Tuesday, February 26, 2013

On Being Half of a Person

To come from a different perspective: I was a step-mother and then a step-grandmother. I divorced my husband because - well, lots of reasons. I lost two little girls with the divorce who had always known me as the "cool" grandmother that was until that point the only stability they knew - because my stepson and their mother divorced then she dropped them off at his house one weekend and never came back. A mother and not a mother, a grandmother and not a grandmother. a hard thing for a heart to bear.

The above is a comment I made regarding a blog post I read about how difficult it is to be a stepmother when the children live on an opposite coast and the mother is not cooperative in accepting the remarriage of her former husband.

It made me think, and not a few old feelings came back I had thought were done and over. 

I loved those little girls, who are little no longer. One was born in 1984, the other in 1989. So they are 29 and 24 now. Grown women. I have no idea where they live, what they grew up to be. I do not know if their father's second marriage survived or how they processed and reconciled the loss of their grandfather. 

I tried as hard as I knew how when I was a part of their lives to be a stable influence, and offer a safe haven to process the confusion and rejection they felt when their parents divorced. I talked about the good things I knew about their mother with them because they would hear so much bad from others. 

We made pancakes and cookies together and I was with them when they experienced the miracle of watching a goat give birth. I laughed hysterically when the younger one wanted to put the afterbirth in a paper bag and take it to kindergarten for show and tell. I laughed even harder when her father and grandfather lost their breakfasts when she tried to pick the afterbirth up with a stick. 

But in the end I was only half of a person in their lives.

I hope it was a good half.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Happy Birthday to my daughter

I love you.

When I realized I was pregnant, I felt a weight of immense responsibility.

I was not nearly as mature as prepared for motherhood as I should have been.

I was wise enough to know I could not give you the life you deserved, so I made the decision to entrust you to a loving, caring family.

They did not disappoint.

I never, ever stopped thinking about you. The day my telephone rang and I heard your adult voice the first time was a day I rank second only to the day I met you in person. All else fades to insignificance.

I gave birth to you but you have given me so much more these past years.

My darkest days have a hope now, because I know you are there. Thank you.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Life With The Air Leaking Out

This is my second attempt to write this post on my blog. Blogger, the platform I use, totally crapped out on me earlier. At the moment I am extremely frustrated, because all of the words are gone, out in the ether somewhere. Perhaps the gods will take pity and let someone else grasp them in the ethereal mists of the universe and make of them more truth, more beauty than I could imbue. In the meantime, the cats have awakened and Roger is back in from his outdoor labors and my moment of reflection and solitude has been ripped away like a partially formed scab that got caught on the adhesive of a bandage.

I shall attempt to recreate, if not the words the emotion of what I was trying to share earlier.

February has always been a difficult month for me, for as long as I can remember. I know there are good things about February this also ran of days on the Julian calendar. There are holidays, commemorations, celebrations, birthdays (I love you Johnna!), and anniversaries (how many years now, Steve and Kathy?)

The big final push into a new year is over, we have once again survived the darkest of days and daylight hours are now reaching to six in the evening and beyond. Life seems to be expelling a long drawn out breath, and February is the final wisps of air escaping. At the same time, nature is gathering her forces and preparing a new explosion of life.

Perhaps I suffer from SAD. Perhaps I have cabin fever. Perhaps the healing of my spirit and soul that has been such a long process over the past years has reached a point that requires a more real interaction with life. I find myself wanting to be out in life, not watching it through my window on the world. I yearn for warm breezes, dirt from planting herbs, flowers and vegetables on my hands, the smell of rich loamy soil, and the sheen of sweat on my face.

The inside cats are spending more time at the living room window these days, keeping their vigil as the birds are more frequently visiting the grape arbor and the porch eaves. Every once in a while I hear a “meep” and a paw swipes in a high pitched squeak at the window pane.

We had rain, lots of rain, and wind over the past days and Roger has been outside surveying damage and picking up twigs and branches.  He saw a salamander down by the creek and has already been seeing mosquitoes.

So much about life seems to be uncertain in 2013. Socially, ecologically, politically, financially. I know each era feels these pangs. One need only read history to see the same concerns in decades and centuries gone by. Each generation faces their own crucible. The current ones have not been and shall not be spared. For us the concerns feel more imperative because we are the ones riding the turmoil. There is a vast difference in watching someone make bread or reading how to make bread and getting your own hands into that gooey sticky mess.

I am ready to get my hands into the gooey sticky uncertainty of life again.

I leave you with a picture of a cat sitting at the window, looking out.