I thought, "How can I focus on work? How can I do this?" I started to break. I started to panic. Who could I call? What do I do? I can't do this, I can't do this.
But I did it. And so I got ready for the day, pulling out games/flashcards that I'd need, changing the date, writing the days activities on the board. Turned on the French music (a little too loud) and sat at my desk, pulling up attendance and the daily announcements.
E-mail pops up.
From my dad.
E-mails from my dad always make me feel a little funny (we haven't had any sort of relationship since 7 years ago when my parents divorced suddenly-he left us for the lady across the street-and did a lot of nasty things after). Today it makes me sort of nauseous.
I was scanning some pictures over the weekend and thought I'd send them to you to see."
I open them up, and it's about 30 pictures of me when I was a little baby/toddler with my dad.
I couldn't breathe. I couldn't do anything. This. This is what Sophie might have looked like. At least a little. She would have looked like this a little. At least. If not just alike.
I was in a panic the whole rest of the day.
Why would he send those? Typically I feel like it's guilt. He signed it "Miss you, Dad."
I haven't seen him for a couple of years now. And it was a couple of years before that the last time. He certainly wasn't scanning pictures over the weekend-the album was in picasa and marked march 2007 (he must think I'm a moron).
The guilt eats away at me, a little bit each day. I should be a better daughter. I'm his only daughter. What if, what if, what if. I should, I should, I should.
HE did it. He left us. He yelled at us-he pushed me into a closet-he threw things and swore at us and my mother. HE DID IT.
But the guilt is mine now. And it will be until I initiate some kind of contact with him beyond e-mail.
Maybe he wasn't perfect. Perhaps he deserves another chance. Maybe these pictures are to remind me that he was such a good father. Perhaps I am remembering wrong. Perhaps this is propaganda.
But the guilt eats at me from another direction-if I initiate contact with him, my mom and my sister (not his biological daughter-honestly what the h does that matter) get angry with me. I can't tell them. "He'll just hurt you again, " my mom says.
"You're talking to THAT psycho?" my sister asks. Doesn't call for a few weeks.
Mostly, I think-why today? Why today, of all days? Doesn't anybody know? Doesn't anybody know that on the 13th and 14th I grieve harder? My babies died on these days. They left me and my arms that ache for them ache harder on these days.
Mostly, I wonder-how can I survive this? How can so many people I love leave me? How can I look past all of this? How can I carry this guilt and sadness but still hold on to some hope? How is my heart ever going to heal from this?