In My Daddy’s Lap (Part One)

My parents divorced when I was seven.

Wait… actually… I have no idea WHEN they divorced.  The accurate statement would be… the announcement of the divorce happened when I was seven.

My childhood before seven was somewhat innocently happy.  I remember Dad teaching me how to play cat’s cradle and Mom bringing home the most amazing birthday cakes.   But what’s interesting is, I don’t remember much of anything about my family life between the ages of seven and twelve.  I have NO MEMORIES of home life in that 5 year life span.

Uh… therapy anyone? Yeah… don’t worry… I’m on that like a fat kid on a box of ding-dongs.

Let’s back up a bit: The day my mother told us they were divorcing, I remember feeling EXTREMELY confused.

I was old enough to know what “divorce” meant, but I never heard OR saw my parents fight.  Heck… I barely remembered ever seeing them talk.  I never thought the divorce was my fault, but I didn’t know WHY they needed a divorce since everything seemed “fine”.  What confused me even more was why my Mom pulled us three girls into my bedroom to tell us ALONE when my Dad was sitting right in the living room watching football.  “Isn’t this something they should be doing together?” I kept asking myself.

It felt like an hour had passed in that room.  I didn’t hear a thing that was said.  I remember my sister, Renee, crying and my baby sister, Helen, crawling all over the place.  That baby had no clue our world was about to drastically change.  All I wanted to do was get OUT of that room and jump into my Dad’s lap.

Once the “meeting” was over… I did just that.

My sister, Renee, and I ran and jumped into my Dad’s lap.  I remember Renee asking him,

“Why, Daddy?… WHY?  Why are you leaving us?”

Then I heard the words I would never forget:

“Because this is what your Mom wants.”

Then, the unimaginable happened.  My Dad broke down and cried…

I had NEVER seen my Dad cry. NEVER…

in the center of the couch of our family room…
with football television as a faint background noise…
we sat…
in my father’s lap for the very last time.

Something inside me died that day.

At age seven, sitting there for the last time ever in my Daddy’s lap, I made my first lifetime decision:

I was NEVER going to let anyone make decisions like this for me.
NO ONE would ever make me cry again.

And this ONE single decision ruled my life for the next 23 years…

(… to be continued…)

16 Responses to “In My Daddy’s Lap (Part One)”

  1. David September 23, 2009 at 6:26 am #

    Inner vows – what seems to so logical at the time has such long-lasting effects.

    ‘Course, I’m impatient to read the rest now.

    While I’m lifting you guys in prayer, I’ll include one for me…more patience :)

  2. Toby September 23, 2009 at 7:14 am #

    Why you need to make a grown man cry in the middle of the day is beyond me! :-)

    Thinking, sadly, that you have sat and cried in your Daddy’s lap one more time than I have.

    Praying for you…that we both can find comfort in the everlasting love of our Heavenly Daddy’s lap.

    And, like David, looking forward to the rest….

  3. Lynse Leanne September 23, 2009 at 11:50 am #

    Dang girl. Makin me cry several times this week….who do you think you are?!?

    I have also made many of those inner vows…”i will never…” oh if i were to write them all down.

    praying for you and waiting to read the rest…

    Love you

  4. jenni September 23, 2009 at 12:22 pm #

    I’m finally getting my story out. Thank you for reading…

    Love you guys… especially you, Lynse. I know I’m jumping ahead to part 4… but it’s ok to cry. It’s actually GOOD to cry.

  5. Crystal Renaud September 23, 2009 at 12:42 pm #

    oh the vows… “i will never let them see me cry” has been a vow i’ve carried a very long time. it is still with me. i don’t really know who “them” is anymore–pretty much anyone. my dad stayed but i still didn’t get a place in a his lap. i am not sure which story is worse or if it matters, but thankfully i am finding a nice spot in my heavenly Daddy’s lap on a daily basis.

  6. JD August 11, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

    You have a beautiful way of taking us into your world, your experiences, and helping us re-live them with you. Thank you for sharing the beginning, I am eager to read the rest.

    Like Crystal, I too am finding a nice spot in my heavenly Daddy’s lap on a daily basis. As for crying, I am eager to find out if you now feel the freedom to cry. It’s very liberating…

    • jenni August 11, 2010 at 12:20 pm #

      i HAVE found the freedom to cry now. the difference is now, i cry about different things.

      i cry for others. i know how to grieve. i can empathize. and i can feel REAL sorrow. this is all new and i’m just beginning to feel these things. i’m looking forward to what God is creating me to be… AND feel.

  7. LeAnn September 20, 2011 at 12:30 am #

    Finally, after all this time, I’m reading your story. Sorry it’s taken so long..Thanks for opening up and sharing such intimate details of brokenness and healing…I can relate with much of it. So, I just wanted to say, thanks. God bless you, Jenni!

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