The last month of school brings a tide of several feelings- exhaustion being the most prominent of these. You know that exhaustion- the kind that sucks your soul out through your toenails until you think it’s Friday and it’s only…well Tuesday. It’s a VERY familiar feeling this time of year.
For me the final stretch of this school year has brought multiple emotional minefields and pitfalls as I navigate the end of April. While I may be functioning well out the outside on the inside I am just terribly sad.
Overall my life is pretty amazing. My kids are thriving, I’m getting remarried in two months to a wonderful man, my chapter 2 and my job is awesome. I’m handling the day to day of single parenthood within the insanity of two busy kids as well as one can. I laugh, I’m sarcastic as always but given 5 minutes of downtime- I’m terribly sad.
I realized today as I was running and crying (again apologies to my county neighbors) that my daughter, my first born is really going to high school next year. Like August. She’s really going- it’s not a test or a joke. This weekend brought her last Cotillion, Tuesday is her last band concert and she just made the high school dance team. She is moving forward, moving on to her next steps in life and it just seems like too much.
It seems like too much because, you see, when she started middle school, her Daddy was alive. Life was completely different. He was so excited about her going to middle school but still covering his face at the thought of his little girl doing middle school things. Liking boys, dances, ball games, drama/hormones. He was your typical 6th grade father. However, he didn’t live to see the end of this stage of life. He was there at the beginning but not the end of middle school.
When Patrick died, Morgan still looked like a young girl, dealt with tween problems and still seemed like a child. In a little less than two years she is registering for AP classes, wrapped up in a social world that is light years beyond where she once was and looks like a young woman. She has strong ideas, goals for the next 10 years and will be operating a motor vehicle in 17 months. (Now, let us pray.)
I’m so proud of this woman she is becoming. I’m proud of her heart, her faith, her drive, her determination. I’m proud of her adjustment to change and her ability to adapt.
I’m sad though, deeply sad. Her proud father didn’t get to see this metamorphosis, this mighty change. In pictures with him she is forever frozen in time as a child, no make up, slightly messy hair, whatever t-shirt and mismatched socks. He never got to see her dream of making the high school dance team come true, her straight A streak continue and her newly unwavering commitment to shoes and fashion. He never got to see her evolution into a confident woman unfold.
As we prep for end of middle school events and high school beginnings it is bitterly poignant for me. We are accustomed to him not being there but this month, today, I am terribly sad that Patrick doesn’t get to see our amazing girl. I look at a picture of the two of them laughing, Morgan with a messy ponytail and her Daddy gazing at her with immense love. That father/daughter bond frozen in time.
I’m thankful for all the time we shared and the precious memories too; for all these memories are a comfort when I lovingly remember you. ~Author unknown
One thought on “Frozen in Time”
It is very interesting to me, Heather, that your sadness stems from what you perceive as the loss of the experiences of – and for – the two family members that you love.Granted, Patrick will not see Morgan in the light that he helped groom her in which to shine.But he did share 50% of the task – and through her mannerisms that I can see come through of his – her quick smile – that little tilt of her head when she’s interested in an engaged conversation …(saw it at Easter)….YOU are the one who is able to embrace the happiness that it can give. Yes – Patrick is not here to enjoy the victories – and the overwhelming emotions you are experiencing – but he helped to shape the outcome of your daughter that you are now encountering. He has and will always be included in her life by his hard efforts to be involved in their lives ! You have also been blessed with a chapter two that we are so happy to watch
emerge !..There will be no “forgetting” Patrick as long as his two children are walking and emiting the “Patrick genes” that were chosen for them before the beginning of time !..He will always be there, in all your hearts, to pick them up – or keep them keeping on !!..
Now for Morgan – she is enjoying this phase in her life – new experiences – new opportunities – and as we all know – teenage girls are always “in the moment”..she may be sad at times that she can’t crawl in her daddy’s lap – but when that happens – she will remember when she DID – and how it felt – and – there he is to give her that feeling again – because she HAS experienced it !..She’ll run on out that door – holding up her prom dress and have the time of her life – while you are left with the tears for her – that she’s already left behind !..
I understand your heart is breaking through this – but B R E A T H E !!..
You are doing a remarkable job with it all – and we’re all so proud of the warrior you’ve become – and through this blog, helping others . Just as it is written for you to do !
You’re from a long line of strong women ..and passing this test with flying colors !..
The race is not over – nor will be – but just realize that Patrick – and God – were preparing you all for
these days. They are both still right there beside you – holding your hand and bursting with pride !