Sunday, July 19, 2015

Missing your kids. Missing time. The prison of Divorce.

                                                   

As a rule, I dislike music videos, unless they are live concert footage. Doubtless because I am a writer and I treasure words. I prefer to form a mental image in my soul from the words I read or hear, as opposed to having a meaning provided for me.
There have been exceptions, of course, but for the most part I have simply never found music videos to be as impacting, or evocative as the songs they characterized.
Sometimes, though, a director can create a video that encapsulates the lyrics without confining the impact. When that happens the result can be breathtaking.
Such is the case with U2’s Song For Someone.


Woody Harrelson portrays a prisoner, on his release day. He plays the role so well that I wondered if Woody had ever done time. The hesitancy. The fear. The doubt. The arrival of something so longed for, and anticipated, and yet so simultaneously frightening, was played with so much emotion that I wept throughout. There are few spoken words in this video –which is likely why it works so well- and this silence draws an enormous exclamation point on the character’s pain.
This is metaphor at its best. And for me…it was a metaphor for the pain that has come from divorce.
I have been divorced for almost sixteen years. My daughter was eighteen months old when her mom dissolved our marriage. I was thirty-four when she was born and had just turned thirty-six when I was forced into the world of divorced parenting.
For me it was prison.
I remember the first week without her, calling her one night, about three days after her mom had moved them into a house she shared with a co-worker. As soon as she got on the phone and I heard her voice, I collapsed in tears in my hallway. I tried to hide the sound of my sobs. I could only tell her I loved her, over and over. I couldn’t get anything else out.
There are men’s magazines that will prepare you for a fight over custody, and child support, and the distribution of assets, but they can’t prepare you for tucking your child in by telephone. Or how sleepless you’ll be, or the empty, aching hole in your heart.
I watched Woody Harrelson pace his cell, wash his hands, and take mementos off the wall. I did those things too. I took down every picture my wife had put up, but I couldn’t take my ring off for almost three years after the divorce.
I was still a prisoner.
I watched Harrelson flipping through a worn book of poetry, and then read a letter sent to him by his daughter –apparently many years before, when she was young- and I remembered the file folders and notebooks I still have. Every drawing, every note still filed away in a box in my bedroom. Scraps and pieces of the time with her, and the larger portion of time without her.
Divorce is a prison for a dad. For a dad that cares at least. I know there are those who abandon and disappear. I can’t speak for them. But it’s not most of us. Not by a long shot, regardless what the media and the feminists would have you believe. Divorce is a prison. I was its prisoner for 16 years.
The video progresses to Harrelson shaving nervously, trying to look presentable for his release. His jailer comes. He changed from his prison blues to his civilian clothes. The long walk begins. He pauses as he passes an incoming prisoner…maybe seeing himself all those years before.
I’ve done that. I’ve comforted my friends who’ve walked this path and through my divorced dad blog I’ve offered comfort to thousands of broken, hurting dads.
And seen my younger self in every one.
He pauses again as the exit gate approaches. He breaks down in sobs. Freedom is frightening when you’ve been imprisoned for so long.
The final minutes of the video are the most painful. Woody’s daughter picks him up outside the prison and he offers an awkward hug. She shrinks back from his touch and offers a handshake instead. Harrelson understands her hesitance and hides his disappointment. After enough time, you simply accept the things that come with prison…or divorce. After enough time you learn to mask your pain and disappointment from your kids.
They drive off, exchanging small talk and pleasantries and trying to hide the obvious and enormous uncomfortable air they are both breathing. I cried again.
My daughter is seventeen now. She was so young when we divorced that she only knows single parenthood. She had two Christmases with both her parents. She had three birthdays where we were celebrating with her. Once her mom remarried, I was the odd man out. I saw her once a week and every other weekend…but I didn’t tuck her in every night. I didn’t cook her dinner or help with her homework or take the training wheels off her bike. Her mom made sure those things never happened on my weekends or my Wednesday.
Now she is an adult and she lives with me. She starts college in August, and while having her full-time is better, and some wounds are healing, there are some that have simply become callouses.
In 2008 when the world collapsed and I lost my career and then my home, she lost too. She no longer had a home to go to with her daddy. I had to give our dogs away. We had no weekend visits. I stayed when leaving would have been easier, at least financially. I slept in the back of a 1996 Yukon and did odd jobs. I worked at rebuilding my life and mainly, I stayed in hers.
I could have moved back home and worked for my cousins or moved to North Dakota and made a ton of money in the oil fields. But I know human nature. You start making money and rebuilding your life and eventually that is your life. Then you become a telephone father, calling every few weeks to check in, dutifully sending a check and seeing your kid for two weeks every summer.
It’s prison all over again.
I knew this, so I stayed in Nashville, where we lived for seventeen years. I stayed. I shivered on a lot of winter nights and sweltered on a lot of summer nights. I walked. I went hungry. I studied in my car and got my bachelor’s degree. I wrote. I started a business. But I couldn’t do that one thing that would turn the corner for me and get me out of the truck and into a home.
In May of last year, my daughter and I moved here to Lynchburg, Virginia. In August I was hired by my alma mater and we started rebuilding yet again. In many ways, my daughter is the same as the daughter in the video. She loves me, and she knows I love her. But she missed so many important years after the divorce and even more after I became homeless. We’re not nearly as estranged as the father and daughter in the video but it feels that way sometimes, regardless.
I love my daughter. In my heart, I still see her as the ringlet-curled, little blonde girl she was when her mom and I divorced. Or when she was seven and life was great and I bought her a pony for her birthday and we had a nice home and a garden and two Springer Spaniels.
But she is not that little girl anymore.
She is a college freshman, and I will be fifty-two this fall. And in many ways, I’m still that prisoner, hesitantly facing release and wondering what is out there for me. I never remarried. Never really got close. I focused on my daughter, and being her dad. Maybe a few of those prison walls were my own creation because of those choices. I don’t know. But I know that most divorced dads feel this way. Most divorced dads feel like prisoners. Heck they even call it “visitation” when see have our kids.
Just like prison.
Most dads are nervous and insecure as their kids get older and they start staring into the vacuum left by the time they’ve missed. Most dads have some keepsakes and some mementos stashed away to remind them of a time when they felt like real dads.
Not like prisoners.

Woody, Bono, Edge, Larry, Adam…
I doubt you’ll ever read this blog or know of its existence. I don’t know if this is what you had in mind when you wrote the song and created this video. But this is how it hit me. And I think this is how a lot of dads are seeing this as well.

Thanks for that.

19 comments:

Grey Starr said...

I hate that your posts bring tears to my eyes... After 7+ years, I miss my kids so bad when they are not with me - and I don't talk to anyone about it, because when I did no one could understand - nor do I think they could say anything that would actually cheer me up. I'm so bad that I start getting sad before they leave when they are with me. I'm a soft dad that makes sure they know I love them and such - all the time. But that feeling of missing everything is huge - especially since kids live in the moment, and getting them to fill you in on the weeks they were away is hard. I could go on - but it's starting to feel like whining. I'll likely quote you a few times cause you have some posts that describe my pain very well.

Anonymous said...

Sad posts...unfortunately I can identify with them. Been divorced 18 months and moved out 2 years ago. I miss my kids...I cry myself to sleep every night...sounds like the pain will never end...i work long hours to put the thoughts in the back of my mind but the weekends without them (and they thought they leave) are truly hell. I want the pain to end, but it never will...

Anonymous said...

I can appreciate where you're coming from. This year has been a roller coaster for me. At the very beginning of this year I found out my wife was having an affair with a co-worker. Things weren't great for a period of time before that but I can tell you I was always honest and faithful to her. And I always tried my best to be the best dad I could be and be supportive of her as a husband. Although we both worked full time, I did more of the house chores and helping with the responsibilities with our kids. We have two children now - our boy is 9 and our girl is 2. I feel just as you do when I can't be there every night to tuck my children into bed and kiss them goodnight. This isn't the first time their mom and I split up. About 6 years ago we split for about a little less than a year. And it was not fun to have my heart broken back then either when she started dating another guy as she was still living at home at the time. She moved out and we hardly spoke for a long time. Then we somehow became amacable and became friends again, which led to us dating again. So we reconciled and I moved in with her and our son. We have lived together since that time for about 5 years now. Since that time, we had a little girl. And just this year I moved out after finding out about her affair. But as I'm a sucker for having always wanted that perfect family with a picket fence, I got back together with her after about a month. Little did I know she never had intentions of giving up her other boyfriend. She lied to me and I cought her lying and cheating several times since then. I tried to stick it out - even after multiple times of coming very close to giving up. but I thought counseling would help. We never made it that far unfortunately. And I think that has more to do with her not really caring in the first place. But it broke my heart every time I'd find her lying and/or cheating. But I never gave up. But two months ago, she decided for herself that she'd prefer to act like a teenager again and run around - we are both 31. I just wanted my wife and kids - to me there isn't much else. Money is nice but I would honestly give up being rich (not that I have that option) to have my family. But it makes me so sad to think my kids never again will see a Christmas with both mom and dad there in the morning to open up presents. We had this ritual of always going out and cutting our own tree down. Then we'd always video decorating it. I still remember our first year trying to put the tree up - it wouldn't fit and was so frustrating but I remember laughing so hard with the wife because we both thought it was hilarious. And this year I tried so hard to be the man she always said she wanted. I did before too but I took a few things off her bucket list this year - in spite of all the pain I've endured. And it still wasn't enough. But I can't help thinking that neither of my kids will have a family Christmas again - not like it's supposed to be anyway. And not being there every day I can tell that if I don't see my little girl for one day, trust me that the next day I see her she will be saying all kinds of new things it seems. And it makes me sad that I miss out on those things. But I'm fortunate right now because I visit every other day for a few hours and have them both on the weekends. And I realize that my ex-wife didn't have the best role models growing up because her dad has been divorced twice and her aunt, whom she lived with for several years when younger, was married, and at the same time had 3 other boyfriends. And her best friend is a compulsive liar and cheater to her husband too. And I understand all of that but she even always said herself that she never wanted this for her children and she'd never do that - so tell me why she would emulate all of the people in her life that obviously got it wrong?

Unknown said...

So I wanted to ask all dad's out there - I am dating a wonderful man who is a great father. Involved with his kids who are young and gets a lot of time with them. However, there are times where he feels sad and misses them and most days he is fine. Others it gets to him. I don't have kids of my own so I don't know the feeling.

What I am asking is how do I be supportive and not add to the stress of his sadness at times? He says I can't do anything and I know I can't but is just being there enough? What kind of support have you had/looked for from your new significant others?

Anonymous said...

Hey Unknown (October 21, 2015 at 4:49 PM),

Here's how to support a dad who has lost his children through divorce: be with him, listen to him when he needs to talk about it, which will be frequently, because this is one of the biggest losses a human being can experience. Validate the feelings he describes, feel it with him. Tell him he is a good dad, that he did not deserve what has been done, because when other people don't own their shit, we tend to blame ourselves. And most of all, just let him know you feel him, and then just be with him. You can't fix it, but you can make him feel less alone with it. And don't fear the black hole of sorrow - your comfort will do more to make it pass than anything.

Greg Rose said...

I CAN'T TAKE THE PAIN....I MISS MY BABY...:<...WHEN DOES IT STOP?

Frederick Reynecke said...

For me it feels like I'm reliving a funeral over and over . . . there is always a sense of loss. You lighten up and and things feel better when you get to see them again and then when they leave its the funeral feeling all over again.

I lost both my best friend and my grandfather in the space of a month, ironically I met my ex in the same month my grandfather passed away. It feels like that loss most of the time, yeah you try and hide it but sometimes it just gets through all your grit.

She moved them to a different school today and I didn't have a say, the call was a mere formality from my point of view as the decision had been made regardless of what I felt. Then I got called "just another weekend-dad". How can somebody say something like that? I love my two boys with all my life, my entire being but its her who made the stipulations stick in terms of contact.

I am over her infidelity, they deserve each other, methods/being and all, I am glad that's past. But at least give me a fair chance to be the father I know I am. To all single, divorced dads out there, I am one of you and I feel your pain, I will pray for every one of you and your children and even for the exes who so carelessly rip and tear us apart willfully or not.

Don't let anybody label you a weekend dad if you know you make the best of your time, quality time, with your kids. If you pull your weight and you are there where possible, in my books it makes you a super dad - being kept from your children takes superhuman mental and sometimes physical strength.

My heart lies broken again tonight and the funeral feeling is back, but I will lay my head down and get back up tomorrow. Because I am not a weekend dad, I am a super dad. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Frederick Reynecke said...

For me it feels like I'm reliving a funeral over and over . . . there is always a sense of loss. You lighten up and and things feel better when you get to see them again and then when they leave its the funeral feeling all over again.

I lost both my best friend and my grandfather in the space of a month, ironically I met my ex in the same month my grandfather passed away. It feels like that loss most of the time, yeah you try and hide it but sometimes it just gets through all your grit.

She moved them to a different school today and I didn't have a say, the call was a mere formality from my point of view as the decision had been made regardless of what I felt. Then I got called "just another weekend-dad". How can somebody say something like that? I love my two boys with all my life, my entire being but its her who made the stipulations stick in terms of contact.

I am over her infidelity, they deserve each other, methods/being and all, I am glad that's past. But at least give me a fair chance to be the father I know I am. To all single, divorced dads out there, I am one of you and I feel your pain, I will pray for every one of you and your children and even for the exes who so carelessly rip and tear us apart willfully or not.

Don't let anybody label you a weekend dad if you know you make the best of your time, quality time, with your kids. If you pull your weight and you are there where possible, in my books it makes you a super dad - being kept from your children takes superhuman mental and sometimes physical strength.

My heart lies broken again tonight and the funeral feeling is back, but I will lay my head down and get back up tomorrow. Because I am not a weekend dad, I am a super dad. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

CeresDad said...

I hear you buddy.

Just remember. Whatever stunts your ex pulls that place you in an unfair parenting situation now is going to show up later for your kids. They will eventually put 2 and 2 together and make their own judgements. If you play straight you'll end up the hero in the sunset. Even though you feel exactly the opposite right now.

Hang in there. Embrace the funeral. Turn into it and grow from that place. I know it's hard but life can be a challenge. Stay in love with your kids and the rest will follow.

Anonymous said...

I have the benefit of viewing this divorce thing from the rear view mirror most days. My sons and I have our own lives. We are happy most of the time. I fought to have my boys with me half the time. Occasional court battles blot out the sun sometimes, but if left alone we function as a happy family. It was not always this way.
I was devastated by the divorce. The pain was more than I could bear. My heart was broken and I thought I had lost everything. It was so hard to see past the hurt...The pain of having another human being willfully destroy you...Perhaps I never will see past that part of it....
Even now I see the self pity of my own writing. It is a trap that can easily befall us.
BUT!
It does get better! With every single day. Even the triumph of making it through the day piles up over time. Then you find your self forgetting to be sad.
I have one single incident that would define the turning point in our lives as father and sons. Shortly after the divorce I had decided to take the boys to a counselor to make sure they were coping. I was still very freshly broken myself, but my concern was for them. Their pain was obvious to me.........At least, on those days that I could see through my own. After a few sessions I asked the counselor what he could tell me to do to help them with the change in their life. He quickly asked me how I was dealing with it. I told him promptly that i was fine and expressed my impatience with his reply. My sons are my concern I told him."I can handle it"
Then he began to explain to me how children read everything. They feel and understand way more than we give them credit for. They know when you are scared or sad or secretly angry.
Most importantly they know when you are happy. You can't fool them. The only way for them to be truly happy is for you to be happy. They will feed off your emotions. This revelation changed my entire outlook on our lives. It was a painfully slow process and wrought with pitfalls and regressions, but the end product is love. The secret to making sure your children are happy is not being stoic and putting on a brave face for them. It is not being noble and living the life of a wounded soul. The secret is to be happy yourself. Don't misunderstand me, I am not talking about using the pursuit of our own shallow happiness as an excuse to destroy lives and create more of the same. I mean the simple act of picking the boys up from school and having the opportunity to brighten their day. To give them a safe haven from their world. To encourage them with your own brightness. I think too often I could, as a parent, do the opposite. Letting my pain compound their pain. All the while thinking that they cant see the condition of my heart.
I have read that our words are a reflection of the condition of our own hearts. But I also believe that the condition of our hearts reflect the future of our children's hearts.
That is my humble story and thoughts.

Anonymous said...

The darkest hour is just before dawn. And here in the UK, at 0530am, that's so true in more ways than one. The back story... You'd prefer the short version, right? You've got it. Two years ago, Jan 2014, the whole extended family -11 of us - got together to celebrate our Mum's 80th birthday. 4 days previously, on New Year's Eve, my wife had told me our marriage was over. Somehow we managed to get through the party weekend without anyone suspecting that we were going through such a wretched time. Ten months later, my wife confirmed my long standing suspicions that she'd been seeing someone else. One of the most painful things I've ever had to do was telling my 2 beautiful children that their mum and dad were splitting up after 16 years together. Fortunately they're not babies anymore-that would have been so much harder. But even at 19 & 16, it's been tough for them. Somehow we continued to share the same house, passing like ships in the night, until it was sold in September 2015. And now I live in a rented place with my son & the dog, whilst my daughter lives with her mum and her partner, but stays over twice a week. Don't get me wrong, I know that many dads who've posted on this blog are going through far worse situations. However old your kids are, nothing prepares you for the pain of being separated. But nothing lasts forever, so just keep telling them how much they're loved at every opportunity and gradually you'll see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Stay strong

Anonymous said...

Been about 8 years since I divorced. It was bad enough that the marriage was miserable but I actually thought when we split that I would get custody the majority of the time or at least half the time. Boy was I in for a rude awakening. Family courts have a basic motto.....mother knows best. My son is still young and full of life and wonder. Just got back from a trip together for a whole week. Was so thankful that we got to go on this trip without too much interference from the Mom. Never know when a trip will get canceled or ruined from some petty nonsense. Like all of you I had that sickening feeling in my gut part of the trip because I knew our time would not last long. I hate it , hate it, hate it, that I do not get to spend every day with my child. I tried to reconcile with his mother only to get sucked back into a twisted web of craziness again. Could not find a way to cope with her and keep my sanity. Sometime I wish I could just figure out a way to just absorb the punishment so I could get more time with my son. Never was good at taking abuse from anyone though. And that is the only way you live with a person like that...to take their abuse.

I want to say something to you dads out there that love and truly miss the time with your children.....dads that feel sick inside and hurt daily or weekly over the loss of contact with their children. YOU ARE NOT A BAD PERSON AND REMEMBER THAT WEHENEVER THE EX WIFE, OR SOME JUDGE, OR SOME RANDOM PERSON MAKES COMMENTS TO TRY AND BRUSH OFF THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR CHILDREN! YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR CHILDREN MEAN TO YOU...THEY ARE PRECIOUS TO YOU AND MOST PEOPLE JUST WILL NOT UNDERSTAND THAT. DO WHATEVER YOU CAN TO STAY IN THEIR LIFE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. DONT QUIT ON THEM EVEN THOUGH IT REALLY HURTS SOMETIMES WHEN IT SEEMS LIKE THE WHOLE WORLD IS AGAINST YOU. A child's love is worth it. I appreciate all you dads out there that have to deal with this. There are others just like you and me. We are all brothers in this. I wish you well!

Signed, A Friend from Benton, Illinois

Z Old Man said...

Hey Fellow Dads, 13 or so months ago, I moved out.. 42 years of age with only a laptop to my name.Lets just say its been a roller coaster. But what kills me is that my boy looks at me through the prism of money. And who can blame him. Was supposed to spend time with him this weekend but a yarn was spurn about some family trip(ex wife's). I called him coz he's been avoiding me.. And I cried like a fucking baby.. But I blessed him and wished him well. I couldn't support him then, but I will start to. He's only 12.My point is, sometimes, especially if you're broke, you gotta make hard choices. Keep the faith, all is gonna work out. Be safe

Neal De Jong said...

The worst part is waking up every morning and the sadness hits you. It makes you feel like there is nothing left to live for.

The ex left 11 months ago, and 3 days after she moved herself and my little girl away to the other side of the country. She's 3 now and within the three years I've only had a 1.5 years to hold her close. 1 Christmas and 2 birthdays. I've had to move, and change jobs just to be in the same area as my little angel. So now, I've still got no job, no home and almost out of funds to live on. I am lucky though I got to give my little one a cuddle for the first time 3 weeks ago, since the ex left. But every time I see my little one, and get back into the car, I just feel like crying as the pain and the loss just come surging back out.

I read what you all put down and I understand. It's the same for us all. Thank you for putting it down in words.

CeresDad said...

What shocks me most is that some of these women feel that keeping our kids away from us actually benefits the child. Obviously, if there was an abusive situation that's different. But for a woman to assume just because she fell out of love with her child's father means all of a sudden the child doesn't need or love the father anymore is as wrong as it gets.

That's what my ex did. The kids are older now and it totally backfired on Mom. Now that they are old enough to put 2 and 2 together they view their mother as incredibly selfish and intentionally removing a loving parent from their young lives. Of course, Mom's freaking out over their rejection but honestly, it's like duh. You had to see this coming. I still feel bad for the 3 of them. It all could have been avoided.

Chuck said...

I'm seventy (70) years of age and been divorced thirty years (30). I married, unknown to me, a narcissistic sociopath. These people basically do NOT have a soul and everything they do is about themselves. After my emotionally abusive childhood, the loss of my mother at eighteen (18), a father that abandoned me at birth and serving in the Army during Vietnam---1966-1968--I yearned for a true family and home. I'm a man that when a promise is made, I keep that Wedding promise. My former wife did not have the same values. She had unrealistic expectations of me being a father, a husband and provider. She came from money and I did not. I went yearly to the bank to take out loans to pay her bills and credit card statement. She promised she would never do that again and I believed and I forget to mention that sociopath's are pathological liars.

After seventeen (17) years of marriage, she divorced me with two (2) children. A girl twelve (12) and a son age ten (10). I came to discover that during the marriage she was bad mouthing me to her parents, her friends, co-worker and anyone who would listen on how bad a husband I was. But the worse part of this story is she told my children how I didn't truly love them and was not a caring and loving papa. I loved and cared for them more than life itself.

I grieve and shed tears daily for those children who basically have abandoned me, although I reached out daily to them and remember birthdays, Christmas, Valentine's Day for my daughter and other holidays and by the way still try to keep that love going out to them Last night, I had a dream that included my son. When I have those dreams, the next day I struggle just to survive. The pain is unbelievable!!

Gentlemen.......this form of grief does not go away. Someone in another blog describe it as a funeral and that person is so right. Be prepared for peaks and valleys with this huge loss in your life. One thing that our former spouses and this life can not take away for us is the true love we have for our children.

Thanks for taking time to read this.

OnDeckLaw said...

Fantastic article regarding the effects of divorce. Particularly enjoyed the portion about this mindset after a divorce. "I focused on my daughter, and being her dad."

Anonymous said...

I was laid off from my dream job in 2008. My ex-wife could not find work. I took a job I hated four hours away for the chance to pay down our debts. Then, as you stated it, the world collapsed. Eventually, we bought an RV - I drove down on Wednesdays, and returned on Friday nights. Our son was three years old. Five years later, this physical separation and the stress of being in a job that was eating me alive was too much for an already shaky marriage.

Against my wishes, my ex-wife divorced me, forcing me into having my heart broken every Wednesday, when I drop my son off, not to see him again for as much as ten days. I swear he has grown every time we meet again.

I feel like something in me has snapped. I'm awash in bitterness; my temper is much shorter, and I'm much more impatient. Five years in a job I hated, all for nothing. Less than nothing. I feel like all joy has left the world, except when my son and I are together.

CeresDad said...

Just focus on your son. The relationship you had with his mother and your son under that pretense is gone. It's not coming back. As painful as it is (and man is it painful) holding onto it really only hurts you and in affect your son in the long run too. I'm not going to sugar coat it, any fantasy or ideals that your son has built up in his mind is now forever different. It's extremely hard to even think about, but you have to be his pillar. You have to teach him that love exists even outside the typical family structure. He'll learn the new way. You have to forge new circumstances around the love you've always had for him. The love doesn't change, except gets stronger. That is the one constant and comfort you and your son can count on in your non ideal situation.

As far as the mother. Let her go man. People grow apart and she has her reasons that makes sense to her. My wife ended our 16 year relationship, which consequently split my family too. I absolutely hated her for being so "selfish".

The truth is, I'm sure the cost of hurting the kids wasn't easy for her to face, whom she loves too. In many ways, my ex showed more courage to act upon something that probably should have happened years ago. I didnt have the strength to disapoint my children, which meant I was sacrificing my own happiness. There's a difference between sacrifice and not loving yourself.

I know it hurts, but you have to live out your life and truth too. Use this as a learning moment. Life is certainly not over, and if you can use this as a tool to grow you and your son will be better for it.

Now you have an opportunity to put all your energy into your son, even if it's every 10 days. Keep the mood light. Kids feel energy. Be careful not to smother. It will feel very tempting, but it's not healthy for either of you. Kids don't need to be shown constant love. Think about it, that's annoying for anyone.