knowing how I was going to take care of our 5yo, 3yo and 18 mo. I paid the funeral in full (since his own mother wouldn’t have anything to do with it) I didn’t think I could afford to take their living expenses for a trade-off of a decent headstone. So I kept my eye on the ball of providing only for those who were living.
Those weeks after his death were a haze. I barely remember anything about them. So it never felt quite real.
But I had his watch and I made sure the time was always accurate. Almost three years have passed and I never changed the battery once. Just a constant tick tock reminder of all he missed.
The first few times I went to his grave to wrestle with the demons left behind from the 12 years of domestic abuse and suicide, there was only a stick in the ground and it still never felt real.
I started letting him in my head all the time. All the negative he said to me. He was still here.
This weekend I felt a pull to go. A very strong pull that said no matter what….I am going. Brian made the arrangements for me and I got there at night. I don’t do cemetery night visits so I thought I would just sleep in and go during the day time hours. (I also didn’t shower the whole time because I’ve watched Psycho too many times – I have some real hangups in my Faith of who is actually in control)
Well, Walter went with me (because I hate traveling alone and bringing your new husband to your dead husband’s grave is just a faux pas) and at 7am he started barking madly to go. I thought he had to go to the bathroom, but NO….he was doing God’s work.
I went straight to the cemetery and started looking for that stick. I couldn’t find it anywhere and I began to weep. Where is my proof that he is here? What if the children want to see it some day and then Walter ran towards this HUGE monument and I saw this.
I guess someone finally gave him a proper headstone and it is beautiful with the weeping angel, because I imagine they did weep (just like my children) when he ended his life.
I circled it a few times and then saw this…
This one made me a little mad. There is no mention of the wife I was for 12 years and those weren’t just HIS children. In fact, other than by blood…he has no right to them at all. He was barely there as a father and most of what they remember is his rage.
Those children belong to another man. A man who takes them to the movies, who helps them with homework, who dances in the morning to chase away bad moods, who claps loudest at their school plays, who makes it a point to make no difference in his blood children and mine, who comforts them when they are hurt, takes them to church, shows them how a husband treats a wife and who has shown them nothing but love (and loving discipline) for over 2 years. The man who has offered to adopt them, but I wanted to wait until they could make their own decision.
You clearly made the decision for them with no regard of a father being in their lives…it’s time that somebody else was allowed to fully step in and give them the proper last name when talking about “HIS” children.
But que sara sara…
So I leaned up against this tangible proof and had my headphones on standby. I played the songs that were claimed to be ours. I played the last song he listened to according to his phone (Mad, Mad World) Let It Go (by Frozen – which I had previously made a video for domestic violence *wont work for mobile devices and I don’t approve it for small children – for) and then every uplifting song that praised who I was and how God sees me. I spent probably 2.5 hours leaning against that warm slab that showed me where maybe he found peace. A place I could come to. A place I could let my children see. I also did some yelling – hence why I don’t have a voice at all today. I can’t even peep. But perhaps, today is my day to listen….
Then I took the watch off my wrist and gave it’s rightful owner the minutes he was missing back. I am finally ready after I leaned with that angel and wept with her. To leave Dan where he lies and no longer in my mind where it affects Brian, OUR children and myself.
Time’s run out. Game over.
So proud of you, I know this was so hard.
Beautiful tribute to who you have fought to be and who you are. Thank you for welcoming me into your heart.
So difficult and beautiful! You’re amazing!