Papa, Oh Papa.

I shut the door and sank down onto the floor.

Papa, Oh Papa.

The cold tile was a shock to my bare legs but I hardly noticed as I gasped for air trying not to let my sobs wake up everyone.

Papa, Oh Papa.

My shirt was wet as I raised my hand to wipe my face, I noticed it was streaming with tears.

Papa, Oh Papa.

When you have everything to lose and you start to lose it, it feels like getting the air punched out of you. Logically you know you can and will breathe, but your body won’t always react out of logic.

Papa, Oh Papa.

The torrent of tears came back with a vicious shudder. Those words. That echo. The familiar insecurities and fears. They didn’t even have to say anything. I could tangibly touch them in that moment. The darkness surrounded me as I let it swallow me whole.

Papa, Oh Papa.

That’s all I could say, over and over again. Papa. Papa. Papa. Please. Papa. The words tumbled from my lips and screamed from my heart. The river of tears splattered onto the handwritten letters on pages. The letters that spelled out

Papa

Eventually exhaustion set in. I crawled out of the bathroom and into bed. Without effort, the tears continued staining my face, hair, and pillow. Sleep is bittersweet when you’re broken. It provides escape but unfortunately you always land right back into reality.

3:28am. Disoriented I roll over and check the time. Why am I awake? Why do I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck? And then the metaphorical truck hits again. Ah, yes. It’s real. Not a nightmare. The waves of heartbreak come crashing in. One right after another with just enough time to cough, sputter, and stand up for another round. Please fall back asleep my brain urges my body. Please.

Papa, Oh Papa.

And then daybreak rolls around. The time when you know you need to force yourself out of bed. Stand against the world. Put on the bravest face you can all the while knowing your face will betray everything.

There is no relief with morning. No alteration of the sense of hurt, betrayal, disrespect. Only a decision to choose to believe that His mercies are new in the morning. A knowledge that mercy doesn’t mean it’s gone or that it feels better, but just that it’s there, and it’s new, and it sustains.

So with that thought, my distraught cry of Papa, Oh Papa morphs into a whisper that sounds desperately familiar and oddly full of hope, Papa, Oh Papa.

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