Learning to Let Go

Happy Ever After in the End

Photo by Nathan-Mcbride on Unsplash

About a year after graduating high school I went off to college. Oh my gosh, I loved it! I had high hopes and big dreams to fulfill. I was following the plan. You know the one. School, career, marry the love of your life, get that perfect house with the white picket fence, have kids, and live happily ever after.

That wasn't the case though. My last year of college, I fell in love. After graduation, I moved back to Austin to be closer to my family. He followed.  So without the wedding bells, he moved in with me. Never move in with someone without the wedding first. Especially if he was living with his mom and never had responsibilities before.

Not wanting to be mean, he waited until my birthday, so nice of him, to move back in with his mother. As it turned out, it was not the awesome thing I expected it to be. Living with your boyfriend, that is. We both worked, but never did anything together. No movies or date nights. Oh, he went out... to the arcade or to eat with some girl he worked with. I would fix dinner for us and he'd come home with Taco Bell for one... So him leaving wasn't too bad, just sad.

Then I find out I was pregnant. Well, we agreed to marry, booked the church, sent out invites, and so on. He was still hours away living with his mother. The closer it got to the "I do" I realized it would be better to call off the wedding.

I had experience with living alone. I had graduated college, thought of myself as an independent woman. He wanted the baby and me to move into his mommy's home to live! I don't think so. The wedding was called off and I had my beautiful daughter without him.

I worked for a few years and found myself pregnant again! So another beautiful daughter in my life. This is so not the plan I had all laid out.

My youngest daughter's father decided to move in with us. What had I said earlier, but to not live with someone out of wedlock. We got a place, and even though no marriage, seemed to be going good. Until I found drugs and he was coming home late and drinking. The drugs and drinking go hand in hand. The final straw came when I locked him out. It was like 3 AM and he'd been off work for hours.

He finally came home and started pounding on the door. Not wanting the girls to wake up, I let him in. We argued, he pushed me down some stairs, I tried to call 911, and he yanked the phone from the wall, so I ran next door and called the police. The police came, my babies were fine, and the next day the girls and I moved out and left him.

The girls and I got a place of our own and started a new life again. So not in my plans... Then I find out I was pregnant again! Oh geez, well this is getting fun. I had my third and last daughter. I took my ex to court for child support for his two daughters, only to find out he is married and their daughter is older than my youngest! So... that's why he was coming home late. I sure know how to pick them.

Single and now with three daughters in tow, I did some serious thinking. A dream I had years ago was to live on the ocean. As a kid I fell in love with the ocean. We'd go to the beach a lot with Dad on his business trips to Corpus Christy. Laying on the beach, writing stories and poetry, I fell in love with the peacefulness the ocean gave me. 

Having an Aunt that lived in La Porte across from the ocean, I decided to follow my dream. I found a home on the beach, a job to support us, grabbed my girls, and we moved to La Porte. It was so awesome. I could stand at my bedroom window and could see the ocean! With God and help from my aunt, I made it happen.

The years flew by, as they do for all of us, and I found him. The man I wanted to marry. He had the same visions and beliefs as me. He had divorced like 20 years prior, so his four kids were all grown adults before we tied the knot. I was happy. The church was my spouse for years, but I finally found a man to be a father to my girls.

The girls are now 19 to 24 in age. It was the girls and me against the world  for so long... then it hit me! They, for the most part, are adults now and don't need me anymore.

I spent most of the last decade homeschooling the girls and being a housewife. The girls have all moved out. I am working now, but the loss of the girls has put a strain on my marriage.

The girls are all working now. Two of them actually love their jobs. They have their own homes and mates now. For the most part, they are happy and making their own paths in life now.

As for me, my husband and I are trying to salvage our marriage. With God's help and a lot of faith, we can make it work. It is my fault. I have had a hard time letting go of the girls. For so long, even being married in the later years, I was the decision maker in their lives.

I don't know what to do with myself, if I am being honest. Focus on my marriage would probably be a good start. I find this ache in my heart with the girls gone. I devoted my life to them. Now I need to live for myself and I don't know how to do that.

My life didn't go as planned, but life rarely does for anyone. It is scary to me to think of what I want in life now. Or what my husband and I want, without the girls being a major part in this thought process anymore.

Of all the successes and downfalls or disappointment in my life, I have to say that learning to let go is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. 

I guess I will continue to pray and ask for God's strength. I will hope the girls live a happy life and choose better paths than I did. I will figure a way for my husband and I to get through this. I can still have my Happily Ever After.

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