I do fine until I see my children cry, then I can’t control the pain and heartache I’ve been suppressing. I feel like my heart has been placed in a blender, as if it’s been shredded. I’m constantly fighting back tears and convince myself to not fear the goodbye. But when I see my sons and husband begin to cry – I have nothing to hide anymore and I give in and allow the tears to flow, but I can’t release myself to the tears completely because I still have to drive us home. As we wave goodbye to my husband and the father of my children, and as I listen to our teenage sons release the floodgates of their own torrent of emotions, I feel like my own soul is being crushed. As a mom, their sadness breaks my heart into a million more pieces and I choke back the tears so I can concentrate on the traffic in front of me and block out the pain surrounding us. I hate this. I absolutely hate this. I can’t do this without you, God, I need YOU to help me through this!!! I hate this for me, I hate this for my husband, and I hate this for our sons – I just hate it! How does anyone do this without you, God? I can barely swallow, this lump of emotions in my throat does not go away. God, give us your strength to make it through this, it’s not getting any easier, it’s actually getting more difficult. For years now, I had begun to have anxiety attacks a week out, knowing what’s ahead for us – 8 years of airport goodbyes haven’t dulled the pain at all. I don’t want to feel sorry for myself, I don’t want to wallow in sadness, but I don’t want to deny the pain either – I try to be brave for everyone but maybe I need to stop acting brave and just ride this wave of emotions instead of being beaten down by it.
When the pain and the hurt are too much to bear, there is One who can wipe the tears away. I’ve learned to see that even though we endure these difficult times three times a year, we are equally blessed that three times a year we also have a joyous reunion. Those glorious times that we are together, make the lengthier times apart bearable, and when we give God all of our broken pieces, we can begin to heal and grow stronger.