Sunday, December 25, 2011

Twas the night before Christmas

Yesterday morning.  Christmas Eve.  I received a very unexpected text from... my sister.  It simply stated, "hope the kids have a merry christmas.  and i hope you have a merry christmas too."  I didn't respond right away.  I got up and made some Eating Clean Blueberry Oatmeal Flax pancakes, and got the kids fed.  Then I texted back to her, "Thank You.   I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas too.  The girls will have an Excellent Christmas this year.  Going skating in a little bit."

Why did I feel the need to tell her we were going skating?  I don't know really.  I want her to understand that I am taking very good care of her children, and I give them every opportunity for happiness that I can.  For some crazy reason I can't quite put into words...  I need to tell her that.  I need her to know that they are in the best of hands. I do still love her.  Regardless of what has happened.

Her response came about 20 minutes later.  "Glad to hear i love you thank you for taking such good care of the girls i an an glad they are with you  you still are the wind beneath my wings."

The wind beneath my wings.  Let me explain why that wrought me to tears.  If you are unfamiliar with the movie Beaches starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey...  it was a favorite of mine.  It was a tear jerker, but the story line was just... moving.  It's about these two women who grow up the best of friends.  Bette's character is a big time singer, Barbara's character is always her... anchor to solidarity, in her crazy messed up life.  Near the end of the movie, Barbara's character is dying from a heart disease for which she is on a transplant list.  She can not get the transplant in time, and succumbs to the disease, leaving her young daughter to be cared for by her best friend... Bette's character.  At the end of the movie, Bette's life has evolved into something selfless... when at the start of the movie it was entirely self centered.

When I was 13, I was delusional.  I wanted to be beautiful, and didn't realize that beauty is more than skin deep.  I begged my mom to let me enter the local talent show/beauty pageant, and she let me.  I got up on stage in front of everyone in the small town I grew up in, and sang a song from the movie,  "The Wind Beneath My Wings."  My 13 year old mediocre singing voice couldn't match the caliber of Bette Midler, but I did it anyway.  I sucked.  But the judges told me I had a beautiful smile.  I grew up believing that they were just trying to let me down easy. 

When my sister graduated high school, I wrote out the lyrics to "Wind Beneath My Wings" and gave it to her in my graduation card to her.  If you're not familiar with them - here they are.  Sorry - they make this post much longer than I intended.

"Wind Beneath My Wings"

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.
It must have been cold there in my shadow,
to never have sunlight on your face.
You were content to let me shine, that's your way.
You always walked a step behind.

So I was the one with all the glory,
while you were the one with all the strength.
A beautiful face without a name for so long.
A beautiful smile to hide the pain.

Did you ever know that you're my hero,
and everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
'cause you are the wind beneath my wings.

It might have appeared to go unnoticed,
but I've got it all here in my heart.
I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it.
I would be nothing without you.

Did you ever know that you're my hero?
You're everything I wish I could be.
I could fly higher than an eagle,
'cause you are the wind beneath my wings.

Did I ever tell you you're my hero?
You're everything, everything I wish I could be.
Oh, and I, I could fly higher than an eagle,
'cause you are the wind beneath my wings,
'cause you are the wind beneath my wings.

Oh, the wind beneath my wings.
You, you, you, you are the wind beneath my wings.
Fly, fly, fly away. You let me fly so high.
Oh, you, you, you, the wind beneath my wings.
Oh, you, you, you, the wind beneath my wings.

Fly, fly, fly high against the sky,
so high I almost touch the sky.
Thank you, thank you,
thank God for you, the wind beneath my wings.

Then she says that to me.
Me.  The person whom she left two of her three children with.  The person who has felt undeserving of being called "mom" by them.  Who feels she has betrayed her own sister when they do call me that honored term.
She says that to me.  The "stronger" sister in her later texts during the day.  Praising my strength, saying she knew I could do what she could not.

She tells me she is so sorry for all she has done.  I tell her she has nothing to be sorry for.  Life is too short for regret.  I tell her again what a blessing being the parent to these sweet girls is and will always be.  I feel like I need to thank her, although I know it makes her sad that doesn't have her children anymore.

After our short texting back and forth for 20 minutes - I stalk into the kitchen and start cleaning.  It's what I do when I have a torrent of emotions that I can't handle.  M follows me.  He doesn't know what we texted about, only that we texted.  He starts badgering me to talk to him.  I'm not ready.  I tell him to leave me be, let me clean.  He keeps badgering me.  He is afraid.  He can't leave me alone.  I clean in a frenzy now.  Still asking him to go away.  He still isn't listening.  At this point he gets angry, and begins trying to remind me of all the bad that happened when the kids were with her.  I haven't forgotten.  There isn't a week that doesn't go by that I don't still carry that mark on my soul.  I tell him to stop - I don't want the kids hearing this.  V  comes in the room and asks why I'm crying.  I tell her that I'm just having a bad day, and that she needs to go play.

I break down and tell M what I put in the beginning of this post.  About what she said, and how it made me feel.  I cry even harder.  This is so hard.  So very hard.  I can't even begin to put it all into words.  The end of the conversation she told me that she would never try to take the girls away from me.  She told me she feels this is where they belong.  Part of me wants to believe her.  Really wants to believe her, but there have been so many lies.  I have such a hard time trusting.  So I thank her for telling me that - but I don't buy stock in her words.

We took the girls skating.  They had a good time.  DQ came in 2nd in a wipe out event.  We brought them home, and I snuggled them and watched Barbie movies all evening.  Then we got them ready for bed, and put them down for the night.

Santa visited.  Boy did he ever visit.  The generous folks who helped provide us Christmas nearly brought me to tears.  I couldn't have ever dreamed of getting that much for them, or myself for Christmas.  We are so blessed.  DQ got a violin.  V got a bunch of new clothes and toys.  I got a gift card, and some perfume body wash and cologne.  M got me Zumba 2 for the Wii, and I plan on using that until I'm a pro at it!  M and I got some gas cards.  M got some cologne, and I have one more gift for him, just haven't rec'd it yet.  Just an amazing Christmas.  Mom, Dad, and Z came over to unwrap presents with us this morning, and hung around for a little while.  M and I baked cinnamon rolls, and we all ate breakfast together.  It was such a nice morning.  I couldn't have planned it any better.

All in all - I have a little peace in my heart this weekend b/c of my sister's words.  I have a little more to think about, because she is asking to see them again.  I really want to grant her wish, but this isn't all about her.  I have to keep their best interests at heart.  I will let their therapist know what transpired, and talk it out with her.  See what she thinks is best.  She isn't a biased emotionally invested person like I am in this whole mess.

I hope you had a very happy holiday weekend.  I hope you got all you wanted and more, but above all - I hope you were able to spend time with your loved ones, and enjoy your holiday.  After all - that is what it is really all about.

Aunt TT

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Rotating Christmas Tree

I am sitting in my silent house.  Alone.  I can't tell you how many times in the past few weeks, I have wished for just a moment like this.  Especially last weekend when I decided to take a bath to clear my stopped up sinuses.  I mixed up a cocktail of baby oil, eucalyptus oil, and lavender oil and poured it into a steamy bath-tub.  I broke out my old copy of Bag of Bones by Stephen King, and settled down to relax.  DQ and V were in the living room watching ABC Family as they have a slew of Christmas movies on right now.  Every commercial break, V would come bursting into the bathroom and say, "How's your bath?"  It was so stinking cute that I couldn't be irritated with her, but smile and say, "It's fine.  How's your movie?"  She would ramble off about the dogs that were trying to rescue Santa Claus, and then toddle off to watch the movie again - being very mindful to shut the door behind her.  I can't help but smile at this.

So I'm off track.  I'm alone right now.  The kids and M are at therapy.  We split up because early on in the month the girls therapist asked us if we would please let some ladies that she knows sponsor our family for Christmas.  These ladies are due at any moment to deliver the gifts from Santa - and this will all be a huge surprise for DQ and V.  Now I have been on the giving end of sponsoring families every year for the past 4-5 years.  My co-workers and I usually sponsor someone and try to make some Christmas wishes come true.  I only wish that I could give in the magnitude that today....  what we have received.  I sit here in silence at my kitchen table.  The only noises are the clothes spinning in the dryer, and M's rotating Christmas tree.  A tree that wouldn't be up if it weren't for him.  It keeps trying to unwrap the presents that we have under it.  Every so often I hear the lower branches scrape across the top of the highest gift.

You know so often since I have received the blessing that is two beautiful girls, I have wished for peace.  For quiet.  When they are fighting for instance.  Or when they are running through the house being unruly, and my head is throbbing.  I have wished for silence when taking DQ on a jog with me because she just can't stop talking!  But now here I am.  In this still house, waiting for my nephew's gift to be unwrapped by the tree, and wishing the kids and M were here.  So much has happened in the last three weeks.  I am so full of emotions that I don't even know how to express.  There are so many things I should be doing right now, but in the spirit of Christmas... I am sitting down and pounding these feelings out.

Early in the month of December 2011 - something horrible happened.  I can't go into detail, all I can tell you is that it shook our world.  Terrified me.  I was so afraid.  It affected all of us.  M.  Me.  DQ.  Especially V.  We won't know the resolution for a little while longer yet, but I have come to terms with it.  Maybe some day I will be able to put into words this great fear.  I just can't right now.  I have lived the better part of this month, letting this fear control me.   

This great fear overshadowed everything.  I snapped at co-workers, and was ashamed of myself, beginning a cycle of self destruction.  I didn't want to think about Christmas or everything that would come with it.  I just wanted this blissful peace... that I have now, and can only blog about.  I nearly sent M packing - and am so grateful for his patience with me.  I couldn't see all of the good in front of my face.  Until lately.  Because of the angels who heard me out when I called upon them crying - and the professionals in our lives who helped me to pull the gravity of the situation into focus.

And the tree keeps trying to unwrap that present.  Maybe if left long enough, over time, it would wear away the paper - like water flowing over rock for eons will make it smooth.

So now I am ready to face whatever resolution comes from this fear.  I sit alone in this silence I have wanted for so long - and now all I want is three sweet faces to come walking through the door - so I can hold them.  A few of Santa's elves just stopped by.  They dropped off the gifts that the therapist spoke of, and I am blown away by their generosity.  I told her I don't even know how to begin thanking her for this, and she told me she merely wants photos of the girls opening their gifts so that they can put them into a collage on the wall.  Because this is their third year spreading the spirit of Christmas.  They got to meet the girls, as they left the therapist's office to head here, and the girls headed into their meeting with our beloved therapist.  I really wish I could have given her more than a light hearted Christmas card this year.  She means so much to us.  The girls will have one of the best Christmases ever.  All due to the generosity of these kind strangers, a very talented crafty friend, and the love that M and I will always have for them.

I believe in Santa.

On a lighter - less cryptic note - we got to see the girls costumes for the 2012 recital.  They are soooo cute.  I can not wait to see the entire performance together.  Their instructor does such a good job.  I am so glad to have them dancing at her studio.  Not to mention she's a super person too.   V is doing one ballet class, and she will be a skunk (a super cute skunk).  DQ is doing Ballet to Singing in the Rain, Acrobatics to Under the Sea (yes - from The Little Mermaid), and Tapping to Baby Take A Bow.

I want to wish each and every one a Very Merry Christmas, Happy Yule, whatever you believe in.  I hope it is a lovely ending to a year, be it a good year, a bad year, whatever.  May you get everything you want out of life... unlike our rotating Christmas tree... that will never be able to open that silly present.

Aunt TT