366 Days

I looked at the dates last time and it was kind of a punch in the gut. 11 months from hello to goodbye. I looked at the dates again today and it was just as bad.

On June 9, 2010 we first heard about our new daughter. She was 10. She had a complicated story and we were going to be her new family to help carry her through.

On June 10, 2011 she flew out of the state and officially out of our lives. We haven’t talked to her in nearly a month (that’s her choice, but I don’t blame her), but today was the day she actually moved on and legally is no longer our responsibility. I just called the insurance guy to have her removed from our policy. You don’t get more official than that.

While she’s legally no longer our responsibility, I’ll always feel a moral obligation (though there’s little I can do to fulfill that). While she’s officially out of our lives, she’ll always be in our hearts. While she’s physically out of our house, we’ll continue to come across things that were hers. None of that is easy.

The journey our lives have taken in the past year is kind of insane. I don’t recommend it. Though I’m not sure how I could recommend avoiding it. The past few months have been a struggle to move on. There’s been a constant search for distraction. In some ways I want to stop thinking about it completely. In other ways I can’t stop.

I bought a Wii a couple weeks ago (this time I managed to keep it for more than 24 hours) simply for the distraction and stress relief. I don’t really care that it’s being replaced or that it’s not the coolest gaming system. I just wanted to shoot people. That doesn’t sound very healthy now that I’m writing it out, but it made sense in my head.

I’ve started exercising more, riding my bike in the neighborhood and in the basement. It’s stress relief and distraction. Abby actually started exercising as well, so it’s not just me feeling the need.

I started re-reading Graham Green’s The Power and the Glory. If you’ve never read it, it’s a somewhat depressing tale of a Catholic priest fleeing persecution in Mexico, but far from a martyr he’s known as the whiskey priest. It’s a tale of doubt and despair and questioning faith (yet still holding on in the end). I first read it during my freshman year of college along with Shusako Endo’s Silence, another story of martyrdom among doubt and despair.

That makes it sound as though I’m swimming in doubt and despair myself. I’m not, not really, but it’s not far off. Part of me wants to read Silence again as well, but part of me wants to steer clear. We’ve also watched our way through the entire series of How I Met Your Mother (again) as well as working our way through Big Bang Theory. As much as reading about despair resonates, watching something funny is also desperately, desperately needed.

It’s a weird place to be. I pray desperately (there’s that word again) for where she is and where she’s going, because that’s the only thing I can do. I try not to look back because there’s nothing in that. I try to surround myself with friends because I can and because no one should be alone. I try to get the words out because otherwise they just rattle around in my head.

It was only 366 days from getting a phone call to receiving an e-mail.

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