We said goodbye to our family home a month and a half ago. But I haven’t mourned it yet. I’ve driven past my neighborhood on the way to the grocery store and vaguely my mind whispers to my heart, “no one lives there anymore”. My heart brushes it off.
On Tuesday my parent’s finalized their divorce. Twenty four years of their screaming, the broken dishes and door frames that we never talked about. Listening to my mom sobbing on the stairs while my dad slammed the door, not knowing when he would come home but we pretended not to notice. I absorbed everything. In high school I snuck out, dated abusive guys and self-inflicted social, emotional and physical sabotage. So much of their energy was used in trying to make it work that they couldn’t see that making it work was driving me into a dark hole of self-loathing.
I’ve slowly became their confidant. I became the mediator, the listener, the advice giver. I became the patient one, the one willing to talk about reality, regardless of how brutal it was to hear. Sometimes they were trying and it was good. But it never lasted very long before the hurt would return like an avalanche in the darkness. It was a vicious pattern, but we hoped helplessly anyway.
God, they loved each other. Truly. I know they still do. You’ve made our hearts capable of so much forgiveness and compassion and love that despite all the pain these last 24 years, they really did the best they could do. No one can take that away from them, and they can’t take it away from each other. They did their best.
But just because we love so fiercely doesn’t mean a relationship is meant to be maintained. With my parents, my friendships and my own relationships you have been teaching me my whole life. I’ve been a impeccably slow learner, but you’ve opened my stubborn heart to learn. For the sake of our own hearts and the hearts of those around us, sometimes it’s better to just say, “I love you, goodbye”.
My parents are finally divorced, God.
Finally we can start to heal.
I began writing this, God, because of your gorgeous sunrise this morning. I felt your healing strength speaking through my heart with waves of inspired energy. You want my heart to finally listen. The screen is becoming hard to read God, but you know my fingers have memorized the keys. I’ll close my eyes.
I am the child of divorce.
Gone are the days that my sister and I lay on the kitchen floor, playing with the cats while my parents finish cooking dinner. Dad will not sit to my right at the head of the table. Ju won’t play footsie across from me, and my mom won’t be next to Ju on my left. Gone is my sister barging in on Christmas morning, bragging that she had already gone through my stocking. We won’t wake my parents and show them what Santa gave us, eating the strewn candies that the hole in Santa’s bag left littered across the floor. Gone is just being, sitting on the deck in the fading summer heat, listening to the cicadas and sharing stories. Gone are the heart fluttering moments when my parents looked at each other with deep unwavering and knowing love.
God, I pray that our broken family stays a family. I pray that we do not drift or withdraw from each other. I pray that someday we can be together on the holidays again. I pray that there won’t be awkwardness at my sister and I’s future weddings and I pray that our future children don’t have to grow up seeing their grandparent’s in shifts. God, I pray that we can heal and that you will taint our memories with the goodness that we had and not with the hurt we have endured. God, I pray you open all of our hearts to healing tears. That you comfort us into facing and accepting these changes in our lives. I pray that you keep our hearts open, because it will take thousands of tears to begin stitching our brokenness back together. But lastly God, I pray that you bring us laughter, excitement, joy and beauty amongst our healing to remind us that your grace is overwhelming.
Keep sending me sunrises, God. I see you.