For the 4th of July I went to a local water park with a friend, her sister and their kids and we spent a fun day sliding and floating on the lazy river and I even got a bit of a tan, whoo hoo!

8:30 pm that day my younger daughter called me, the 18 year old that ran off and got married and was a 12 hour drive away.  She was sobbing and wanted me to tell her that she could make her marriage work.  I told her she could but that I wasn’t sure that she should or that it was the right thing to do because it takes two to make a marriage work.  She had to go because he didn’t know that she was calling me.  I was afraid for her.  I headed out to the grocery store but before I got there she texted me “How soon can you come pick me up?”  It was 9 pm but I went back home, grabbed some clothes and left right then and there.

I called my ex to tell him I was leaving town to go get her and to please pray everything went well.  He asked if she knew I was going to get her and was upset that she contacted me to rescue her and not him.  He asked if my car would make it.  He did not say he would pray, he did not ask if I would be OK driving through the night since I was leaving at 9 pm, he did not ask if I wanted him to go with (I would have said no) and he did not offer to help with the expense of rescuing our daughter.  I found those things to be very telling…

I drove the entire night, speeding all the way – at least 10 to 15 mph over the limit – and prayed the entire time I would not get a ticket.  I managed to shave about an hour and a half off my 12 hour drive and there were no officers in sight, thank God!  She was waiting outside her house with some boxes and bags of her stuff.  All of her stuff, by the way, is terrible.  In the 6 months they were married he hadn’t bought her anything, not even clothing essentials.  She needs to just throw it all away, homeless people wouldn’t even want what she has – it was that bad.  But we loaded it into my car, she went back into the house and brought out a puppy, got into my car and away we went.  We drove another 12 hours to the ocean and spent the night there, although I only got 4 hours of sleep because of the puppy…  The next morning, Monday, we found a little beach and went wading in the ocean and looking for shells and little rocks to take home.

The ocean is my happy place, just saying.

We then drove another 12 hours home.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so tired in my life.  I drove for 36 solid hours with only 4 hours of sleep and a couple hours of beach time in there.  I was afraid to let her drive because she hadn’t been driving for the last 7 months, her license was expired and she kept accepting her husbands phone calls and was still constantly texting him.

Their phone conversations became very predictable, I kept telling her that she didn’t have to take his calls and didn’t have to stay on the phone, to just hang up, but she wasn’t strong enough to do it.  He would be mean and make her feel bad, she would say lots of things like “I’m sorry”, “I didn’t know this would be so hard on you”, “It’s not your fault” and be curled up in a little ball on the passengers seat, crying.  Once she was reduced to a puddle of tears and completely broken down he would start to be nice to her until he could make her laugh and by the end of the conversation he was back to being the nice guy.  And he said the craziest stuff to get her to come back to him – like he was going to have an experimental brain surgery the next day at 2 pm that would eliminate his second personality.  He finally called the surgery a trans-orbital lobotomy and I about laughed my head off.  No surgeon is going to schedule anybody for brain surgery the very next day, especially any kind of lobotomy.

Once we got home I think I was able to sleep for about 8 hours but was still really wiped out from the trip.  My youngest brother was in town – staying with my ex husband – but wanted to spend Tuesday with me.  I was a little nervous, he is fairly good friends with my ex husband but he and I have never been close and I was afraid he was going to pull some “tough love” on me and tell me how wrong I was for divorcing.  I met him and his daughter at WalMart and he and I sat in the restaurant there while our daughters wandered the store so we could talk.  Going into the conversation it was clear he had only heard my ex’s side of things and thought I was wrong.  That’s always a fabulous start to a heart-to-heart talk…  I tried to be general in things I said about my former husband but when I told my brother that I looked into my future and saw two choices, divorce or suicide, and that I chose to live was when I saw him relax.  He was glad I chose to live.  I think we can build a relationship now.

My bosses called me in to work because it was really busy.  I told them I couldn’t because I was spending the day with my brother – which they had known about for weeks – but they kept bugging me, which was unusual, so I told my brother I was sorry, asked him if he would look at my swamp cooler (which had stopped working) and took my daughter to work with me for a few hours.  My sister came to the shop and picked up my daughter and the two of them went to have coffee with my brother and niece and when the rush at work was over I went and joined them and then we went bowling, which was a lot of fun.

The next day, Wednesday, I took my daughter to work with me again because there was no way I was going to leave her alone for 11 hours talking and texting her husband.  I had spent most of the 12 hour car trip home talking to her about the people at my work and how much they meant to me.  I also told her how she could be helpful to us – cleaning the pedicure bowls in between clients when we’re busy, cleaning the utensils, setting up the trays, asking customers what lotions and sugar scrubs they wanted, asking customers if they wanted a soda or water, getting their polish color, etc.  I described how the pedicure chairs worked and told her I would pay her $20 a day out of my own pocket for her help.  She has been a very good worker and my bosses fell in love with her and immediately started treating her like one of their family, which made me love working there even more.  On payday they even gave her $100 for her help, entirely on their own, I didn’t ask them to pay her and I didn’t tell them I was paying her, they thought she was just there helping out for something to do.

She spent most of the first week waffling between staying with me where she could finish high school, work for my bosses, have a car and a new phone and be taken care of – or going back to him and be controlled, miserable and broke.  Going back to him almost won, I was so scared for her because it seemed like he had such a grip on her soul.  And to be honest, it’s probably my bosses that made the biggest difference in her decision to stay, even more than me.  They treat her like a niece, they love on her and tease her and ask her go with them when they run errands or help them with projects.  They’re teaching her how to be a nail tech and do things “The Asian Way”.  On Thursday they had her and I over to their house for dinner so she got to try her first “Vietnamese burritos”.  The older brother, I think I call him Hank here, really dotes on her and has gone out of his way to be kind to her.  He is being what her father should have been to her.  After just a week of working with me she now loves my bosses as much as I do and I honestly believe they tipped the scales in her decision to stay here with me.  I thank God for them every day.

Last night she agreed to change her phone number and not give it to her husband or his family so I got her a new phone – however she has gone to the dark side and got an iPhone… – and she wants to be called by her middle name from now on as a way to completely change her life and start over.  I’m so proud of her and I’m so very relieved that she’s going to stay with me, words just can’t even describe how I feel right now.