Saturday, August 20, 2005

Happy Birthday, Baby! I miss you!

My daughter... She's all grown up now. Her birthday is tomorrow, August 21st. She'll be twenty-four years old. I can still remember, as if only yesterday, bringing her home from the hospital. Her daddy and I had baby-sat for many friends before the birth of our first born. Our home was a good 45 minutes from the hospital and on the way home, I remember talking about how this baby was ours, we wouldn't be sending her home after a few hours. We were so proud of our brand new baby girl.

Through the years... We did all the parental things, making sure our little girl was well rounded in life's experiences. Swimming, gymnastics, piano, Brownies and Girl Scouts cookies, private religious schools, public schools, holiday celebrations, sleep-overs, dances, cats and dogs, vacations to Disneyland, camping, fishing, hiking, biking, friends and family gatherings... The same most every other parent does for their kids.

Then they turn into Teens... By now, I had become a single parent of two children after divorce. A girl, 14 years old, and a boy, just 6 years old. We had been divorced two years and I had two "only" children, going in two separate directions. I did the best I could to keep some stability in the lives of these kids. When we lost our home, I stayed in the same neighborhood so the kids would go to the same schools. My parents lived 800 miles away, with all the rest of my extended family. So, it was us three against the world for a few years.

Life was hard... Idaho is not easy on single women. The wages here are barely above poverty when trying to support a family. I found it difficult to keep a job, for the first time in my life. There were times I didn't know where our next meal would come from. I remember attending my son's teacher conferences, late that fall, when he was in 1st grade. The teacher had asked me something and I just broke down and cried. She must have been an angel because next thing I knew, the City Police were at my door with food and gift donations that Christmas. Those days seem so far away, but they were just in the last ten years.

Somewhere along the way... My daughter lost respect for me as her mother. It was more than the normal teen thinking their parent knows nothing. When she turned 18 years old, she left without letting me know where she was. Then within a year, she moved from Boise to Seattle. I remember feeling so lost, so helpless... How could I be a part of her life, living so far away? What if she met someone special and wanted to get married, have kids, how could I be a part of this? I never, ever dreamed I would live life without my daughter, my only daughter. I always imagined our lives would be entangled with each other; family dinners, movies out, shopping, crafts, baking, and just hanging out together. I know, as a young adult and mother, I spent a lot of time with my parents, stopping by whenever I could, calling and talking with them several times a day. We went shopping and camping and just everything together. I don't believe it's possible to have this with my own daughter, and I never saw it coming.

Divorce happened to all of us... My daughter was affected by this divorced as much as I was. She was just 12 years old when I left the kids' father. I do not know if I could have done anything different than I did. I do know, I did the best I could for both my kids. They were always my first consideration in my decisions. I can only hope that someday, both my kids will understand I did the best I could for us.

My adult daughter... She has every right to her own life, her own opinions, her own way of doing what she does. I do not understand her distance, her withdrawal from me. It hurts so much. She has been living so far away from home for so long now, I don't notice the pain so much. When I stop to think of all the time we've missed being together, all the moments we'll never have, the memories we are missing, it just kills me.

I love my daughter with all my heart... I know she loves me too. Someday, I hope whatever is keeping her from me will go away and she will find happiness in our relationship. Happy Birthday, Baby. I miss you.


Stacy said...

She is gorgeous. I do not know her reasons and I can't possibly ubderstand the hurt you feel but I will pray for you two and your relationship. Happy Birthday to your daughter.

Comment from djzgirl71 - 8/20/05 10:24 PM

susan said...

You've left that door open and hopefully one day she will walk back through it. Daughters are always hard on their moms during those teen years. One day when they're married, they start to understand divorce. Hugs to you on this special and sad day.
Comment from sieblonde - 8/20/05 10:30 PM

ari said...

Happy Birthday to your daughter. Which is really an anniversary of the day you brought her life into the world. You did what you could. I have faith that she will realize that one day.

Big hugs to you, doll.

Comment from mechants - 8/20/05 10:35 PM

becky said...

I hope she grows and figures things out soon. Sounds like you all have had a lot of upheaval in your lives and that can be very hard on a kid. Sounds like she needs to find stability and maturity and then she will come around again.
Comment from ryanagi - 8/20/05 11:17 PM

rebecca said...

Happy Birthday to both her and You. I hope she finds her way back to you and soon. That bond between Mother and Daughter, is not an easy one to forget, have faith, give her time, and I hope with all my heart she comes home to you soon.
Comment from justaname4me2 - 8/20/05 11:35 PM

rollinghillsides said...

i'm so sorry you and your daughter are so far apart, your story really saddened me. i am blessed, my three daughters live within walking distance of my home .... i wish that for you some day! .... (phinney's mom) ....
Comment from rollinghillsides - 8/21/05 1:58 AM

sonya said...

I know this was a hard entry to write. Perhaps she will get to read it someday and understand your pain. This is particulary touching to me, of course, not only b/c I'm fond of you, but I also have a 12 year old, coming in to her teen years soon.
Don't ever lose faith.
Comment from bookncoffee - 8/21/05 3:55 AM

mosie1944 said...

I am saying a prayer that your daughter will soon come to her senses and realize she needs her mother.
Comment from mosie1944 - 8/21/05 5:24 AM

linda said...

Happy Birthday to her, today is my big day too. Linda

Comment from naturegirlfromny - 8/21/05 5:55 AM

glendar0812 said...

What a beautiful girl she is ... I have my child living at home and she is lost to me in many ways. I know it's all a part of the process but it is hurtful and difficult. I am parenting my grandchild alongside his mother who was too young to have a child AND appreciate his value. She loves him alright but has no patience with him. I also have a son who is a year older than my daughter ... from 15 on he came and went through periods of hooking up with the wrong crowd, phone calls from the police department .. etc. I went through a living hell with him and then he vanished for a couple of periods in his young adult period. The past year with him has been more stable. During his lost period I sent him a card, letter or package every week just to let him know he was in my heart. Yesterday for the first time in two or three years HE CALLED ME just to say hello.

He turned 24 in June. My daughter turned 23 last Wednesday the 17th. I understand your pain and my next hurdle to face is when my child defines to me his choices in love ... see I'm not altogether certain but I am of the thinking that he was "living" with a man at one point in his banishment. This BREAKS my heart on many levels but I will have to accept my child whatever my prejudices may be.

I wish you deep reconciliation in the near future with this child of yours. Our children tend to "get it" once they mature and see the big picture. There are things that will come to light in her and open the window for her to see the truth.

Goodness knows these miracles of ours bring great turmoil ... perhaps you can at some point make your way home to California and then you'll at least find a way to find some peace on at least that level of finding home in your heart. Then maybe you won't be too far from Seattle to visit when those babies eventually come along.
Comment from glendar0812 - 8/21/05 7:53 AM

redpoppy007 said...

Talk to her..something must have happened. She is so pretty. I would try to regain that closeness.
Comment from redpoppy007 - 8/21/05 10:01 AM

deborah said...

Oh you dear lady, Your entry has me all misty cuz my only son (28) and I are in this same predicament. Thanks for saying a lot of the words I need to say as well and for saying them so poignantly. God knows you were the very best Mom you could be as was I. Here's praying for both of us that they come back around to us ASAP. Many blessings to you & yours, Deborah (Sassy ;-)
Comment from sassydee50 - 8/21/05 1:12 PM

sylvia said...

"Lost" my daughter for 7 years, like you, no apparent reason. Then one day a knock came on the door, it was my daughter, unrecognisable from the pretty little 19 year old, who had left home without even saying goodbye. She had had a rough time over those years, still now I only know shreds of what happened. I found the reason though, she was "with" a girlfriend and didn't think we would understand. It was difficult, but she is our daughter and love doesn't change. We now have our daughter and a lovely little grandson. Give it time. Thinking of you.
Sylvia x
Comment from sylviam4000 - 8/22/05 5:36 AM

tc01hm said...

Ill pray that she comes to terms one day and lets you back into her life
Comment from tc01hm - 8/23/05 11:24 AM

renee said...

My mom did the best she could when she divorced. I turned out fine. Your love for your daughter shines through. Many happy days for you both. Time or distance can never take away the bond.
Comment from acyrlicstains - 8/25/05 7:33 AM

derek said...

does she read your blog? If she does, then I'm sure she knows how much you love her. I so love reading my mom's blog. It helps me to know her feelings.

Comment from deveil - 8/26/05 1:46 PM

kelli said...

I'm crying because, minus a few differences, this sounds so similar to my Mom and I. I hated her for years. I never moved away, though, and I think that made matters worse - we would fight constantly and when we weren't fighting, there was this underlying tension. It was awful. Then I turned 25, moved to Germany and grew up. I got some perspective and realized how good I had it, and, most importantly, I realized how amazing my parents are - especially my Mom. Now she and I adore each other (with a few minor bumps) but we have an ocean between us - that's life, I guess.
Have faith, Cheryl. Your daughter will come home again. We all do.
Love, Kelli
Comment from grassriver - 9/8/05 12:24 PM

judi said...

What a beautiful entry, and what a beautiful photo. This is my first time visiting your journal, but I'll be back.

Comment from emmapeeldallas - 9/11/05 1:31 AM

marie said...

Boy, do I relate to this!!! of respect...job...
daughter just moved out....(to go to graduate school)
; ) but she did move out...i"m missing her.
I hope your daughter reads this.
This was such a good entry.
Comment from mariebm56 - 10/3/05 8:48 PM