When we were in Noosa, so was my husband. He was there realising one of his biggest dreams. Experiencing his holy grail. His big moment. This whole trip I had planned six months ago, so that we could make his dreams come true. Then things changed. He went back to Indonesia and I tried to pick up the broken pieces. It wasn’t hard for me to decide whether or not I wanted to still go. I had made plans and I wanted to keep them. I had new friends waiting for me there.
So Bo and I went.
My husband still got to go. Not on our dollar anymore but he was given sponsorship and gear and… and… his dream came true. He also had the chance to see us again. The great chance to make change. The great promises were made before the trip… promises of change. Promises of hope…
It had been three long months. Three months of tear filled phone calls and silent Skype dates. Three months of anger and excuses and forced conversation. Three months of promises. Three months apart. Three months since he had seen Bo and her gorgeous face in the flesh. Three months since he had broken my heart. Three months since the world as
we I knew it, fell apart.
I expected things to change. I expected that the promises he had made, would be kept. I hoped that we would find peace and hope and a new way forward. I dreamed big for us too. I expected him to be waiting on the doorstep when we arrived with apologies and heart felt words and gestures of love and light and arms open.
He wasn’t there.
Sometimes, things just don’t change. As much as you hope and you dream and you wish and you scream into your pillow… sometimes, things don’t change. You can fight until your heart is tired… and that doesn’t guarantee that things will change. Not when relationships are on the line. For a relationship to work there has to be TWO people fighting. One can’t fight enough for two. No matter how hard one tries.
When he did finally see us, my heart broke all over again. Love doesn’t disappear. Even with anger and betrayal and pain, real love doesn’t dissipate the way I thought it might. I wanted to reach out and touch him, through my anger, through my disappointment. But I sat on my hands. At our first cautious meeting, Bo was withdrawn, confused, almost ambivalent. But a few days later I watched as my daughter reached out for her father for the first time in months. I watched as she held his hand and talked into his eyes. I stood in a park and listened as he made excuses, and I felt my heart break.
For her. For me. For him.
Shattered. Lost. Broken.
I heard his words wash over me. The words of a man who doesn’t know what he wants. The promise of change. The insistence of just another one-more-chance. I heard his words and I saw the lack of action and I felt defeated.
I watched as Bo befriended one of the dads we were staying with. How she played for his attention. How she wanted to hold his hand and sit on his lap. How she wanted to be near to him. And I felt like I had been run over by a truck. My whole body deflated by the love and the loss and the incredible injustice of it all. I watched her love him and I realised something that I know I’m going to experience over and over again…
No matter how hard I try, no matter how good I am for her or how much I sacrifice for her happiness or how much I give to her and love her and LOVE her and LOVE LOVE LOVE her. I will never be enough. She will always, always be missing something. There will always be a hole in her life. A hole shaped like her father… and it is utterly, completely, and unbearably devastating.
I said goodbye to him the morning that we left. He said goodbye to his daughter. I don’t know when we will ever be in the same place again. My guess is it will be a very long time. He said the words he has said so many times before, I’ll try, I’ll try. And then he walked away. I went and sunk my hands into a steaming sink full of dishes, tears in my eyes and my heart in my throat. My daughter on my back. And I cried silent tears for all three of us. And I washed dishes, because there wasn’t anything left to do.
Even when you need to fall apart. Even when the world is ending and the sky is falling and your heart is ripping in two… you just keep moving… because the only way out is through.
Sometimes, things don’t change.
Until they do… But until then?
The only way out is through…