Divorce Through Their Eyes – The Missing Trolley
Welcome back to our series titled “Divorce Through Their Eyes.” In this series, we look at some firsthand accounts of children who have been there and can recount from their own experience how divorce affected their lives.
Today’s story comes from A.J. recounting the day his dad moved out at FirstWivesWorld.com in this September 2, 2012 article titled From A Child Of Divorce: The Day Daddy Moves Out. The point of A.J.’s article is to offer advice to other parents on how to handle the situation where one parent is moving out, but in the course of giving his advice we get some insights into his own story.
A.J. recalls that the day was a Saturday when his father sat him down to tell him he was moving out. After getting the news, laced with what he describes as “cock and bull filler words. You know the kind they use to make bologna in those huge factories,” A.J. went back to bed for most of the rest of the day. It was only after he woke up that the news began to sink in, and in the retelling of that story we catch a glimpse of what that moment is like for a child of divorce:
It’s a strange kind of feeling when you walk down the stairs after taking a four-hour nap, step onto the living room carpet, and suddenly you look into the book case and the orange Disney trolley complete with goofy, Pluto, Donald duck, Mikey (sic), and Minnie is suddenly gone. It’s even stranger when you therefore realize that you haven’t looked at that trolley since you were eight years old. Then, as you walk down the hallway leading into the kitchen you notice that someone has removed your favorite hanging poem “Foot Prints” from the wall, and the nail that went along with it. It was then that it dawned on me that Dad was gone already. At first it was kind of Twilight-zoney, you know? But then I started to think and list off in my head everything that was gone. Suddenly, that trolley car meant more to me than all my limbs and extremities combined! And damn straight I wanted it back!! I’ll have you know, I never got that trolley back.
For A.J., the missing trolley that he had never given much thought became a kind of symbol for his lost family. Many times children of divorce are faced with the loss of something that is so close and so personal and so precious that they don’t even recognize its value until it gone.
This article is updated and adapted from an article originally published on Divorce Ministry 4 Kids on March 20, 2013.