A child is broken

I try not to harp on the negative, but some things just can’t be sugar coated. Last night while laying in bed, Matt asked me why I had been so quiet – because clearly, that’s not like me.

I laid there forever to try to formulate my answer, because what was flying through my brain would only make sense to me.

When I was 3 or 4, my Mom divorced the man whom I believed was my father. I don’t really remember much, but I do remember my feelings for him ranged from me wishing he’d die to missing him. Please know, he wasn’t a good man. I believed I was allowed to think mean thoughts about him. My last real memory of him as a little kid was him tossing me down the hallway like some bag of garbage stating “I never want to see that little shit again.” I’m no worse for wear, but the memory stings a bit. Like lemon juice in an open wound.

But – there were times when I’d miss him so much my heart would ache. There’s something about a father. Good or bad. They’re your life. I would remember seeing motorcycles go past and I’d get sad, thinking about him.

Turns out, someone higher up loves me more than I know, because later on I found out he wasn’t in fact my biological father. While in my mind I believe a lot more goes into being a father than just blood, it does count for something.

This, in turn, made me a broken child.

Children are resilient, but we do have our limitations. And it’s not the childhood where we’re directly effected. It’s later in life.

I don’t hold grudges to children who grew up in families that had both mother and father and ‘normalcy’ because nothing is normal. I mean, I thought my growing up is normal. However, growing up in a home with only one parent isn’t easy, regardless the circumstance. I felt a lot of emotional stress worrying about my Mom. She never asked me to, but I did. That’s who I am.

So, last night, as I was laying in bed, I realized for the first time that perfect, sweet, caring and kind Ella is now a broken child. She is 3 years old and her father has died. And thinking about that takes my breath away.

I remember asking my Mom where daddy went. And she would have anger in her eyes but would answer me kindly. Ella is asking where her daddy went and her Mom’s eyes are filled with sadness and will answer with the only thing she knows. Her daddy is gone from this Earth.

And she’ll grow up, and she’ll smile again one day, but her childhood innocence has been altered. She’s older than she should be. And from one broken child to another, I feel so badly for her.

No one should have to grow up without their daddy. That is why I made sure to invest in a really good man to be the father for my children. And I won that lottery. He’s everything to me and the kids. He’s our everything.

Just as Hank was Ella’s everything.

It’s hard to lose everything.

(Read my mother’s memory here. It’s beautiful and sad all the same. But interesting to have a widow’s perspective.)

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About Cassie

Two sisters from two misters. What could be more fun?

Posted on March 10, 2011, in Cassie. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. That is so sad and makes me realize how much I take for granted when I’m angry with my dad for acting like a child. At least he’s there and has always given everything for me.

    I am so thankful for my wonderful husband and dad-to-be and thankful you have a great man by your side and for your children as well.

  2. You are not only a fantastic writer, you’re a terrific person who has the magical ability to care about, empathize with a be a great friend to people who live thousands of miles away and whom you’ve never met in person.

    Broken child? Maybe.

    Ella will have a harder road to travel than many of her peers, there’s no doubt about that.

    But she should be so lucky as to let her “brokenness” transform her into the kind of woman you’ve become.

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