How much to cry inside?

300px-University_of_Otago_Marama_Hall,_Dunedin,_NZ

It just passed midnight. Wind is howling outside and waves are breaking against the shore in the distance.

I am sick with the desire to write. Thoughts swirl in my head, like frightened blackbirds; wings flapping, crying against the vastness of inky skyline. Open but unknown, free but uncharted, calling yet unanswered.

I long for my blogging fraternity. My friends. Friends who come to visit the Lantern even though, in a last month or so, it has not been shining often. Still you pass by and write words of support and encouragement, even nominate the Lantern for awards … TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU – THANK YOU VERY MUCH! I cannot thank you enough, and I will honour all the awards as soon as I can.

While it is not often I write directly about myself and my life, but instead weave threads of it in my poetry and prose, on this occasion I will make an exception. For my friends who send me so many great wishes. And who wonder where may I unanchore it this time.

This whole year has been a year of great change for me. And like with all great changes, one only becomes fully aware of it when already in the midst of it.

When I first arrived to New Zealand from Zagreb, that distant June in 1994 I was recently married and six months pregnant. I carried my daughter in me from one side of the Earth to another. Only I did not know it was a daughter. Or much of anything else for that matter, including English language. I smiled and looked aside when somebody tried to speak to me.

When my daughter was born in September 1994, I told her that I love her. In English. And that her name was Deborah. From that moment on we were together. Every hour of every day. Her father and I separated sometimes in the middle of 1996. He left NZ not long after that, or so I was told. Because he neglected to tell me. Or to contact me or Deborah since. I never held that against him. He was simply not equipped to deal with such things as exile, husbandhood, and fatherhood. I never held a grudge against him or spoke ill of him. It is because of him I have Deborah, and that alone is all that ever mattered to me.

I made a conscious choice to stay in NZ. For one; I had nobody to return to. I once read somewhere that home is a place where they have to take you in whenever you show up. My grandparents were dead. There was no such place. Besides, I was certain that New Zealand would be better for us both; me and my girl. For the first time in my life I was part of a team; team of two. Us; Deborah and I. It was all I needed.

Eighteen years passed this way. Blink of an eye. I still see her standing her ground on the pre-school playground yelling at kids who teased her about the way her mum speaks, that her mum CAN speak English. Hands on hips and ready to take anyone on. My girl. Nobody ever stood up for me. And she was only four.

And so we stood for each other over the years, we navigated storms and maestrals together. Always knowing where the light house is.

When she first started going out to teen’s parties and alike, we had a code word for any kind of emergency. It was a Croatian word only we knew. If and when in any kind of trouble, just txt that word and mum is there, wherever, instantly. Just say our word.

Each day I asked to just live long enough to raise my child. My worst fear was that my child will be orphan and sent to foster home if something happened to me. Because of that I raised her with huge emphasis on education and independence. Everything else can be taken away from you; any material possession, but not what you have learned, what is in your brain, I used to tell her over and over … ‘Mum, I DO understand!’

At the beginning of this year I had to move to another city for work. While initially we were both to move, Deborah decided to stay behind to finish her last year of high school without changing schools. It was the first time we did not live together, and a taste of what was to come. Deborah with her own life; her school, her part-time job, her boyfriend; a decent young man … in a word; a life separate from mine. As it should be.

Still, I was hopeful they will both come to my city to go to University. It almost happened. And then she decided to go to Dunedin to study Health Science at the University of Otago. The oldest University in NZ.

English: University of Otago Marama Hall, Dune...
English: University of Otago Marama Hall, Dunedin, New Zealand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All I ever wanted for my girl is to be an educated, independent woman and a decent human being. I am proud to say that she is all of that and then some. I have never known one’s heart can be so filled with love and pride and longing all in the same time. But I would not have it any other way. She is mine to miss and I am hers to walk away from. It is the natural order of things.

And then of course morning came when I looked around an empty house, far too big for me to live in, and all the things I accumulated because Deborah may need or want them.

And the face of a young doctor who told me that ‘it does not look good this time’. I almost laughed out loud in his office. Because however it looks from his side, it looks jolly good from mine. Because my child is 18 and therefore it no longer matters. She could never be put in a foster home now.

And then I set to find a place to put my bags down. Just mine this time. Small and cosy; a writer’s den. I saw many places claiming to be so. For a price. Witnessed greed once again lurking from fancy advertisements and corners of people eyes. Small and beady.

It is a good price, so it is. Times are hard. You will not find better. How much? Not much really, we invested a lot in it. Very nice, clean, just renovated. It will only be that much if you … Just tell me the price will you! Because all I want to know is how much to cry inside?

Author: Daniela

Reader, Writer, Mother, Freethinker, Habitual Day Dreamer, Blogger - Sharing Ideas, Poetry, Prose, and Conversations on the Lantern Post!

69 thoughts on “How much to cry inside?”

  1. What a full letter from the heart of a mother. It is difficult and we learn to live with loneliness from no longer having our child’s company when they leave. For the rest in your letter, my best to you in your health and finding a writer’s nest.

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  2. Life is neither just not fair and the only constant is change. What ever befalls us, lets put our chin up and our best foot forward to carry on🙂

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  3. Once again, Daniela, you have made me hang on every word. I was so happy to see a post from you. I missed your writing. There is emotion in every word. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. I hope your life-changes and writing class are going well (possibly the class has not started yet).
    In any case, best of wishes to a great author.

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    1. Dear Waldo,

      I have missed you too! Thank you so much for your kindness. Class has not started yet and that is good because I need some time to recover now. I am sure it will all be well in few weeks.

      Many thanks,
      Daniela

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    1. My dear Kathy,

      I have caught the hug and it felt great! It made me feel better … thank you -:)! Do not worry … I have known worse, this to shall come to pass.

      Take Care,
      Daniela

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  4. You have courage. It takes courage to move far away from all you have known, especially to another country by yourself. It sounds like mission accomplished for your daughter. Now, it’s your turn.

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      1. I do like the country, and it feels more like a home every day -:)! Over the years I learned to make a home wherever I go -:)!

        I have managed to see my daughter on Christmas day and it was all I needed!

        Many thanks and Best Wishes for the upcoming year!

        Daniela

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  5. This is such a thought provoking post outlining the uncluttered singular love of a mother for her child, and the gratitude for having raised her well. But the story is not over until it is over and now there must be time to love yourself as well. Thank you for sharing this very personal story.

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  6. Hi Daniela!

    You write beautifully and with so much heart. I wanted to share a little of me with you. Know that I send love and healing thoughts from the other side of the world.

    We have had a parallel experience in that I left Canada in 1991 to move to Vienna when I was 8 months pregnant! I did not speak German, nor did I feel I knew the customs of the Austrians. I did stay married until recently, though. My daughter is now 21 and learning to live independently, carrying me along with her, inside, invisible, offering strength when needed.
    I wrote a poem for her on December 2nd, on a card that I had bought in Vienna years ago.The artist is Lawrence Alma Tadema and the painting is called The Kiss.Here is the poem!

    BECOMING

    There you stand
    At the shore of your life
    A lovely young woman.

    I embrace you, my child
    Bidding you adieu.

    Unexplored lands await
    New horizons beckon
    Go with ease, my dear.

    Within you now, I abide,
    For eternity
    Offering solace, guidance and love.

    -For Andrea, 21 today

    Being the loving Mother that you are, you will have given her all that she will need to live a good and satisfying life!
    Thinking of you!
    Kathy

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    1. My dear Kathy,

      I cannot thank you enough for your sincerity and kindness … you touched me deeply and on many levels. We share very similar experience indeed, having a child in an unknown world and witness departure into adulthood. Those beautiful words said it best: ‘Within you now, I abide,
      For eternity
      Offering solace, guidance and love.’

      Thank you very, very much!

      Daniela

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  7. I understand.. I also want you to know you are not alone, maybe by miles but not in friendship from all of your blogging community..
    You are missed..
    Lynne

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  8. Thank you so much for sharing such a poignant, private thought, in words which move and shake and take one by the hand, to walk with you for a little while….

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  9. Ms. Daniella….I am no one special, but yet I feel your pain. I am not a PHD, but yet I understand. My wish for you is to be content in your choices, and know that you have raised a fine daughter. You will always be a light in her eyes, and her in yours. You have many followers and some friends as well. Please count me among those who care.
    H.

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  10. Daniela, I think the best thing any of us can say is that we have made a difference in someone’s life. Deborah knows how much you love her. What gift is greater than that?

    You are in my thoughts, Friend.
    Deb

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    1. Dear Deb,

      You know I call my girl Deb too -:)! You are right, of course you are … there is no gift grater than to love and be loved. Many, many thanks my friend.

      Daniela,

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  11. This is a beautiful post Daniela and oh… so… just unfolding. On one hand I am sad for you (of course) but on the other, it sounds like you have nurtured such a loving and wonderful relationship with your daughter. One that you will both always, always be able to lean on, appreciate and enjoy. Distance is a new element. Be sad. Be grateful, happy and proud. Write Daniela write!

    All the best,

    Chris

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    1. Dear Chris …

      There are some ‘things’ that erase distances, dissolve any barriers; either real or imagined … those ‘things’ lodge themselves within those who resonate with them. When you struck the cord at your end of the woods, it resonates all the way to the Lantern. It is a gift. For which I thank you with all my heart.

      Daniela

      Like

  12. Dear Daniella,
    I read your post avidly, and could not, without horror, notice the third to the last paragraph: what could it mean?!

    I hope that you are well, and loved every single second by your child. She is very lucky to have you as her mother. Take care!

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    1. My dear,

      Thank you so much for those kind words … I am well because I choose to believe so. As long as one still see sun coming up every morning – life is wonderful!

      Many thanks,
      Daniela

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  13. Daniela, I cannot write, but I wrote and sang one of my silly songs in a recent post. Your name was mentioned in it. The song is not important and not worth looking for. But after reading your post here and of course reading all the comments you received, I know the little words I wrote about you were true .. very true.
    You always give us “stories of courage … never discouraged”.
    We all know you will have the courage to go forward. You keep many of us from being discouraged.
    I for one would never discourage anyone from crying. I do plenty.
    meme

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    1. My dear Meme,

      You can write and write well; with your heart in it! That is what I love most. Your kindness and humanity always touches me deeply … thank you -:)!

      You take care … write songs and cry … I do plenty too!

      Daniela

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  14. I can’t tell you how much your story resonates with me. Your words moved me to tears as my oldest son will be eighteen in less than a month and I’m already feeling the void his absence will leave me… You are such an inspiration, Daniela. I know you will find the perfect place and everything will be just fine. (:

    Thank you for sharing such a touching post!

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    1. Dear Mari,

      Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart -:)! We raise our kids to be self-sufficient, independent young people … and we brace ourselves for the void their partings leave in us … and in that we also know that we have done what was due and done it well.

      Take Care,
      Daniela

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  15. I like your way of writing Daniela, your story breathes with honesty and real emotions (some of them well known), feelings one can have along the way you have travelled, and you still do…. You are a strong woman. Nice meeting you – again🙂
    Wishing you all the best and a lot of time spent with the ones you love.
    Stay warm! (I know – it must be spring time over there, but here is 16 below zero right now – so the greeting is more right for me🙂 )
    Be well, and enjoy the sunshine!
    Love & Hugs//Sanna

    Like

    1. Thank you very much my dear -:)!

      It is almost summer, only it is raining and wind is blowing just like it does in Wellington -:)! Still – nothing like 16 below zero! Sending you loads of love and warmth from the bottom of the world!

      Many thanks,
      Take Care,
      Daniela

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  16. Daniela, what a beautiful story. I’m glad you decided to write about yourself. I had that kind of relationship with my mother after she divorced, and with my brother as well. We were a team. Your heart is so open, your attitude is so sweet, and you express yourself beautifully. Thanks for sharing your love for your daughter and your life’s journey with us. I hope you are not ill.

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  17. Hi Daniela. Thanks for sharing this beautiful post.It reiterates that it takes courage to go through the changes in life; and sharing and learning from each other helps a lot.

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    1. Thank you very much … your words mean a lot to me as I truly believe that sharing and learning is necessary to us all. Knowledge and love are the only two ‘things’ that multiply by division!

      Many thanks,
      Daniela

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  18. Dear Daniela,inspiring and very emotional post.l appreciate your posts for the messages within.lam delighted that you liked my new post(Connecticut…) I wish you happiness ,health and every wonderful thing this world can offer,Have a blessed new year.jalal

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  19. What a wonderful post this is. I love so many of your expressions and the way you write but what captured me and I shall not forget is this, “She is mine to miss and I am hers to walk away from. It is the natural order of things.” From the heart of a mother, a writer, a beautiful woman, beautiful words. Paulette

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  20. I read this holding my breath Daniela. What a poignant, beautiful tribute. You word so well this journey of holding our children with an open hand. So much love to you.

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    1. Dear Marilyn,

      Holding our children with an open hand is, as you well know, as delicate as it is necessary.

      Many thanks for reading and commenting,
      Best Wishes,
      Daniela

      Like

  21. You are one very brave woman, Daniela! Brave for having moved to a foreign country, for learning a foreign language, for having raised your girl by yourself, for moving again – and allowing your girl to live her own life, and now, for facing that medical condition with such calm. Whatever happens, I’m sure it’s going to be ok.

    Like

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