“A Letter To My Totty”
It’s been seven weeks and five days since you last came,
Do you still remember what I look like, can you still recall my name?
Each day when I get home from school I wait here by the phone,
I can feel the years behind my eyes, I cry lots since you left home.
Mommy knows that I’m upset and sad, she says you love me still,
That even though you don’t come or call, that someday you just will.
How can a father forget his kids? How can such a thing be true?
Is it possible you’ve stopped missing me and I’m always missing you?
Did you know little Bruchie lost a tooth in kindergarten yesterday?
And that Zahava and Adina got lead parts in their school play?
You forgot Binyomin’s birthday, it was three weeks ago,
Although he’s only three and a half, don’t think he doesn’t know!
Zaydie’s in the hospital, Bubbie says his heart is broken,
He fell in shul last Shabbos and he couldn’t be awoken,
And mommy’s having it hard too, she cannot make ends meet,
She says until your check gets here we must watch what we eat.
Often now, on many nights when she thinks we are all asleep,
I know she’s downstairs in the dark because I hear her weep.
Why did the two of you get divorced and why did you have us??
I wish I could turn the clock far back to the way our life once was!
I know that you and mommy fought and things just were not right,
Don’t punish US kids for that, Totty, we didn’t start the fight!
Divorce turned OUR lives upside down, kids are paid no mind,
We did not have any say in this, we were just dragged behind.
It is now two years later and it still hurts us just the same,
I don’t care what started all of this, it doesn’t matter who’s to blame,
Totty, even though I don’t understand why you left us like you did,
Don’t forget I’ll always love you ’cause I’ll always be your kid.
Your loving son, Volvie
Every year around this time, I always get letters from some very young people. I chose your poem because I get the feeling you spent a lot of time on it before you thought it said what you wanted your Totty to hear and it broke my heart.
Volvie, I’m sure your father loves you and is hurting just like you and your brothers and sisters are, and it seems to be a great burden for your mommy too. Divorce is rarely an easy thing on everyone in the family, but it is especially hard for the children because they cannot understand what happened, why it happened or how to make it better.
Your totty must be hurting too. Hurting because he gets to see you so little, possibly because he has to work and there is so little time he is owed to spend with you. One day, when you are older and understand better, I’m sure you will get the answers to your questions and you will understand, also, that love never dies, sometimes it just has to wait awhile before it can be shared on a different level and in a different way. But it will always be there for you, just give it a little time.
To all the mommies and tottys out there, who are either contemplating or have already gone through divorce, please read this poem and save it! Your children did nothing to deserve the heartache you put them through not should they ever have to be the spoils of war and pay the price for your mistakes. They love you unconditionally simply because you are their parents. Don’t ever erase them from your life because you started a new one away from them. Always keep your bond with them alive, wrapped in huge doses of love and support because they are unsure of the future and what role you will play in it. They will always be your children and you will always be their parent!