Friday, July 4, 2008

Life in Pictures-Part Three: The Afterglow

After Angel Daughter Number Two's graduation, we went out to dinner.  The day turned out a little differently than we had planned because of my Dad's illness.  It would have been unsafe and unwise for him to drive two and a half hours each way to attend AD 2's graduation, and so, because God granted me a very empathetic and compassionate spirit, I decided to extend an invitation to my Mother's side of the family.(Let's just say they caused me unnecessary pain and grief for months after my brother's death.  Easy target, I suppose.)  The proverbial olive branch needed to be extended and was received with great enthusiasm by everyone except for my beloved brother's wife.  She has dug her way into so many sick and delusional lies that she must now hold strong to them in order to save face.  Not a good way to live life, especially while trying to raise two young daughters without the benefit of their father.  My brother, God rest his soul, would be absolutely infuriated by her behavior, as is the rest of my family.  Unfortunately, she has convinced everyone that she should be feared.  She holds my two nieces as the ultimate trump card.  I have already lost them and my only brother.  She cannot take anything else away from me.  And so, I am trying in whatever ways I can, to find a way back into my dear niece's lives.  I do not, nor will I ever fear evil.  I will not give up on my two other angels.  They need me as much as I need them.  This post was not supposed to be about the things which have been lost, so I will end this train of thought only to say that life does not always turn out the way that we expected it to.  Sometimes we have to fight for the way that things should be.

Dinner turned out to be a very happy and celebratory event.  It felt really good to be with my step-brother and his wife.  As the girls made their ways home and to other events, we lingered over dessert and talked about future gatherings.  I am very grateful to still have a step-brother even though we were not raised together as children.  We were brought together by my mother and her husband about twenty-five years ago.  We are family.
As with the way that things go with three teenage girls living at home, our doorbell rang at two am.  Everyone was asleep except for Angel Daughter Number Three and her Angel Friends.  When they heard the doorbell ring, they screamed(if you haven't heard teenage girls scream, lately, you are very, very lucky) and came tearing up the stairs.  I met them before they woke my husband and told them to calm down.  Of course they wanted me to investigate, and as soon as I turned on the porch light and looked outside, I was the first to observe the newest addition to our landscaping.  As the four little faces peaked out the door behind me and saw what had happened they all started laughing hysterically.  It was then that they took off up the slope because they spotted the perpetrators.  As I stood by myself in the middle of the street wearing nothing but my PJ's, feeling semi-comatose and bleary-eyed, I decided to run inside to get my camera.  When the angels came back, they told me that they caught several of Angel Daughter Number Four's little guy friends running away.  I snapped a couple of pictures because I was mostly unconscious, and told them to go back to bed.  And NOT to wake AD4, who would have been up for the rest of the night planning her revenge.  Teenagers...and hormones...I will survive, I will survive...
Nice job, huh?
The next day, we headed down to our beach house for a graduation get-together.  Notice the Batman pinata which was the hit of the party!  Of course my husband chose the Batman theme because he just knew that AD2 would love it.  AD1 broke it open with her brute-like strength and the kids went in for the bounty!
Teenagers and sugar.  Twice as sweet:)
Here's AD1 receiving an adorable snuggle from her boyfriend, The Cheesemiester.  I love it when she looks like this.  Total, natural bliss.
Finally, we said good-bye to Grandma Dot.  She is Mark's mom who lives in New Jersey.  We flew her in so that she could celebrate the day with us.  It's nice knowing that we will see her again in a year when AD1 graduates from college.  Her visits are too far and few between!  We miss you, Grandma Dot.

And so as life slows down a bit, and my birthday approaches next week, I will be doing some more reflecting about life, love, and purpose.  

On this Fourth of July, as we celebrate our independence as a nation, I wish for you a sky that is filled with the brilliant colors of fireworks.  May you find your corner of the beach blanket and know, as you gaze up into the sky, that you are not alone in this great, big, crazy world.  Never, ever alone...even when you are.

Love,
Debbie

15 comments:

Ness said...

Oh, Deb, what a beautiful post, both in pictures and in the words you shared. You WILL get you nieces back because you forget your AB1(Angel Brother 1) is going to move Heaven and Earth to make sure his daughters have his wonderful sister in his daughters' lives to love them and guide them into the beautiful angels your 4 daughters have turned out to be. I have to hope and pray that your SIL is just in severe grief and confusion at this time and will come out of it.

Take care and have a peaceful, restful, Happy Birthday, my dear Deb.

tj said...

...Hello Debra dear, I'm so sorry to hear about your nieces and all but maybe your sister-in-law is just going thru a traumatic time and she is lashing out instead of reaching out. It's so sad that she is choosing to be this way and using the children as a way to inflict her pain onto others...

...And I just love the additional "landscaping" that you did to your home! Um, I dunno if that will ever make HGTV but it sure does make a statement! lol... ;o)

...And I can't imagine having all of those teenagers around at one time! Life in your home must simply be amazing, fun and energetic at all times! lol...

...Hope you are doing well and enjoying your weekend! You're always in my thoughts and prayers...

...Blessings Angel Family... :o)

Coffee Bean said...

I love your posts... they are honest and real but always filled with hope... even through the hard stuff.

Your family is absolutely beautiful!

Your birthday is in a week, huh? I can't wait to hear your thoughts about it.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

another wonderful post... and hugs and prayers that the othe rtwo angels get the opportunity to partake in the love and family... its sad that their mom is keeping them away :(
there comes a time in life when saving face just is not that important... sigh.
HUGSSSSSSSS Laura

Irene Latham said...

Dear Deb- Of course you were the one to extend the olive branch. You are an inspiration. Sometimes all we can do is keep trying... people are so complicated. Hang in there. (I know you will.) xxoo

NeereAnDear said...

Oh Debbie .... Where to start... first... your daughters are quite quite lovely ... and they all seem to have a joyous look about them...so full of fun... full of energy ... full of life!

On the family thing I can say I do identify ... I have a sister that.... well lets just say I can identify...

I am also going through a neighbor situation that has taken the starch out of me and has consumed a lot of my time of late which is why I have been so MIA.... however... after reading your inspiring post ... it has given me some momentum to fight back and for what I believe in .... thank you for that

On a lighter note....

It is so nice to see that there are some teens nowadays that still have fun doing the crazy silly things .... I remember well those days.... instead of getting into trouble... I love the new look tres chic!!!

HUGS

JO

Kathleen Botsford said...

Deb, The love and the peace that you radiate from this blog is coming from deep within you. Your nieces can feel this even if they are not in your physical life at this moment. Your sister in law can also feel the deep love you carry and it may irritate her already precarious state of being. You may be the very healing that this grief stricken family is needing just by staying centered in love and letting it shine out from your broken open heart. You are definitely an Angel and a much needed one within your dear brother's family. We should all be so lucky to have an Angel like you. Blessings to you on your Birthday! Kathy

jojo said...

You inspire me with your lovely posts. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us.

Those t.p. pictures brought back some memories to me!! I needed that little lift!

Will be keeping you and your family in my thoughts. I have a sister stiuation too. I'm working hard on it, trying to find a way with her, and a way back to my niece and nephew. It's a struggle for sure. I won't give up and I know you won't either. Take care ;)

Alison said...

ah Deb, your girls are just gorgeous...how proud you must be. I am also very proud of you for extending your olive branch. I know how much strength and hope it took for you to do that. I hope to have your strength and hope one day. I am sorry your sis in law is mired in negativity and I hope your sweet neices come back into your life soon.

Happy early birthday my friend...I hope your day is as special as you are.

Bogart in P Towne said...

Looks like such a great time. I am sorry to read about the family issues, but am glad you can focus on the parts that matter the most...now, how long did that TP Clean-up take?

Lynn said...

Such gorgeous pictures, I'd love to be where you are!
I must say, my mom would have been very mad had any of my friends ever tp'ed my house...you must be much more forgiving than she!

I do pray that your family situation improves. We all know the pain that can be caused when a family has a rift like that, and it's never easy.

Whenever I read your posts about your daughters, it gives me hope that I can someday raise a family of children who are as amazing as yours!

-Lynn

katie said...

"sometimes we have to fight for the way things SHOULD be.". amen to that. oh i always feel uplifted when i read your wise words, Deb. you are truly an inspiration. i am so sorry about what your sis-in-law is doing. that makes me so sad. don't give up though. as strong as you are, i know you won't. :)

Lovely pictures. your angels are just beautiful as always.

rivergardenstudio said...

Your daughters are beautiful, and what fun! You must be exhausted... Thank you for stopping by my blog and your lovely comments! Have a happy birthday! Roxanne

Catherine Holman said...

I miss teenage girls screaming. My daughter is 31 so it's been a while. Looks like a wonderful party with a beautiful family!
Hugs,
Cathie

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

This was a wonderful glimpse into your beautiful world, Debbie! We of course are quite aware of the sound of girls screaming. And that TP incident looked quite familiar too. Seen that a couple of times around our place! We had to convince our neighbors that it means our girls are LIKED, because they were certain it was a sign of DISLIKE! LOL!

I love the way you strive for how things should be, in spite of the negativity that tries to take over from other people. You do the right thing and I am so proud of you for that! You are an inspiration.

Love to you!

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