Tuesday, February 23, 2010
I have been a bit more entrenched in the visitation battle with my SIL than I would truly like to be. Who would ever believe that someone would have to fight for the right to visit with their own deceased brother's children? How could someone be so cruel as to remove more love from their own children's lives, especially at a time when love is what is needed most? I am so in love with these children that I am doing something that I have been told, has not been done before. Case history for the books in the making. Precedent. The word guinea pig scampers quickly through my mind and I take in a deeper breath. Love. The flip side of hate, or so it seems. And love is what I have chosen. I feel ambivalent indifference towards my SIL. But for some sad and sick reason, she hates me, and that cannot be good for her. I have witnessed this kind of hate coming from my own mother. Although she and my father have been divorced for over thirty years, her hatred for him spews forth in frequent diatribes which make no sense to me. It damages her relationship with me, with her grandchildren, and ultimately with her own self. To become so wrapped up in anger and in hate, is to allow the other person to hold a huge amount of power over you. It is ugly. It is all-consuming. My mother has taught me well. I choose love.
But as life has taught me, there is never only one experience to be had at a time. There is pain, but there is also soul-swelling joy. The kind of happiness that reminds us not to spend too much time dwelling in the negative. The kind of happiness that makes us feel young on the inside. The kind of happiness that lifts us up several inches off of the ground. My daughters bring me this kind of happiness. My husband brings me this kind of happiness. My father brings me this kind of happiness. And our cats, dogs and birds bring me this kind of happiness. It, too, can be all encompassing.
This past weekend, dance season began again for my youngest angel daughter. This means that all of her hard work will now be put into practice and she will begin competing against other teams and individuals from across the nation. For the first time, she will not only be competing as part of a team, but also as a soloist in a separate routine. I have never seen her dance on an enormous stage by herself. I tried to imagine it in my mind, but until she actually got up there this past weekend, it never occurred to me how little she would appear...
Sunday, February 7, 2010
With this week, will also come my deposition. This is not typical protocol in a grandparent/aunt visitation case. What can I possibly offer her attorney that might strengthen whatever his case might be?
"Mrs. FourAngelsMomma, what gives you the right to continue loving on these two little girls who have already lost their daddy?"
"Umm, eleven previous years of happy, loving "moments", with the hope of a lifetime of many, many more?"
What else could I possibly want out of a relationship with my angel nieces? And yet, the joy of so many moments celebrated must now come with explanation.
But there is more sunshine in my life than storm clouds, more blindingly happy moments than sad ones. And so, here are some pictures to explain when my words might not do. From year to year, day to day, moment to moment, the only thing that I have truly been promised is now. Right now. The singularity of this moment and everything that comes along with it. For me, there is so much comfort in that.
Monday, February 1, 2010
"Deeeebra", it says, "Debra, this is your laundry pile speaking."
"Go away." I whisper inside of my head.
"But, Debra, you are about to get a letter from the Board of Health." Hey, that isn't the voice of my laundry! It's the voice of my father, trying to fool me into starting another load of wash.
I feel the heavy, relaxed weight of my sweet cat nestled up next to my neck. Her body radiates a warmth that is very difficult for me to walk away from. Next to me on the floor my dog, Becca, breathes with a rhythm that only sleep can bring on. The computer rests on my lap and I am scrolling through my emails for the day. White light flickering accented with black type. It's all very hypnotic.
And then, something takes hold of my attention in a way that very little else can. In an email, is a photo of my oldest Angel Daughter. Not just a photo. A headshot. Her headshot.
There she is. My Angel taking flight towards her future.
I allow my head to fall back gently on the headboard and I take in the warmth of a good life. My good life. My breath slowly synchronizes with the rhythm of the room and I fall contentedly into the moment.
Once again, I am confronted with the voice. "Debra, I'm still here. I'm not going anywhere..."
PS-This is not the finished product as AD2 will be perfecting the photo to color enhance and remove any imperfections. What do you think?