My parents told me that if I wanted the bike I was going to have to come up with the money on my own. They didn’t see the need for a sophomore in college to be asking his mommy and daddy for a couple hundred bucks for a bike. So I started a fund, every last piece of coin I had went into an old glass water jug and I kept waiting until it hit the point where I could go to the bank, get paper for my metal coins, then head to the local sporting goods store to pick up my toy. It took an entire semester, I probably shifted my spending habits from using a credit card to going to the ATM so I could speed the process up. But by the end I had around $400 for my bright green, 21 speed mountain bike!
I’d take every coin that was in that jar, and every coin that has filled that jar in the years that have passed and would willing dump it into any fountain so that I could have this one wish. It’s completely selfish and just my asking for it makes me feel bad about myself. Actually it makes me hate myself for even considering it under any circumstances. I want to be able to talk about my daughter in a way, some manner, that doesn’t end with me so upset I can’t think straight for little while.
It’s kept me from doing some things that might be beneficial. It was hard seeing an old friend in March and her asking if I had any children. The look of horror on her face when she just didn’t know how to react made me so angry. Not with her, but with the card I had just laid on the table. The rumors of me being sick had gone around, an invitation to dinner was offered, and I needed to go. I needed to be around someone who knew me before all of the darkness of that past year. But in the end, I was crying, she was crying, even her husband was overcome with my story that he needed to excuse himself for a minute. (guys not liking to show emotion in front of people they jut met a few hours before!)
If I did the math, we’re looking at $16,000 if I saved money at the rate it took me to get my bike. Imagine the sight of someone dragging that into their local mall and sitting on the edge of a fountain tossing handfuls of coins into the air. The splashing making every child around wonder how they could only free a couple of pennies from their parents. And here was some lunatic pitching multiple piggy banks into the abyss.
Tomorrow it will be 18 months and it still terrifies me to think about. All of the therapy, sleepless nights, need for a pill when I really don’t want to be taking any more medication, I wish it made this less painful. All things in good time? Time isn’t the infinite thing people wish it were. The idea of the natural order of things went out the door that day. The only times I should have been packing her things would come at college and when she eventually escaped the basement to marry the person of her dreams! (give a father some rope here, we can joke about that dream!)
I’m heartbroken to this very minute, to the core of everything I am and will ever be. Maybe if I hadn’t buried it so deeply when the ex didn’t want anything to do with the conversation? Too many questions left unanswered about too many things!
Several families benefited from the things I shared of hers. It wasn’t many things, some are in a box that I couldn’t give away. One box has a few items that should the ex ever ask for a single thing, well there they are. Feel free to take them. But that’s a different grief set that has no place here, not right now.
My wish, to just feel it a little less intensely than I do. I love that little girl, her absence is hard.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Three Coins in the Fountain.”