Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Part You Never Get Used To

I am taking my daughter home to her mom's this morning. I don't have her for Christmas this year because we alternate. So I will take her to her moms and then I am heading home to the Philadelphia burbs to be with family.
It's been nine years like this now and I never get used to it. A hole starts growing inside me around the 20th of December on the years I don't have her. It will seem a little less like Christmas this year. Actually a lot less. It always does.
Because of my Christian faith, I know the intrinsic, true nature of the holiday and that part never loses it's luster for either of us. But the sense of family and wholeness that accompanies this holiday is missing to a large degree on the odd years I don't have Morgan. There is an emptiness. This wound will never heal fully no matter how many years go by. When Morgan is an adult and marries and becomes a mom, there will be the forced choices about who to spend the holiday with. She will see us both, I am sure, but not spend the entire day with either. That is sad. Sad for me and very sad for her one day. It's part of the price that is paid when couples divorce.
I am thankful for my daughter and we will celebrate Christmas next week when she comes over for New Years. But Wednesday evening when I am with my family celebrating the "seven fishes", and then with her cousins on Christmas morning and Bob and Cathy's Christmas night, she will be noticeably absent, and my heart will be a little empty. I never get used to that feeling, and never will.
But I am thankful I have her and I see her regularly. To all you dads with similar arrangements...Merry Christmas. Remember the one Child we never are without on Christmas, and let His peace and tenderness comfort you while you miss your children here on earth. Rest in the Peace of Jesus, my friends.

God Bless you all at Christmas,


Ivan said...

Thank you for your words of encouragement and faith. Sometimes, especially during this time of year, it's easy to forget the things we should be grateful for and instead we tend to focus on what we're missing out on. This is my first Christmas without my kids (I have 2 amazing daughters) and while I know it won't be easy your words were comforting. God Bless.

CraigD2599 said...

Ivan...thank you my friend. My hope in writing this blog, and the book, was to do exactly what you just said...encourage. It is such a difficult road we tread. Merry Christmas, my friend. And a very happy new year filled with many wonderful daddy moments with your daughters.


my3kidsdad said...

Wow!, Thats all I can say right now after hearing you speak at Crossroads Church this morning- I am new to the church(this was my third week)and I was truly so encouraged by your words you spoke in the short time frame.I am also a divorced Dad(twice) and have 3 awesome children- My first wife left when our children were 3 (Son) and Daughter 7- I have had them since---My first Son is now 18 this January and my Daughter is 22-
I was just awarded(Nov. 21) equal shared/joint custody with my third Son(from second marraige who just turned 8 Dec. 20)which I now have every other week-(Answered Prayers-Thank You Jesus!)
I can't wait to get your book- I had my Son with me in Church and left without seeing you to get a copy.It was so incouraging to see (and hear) a Mans perspective on this .I had to call my 22 year old Daughter (she is a flight attendent with U S Air) and tell her about you since she had always incouraged me to "right a book" about my story.Please continue this awesome (and greatly needed)Ministry-
May God Bless You,

CraigD2599 said...

thank you for your kind words. It means the world to me to know that my story is helping others in their walk. Continue your walk of faith and be a beacon for another guy who finds himself where you were. God bless you brother.