It was one month and five days after I received an email from Dee saying that she had to run but would send a follow-up email with updates that I got the email I was hoping for. Only, based on the contents, the email was decidedly not what I was hoping for.
At the end of this month, Dee and Cupcake will be moving across the country.
This wasn’t the first I had heard of this plan. Back when I heard about it as a possibility, nearly a year ago, it what only one of many potential outcomes. Apparently, now it’s THE outcome.
And that’s okay. That’s what is going to be best for them as a family. They’re moving to where Dee is from, where her family is, where there will be a larger, stronger support system for them both.
But I can’t help but be sad. Hurt.
There was always this tiny piece of me that had fantasies of one day sitting in the back of a crowded auditorium watching while Cupcake said her one line from the stage, dressed as an ear of corn. I pictured a birthday where I wouldn’t just be sending a card, but I’d be carrying in a hand wrapped present to be placed with the others, being a part of the experience. I dreamt of a day where Dee would understand that no one but me could be as amazed that our little girl would be graduating high school, going to prom, leaving for college.
All of that slipped out of my reach yesterday.
Today, I try to find the time for us to have a visit. My mind races to something meaningful, a full day where even a four year old could create memories that could last her a lifetime. We would take the pictures that could fill in the gaps of her memory and I would leave her with something special to remember me by no matter how many states separated us.
I’m not sure how much those plans jive with what Dee had in mind. Dee offered to bring her by on my lunch break as Cupcake is done with pre-school. Perhaps it was a genuine offer to accommodate my schedule, whatever that may be. But I can’t have the last memory of my daughter be a hug on the asphalt of my parking lot as I prepare to go back into my office, where I’ll need to find a way to compose myself for the remainder of the work day.
I quickly do the math on how long it usually takes us to plan a visit and compare that to the time frame we’re trying to work with currently. The result is concerning. I know I will do what I always do. Move things around, shift commitments, cancel other plans. I’m happy to do it, but irritated that I have no other choice.
I’ve heard all of the reasons that Dee may have waited this long to tell me: She didn’t want to hurt me. She was scared of my response. She’s stressed out that she thinks I won’t approve of how she’s rasing Cupcake. She’s stressed abut packing. She’s stressed about moving. She figured I basically already knew since she told me it was a possibility. She hates goodbye’s and wants to avoid a long dragged out multiple visit departure. She has just been too darn busy.
To some extent, I understand those. (Some, if I’m being completely honest, I think are better excuses than reasons, but I still sort of understand).
But at the end of the day, I think those are not reasons to delay something this important. They’re things that need to be worked through. But they weren’t worked through, and now….well, we are where we are.
Which at least for today is in the same state.