“A broken heart is the worst. It’s like having broken ribs. Nobody can see it but the pain is unbearable every time you breathe.”
A wise man told me years ago there is nothing that will hurt worse than a broken heart and the first time my heart broke years ago, his words rang true. The thing is I don’t think either one of us knew that years later, mine would break every Wednesday as I watched my boys leave. Last night I walked into their room a few times, just to check on them, and let’s be honest, get a glance of them. This morning we got up early to watch a movie and to just be together; while I literally choked on my tears through all of it, the movie, breakfast, the drive into town, but I held it together like I always do - for them. We had a family group hug in the parking lot and then I choked a bit more until it became unbearable and the flood gates opened, out of their view of course. “Dad, you were right, broken hearts hurt, and mine breaks weekly."
I was talking with a friend of mine who goes through the same thing weekly and we were comparing what we do to survive the time away. He said, “I just pretend she is at college and I would not be able to see her everyday anyways.” My “go to” is to think of the all of the military mom and dad’s out their who sacrifice for us and in turn miss out on their time with their children, families who lose their children all too young, and families who have children or parents suffering with terminal illness. It is at this time that I tell myself, “Jolene, suck it up it could be so much worse.” But, I also have to cut myself some slack because broken hearts hurt.
So, to all of you mom’s and dad’s out there; whether you are a split family situation or not, I know your children can drive you crazy at times, but please don’t take your time with them for granted, it goes by fast enough. And, for those of us sharing time and participating in the drop off days, give yourself some credit, because remember nothing hurts worse than a broken heart, and for some of us, our hearts break often.
And, if you see me on a Wednesday morning and I look like I haven’t slept in days, that is not the case; I am fortunate enough to have two little humans who take up residence in my heart and when they walk away they take a lot of “me” with them - my heart. I have endured many years of this already and I have many more to go, but in the end, I’m so lucky to have my boys, two little humans who make saying goodbye so hard.
“I don’t remember who said this, but there are really are places in the heart you don’t know even exist until you love a child.” Anne Lamott