And they roll down my cheeks."
How do I look back on some of my early posts and reconcile the Now with Then?
I just don't look, is how.
I'm enjoying my hiatus - determined not to dwell on the past.
I am childless.
Just for a couple of weeks, while Lily is away with her dad, playing in the snow.
She's long overdue a proper holiday and I'm working so...
It was not entirely without trepidation, but oddly at the time of her leaving, I couldn't find her European passport (she, like me, has two). Her father wasn't bothered; "She can travel on either one" he said.
I think he may have thought I pretended I couldn't find it, because he made a point of assuring me, he would definitely bring her back - in case I might think he wasn't.
I actually found that other passport the day before their departure, but I left it where it was and pretended I hadn't.
Better safe than sorry.
But you know I could just tell it was OK for her to go. If my own instincts failed, I can still tell by how she is with him, how relaxed she's become, how full of joy - that she has her wish: she's got her old Daddy back.
And her old Daddy loves her too much to hurt her by taking her from me. He sees we're closer than ever before. He knows, to her, there's no place like home with her mother, and he says as much with some regularity. I often see see now, his hurt and the realization of how he's caused the distance between himself and his little girl.
He also clearly understands her sensitivity to his moods. before they left, he was tired and he berated her over something. Her reaction was disproportionate, and he swiftly changed tack he even told her: "I'm sorry, I know you get worried and upset when I'm cross".
"I get scared." she said.
"I know and I'm sorry."
Gosh so much just under the surface with all of us.
Often times now, we are giddy with relief, but small things, tiny similarities appear and the darker memories are still there ready to resurface.
I am such a sook, I cry over movies and TV commercials, when others cry. Always tears at the ready- in the starting blocks.
I don't feel sad at all, so it's kind of strange having all that emotion just under the surface, busting to leak out.
So I'm glad for then to have this time together to bond and mend what was broken. I see the effect it has on her and I cannot begrudge it at all; on the contrary it adds to my happiness and contentment, seeing our toppled life right itself in the important ways.
So while they're away, He sets her up on Face Time with me every couple of days, and photos arrive on my phone daily.
December was tough generally; loads of deadlines at work, school and family commitments colliding weekly - sometimes daily - but our new family tumbled through it without too much falling off the cart.
Lily's dad and his GF came over Christmas morning, joining my mother and of course Lily to watch her open her presents. He told me beforehand that he was feeling weird and uncomfortable about it.
I let him know I understood, but since we're a blended family now, and Christmas is about children, we needed to bite the bullet on this first one. I assured him the discomfort would be outshone by Lily's excitement and I was right.
So now I'm home alone, enjoying working each day and coming home to just my lovely dog. Tonight I drove to the beach and we played in the water, came home, ate and now its 'me' time.
I'm feeling great on the whole, in a very good place. I'm pumped full of enthusiasm and positive energy, I'm mostly always smiling and it seems to be having an effect on those around me. I'm generating some looks too, smiles and interest, and sometimes I feel like its close to time I got back on the horse.
But I don't have the interest or the drive I had 15 years ago. Where I used to be labeled a man-eater, (I know!?) there's a timidity, or reserve that's crept in and it stops me from truly putting myself out there.
So I think the best I can do now is this - to quote one of my favorite actors in one of my favorite movies - "to stay open";
"be deliriously happy or at least leave yourself open to be...I say, fall head over heels, find someone you can love like crazy and who'll love you the same way back. How do you find him? Well, you forget your head and you listen to your heart....Stay open.
Who knows, lightening could strike."
Who knows, lightening could strike."
I'll stay open and maybe lightening will strike.
Either way, I'm perfectly happy.