Shared by Drew X. Read his original Heartbeat submission here.
I love you daddy. I love you too little man.
I love you daddy. I love you too bumblebee.
Words spoken thousands of times as part of our bedtime ritual to the family that is a product of our love. A love that has somehow gone awry.
I remember the first sign that something was wrong. We were driving, and I reached out my hand to hold yours as we drove. You didn’t take it, so I looked over to see your face set like stone, your eyes forward without looking at me. After a few moments I dropped my hand and we drove on in silence.
That day was more than two years ago, and I remain as confused and hurt today as I was then. There was an erosion of your love for me. Slow at first as I felt you withdraw and build up walls around yourself, then all at once the day you told me you never truly loved me.
It was true to you, but I didn’t believe it then and I don’t believe it now. What we had was special and our life had so much good. We had suffered some traumas, and I feared that you had never fully recovered.
I told myself that all I needed to do was hold on. Remain positive, continue to love you, and show you that you could be happy again. I needed to be a beacon to guide you out of the darkness where you were lost.
It was hard when I would never hear “I love you”, or receive any affection from you. Sometimes you would smile, but it would rarely reach your eyes. Still, sometimes I would get a glimmer that maybe things would be alright, and we would be able to be a family again. But now I ask myself if it was ever really there, or was it just a cruel trick of the light.
There have been a number of times that I thought I was done, that I couldn’t hold on any longer. Then we would do our nighttime ritual and I would look down at our children, and they would give me the strength to keep fighting. Even though it felt like I was the only one.
But every story has it’s ending, every battle has it’s finish, and I am so tired. All I needed was some sign from you that you cared. Some sign that there was hope. And I would have been there until the end. I guess I spent so much time holding on I lost sight of the fact that I had already lost you.
So now I sit here, going through the boxes and the wreckage of the life that we had. And I come across a poem that I wrote years ago, long before we met. Before I truly knew pain, or loss.
Oh my love, where are you now?
Our world of black and white was so promising when we were young
But as we grow everything fades to grey
The world is grey, the sky is grey
With my grey eyes I stare at my grey hands
And a grey tear falls from my cheek
Never again will my love be bright and my hate be dark
But always somewhere in between, in the murk of life
The stars seem dimmer now, but perhaps they always were
I am so sorry for our children. Their world is about to change in ways I never wanted, and they deserve so much better. They deserve a house full of love, and a family that is complete.
And I am so sorry for you my love. That I couldn’t get through to you and get you the help you need. You will always hold my heart and I will always love you. But it is time to let go.
The stars seem dimmer now, but perhaps they always were.
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