So my initial flight was cancelled due to bad weather. My replacement flight was delayed. Three Times.  I missed my first connecting flight and from there everything spiraled into a loop of flight, layover, flight, layover…  I was in an airport or on an airplane for over 24 hours and didn’t arrive at my hotel until 10:30 am the next morning without getting any sleep and hardly any food.

This does not make me somebody who is fun to be around so I took a 3 1/2 hour nap once I got to the hotel.

Then I called my daughter who did not answer so I left her a message.  I found a nearby store to get some distilled water for my CPAP machine and then texted my daughter who again, did not respond.  I found myself some fast food and called my daughter’s Future Mother In Law who answered and said the house was full, she’d have to see if I could come over or not.  She put me on a silent hold for about 3 minutes and then my daughter came on the line and said she would check with her fiancé and call me back.  Roughly 45 minutes later FMIL calls me and says I can come get my daughter because her son and my daughter had been fighting about me all day.  Hmmm…

I show up at the house.  It doesn’t really look big enough to hold as many people as are supposed to be living there.  I knock on the door, it opens and my daughter is sitting at a table, smoking with FMIL and the air in the front room where they’re at is thick like fog.  I sit at the table next to my daughter and never leave that front room but the house definitely is not big enough for all those people yet they are making it work.

“We have a problem” my daughter says.  I have a brief, fleeting flash of hope, thinking that maybe she wants to come home but no, her problem is with me.  She feels I betrayed her twice, once by not sticking up for her when she told her father she was leaving and I never did figure out what the second betrayal was but she was very hurt by them.  I did lots of apologizing, asked how I could fix it or make it better and all she could say was “I don’t know”.  FMIL jumped into the conversation regularly, expounding on various points with things my daughter has told her.  FMIL is good-hearted but very rough around the edges and seems to view many horrible life situations as normal and therefore acceptable and unavoidable.  I think that realization about FMIL was the most frightening part of the whole day for me.

To make it worse her fiancé makes all of her issues his own – and then magnifies them – so before I got there he had called off the wedding and told my daughter to pack her things and go stay with me at my hotel tonight.  (She packed up but had no interest whatsoever in staying with me and so she didn’t.)  He wouldn’t even come to the house while I was there and called several times during the hour or so that I was there to see if I had left yet.  I decided to leave when he said he was going to go spend the night somewhere else.

My daughter, FMIL and I talked about several things and I noticed a few more things which I’m not going to get into here but the long and short of it is that my daughter is choosing an entirely different life than I would want for any little girl, much less my own daughter.  She is madly in love with a troubled young man who wants to have nothing to do with her and ends their relationship every time he gets upset over something she says or does and then takes her back after he’s calmed down, usually within a day or two.  Her life with him will most likely be filled with a fierce family loyalty, good food and good times but also loud, angry words and frequent family fights that are both physical and verbal.  She more than likely will not finish high school and she will probably start having children sooner rather than later.

Before I left the house my daughter is staying at I told my her that  I would have my cell phone with me and she can call me if she wants to spend more time with me but the only thing I want from her before I go home is to see her to say goodbye either tomorrow night or Thursday morning.  My daughter may decide not to spend any time with me tomorrow aside from saying goodbye so I’m planning to see a local landmark and catch a movie, maybe even get a pedicure.

I am out of tears.  I actually wonder if I’m in shock because I’m not feeling much of anything right now.  My best friend from high school says I might be in “Survival Mode” and I may break down on the way home… such fun for the people sitting next to me!   Right now I’m focusing on the fact that I was able to connect with FMIL in a positive way and I feel like she is on my side in encouraging her son to develop a relationship with me and she will encourage my daughter to stay in touch with me.  Even if this is all I manage to accomplish, the whole trip will be worth it.

The wedding most likely will not happen while I’m here and may not happen at all before he goes back to base in 5 days.  I’m OK with that.  My daughter seems to have become somebody I don’t recognize.  I’m not OK with that but I don’t think there’s anything I can do about it.  Everything seems to have gone sideways but ultimately it’s her life that has gone sideways from my expectations so I just have to sit back and trust God to keep her safe.

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