As Father’s Day draws nearer and nearer, I feel driven to make this post. This is a stretch for me, because I am not usually good at discussing how I am really truly feeling about things in my own personal life. This post may not appeal to some of you, but it may help and encourage others so I wanted to include it on my blog anyway.
A Little History
In order to understand the story, you need to know a little bit about me. I met me ex-husband a few days after I had turned 17 and he was 19. He was a recovered drug addict living in a halfway house at the time and he had hopes and dreams that you would not believe. I realize now of course that this was a disaster waiting to happen, but at the time I was a very sheltered girl who had never been in love and I was smitten to say the least.
A few short months later and we were engaged and even though my parents were against it, they agreed to let me make my own mistakes and signed the papers for me to get married. On May 15, 1999 a week before my high school graduation, I was married at the age of 17 to my then 20 year-old husband.
After one miscarriage I had my first son at the age of 18 and then another the next year. I was totally in love with my husband and things were wonderful. We had started our own commercial house and carpet cleaning business, had money in the bank and a house on 5 acres.
Things Go Bad
After the birth of our second son, things started to go bad. While we had had arguements before that time, we always worked through them. A few months after the birth of our baby though and he was back into drugs. Knowing nothing about drug use myself or anyone that did them, he was able to hide it from me for a long time. That is until the call came that we had no money and the lights would be shut off.
Things escalated and a lot of really horrible things happened throughout the years. I left him for periods of time, drove him to countless rehabs and tried my best to make things work. After a while my family could no longer take the back and forth and knew better than I did myself. My mom approached me one day and said “it is your family or him.” I of course chose my family, because no matter how co-dependant I was on him, I had common sense and knew that my family were the ones who had always been there for me. I also knew deep down I was just tired and needed to get out.
In June of 2004 I said goodbye to my then ex-husband and never saw him again. It was the hardest day of my life at that point and while I said goodbye with my words, I realize now that I never said goodbye with my heart. It was something that I had to do for my children, my family and even for myself, but it is not something I wanted to do.
He never came to see the kids or called or even contributed to their care. They told me he was clean for a few years, but I never believed it. I had heard that story a million times before and knew how it would end.
The End and Saying Goodbye
In August of 2009, I received a call from my ex-MIL telling me that he had been in a bad accident, had not been wearing a seat belt and was in the hospital. This is the exact moment that I realized I had never said goodbye to my first love in my heart. All I wanted was to drive down there and tell him a million things I never got to say. What I did though is wait for news and when it came, the news was far from good.
My ex-husband passed away last year and with him a piece of my heart pased away as well. The hope and dreams that he had and that we shared were gone and always would be, and I had to finally face the fact that he was indeed gone forever. I grieved because I should have done more, should have called, should have tried to help. I grieved for my children who never got the chance to know the good loving person that really was deep inside the addict’s body, but most of all I grieved the loss of my first love, my deepest love and a part of my heart.
So, as Father’s Day comes and goes, I wanted to remember my first love and father of my children, and say simply that I wish things could have been different.