Thursday, July 24, 2008

My heart was broken by a 5 year old


Travis went to stay in Veazie for the 2nd night in a row. It is a good thing. He needs to be able to spend time with them, reconnect. He’ll be with me again, tomorrow and Saturday… But still… after I drove away a familiar feeling came back to haunt me. It had visited me only once before, December 5, 1995 to be exact.

I had just recently moved to Portland. Maine Hockey was playing a game in the CCCC (Cumberland County Civic Center). Tracey and Shawn had split for good and the divorce was at least close to final if not completely. Shawn brought Tyler down on the team bus, so that Ty & I and could spend one last afternoon/evening together before Tracey and both boys would move to Michigan. Tyler was 5 at the time; Trav was too young to travel on the team bus.

So one last visit and time of fun it was. Toy Story, Burger King, Playground and then to the rink. It was a difficult time for a 5 year old who idolized (and still does) his father. I could tell he had a sense things were about to change dramatically in his life, kids always know… no matter how young. His behavior reflected this conflict and was all over the map. It hurt to watch. But I couldn’t take my eyes off him for a second, it would be the last time I would see him in God knows how long.

I started the walk back to my apartment, after blowing kisses to a tinted window bus, it pulled away from the curb leaving only diesel fumes. The crush came. My heart fell out, my knees went down, my breath left. A hurt so debilitating I thought I would die. Death would have been preferable at that moment. A gutteral sound came from somewhere, “NOOOOOOOO!”

I don’t know how long I clung to the sidewalk. Eventually I knelt against a retaining wall. Regained only enough consciousness to recognize the pain of my broken heart. “Why God why? He’s not even my child! If this is what it feels like to love your kids, I don’t want any!!”

I swear, I said it. Out loud. I immediately knew, I’d said something bad. Very bad. It’s really the last time I remember being Mad at God. So I said it again. A heart breaks but once, but as I’m finding, the pain can return.

Tonight, as I hugged Travis goodbye, I was reminded he’d be leaving soon. Only God knows when I’ll see him again. Just like 12 years earlier, that hurt raised up through my throat and reminded me that it is still there. Unlike 12 years ago, I pulled over, sobbed quietly in the privacy of my car (rather than on the streets of Portland!) and recovered immediately when he texted me twice in 30 seconds. I love this kid! He is a good egg.

Who da thunk it?.. My heart can still be broken.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

You say that you are not eloquent, I am crying at the vivid picture you drew of 12 year old pain! This is going to be an amazing journey and I am so excited to watch and share with you!