Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Million Pieces

"He seems smitten," the shadchan tells me after the third date.

"He's smitten," I repeat to my daughter. She grins, and I know she is equally smitten. It is all moving so fast, I can barely catch my breath.

"What does smitten mean?" my little boy asks.

"You know...like the firstborn in Mitzrayim were smitten," my daughter explains. "Like...hit hard." My daughter is laughing, and my little boy is not happy with her explanation.

It's good to see her so excited. So this is how it is, I think. Just when it all seems so hopeless, along comes the right one. All those dry months, waiting for the phone to ring. And then it does ring. And they seem so right for each other. She likes him. He likes her. Everything falls into place.

It all just seems so...right.

And then it's over.

As quickly as it started, it's over.

I would die for my children. I knew that instantly, the moment they were born. I hope I am never tested, but I wonder sometimes if seeing them in pain and knowing there is nothing I can do to take it away isn't harder, in some way.

I want to be able to tell her that it'll be ok. That this wasn't bashert. That someone more wonderful will come along soon. But I don't know that it's true. How can I know?

My heart aches for her. I wish I could fix this somehow. I wish I could take the pain away. I wish I could feel it for her. Instead of her.

But I can't. I see her anguish and it's breaking my heart into a million pieces.

And there's nothing I can do.


  1. This story, while a painful one, is not a unique one.

    It happened with my sister, it happened with my cousins, it happened with my friends.

    And then, the one who is meant to be will come along. And time does heal all wounds.

    So let her grieve. And all too soon she will be up on her feet again, "smiting" another lucky fella, who will stay smitten.

  2. Princess Lea said everything I wanted to.

    Happened recently to my sister, and I was hurting for her, also mad for her. Can't imagine what my mother was feeling.

  3. That is such a painful experience! I'm so sorry :-(. As someone who has been in your daughter's place at some points, I want you to know that she'll spring back faster than you will. She's mourning exclusively for herself while your heart is breaking for her mostly, and also for yourself and the disappointment. Hopefully you will be able to look back at this and say, "Thank G-d he said no!" really really soon.


  4. Princess...

    Thank you. I hope you're right.

    Sporadic Intelligence...

    Yeah, mad too.


    Thank G-d he said no? Maybe... But a part of me is kinda hoping he'll change his mind...

  5. I'm so sorry :-( I've wondered how your daughter's doing. I wish I could offer words of consolation but there are none. I do think you're doing the right thing by not telling her it will be okay. IYH it will be, but that is not something we know yet.

    Hoping to hear good news from you soon!

  6. This is so hard. This kind of emotional pain hurts more than many others. I'm so sorry for you and your daughter. Don't try to get over it too quickly. Let her cry as much as she needs...she'll be back to herself when she's ready. And if it hits her again in another little while, don't be surprised, just let her feel...so she could heal.

    That is probably the hardest thing-to watch your child feeling such an intense pain and not be able to do anything to take it away.
    But...there is one thing you could do. You could daven for her. I think of the power of a mother's tefillos...for so many generations, it was the mother's tears...their deep and passionate tefillos for their children that brought comfort to their pain and helped them see a way out...by remembering who is the only One who can solve their problems and take the pain away. ...and as I walk by the lights of one thousand Friday nights and the tefillos of my mother who always had her candles lit. Do you know that song? :-)

    May the tears of pain be transformed into tears of happiness...and soon!

  7. Thanks, SIS.
    Good to see you here again.


    Yes, you're right. I can do that. Thank you.
    I know that song :).

  8. The thing I really like about your blog is that essentially, one of its messages is the love a parent has for their child. I think thats a very moving and understandable thing - even for those of us who don't have children of our own or who may not receive the same love from our own mothers.

  9. Mystery Woman FanMay 7, 2012 at 6:44 AM

    Your writing so beautifully captures parenthood. We can't live their lives for them - it wouldn't be good to take away the pain and the hardship since that is an essential part of the world and life - without the pain it is hard to value the joy - but it hurts so much to just watch.

  10. Welcome, MW Fan. And thank you!

  11. Even though my children are still young, this hit me right in the heart. We Mommys are fixer-uppers, boo-boo kissers and chase away the monsters from under the beds. When we can't do that, the helplessness is terrible.

    And I must say that Cymbaline beautifully encapsulated what your blog is all about.

  12. JS...

    That's what it is...helplessness. I just want to DO something. I want to fix it.

    Thank you.

  13. I know it has been a while since you posted this but I still wanted to respond. It was a beautifully written post!

    I don't know all the details of the relationship but it reminds me of a quote in Spanish: "Not everything that shines is gold." We don't always know the person we are with and there are so many things that they could be hiding, etc, that Hashem is protecting us from.

    It hurts. A lot. But it makes you stronger. I think of every relationship (even friendships) and those that made me cry the most are those that made me the strongest. There was a reason why they came into my life and I hope I learned from it.

    I wanted to share this post, which I believe is very apropos, there is one quote, which is not mine, that I truly adore: http://princessofhashem.blogspot.com/2012/02/goodbye-my-job-here-is-done.html

  14. Thank you, ZP. Everything you said is so true. And that's a beautiful post.

    1. B"H, I'm glad, thank you :)

    2. to go along with all those quotations, here is one from one of my favorite authors: "tears keep the heart from getting smug".

      That is a truth I would never have seen if everything in my life had always gone smoothly and according to my preferences.

      That said, I've been in the same situation as your daughter and it is hard, no question. I think most of it is the suddenness and the feeling of shock...kind of like when a little kid falls down hard and is more upset by the surprise than the actual boo-boo.

      I can tell you though that in one of those cases I came across the guy a few years later (he recognized me, though I didn't realize it was him till after our encounter) and I saw so clearly how he was not the one meant for me.