Welcome to tomthinking.com Wednesday, August 22 2018 @ 07:38 AM UTC

I Sent My Daughter Away

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This is one of those blog entries that I wonder if I should post. It is so personal, so gut-wrenching personal.
I sent my daughter away.
It’s hard to describe at this moment, not quite an hour after Stefani’s plane took off, how desperately alone I feel. It was time for Stefani to go back to America, prepare for college, and learn how to begin living life on her own. It was time. And I know that what I’m experiencing at this moment is not unusual for parents who send their kids off on their own. It’s not usual. I’ve seen other parents send their kids away, halfway around the world—as I just have, knowing that I won’t be seeing my daughter for a very long time. Knowing that she’s not just around the corner, or down the street, across town, or even in the next State. Very soon her bright days will be my dark nights. But I know it’s not unusual. I know that the emotional earthquake inside will calm over time. I know. Still it’s hard for me to contain.
I sent my daughter away.
It was the right thing to do, but the overwhelming sense of guilt and loss at this moment is hard to take. I can’t recall ever feeling this alone. Not ever.
I moved up Stefani’s original date for departure by 8 months because I thought it was the right thing to do. It was the right thing to do. I’m her dad. Her future is my first concern, even if it means losing her early. As hard as it was, she also thought it was the right thing to do too. Still…
I sent my daughter away.
I’m stretching for words to describe what it feels like at this moment, but they fail me. I wonder if Stefani looked out the window of the plane as Mongolia fled beneath her, feeling as empty and alone on that crowded plane as I feel in this empty apartment.
Diane, Rochele, and Whitney are waiting for Stefani in Tucson, looking forward to seeing her again after a long 3-month separation. I know it will be a very happy to time for them, and that gives me some comfort. When it comes time later this year for Diane, and the girls to return to Mongolia, they will leave Stefani behind in Tucson. Then Stefani will begin to taste her first experiences of being alone. Diane, Rochele, and Whitney will have each other as they fly away to return home. But right now it’s just me, alone in this apartment with a fly that keeps buzzing my head. I want to kill it so bad. But I can only kill it once.
It’s so quiet now.
It’s quieter than it’s ever been even when she was at school or out with friends. Her mobile phone sits on the table, powered off. It won’t be ringing anymore. I won’t be getting a call or a text message from her to say she’s out with friends, or on her way home, or asking if we can go to dinner tonight. I’d die just to be able to get a text message from her.
It’s so quiet. I’m going to be alone today. I need to be alone today. No phone calls. No going out. No distracting myself from what I’m feeling. Take the experience and embrace it for all that it is. I need to get used to it, allow it to pass, allow the despair to pass on its own, reminding myself that I know this is not an unusual thing. It’s not. It is not. This is normal.
But my chest is caving in to where my heart used to be because I sent my daughter away.