Hi. I would like to say hello to my daughters please and tell them how much I love them. Do you have a phone number where I can call them?
The successions of emotions I felt were seamless. Upon seeing his name appear in the announcement banner at the top of my phone my heart squeezed and then immediately horrible things he might say raced through my mind. As I clicked the banner and my iPhone flipped to the e-mail I held my breath and then sighed as I read it, only to feel my eyebrows knit together and tears burn my eyes.
I am not some horrible woman who would spitefully keep my children away from their dad. I am not the kind of woman who would intentionally hurt him by making it impossible for him to see them. I am just not that person . . . even though he believes I am. He believes that I am a heartless, soulless woman with a vendetta against him because he didn't make enough money in our marriage. These are his words and it breaks my heart. It further breaks my heart that all this time he could have easily looked up my mom's phone number (although I am suspicious as to why he doesn't have it in the first place considering he has given to me and taken away my cell phone on so many occasions) Regardless, it hurt my heart to think he would think that I might not let him talk to them.
Of course, being that they haven't heard hide nor hair of him in almost 4 months I asked them first. "Would you like to talk to your daddy on the phone?"
Sassy's eyes immediately widened and she shook her head almost imperceptibly and whispered, "Why?"
I know that the events of the last time the four of us were together are forefront in her mind, even though we don't discuss it unless she brings it up. She was severely traumatized that night that her daddy would call the police on her mommy and the fear in her eyes was intensely evident. This hurt me. No child should fear seeing their daddy, let alone just talking on the phone.
On the other hand Breezy was eager to talk to him. She links her daddy with getting presents and so she is always more than willing to talk to him with the expectation that she will get something. As soon as she expressed her want to talk to him, Sassy lowered her lashes and nodded her head. "I guess I can," she whispered to her lap.
I called him for them and they spoke to him on speaker in case the conversation developed inappropriate themes so that I could intervene. But the conversation went well, barring the sadness that Sassy recognized very well in his voice. After speaking about school, and learning to read, and what they wanted for Christmas and laughing about how he couldn't understand them and they couldn't understand him they said they loved each other and hung up. Sassy turned to me and said, "Why did daddy sound like that?"
I asked her, "like what?"
"He sounded sick . . ." she paused and her intuition was apparent. "Or like he was crying. Was he crying?"
I said I didn't know because though my heart tells me that the hitch and thickness in his voice was tears, I do not know for certain.
I am deeply saddened for the man I once loved.
Sometimes I wish I could reach out across the expanse of separate states and touch his shoulder and tell him how sorry I am that we turned out the way we did. That I forgive him everything and hope he forgives me. I sometimes wish I could just hug him, hug the man he was when I loved him so much that it hurt.
But I can't.
I can't reach out across the states. My apology would (and always has) fallen on deaf ears. I can't hug him. It would either be rejected or misinterpreted as a need of mine to become more ... again.
Because we will never be anything together ever again other than parents to Sassy and Breezy.
I do not love him anymore except as a brother in Christ.
So, there is nothing more that I can do than pray for him.
And remember what God has said to and for all of us: