Monday, March 9, 2009

Dear Jake-

Two years ago you and I were given the greatest gift imaginable. As I write this he is sleeping in the other room and you are off somewhere doing God knows what. In the past eight days you have spent a grand total of four hours with him. Half of that trying to figure out how to leave him without him getting too upset.

As I watched you hold him and cry last night, promising him that you would do better, I thought perhaps... just maybe... you could understand a little of what you were missing. Yet this evening, as almost every other day in the past eight, you were too tired to visit. You needed to stay home and "relax."

A friend of mine told me perhaps it is because you didn't want a child as badly as I. Perhaps you don't really miss what you were never really sure you wanted. Yet somehow, I don't think that is the case. Perhaps he was my heart's desire but when I saw you with him, when you were you and not the disease, you were just as in love with him as I.

But now, you are the disease. When I close my eyes I see you in a long dark tunnel. When you look around you, all you see is darkness and despair but if you look far enough, squint hard enough you will see a small light at the end of that tunnel. Every night before I go to bed and every morning when I wake up I pray that you find your way to that light. To that place of peace and happiness that you had a year ago.

But for now, I want you to know that somewhere in the past eight days, your son has learned what an oval is. And while he might confuse the triangle for the square, he knows that there is such a thing as both a triangle and a square and that, my friend, is living proof that I am living with one of the most amazing people I could ever imagine.

Some day, when he is grown, he will form his own opinion of you, and why you were not here. I hope that he, unlike me, is able to see that daddy had a disease and that disease took him away. Because right now, I'm struggling. There is a deep sadness within me and a deep despair at the loss of the man that just a year ago I thought would be in my life forever. I am struggling to understand how you could choose that life over this one and how the disease could "win" when just a year ago we thought we had it beaten.

So, in case I forget to tell you, through all the anger and the sadness and the tears, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. You have given me the greatest gift I could ever imagine and I promise that I will take care of him in a way that I only wish you could. Someday, when you find your way to the light at the end of the tunnel, I hope it is not too late for him to forgive you for all that you missed.



Anonymous said...

Wow! That is some good writing! You should really print that out and send it to him at his new address where he loves to hang out so much! I think at this point that he is too far gone and I also pray that he finds his way to that bright light! I hope you know that I am just as upset with him as you are and that me and our family support you 100% along this tough jorney ahead of you! I wish that we were closer so that we could enjoy watching that wonderful little boy grow up! He is and always will be one of my pride and joys! I hope that he always knows that he does have MANY people that love him and will always be there for him no matter if daddy is around or not! And not to mention that you have been in my family for over half my life and we will always welcome you with open arms and are so proud of the courage that you have! Be strong and keep praying for that one day when he pulls his head out of that big ass and gets his priorities straight! I love you Sister and always will!

Jessica said...

I don’t doubt Jakes love for Spike on some level but overall I think you longed for your son much more than he was capable of at the time you were conceiving. That takes nothing away from the relationship between you and your munchkin.

As I said to you before I never thought I would see you get this far and I am so proud of you! Stay strong and keep putting one foot in front of the other. If Jake doesn’t “see the light” it’s only going to get harder and be all that more important for you to stick to your guns.

What makes me sad from an outsider looking in is not that Jake chooses not to spend time with Zack; it’s that he chooses to just spend 15 minutes with him. There will come a day soon when Zack will pick up on daddy’s lifestyle and his reasoning for leaving him each time and soon he will know everything we already do. The only difference is he will carry the pain and the burden to amount for all of us.

I know the pain of a father who chose drugs and alcohol over his child. I dealt with it my entire life and at a very young age I remember feeling just as bad for what he did to my mother, all things I was able to pick up on. I very much took on the sadness of my biological father leaving us. My only saving grace was he had allotted visitation every Sunday from 2-4pm at my grandparent’s house. If he didn’t show up I never knew he was suppose to and my grandpa made it clear that if he was to show up he had better stay for the duration as to not rip my heart out further with a “Here I am” – “There I go” experience……He came once. I am so loved by a wonderful mother and family.

Spike is, has been, and always will be fine with the wonderful people who are committed to him no matter what time of day he needs or chooses! You can love him enough! You can be everything he needs! AND Like I said before…..he will find what he is missing in the people he loves and that cherish him.

kbreints said...

oh Heather, this made me cry this morning. It made me cry just reading it. I cannot waht it must do to you, living it.

I am sorry. ((hugs))

OMH said...

Hugs.......What a beautiful letter.

There are a few things Zack has to discover for himself.....do not confuse the issue more by...

a. Fighting with Jake every time he is there (Zack will remember your tones and body language which will be confusing as to who is really at fault)

b. Do not make excuses for Jake. I'm not sure if you tell Zack that Daddy is coming or not but if you do and he doesn't show. I would advise you to say I'm not sure why Daddy didn't come maybe you can ask HIM next time he is here. Let Jake answer for his own decisions.

c. Do not try to "make up" for Jake not being there - I promise you (along with friends and family) are enough for Zack to become a well rounded individual (or would that be an Oval...maybe Zack should teach me!) But kids learn quickly to play people against each other and he needs your leadership more than your guilt or efforts to ease the guilt to get to be the Man he is headed for (quicker than we would like!)

I know you know these things - I also know that I am miles removed (which isn't really fair because I would love to do me some spoiling on Zack!) but I care very much for you and Munchkin and am praying for you!

Amanda said...

Wow. I am so sorry. He really is missing out on the greatest thing ever.

Creative Genius? said...

Hugs sweetie - your beautiful letter made me cry!

Laura said...

This is lovely Heather. I'm so sorry for what you're going through but you have a lot of support, and so does your beautiful son.

Aunt Becky said...

Oh Heather, I am so so sorry. I've been thinking of you constantly and wishing I knew what to say. You'd think with 2 parents in recovery I'd get what to say, but no.

I hate this disease. And I'm standing beside you and holding your hand.

Lauren said...

You are doing the best thing, but I am so sorry for you. I know you love your son enough to do what is best for him, you've already done it. Just keep going. I don't know if it will get easier, but you are a great woman and you can do this. I'm sorry

Krista said...

I love this letter, despite the fact that it made me cry. Your love for Zack is so obvious. It's sad that Jake has to fight this disease, but you have done everything you can. Hopefully one day, Jake will wake up, until then you and Zack will have so many wonderful memories, he won't realize what he's missing.