Yesterday afternoon, for 2 hours, Rush sat with me in the same room for the third time since running away from home. The first time was, by far, the hardest, the most awkward, the most painful. The second time was, a bit, easier. The first day of that second visit was great; she snuggled with the kids and laughed with us, and let her guard down. The second day of that second visit couldn't end soon enough. She put up a wall and began speaking to us all with arrogance and, almost, hatred in her voice.
Yesterday she came with my mom to visit. It has gotten easier. It is still awkward. It is still painfull, especially when it is time for her to leave because I want to scream at her that she can't go, that she belongs here, that this is her home.
Rush had a really good talk with BigB yesterday - just the two of them. I haven't had that chance yet. That chance to spend one-on-one time with her. (I don't know if she wants it with me. Yet!) He apologized for his shortcomings as a father; he let her know there is always a place here for her - always! He talked to her about her need to pay off the restitution she owes to her first employer when she stole almost $1500 from them. The important thing is that they talked. She did not get defensive; she did not tune him out. She did not reject his words. She talked back with him. She asked his advice on a couple things. She allowed him to be her dad. There was a beginning there. She told him that she still believed in God and that brought so much hope for us.
Now, it's my turn. I am wanting to save up some money and drive to the city she lives in with my mother and step-father, and I want to take her out to a really nice place to eat. Not some chain family restaurant because chances are it will be loud and it will be too cluttered for us to spend time just being with (just) each other. I want to show her that I have been changed by her leaving, that God has been working on me and that she can talk to me. I want her to know that everything I have done in my life, whether it has been right or wrong, has been done because I thought, at the time, it was best for her. My over-reactions and emotional outbursts were because I wanted something more for her and for my other children. All that I did was for the sake of my family, with my children at the heart of those decisions. But I also want her to know that I am sorry for the wrong decisions I made - even though their intentions were honorable.
It has been terrible being without her. It was her and I for so long. There is not a day that goes by that I do not miss my girl. Yes, I am functioning, doing all sorts of things, being happy, laughing but in the midst of the life I am living and the things I am doing, I am missing her, thinking how great it would be if she were there with me, imagining her at my side doing things together. There is almost always an underlying thought process about her. I would be lying if I said there wasn't.
It is not a mourning though. Well, perhaps it is a mourning but not a mourning I have ever gone through. I am not constantly sad, depressed or moping. I am doing things; I am laughing. I am living and doing more than the merely existing I did when she first left. Now that doesn't mean that a part of my heart isn't wandering around a city I don't live in, walking the halls and the classrooms of a school I have never been in, laughing with friends I have never met or living a life I am not entirely part of.
A piece of my heart does do just that but it does that with all my children. I have 7. One is a recently divorced young man living down in Kansas City, MO and a part of my heart wanders Kansas City with him as he works, as he rebuilds... Another part of my heart wanders the hospitals that my newly wed daughter works at, wanders her small town community... Another part wanders with the two children who still live with their mother, who I have not been able to see much of lately - a teenage boy who is never at home, who never tells his mom where he is going, whose mom doesn't care where he is going or who he is with, who wanders at night with friends I have never met doing who really knows what...my heart wanders with him. And it wanders with his sister, who now doesn't have Rush with her, knows not where or what her brother is up to - my heart wanders with her through gymnastics and dance recitals, through swimming and making goofy videos with her friends. My heart wanders with the lives of the two children that live with me even though I know where they are and what they are doing, my heart is always there with them. It follows my husband to the most northern peaks of our province that he flies in and out of for work.
My heart is always there with all of them.
My heart knows that there will be a restoring in my relationship with Rush. I can't say for sure that she will ever live here again. I can say for sure that I have hope that she will. I can also say for sure that I do know God is faithful and He will restore unto me the things that have been stolen from me, and I am not talking about the three bikes, the heavy bag, the carseat, the camping equipment, the tools or the fishing rods. I am talking about Him restoring my child's heart back to me and back to Him. I know without a shadow of a doubt that it will happen. My God is faithful and He is just and He is good.