Sandie Simply Says

April 10, 2009

Tracks of my tears

Filed under: Step Life — by Sandie @ 10:03 pm

One of the worst things about being a blended family is walking around feeling like half your family is missing. I think it’s even worse if you’re in the noncustodial part of a blended family. The times together are much too short and the times apart are far too long. I’ve found this to be true no matter now much time you have together or how long it’s been since you were together. It all just seems wholely unfair and it flabbergasts me that many states feel the every other weekend and a few long weeks here and there give a child enough time with their noncustodail parent. And that’s in the best of circumstances. In the worst, you have situations like ours: the military has taken us 1,100 miles away from my husband’s daughters. According to the state of Texas, the roughly 8 weeks of visitation we get each year is enough to build a relationship and is “in the best interest of the child.” (A phrase many people I know in stepfamilies have come to detest).

From the beginning of our journey, the drop offs have been the worst for me. In the beginning, I cried. Always after they left and never when they could see. After a couple years, I started to get moody towards the end of their visits. I guess as a way to protect my heart from the pain I’d feel when they left. It didn’t work. I still cried. I still felt as if my heart were breaking in two. I still felt as if there was a huge hole in my family. A hole that wouldn’t be filled for another few months when my family would be intact once again.

Last weekend, we visited with Ashley and Amanda again. My time with them was much too short (Tony went out earlier than I did). Due to Alyssa’s spring break and various other factors, I was only able to spend 4 days in town. I dropped them off at their mom’s house on Sunday night and we left Monday morning. This time, I didn’t cry.

At least not until we got home.

Ashley finally gave me access to her MySpace page. I’d been pestering her for months to add me as a friend, but she wouldn’t do it. I think when she realized that I don’t spend all that much time on MySpace, she figured it would be OK to let her dear old stepmom see what was on her page. I started browsing through her pictures. The first set were from her 16th birthday party (she turned 16 on 19 March). Looking at her pictures made me incredibly sad. Sad for the “every day” moments that we miss. Sad for the special occasions we can’t share with her or her sister. Sad that I have never gotten to see her march with the band or hear her play the clarinet (her dad has been lucky enough to be present during a concert band competition, so I guess that’s something). Sad that we’ve never gotten to see Amanda perform at the thing she loves most: cheer and tumbling.

As I look further at her page, a new sadness overcomes me. Her “family” album contains no pictures of her family here. I’m sure it’s not intentional, but it still cut like a knife to see the pictures missing.

Last night, I cried. I cried for the missed moments. And I cried for the many missed moments to come. My heart broke all over again. And once again, my family feels incomplete.



  1. I’m glad Ashley finally gave you access to her MySpace page, that shows trust. Maybe she doesn’t have pictures of you guys since her mom made a comment and she doesn’t want to make her mad? Just a thought but if that’s the case, that sucks. I’m sorry your family is split up like it is, that must be so hard.

    Comment by halfasgoodasyou — April 10, 2009 @ 10:34 pm |Reply

  2. I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling. It sounds tough, I’m sure the distance isn’t going to help either. Hopefully the good moments can outweigh the missed ones.

    Comment by mrsbear — April 10, 2009 @ 10:50 pm |Reply

  3. I know. We only have four weeks and it’s not nearly enough. Just when we are all starting to “feel” like a family, it’s time to take her home. And then we wait another year for the chance to do it all over again. Why her mother can’t realize that it takes more time than four weeks to build a relationship with her dad….is beyond my comprehension.

    Comment by Ginger — April 10, 2009 @ 11:44 pm |Reply

  4. I know how you feel. I always feel that way when Lauren leaves. She has grown up so much lately that now, I am not the person she texts right away….I am not the person she calls often….I miss her and I know she will come around again sometime. But right now, it does hurt my heart that she isn’t “here”.

    I get it. Totally.

    Comment by Tina — April 11, 2009 @ 10:19 am |Reply

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