The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get used to the latter.
EPISODE ONE HUNDRED NINE: THE BROKEN SMILE
Look for the girl with the broken smile
Ask her if she wants to stay awhile
And she will be loved…
– She Will Be Loved – Maroon 5
This past weekend, my daughter drove over to our house on her own. It was the very first time. I couldn’t tell you how happy I was she had come over (and done it safely). But the next day, she had to leave early to go back to her mom’s house so they could go to church.
And I watched her drive away.
I have watched her leave before if her mom or step-dad had come to pick her up or if I drove her home. I may have cried a few times at various times when that happened.
But this day, I held it together.
The tears wanted to come. They flooded my eyes but they didn’t fall. It took a lot of willpower to keep them from tipping over the edge of my eyelids and roll down my cheeks.
And I couldn’t help to be a bit heartbroken.
Yes, yes, yes. I know. That is all a part of growing up. For her and for me. You never stop growing up. We’ll all be growing up until we take our last breath.
I wasn’t heartbroken because she was leaving. She needed to leave and I knew that. I think I was heartbroken because I’m not ready for her to be driving or planning her life or finding other things she wants to do and it will leave less time for me.
Yes, yes, yes………… I know.
That. Is. Life.
Still, I’m heartbroken.
Then I think about her. She has her whole life ahead of her. There are going to be so many great things to pepper her life. Moments that make life worth living and maybe a dream or two that will come true. Maybe she’ll go further in her life than I have. Maybe she’ll become a leader, a leader that people need. She has the willpower and the raw talent to be that person.
Then, there will be the moments in her life that make her feel low. There will be moments when that she will doubt her choices and what her heart is telling her. And I thought about when that ‘special someone’ comes along and how that ‘special someone’ might make her feel great and in love and then…the rug gets pulled out from underneath her and this person isn’t who she had hoped. They break her heart and she will feel like her whole world has been rocked and the castles she had built in her head come tumbling down.
I’ll give you a specific moment when all that hit me. It was the same day as when she left in the morning. My wife and I had gone for a walk at my favorite park and then to Wal-mart to get a few things. The song She Will Be Loved by Maroon 5 came on the radio. I didn’t think too much of it at the time. I did think how I liked this song. And it kept playing in my head and the words (that I knew) echoed over and over. I thought about my daughter and those worries bounced around in my head along with the song.
I barely made it home before the tears that were held back earlier that morning came flooding out.
I thought about that heartache that probably will be in her future and how I can’t do a damn thing to stop them. It’s going to happen no matter how well she has been raised and how much you warn her about such events. It will come.
I thought about how she might cry (like I was doing silently in the bathroom) and how she might feel that her ever-expanding world might be ending.
I’m not sure about you but that’s how I felt when it happened to me. I felt like that tomorrow wouldn’t come when my heart got broken. I felt like that nobody knew how I felt and I was the only one in the history of the world felt like this and if anybody tried to let me know it was alright and they knew how I felt, I’d brush them off and tell them what they might have gone through could no way compare on how I felt.
That’s all crap, of course. We have all been through it, many times, one way or another.
But to think that one day, my daughter will probably go through it all and feel the same way I did hurts me. As a parent, you want to protect them from EVERYTHING, from pain to heartache to depression and sadness.
I try to tell myself that living a life worth living is made up of all things. The good and the bad and love and heartbreak. It is made of falling in and out of love many times and hopefully, you find that one REAL special someone that completes you, that puts you first before themselves.
I hope for that for my daughter.
I am comforted that she does have a level head and she is a strong person. She has become physically and mentally tough and still maintains a sweet personality with a large, giving heart. I may have actually seen her tear up at a movie from time to time, like her old man. I see these things in her and it makes me well up with pride. She is exactly how I hoped she would be when she was small.
Still, these low moments that are in everyone’s life is going to come. I hope they will be few and far between and when they do enter her life, maybe out of the blue, I hope she knows that the morning will come and the sun will rise. A new day will dawn. I hope she knows that these bad moments help prepare her for other things down the road.
I wiped my eyes and left the bathroom, the song still in my head but its hold on me had let go. I smiled. I knew that she will have people who love her in her life that will be there to lend an ear or a shoulder to cry on. I’m one of those. When you become a parent, a good parent, you sign an invisible contract to be there in your child’s life, to help guide them along and to be there for support. You learn to let go when the time comes so they can make their own decisions, right or wrong. You just hope they know to trust their instincts and believe in their hearts to do the right thing. And to take a lump or two.
And you hope that they know that you are there for them with open arms, a place to sleep, and food to nourish them. And words that might nourish their souls, if just a little bit.
One more note on the subject.
To any person that might try to break my daughter’s heart, anybody that might say a cross word to her or feed her lies, she has many people who love her. She has many people in her life that care for her well-being. And she has a dad that has her back until the end of time. And beyond.
As Liam Neeson said, ” … I do have are a very particular set of skills…”
You know the rest.
-Loyd Elmore Jr
May 18th, 2018
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.