Mijn Papa Is Dood

Davy and I took our Noah to get a new pair of shoes after school today. Noah’s current brown suede loafers were worn out and getting smaller by the week and he wanted the very same ones, literally, except one size bigger of course. He’d be turning five this month, and it was time to upsize for sure.

But Davy and I somehow convinced him that the blue suede ones in the same exact style would be better. Different, but the same, and Noah begrudgingly agreed. It was clear he wanted the brown ones again, but really, he wanted McDonald’s for dinner more. So we walked up to the counter to pay, thinking the loafers were €50, only to discover that they were actually €80.

It turns out the blue ones were part of the “new collection” and thus ridiculously priced as such, while the brown ones were still last season’s, at a reasonable €50. Needless to say, Noah walked out of the store today with a new pair of brown loafers. Funny how some things just work out their own way, with lessons learned all around.

So with his new brown suede loafers in tow, Noah snuck in his request to be treated to McDonald’s for dinner. Davy and I obliged. We rolled up into the McDonald’s closest to home, ordered, and sat down with enough food for three including the quintessential Happy Meal. There was one other family in the PlayPlace dining area, a mom and her kids.

One of those kids, a boy just a little older than Noah, came over to our table almost immediately, wanting to compare Happy Meal Lego Batman toys and chat with Noah. His name was Jamie. Noah obliged, and I smiled. This particular McDonald’s always seemed to have some story in store for us, never a dull day…

I prepped Noah’s food for consumption, peeling open the usual condiments and unwrapping predictable bites of warm processed comfort food. That’s the thing about McDonald’s…you know exactly what you’re gonna get and that’s why you go back. The only surprises come along with the people around you at any given time.

“Mijn papa is dood.” My dad is dead.

I froze, mid-dip of my fry in the fritessaus fry sauce. I didn’t know if I’d heard that right. I looked up at Davy to see if he’d heard the same thing. This little boy Jamie, playing with Noah right next to me, had just announced clear as day that his dad was dead. Neither Noah nor Davy reacted, so I didn’t either. I honestly wasn’t even sure if it was the truth or some role playing with the Lego Batman stuff.

“Mijn papa is gestorven vrijdag. Hij is dood.” My dad passed away on Friday. He is dead.

And there it was. Jamie had repeated himself, with no emotions attached, making it very clear that this was real. I could barely swallow the fry in my mouth. It felt like styrofoam going down my throat. I wanted to hug the child, but I didn’t think I should touch him, so I told him I was very sorry to hear this news. My cynicism took over then, and I questioned the boy’s authenticity. And then his twin brother, Ike, popped up at my side. Fraternal Twin Ike joined in on the Happy Meal fun for a few seconds before announcing, too, that his papa was dead.

The whole scene felt unreal. And I noticed that Noah was chomping away at his nuggets and fries, wholly unaware, or perhaps purposely ignoring this whole thread of conversation surrounding death. I didn’t know if I should believe what I was hearing, or if I should comfort the boys in some way. But then the mother appeared and she gently scolded Jamie and Ike for interrupting our dinner and sharing too much, and she shooed them away. I told her that it was okay, that the boys could play, now or after they’d all eaten, whatever whatever whatever, my head was buzzing.

The mom apologized, but confirmed that indeed the boys’ father, her ex, had died last Friday, in a fatal motorcycle accident just nearby. And that she was trying to find some sort of normalcy in life by bringing her children – two boys and one girl – to McDonald’s, like any other day. Although she was no longer in a romantic relationship with the just-deceased father, their love for their children had always kept them close.

It turns out Davy had read the newspaper article about the whole tragedy, and knew of what she spoke. And all of a sudden so many questions were answered, at least for me. Those boys repeating out loud that their father was dead was less about those around them listening, and more for themselves. When would it actually sink in for them?

I excused myself at one point to go to the bathroom – to cry. I’ve never cried in the bathroom of a McDonald’s before in my life. There’s always a first for everything I guess.

I realized that I could relate in some way to this mother. I could see myself in her shoes somehow. I could have even been her on many occasions. Because there I was sitting there with my son and my estranged husband, feeling anything but normal in what looked like a normal family meal at McDonald’s.

~

Davy and I have been separated, for the second time in the last year, for a little over a month now. Today was our first real prolonged peaceful time together with Noah, for the purposes of doing something solely for Noah, in a long time. But it was way more than I asked for in many ways, and at close to midnight, I’m still grappling with things that prevent me from sleep.

But I’m relieved that I can share some of what’s been going on in my life after months and months of silence and personal turmoil…

I found the article eventually, link, detailing the sad truth about it all. It shook me. It made me think about my own life.

My future. My present. My past.

Noah. Davy. My dad.

Death.

Life.

Happiness.

Everything.

Too much.

Fries turned out to be very complicated today.

I tried my best to convey what I could to that mom, my own way.

But I forgot to thank her, most of all, for her strength in everything, today.

Because, one day at a time.

Always dishing,

Jun

36 Comments

  1. Della Gordon

    I am so sorry to hear this Jun…but I understand my ex husband & I went through quite a few separations. Then we eventually split for good & I moved with my 2 and 8 year old sons to Calgary from Winnipeg. Their father would come to visit & stay with us, & we would do “normal” family outings. Eventually he moved here too, and got his own place. It has been 13 years now, and I still have mixed feelings about all this. Some days I am not as strong as others but, I am hoping that trying my best to co-parent, has helped my kids have this much needed relationship with their father. I know you are a strong woman, and your and Davy’s love for Noah will see you through, whatever that looks like. Take care Jun !

    Reply
  2. All will be well, Jun, and turn out exactly the way it should. Listen to your heart, your gut..will never steer you wrong. United fronts are always the best starts and important for kids. You’re a wonderful mother.. let that soothe your mind at night.

    Reply
    1. Denise

      You don’t know that Joyce Logan You don’t have a crystal ball, you don’t know Jun’s family situation. People make mistakes, some irreversible. Hopefully people can learn from their own and others’ blunders or errors. Offer comfort to those in need, but don’t say things you know nothing about!

      Reply
  3. Frankie

    Thank you for sharing. You and Davy are great parents for putting Noah first always. My heart breaks for that other mother and her children.

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

    My heart hurts for you. Separation is hard, so is divorce. Noah is paramount & you are a wonderful caring Momma. Hoping for peace & understanding. <3

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    Jun, words are inadequate. I can only tell you I’m so sorry for your suffering. I hope you and Davy can work out your problems. Any chance of going to a family counselor to hopefully steer you in the right direction? Every relationship has its rough moments, so please don’t despair unless you and Davy had decided to give up trying. Considering the culture shock of living in a completely different culture and not having a backup support system, I think you’ve fared remarkably well. Sending you loving thoughts from afar. Sometimes you have to get through a rough patch to get to a better place…(Debbie, Florida)

    Reply
  6. I kind of knew, but was hoping it wasn’t so. I am glad you can still be together for Noah. That is what matters the most, You will always be a part of each other’s lives from that bond. May as well be friendly. McD’s seems to be a portal for you to attract children that need help in some way. Thank you for not shooing them away in their need. <3

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  7. Courtney

    I understand, as many people do, about a lot of the emotions you are felling. It is hard, and sometimes feels impossible. I know I don’t have to tell you to be strong, because even though I don’t know you, I know that you are. Sending love. Thank you for sharing with all of us. You have impressed me with many things through the years.

    Reply
  8. Chris

    Reading this you had me crying before you cried in the bathroom.

    I sure hope that mother and her kids will be ok! Did Noah ask any questions afterward?

    I can only guess how your mind is spinning right after this when you were finally alone.

    I’m glad to hear you and Davy are able to show Noah that he can relax and not play you two against each other. Not that it will stop him from trying hahaha

    You took a big step writing this. I’m proud of you no matter what.
    I love you girl! ❤

    Reply
  9. Anonymous

    I am sorry to read this. I was not prepared as I am sure not many were reading this sad narrative. We are so used to reading your often funny and interesting blogs. We all know life is not all wine and roses, although we wish it to be so. I wish you strength, courage and hope. Noah will be your anchor and you will always have Linda ketchup.

    Reply
  10. Anonymous

    I am nearly 82, Jun, and I regret my divorce more than anything else in life. I meant what I said when I got married and and unlike many, I have had little luck with moving on. Fortunately my ex and I now have a fond relationship and remain connected by our mutual progeny. Stay separated as long as necessary, perhaps forever, but do a lot of thinking before making the final official break — its mighty final. Alas, no matter how wonderful things once were, sometimes there are fences that can simply never be mended or even patched. Davy impresses me as a man well worth thinking about. Regardless of what happens he will always be a wonderful father to Noah, so this isn’t about you and Noah — its all about you and Davy and the the future that might be in store for the two of you when Noah is a grown man and your job of starting him off in life is over. You will not believe how quickly that can happen. Sixteen years can pass very quickly, or at least it seems as if it can when you are over 80. I hope very much that you and Davy can find peace with each other, but bear in mind that one of the worst things that can happen to any child is a permanently unhappy mother. Staying together ‘for the children’ is totally unwise and teaches a child that marriage is a terrible and painful thing that is best avoided in future life.

    Reply
  11. Peg Rejent

    Jun,
    I could probably speak for many who read your blog post today that when we got to the part which ended with “my estranged husband,” we stopped and said; “What?! Wait! I read this wrong, I have to go back and read it again,” but, sure enough it was right there in black and white. Sadness set in.

    Look, I cannot (nor am I qualified) to offer any advice to your situation but did you ever hear of the “seven-year itch?” Silly as it may seem this does happen to some, not all, and always around the 6th or 7th year of marriage. Been there, done that. I am married almost 53 years and there were plenty ups and downs and what worked for me didn’t work for my sister so there is no answer out there except for what you and Davy do yourselves.

    All I know is that you’re both intelligent, loving, very hard working people who give before they receive.

    My heart aches for the recent time you lived with this turmoil and pain surrounding you as you held it, very understandable, from your fans. It’s okay Jun, you can sigh a big sigh and know that you and Davy and Noah have love from us — praying only for the best in all your lives.

    Loving you, Jun, I leave you with this:

    “The Two Most Important Days In Your Life Are The Day You Are Born And The Day You Find Out Why”
    – Mark Twain

    Reply
  12. Katherine

    Jun, I’m not on twitter but I read yours. It was pretty obvious that you and Davy had split up. Hope that you can work it out, as long as he has not been an irredeemable a-hole. Your long-time top post about “Davy Exposed” made me wonder.

    Seems that you are coping amazingly well. I wish you strength, even thoughI know you have tons.

    Reply
  13. semprasectum

    Move back to the states and enjoy life. .. stop pinning for the cheater . . . a marriage built on lust never lasts. . you are smart enough to understand this. . .sorry

    Reply
  14. Jane

    I just saw your blog and it answers questions I was having. You are a strong, brilliant, self reliant woman and unfortunately at times I think it intimates men. I will be celebrating 37 years of marriage tomorrow and truthfully I think we made it so far because he traveled so much as I worked and raised our children. He is very strong as am I but we came to realize that we must respect each other’s strength or separate. We are now retired and truthfully I am Not used to him being here 24/7 so we are readjusting to ones another’s habits and routines
    Jun, the moral to my tale is there is no handbook to marriage, do what you must to be happy! Noah is a bright, happy , amazing little boy and he deserves to be raised without stress and strife. I have admired your spunk for years. I am old enough to be your mom so please know what ever You decide, you are loved❤️

    Fondly,
    Jane aka txgforever

    Reply
  15. pamela singh

    I just saw this dear Jun and hope all is OK with you, with our without Davy. You are strong and beautiful and have such a big heart and thankfully you both are putting Noah first.
    I am in Las Vegas now and you have an open invitation at any time. I am still sad sometimes that I was flu ridden when you kindly invited me to watch BB finale in New York.
    Like Jane I am a senior but see so many similarities with you re our dads and sons. Much love and blessings to you.

    Reply
  16. Jennerific713

    Jun, I had no idea, I’m so sorry. As always, wishing you, Noah & Davy peace and happiness. I know it’s a difficult time but if anyone is equipped to face these life changes in the most positive, healthy way, it’s you.

    Hugs from Houston,
    Jen 🌷

    Reply

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