Moving on letting go

Twelve Years Gone

In 2006, a day after I hit the one year mark -I had my first panic attack.  The full blown panic that grabs hold of your insides and refuses to let them go.  The racing thoughts, struggle to breath and full on panic that comes with it.  At the time, I didn’t know what it was.  Just that I was officially, going crazy.  For good this time.  Looking back I realize now, it was because I had so much tied up in that anniversary day -I expected so much from that day and when nothing happened, when the day went on as if nothing had happened -everything came crashing in.

It was the start this journey, this path, this road.  This process, if you will.

One of my biggest worries, perhaps -was that I would actually -forget her.  That perhaps -and one day I would no longer remember the things that made her, her.  I would forget her smile, her laugh, the way her fingers wrapped around mine.  That one day I would forget what it felt like to walk into a room where she was.  That perhaps I would remember her -but not for who she really was to me.

It wasn’t long after that, that I realized I needed an outlet.  A way to enjoy her memories and pictures -a way, if you will -to remind myself that she did exist, and that I wasn’t going crazy.  A way to preserve these special things that meant the world to me.  The details.

I designed a website (that I have since closed down) that centered around her images.  I wrote pages after pages of words that made no sense -trying desperately, to understand what was happening…and eventually, I settled on creating a page for her -once a year.  At the time, I didn’t have any plans to stop.  I would create a page, every year -until the day I died.

…and for the past twelve years, that is exactly what I have done.  I have dug up old pictures, memories, quotes and sayings -I have spent weeks, sometimes months -trying to assemble something.  The pages weren’t perfect -yet I spent hours going over them attempting to perfect them.  Each year means something different, something special.  Each page holds the feelings and thoughts that were going through my mind.  It gave me a way to remember her -creatively, without going off the edge.

It gave me something to focus on, to apply myself to, to throw myself at.  A distraction, if you will.

2015, I thought, would be the last year.  A ten year mark.  What better way to put an end to an old habit.  But ten years proved to be just as challenging, if not more so, than that first year.  I needed the distraction.  I needed her pictures…I needed her memory.  And so I continued.  As uninspired and painful as it was -I made the page.

This year, I feel is the year.  The year I will finally put to rest, an old habit that got me through some tough times.

It isn’t because I am going to forget her.  It isn’t that I will stop remembering her.  It isn’t that I wish to stop sharing her with the world -because believe me, if I could, I would.  It is just that I have reached a place in my life, in my process -where I feel I need to move on.  I need to let go.

She will always be in my heart.  She will always be in my thoughts.  I will always smile when I think of her -and hope others do too.  I will still look at her pictures, remember her quirks and wish to hold her -but once more.

But I no longer need to throw myself into a project -once a year.  I no longer need a distraction.  Sure, I still miss her -I think I always will.  Sure, I still will remember her -everyday of every year.  Sure, I will still wonder how it’s possible that this much time has passed -without her.  But I need to let her go.

I have come to realize that I will never forget her.  There may be days where I can’t remember what her voice sounded like -but that too, comes back when I least expect it.  I will never forget her sparkling blue eyes, contagious laughter or sticky kisses.  I will never forget the way she smiled -and made others smile.  I will never forget her hugs.  I will never forget these things.  I no longer have the fear of forgetting.

I have come to realize that the tighter I hold her memory -the more I lose.  The more I let go -the more I gain…which has helped me realize

…that it is time to let her go…

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I love you my girl, I always will.

It’s Where I’m At

I’ve been trying to compile my thoughts for sometime. Obviously, that hasn’t happened. In fact, I think it has been well over a year since I have intentionally sat down to write something specific. Lately it has been more of a stream of conscious -write what you feel, write when you feel -sort of thing. But there has been something chewing away at me for a while now. Something that I am not entirely sure, how to say, but know it needs to be said.

I read something a while ago -about the dangers of thinking when you are tired. How when you are tired, it is easier to let the negative thoughts creep in because you aren’t strong enough to combat them. I’ve found it to be true. But difficult. Considering I am tired 99% of the time anymore. The article went on to say that when you are tired and those negative thoughts come, you can’t fight them so they sink in further -you begin to believe them and in a vicious cycle you become even more tired and beat down -because of said thoughts.

It is an interesting thought and one I have been actively trying to be aware of. Late at night -when those hurtful thoughts of guilt want to seep in I have been trying to tell myself that I will deal with them -when I am not tired. I don’t shove them off as not being true, because they feel so true -but I don’t want to fall victim to believing thoughts that aren’t true, just because I am tired. Unfortunately, this has also made me more tired -because lets face it, fighting off thoughts is never easy.

But it’s where I am.

Trying…and from past experience, trying is all you can do.

I’ve reached some really dark places these past few months -and while I could easily beat myself up for going there, I am trying to choose the option that says I went there -but I came back. I am still actively trying. I am still scared of those dark places -but fear, I have found, can be good. It lets me know that I am not completely gone, and on those days when I really wish I were -I can draw some comfort from knowing that I have fought to stay here…

Nine years ago, interestingly enough -I reached the place I will always refer to as rock bottom. The place where my life was so far upside down that I didn’t know if there was any coming back -or if I wanted to come back. While I would always have considered the death of my daughter to be my rock bottom -there was more life had to throw at me that would take me further, deeper and darker. Nine years ago I was ready to throw the towel in on everything. Quite literally steps away from calling it quits.

I won’t even know why, exactly, I chose to give life one final shot -but I did…and the result would be the past eight years.

Up until last year, I would have said these past few years were the recovery period. I worked hard to get out of the deep, dark hole that I had found myself in -and somehow, managed to come out on top. On top to the point where I was planning ahead. Looking to the future. Calling the shots. Moving on. After a stretch of challenging years, this seemed like the break I had been waiting for. The place I was aiming for. The landing place, if you will. Success.

Except that, last year happened.

I’ve taken this past year off. Given myself some much needed slack and just coasted for a while. I didn’t put myself in any positions that required additional thinking. Didn’t make any life altering decisions. Didn’t get back up right away.

But now that we have coasted past the first year, I am trying to pick myself back up again. Put the pieces of the shambled puzzle back together and make something of this tattered life I have been handed. I’m trying. Because that is all I can do…and all I know how to do. I don’t know yet -what that will look like. It might look like a whole lot of nothing, a whole lot of complaining, and a whole lot of whining.

I am still actively fighting off the dark thoughts. Still fighting with my shadows. Still arguing away those painful days where all I want to do is give in. But I’m still fighting. I’m still trying. I’m still here. If ever so silent. Because I’m trying. It’s all I know how to do.

Because It Matters

There comes a point in life, I suppose, where you must face reality. No matter how hard that reality may be. There comes a point when you have to hang up all your ideas, hopes, dreams, ideas, and knowledge and admit that perhaps, all along, you have been wrong. You have to abandon your knowledge on what you feel is best, abort the mission that says “As long as you______then things will be ok” and empty yourself of the notion that what you have assumed is right -perhaps, might just be wrong.

Its been a hard week.

Sure, in the whole scheme of things, in the grand plan, in the scope of the year -it hasn’t been that hard. There are worse things. There are harder things. There are things that would really be worse than this. And while I try to tell myself these things, while I try to keep myself from completely splattering all over everyone and everything -it doesn’t always help.

Because I’m still human. Deep down beyond the robot exterior that says “I got this. This will be ok. We will be fine….” my human heart shatters into a million and one pieces and I wonder if I will be able to pick up from this. I mean, I know I will. Because its not the worst thing that could happen, but it still sucks. And I don’t deal with ‘sucks’ all that well.

I try not to put myself in situations that I know won’t end well. I try to avoid places I know will lead to awkward encounters. I try not to stay around one person too long for fear that my nutty underside will come out to play. I try and live life with little exposure. I guard as much as possible. And in all other circumstances -I avoid. It works.

But then there are those moments, those days, those years…those kids. That make you come out a little. Because you can’t raise kids hiding out under the comfort of that rock. You can’t teach them by example to give life all you’ve got when you yourself are afraid of failure. You can’t teach confidence by hiding under a blanket. You can’t teach adventure by living between the four walls of safety. And you can’t teach them how to accept failure and move on -if you don’t learn to accept it yourself.

These lessons tho, they bite.

Perhaps it’s because I had an ideal situation worked out in my mind. Maybe its because of the tunnel vision I so often have. Or maybe it’s just because for once in my life -I thought I was doing the right thing, let down my guard and attempted to live -but that’s what happens when you truly start to live.

I have always said that I would do what is best for the kids. While I have failed at most things in life, I have tried to keep their best interest as the main goal. This isn’t to say that I have succeeded. In fact it might serve better as an open confession to admit that I have not, in fact, succeeded in this area. Regardless of my attempts.

Somehow, all along, I have blindly assumed that if I could just keep the kids together -they would have a fighting chance at this world.

And then things sort of fell apart.

When Dylan first started showing signs of having problems in the areas that he is, I had this vision of a day in the future where he would eventually come home -cured. Cured from what? From life, of course. That somehow sending him off to the “specialists” would equip him with the ability to handle life and once again -everyone would be together and things would be alright. Because I am nothing if not goal driven.

But with each weekly visit it became more and more apparent that he needed more than someone to talk to. He needed more than medication. More than a slap upside the head. He needed more. But what? Looking back, I guess I can see now that the hints at “Not being able to find him help” were more for me to make the connecting thoughts. The connecting thoughts that weren’t connected until yesterday afternoon when I got a phone call.

A phone call from well meaning, good people. People who have their heads on straight. People who at one point I thought had no idea what they were doing -yet were apparently the only ones that knew what they were doing. Because when they said “We only want to be the grandparents” what they really meant was “We want to take a few years to gather our thoughts and enable ourselves to be there for our grandchildren when you screw this all up.”

Hearing the truth, is hard. Admitting that what you have worked for, year after countless year is wrong -is hard. Accepting that this is the best -regardless of what YOU want? Is even harder. The only thing that makes it doable is by knowing that this? This is the best for him. This is what he needs. He will “Benefit from a better family / lifestyle.”

It’s really kind of hard to say, with words -just how it all hits. How it crumbles. Where it lands. It hits hard, it crumbles perfectly and lands somewhere in the middle of that endless, gaping hole. It comes full circle. Makes perfect sense. And will be ok.

Because they are right. And they have always been right. They have just been kind enough to give me a few years to try and figure it out on my own: That I really can’t do this. That it really is hurting them. That this. Needs to happen. For his sake.

And while it’s hard to hear. Difficult to grasp. And painful to come to terms with -I know its true.

Because the truth? It hurts.

It hurts deep.

But it will be ok. Because for once, I feel like I am doing the right thing.

I am letting go.  Because it matters.

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As The Scar Appears

Truth be told, I have avoided the silent places.  The places in life where, if left too long, alone, with silence – the thoughts start to creep in.  The places where you can hear yourself think, and when you can finally hear yourself think, you start to entertain thoughts that you know you shouldn’t be.  The places where even your loudest thoughts cannot drown out the screams of the masses (or minorities, depending on how you look at it).  The places that take me down deep, and far back and threaten to never release its hold.  The places I do not want to be.  Yes.  Truth be told, I have been avoiding those places.

Somehow over the past few years, this too has turned into such a place.  A place that once brought me comfort and relief from the world spinning so out of my control.  A place where I could write down my thoughts and not have to worry about being picked apart.  A place where my thoughts could be removed, looked at, sorted out, and reassembled.  A place.  That I enjoyed coming to.  And somehow over the years, I have slowly started to scale back.

I have scaled back what I share, I have been scaled back on what I can share.  I look over my words, and feel the immense pain and sadness and the deep urge to just RUN.  I feel, for myself.  The thing is, the me of here, and the me now – are two different people.  Life isn’t completely grand, no.  It never will be for anyone.  But trying to write something now would have a much different tune than it did even a year ago.  It seems disrespectful, in a sense.  To write the words I have today, in the same place the words of me a year ago lay.

But I cant bring myself to completely do away with writing, because as much as air is to many, or all, so is writing to me.  I need the outlet, the release, the putting of words into sentences that don’t make any sense.  I need this.  For me.  For both the me of then, and the me of now.

We are a week away from what would have been my daughters 12th birthday.  And while that day will never go down as one of the best in history, it will never go down much like it did that first year.  Or even the second or third.  Where it was all I could do to not be completely engulfed by the horror that yet another had passed – without her.  There are still days when I am caught off guard by a song, or a memory.  A small face, or tiny hands.  There are moments where my heart skips a beat, and my breath gets logged somewhere in my throat and I wonder “What IF!”

But nothing can ever compare to those first years.  Nothing can compare to these past few years.  Nothing.  No one could have ever told me how completely ripped apart, scalded, burned, and beaten I would feel.  No one would ever have prepared me to love so deeply, that grief would literally try to tear my own life away from me – yet refused, because that would be too kind.  I could never have been prepared for the gut ripping, mind blowing experience of LIVING without life itself.  No one.  And yet here we are, so many, many years later…

And I am supposed to somehow, rearrange my thoughts and prepare articles, make dinner, wipe noses, raise kids, and feed the dog.  Somehow.  I am supposed to fold my thoughts out, write my heart down, and say what is on my mind.  But its hard.  Because life isn’t easy.  It never is.  Yet it seems almost trivial to complain, or whine about the things in life now.  Because compared to just last year – life is a cake walk.

My hope is to return.  With words.  And sentences.  And thoughts.  My hope is to once again be drawn to this place, and not to see it as only the words of a terribly sad life – but also of life today.  Because just as a scab eventually disappears, and an ugly scar is left in its place – so am I.  Still here.  Still breathing.  Still hoping.  Still waiting.  Yet much like a scar no longer resembles the skin that was BEFORE the wound, so my life will look nothing like before.

One Day

I’ve spent a lot of my spare time lately, thinking. Even in those moments where I am incredibly busy – I like to stop, and look around. Take it all in. Memorize it. Freeze it. The other day I stopped eating, and looked around the dinner table with the people I was sitting with. Voices were muted, smiles frozen – and for a moment in time, I was watching the lives of people unfold around me.

This older couple, who have been through more than their fair share of trials – divorced yet remain good friends, sat side by side telling old stories about their son. Their son: who tragically had died many years ago. Their faces held the scars of stories from the past, their bodies old and worn. But the memories. They smiled as they recounted them. Together. Years later. Both in agreement of how the day had unfolded, all those many years ago when their son was small.

The story was ordinary, yet they both laughed and smiled. His name rolled off their tongue with no problem. No remorse. Nothing held back. I studied their faces, worn with time, for hints of sadness. But both being of the strong type – neither showed anything but sheer happiness. Perhaps, for being able to talk about their son with others. Sharing him with others. Sharing his memory with others.

Later that night, as I walked home, I thought over the story they had told. The story that conveyed so much detail – details that otherwise might have been forgotten, but due to the circumstances – will forever be remembered. The sun, the clothes, perhaps even the color of the soap. Preserved perfectly forever.

I often wonder what it would be like – to have someone to toss memories around with. “Remember when?”

Memories are quickly fading. Replaced with more relevant ones. Ones that are current, up to date, and remembered by more than just me. It’s kind of funny, that way. The mind can only remember so much – and more relevant information replaces the old. I don’t talk about her all that often, and maybe that is wrong. Maybe I am doing it all wrong. Keeping her memory to myself – only sharing pieces of her with those who really want to hear.

I don’t randomly burst into stories about her, and while that has a lot to do with my fading memories and the fact that I only have so many stories – stories that mostly everyone has – a lot of it has to do with me. Wanting to hold what is left of her back. And maybe that’s wrong. Maybe I should be willing and open and ready to share like it was yesterday.

With a smile. And an unguarded heart. One that isn’t crushed when someone turns her memory down. Maybe one day. One day I will be ready. Ready to share the stories I hold close out of fear of losing them. Ready to share her with the world. Ready to smile when I talk about her with others. Ready. To share her.

But until then, I will smile when others discuss their loved ones, knowing that while they may be scar covered wounds, healed by time, deep down – the loss of losing a child, of losing a loved one, of losing someone close to your heart, no matter how much has been healed by time -is still there. And will never completely, go away. Even though in time, you come to accept this.

And one day – I too will share.

One Day Maybe

Tiny arms wrap themselves around me as far as they can reach. The arms of an overly happy one year old that has just spent the past ten minutes dictating what I could and could not do. Pleased with my ability to follow orders, and satisfied that I gave into her demands, finger jabbing, and babbling that made no sense. She gave me a quick cuddle while her parents ooh’d and aww’d over her random gesture.

I remind myself, almost daily, that running from memories will never work.

For a while, memories were what kept me going. And then a short while after – memories were too much. Now? They come and go. Fleeting moments that race across my mind, giving me a glimpse at what was, what could have been, and what never will be. My life. A fast-forward of up’s and downs, ins and outs. Nothing ever connects or makes sense, until one day…

Some days, it doesn’t matter how much of a pep talk I give to myself.

Her picture catches me off guard – and for a moment, I think I can see the sparkle in her eye. The one that always made me smile. The shy smile that gave the impression that she was a timid child – when she was anything but. It brings me back to a different time in life. A time that wasn’t good, but certainly wasn’t bad – because how could it be bad?

I scold myself for judging. It wasn’t something I was going to do. I wasn’t going to become one of ‘those’ people who judged everyone for doing ‘wrong.’ They are trying their best, doing all they know how – yet somehow, I feel cheated. Justifying my judging acts, I tell myself that if only…followed up with a quick I would never.

It’s easy for me to say I would always love her, never get angry, and only give her the best without being selfish. Of course I can say that. The only thing left of my daughter is the dim lit memory that fizzles out like a broken light bulb. The only memories left of her, are with me. Hardly anyone knows her, and hardly anyone wants to remember her with me. So yes, I would be the most patient, caring, loving person in the world – except that I know I wouldn’t be. Should the tables be turned.

Instead I accept the hug, and for a few seconds I imagine life a little bit different. And then I turn her back to her waiting, doting parents who love her more than life itself. And retreat to the memories. The ones that flip past too quickly, and turn off before I am ready.

Sometimes, the missing runs deeper than it should. It pulses through my veins like my own blood. Spurred on by the flickers of life that don’t belong to me. One day I will learn to stop running, and embrace the memories that are my own. And when I do, I will wrap my arms around her – and never have to let her go.

Self-Imposed Regret

To be completely honest, these past few years have been anything but easy. But I remind myself, almost daily, that things could be worse. It keeps me going, in some ways. Knowing that no matter what I am facing, things really COULD be worse, and I shouldn’t be complaining about the speed bumps we are hitting, when in reality – life could be crashing in around me. While a lot of times it feels as though life really is caving in, I am forced to remind myself that its not.

I spend so much of my life wondering if I’m living up, meeting standards, impressing the right people – brown nosing, I suppose. I live with reserve, I hold back, Im not as adventurous as I would like to be. I live with fear, and regret and guilt. I let people down and spend years trying to repair bridges that I should have burned years ago. I wander the line of being selfish and taking space for myself. I read things and agree, and then go out and live the opposite way. Im a horrible friend, a terrible uncle, and an even worse person – and yet I try again and again to redeem myself.

This life is so…complicated. At times I wish I could just fast forward to see. Is it worth it? Does life eventually pan out? Do things ever make sense? But I suppose much like reading the end of the book before the beginning; it takes the enjoyment and magic out of those rare days when everything is going ok and there isnt a care in the world.

Im always waiting for the other shoe to drop, waiting for the blanket to be ripped out from under me, waiting…for the next big breakdown. I spend so much of my life close to the ground out of fear of falling. Out of fear of being hurt. I spend so much of my life living the way I don’t want to – just to avoid the possibility of something that may never happen.

I want to let go of the self-imposed way of living. I want to let myself enjoy life, I want to live without regret, without fear, without being held back. I want to be a better person. I want to be the kind of person that lives freely, openly, and adventurously. I want to. But I cant. For so many reasons. Reasons I cant explain. Reasons I don’t care to understand. Reasons. Or are they excuses? Excuses to keep from being let down. Excuses to keep what little sanity I have reserved, intact. Excuses. Because its easier.

Easier to live the on the well beaten path of life, and never venture out. One day, I will be adventurous. One day, I will rip the perceived notions I have of people down. One day I will stop caring how people see me, and start showing them who I really am. One day I wont be so afraid to be hurt. One day I wont be so weak. One day.

But until then,

I will hang onto this piece of ground that is well worn and familiar. I will hold it close like a welcomed security blanket. I will file away these things like sky diving, back packing cross country, jumping without thinking away, or talking to someone I like. I will remember these things. Much like a digital scrapbook, and one day, perhaps when its too late, I will take it out – and regret not doing more. Regret not jumping on the opportunity.

Because Im nothing, if not a regretful person who is guilty of letting opportunity slip away, all in the name of fear.

Free

With coffee in one hand, and the other hand empty – I look over the balcony. The smell of the sea air, mingled with sunscreen. It happens to be one of my most favorite smells in the world. It brings back memories. So many memories. Carefree happy days spent on the beach.   A time in my life that I didn’t have a worry in the world. Its not that things were much different then, its just that my mind was too small to comprehend just what was going on. All I knew was that a day at the beach – was a day at the beach.

The sun shines hot, the sky blue, the sea green. Its just the way it is here. Atleast, for the moment. And for the moment – life is ok.

Its not always this way. Its not always calm, and relaxed. Free and worriless. Infact, it rarely is. But for this moment, this frozen instant in time – everything is alright in my world, and Im free to think of nothing. Much like those carefree lazy days on the beach as a child, my mind doesn’t comprehend anything other than what is circling in my immediate world, which at the moment, happens to be alright.

Im relaxed. Something I haven’t been in months. Ive tried, to relax, that is. And for a few moments, maybe a few hours at a time – I am. But the worry always comes back. The fear of forgetting, hurting, loosing, leaving. The fear of betrayal, the what ifs, the how to’s, and maybe nots. It all gets to be so much sometimes. The worry of routine, of work, of life in general.

I have always heard people talk about taking time away to do absolutely nothing – but to me, that has always seemed painful. For once in my life, perhaps for the first time, I have not worried about the night at hand. I haven’t fought out the dinner plans, or forced my way through the bed time schedules. I don’t even know what I dare to do tomorrow. Even the rain seems calming here.

Maybe part of me left the worry behind. Maybe its just the country. The way the people live here. The way the sea washes in. It’s the way of life that so many people crave, yet few find. The suntanned backs, burned faces, white beaches, green oceans, rocky cliffs, and breathtaking views.

For once, I don’t worry about those I left behind. I don’t worry about those who Ive lost. I don’t worry about those I might lose. Or those Ive worked so hard to hold onto. Its freeing.

I just hope its something I can hold onto…

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forever.

Of Broken Spirits

I would say probably 90% of time, things are rolling along smoothly here.  By smoothly, I mostly mean we are making progress, gaining speed, and avoiding head on collisions for the most part.  But eventually – That crash will happen.  I try not to think too hard about when it will happen and just know in the back of my mind, that eventually – it will.  It works.  I don’t work myself up fearing the worst (most times atleast) and Im (somewhat) prepared when that crash occurs.  But still, it sucks.  Because nothing can fully prepare you for what all will be entailed in that crash.

Sometimes, you can see if coming from a distance – you know its coming, you embrace, and you get through it.  Yet other times it comes from left field with no warning and you are left scrambling to reassemble some sense of normalcy.  Because what else can you do?

Throughout this entire trek, one thing has constantly stood out to me.  The phrase from a well known man in town, who, after his daughters boyfriend ended up in jail for abuse to his 3 year old grandson, became his legal guardian.  This man isn’t from town, and like a lot of transplants here, came from farming country.  He was a cattle wrangler.  He know what all was entailed in whatever goes in with that cattle.  Nothing caught him off guard.  Nothing surprised him.  He was always ready.  And yet his words have stuck with me.

“It takes a lot to break the spirit of a 3 year old.”

They are the first words that come to mind when something goes down around here.  And often the last words that leave after a long day.  They race through my mind as I try, desperately, to bring the known to the unknown.  They are the words I wish I could paint, with MY words, to make everyone realize just how true that is.  Because indeed, it does.

I do my best to encourage the boys to seek out their dreams, while trying to guide them into their place in this world – whatever that may be.  I fail, 99% of the time.  I talk myself up everyday, I remind myself of those words – in hopes that I will remember NOT to break the spirit of these kids.  I succeed for about 5 minutes in the heat of the moment, before I too, succumbed to the old tried and true ways of life, say the things I wish I wouldnt.

There have been a few situations here, lately, that have kept me up late at night trying, desperately, to find some sort of answers in the land on the internet.  Situations that have left me scrambling to find answers before its too late.  Yet all that I find are the problems – with seemingly no solutions.  And while it frustrates me, it also encourages me in some weird way.  To know that I am not the only one seeking questions with no answers.  To know that not every question has been answered yet.  To know that I am not alone in this world with roads that seem paved for everyone but myself.

And when I do finally find the answers – they arent as I expected.  Instead of fighting for solutions, and racing to beat the problem to the punch, I read between the lines, and deep beyond the spoken words.  Into the heart and soul of the question is where I find the answer.  The answer, that I don’t necessarily like.  Sometimes, you have to let them fall.  The answer says.  Sometimes – you have to let their spirits become broken – so they can be built up again, correctly.

Sometimes solving all the worlds problems – is not easy.  Infact, sometimes its hard.  And goes against everything I have taught myself.  It screams that it cant be right, there must be another way.  There has to be SOMETHING that argues against this.  Instead, I slowly come to grips, that sometimes – I must be wrong.  Sometimes, pain is needed, and pain is good.  Sometimes.  I must stand back, knowing full well that train wreck is coming and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it.

I must stand by, and watch.  As the spirits of the very ones I have tried so desperately to protect from all pain and sadness – become broken.  Because only then, will they too realize what I have tried to teach all along is true.  Even if not always right.

Somehow

Going on almost five years ago, we started this whole process of the kids becoming “mine.”  It was a long drawn out ordeal that started and never really ended.  It was off and on, up and down.  Every Monday for I don’t know how many years – I would open the door to yet another stranger as they poked around and made sure everything was still “ok.”  I bluffed my way through many court hearings, lawyer visits and had many, MANY sleepless nights.

But eventually the dust settled, the visitors stopped coming, and somehow – I was handed the reigns of three lives.  It was only then that I wondered: Was that the right move?  I was too far in to back out, but still was unsure.  The doubt never really left.  For the past almost few years I have mulled over my decision, I have drug it to every appointment, school meeting, teachers conference and grocery store.  Every time something would go wrong – I would pull the doubt out of seemingly mid air and we would be right back to where we started.

I don’t know really, when, but somewhere over the course of the past two years – that doubt has slowly subsided.  Little things, such as realizing that family I thought had it all?  Struggled too.  Seeing that house with six kids and never a dirty floor?  Had a maid.  Watching a parent struggle to stop a tantrum, and have no idea what to do?  Was ok.  It was a slow realization that I may not have a clue what I am doing, but neither does anyone else.  It was a hard lesson to learn, and one that took far too long to grasp.

While I still don’t have a clue what I am doing, I accept that I don’t.  We move about life and go with the flow.  We cross the bridges as they come, and fight the battles every day.  I do what I can, and at the end of the day – I tell myself that tomorrow is a brand new day.  I try not to carry the harsh feelings into another day.  I try to live by example.  I try to speak softly.  But anyone who knows me knows that most days I am out of bed late, and while I may not hold grudges too long – I certainly hope the boys don’t follow my footsteps.  Speaking softly?  Is something that is done at night – when I don’t want to wake the sleeping heads up.

Nearly five years later, we have reached the point.

That point.  The point where, five years ago – I never even gave it much thought because we were certainly not going to make it to the five year point.  Monday we will revisit the past.  While there isn’t much fear that I will lose the kids, there is still that twinge from deep down somewhere inside that worries.  And brings the doubt with it.

“What if…”

What if Josh hasn’t made enough “Progress.”  What if the recent events with Dylan somehow jeopardize things.  What if Madison moving south makes things look bad.  What if the judge is having a bad day.  What if by some stroke of my luck, I lose the kids.

Of course, those thoughts are kept mostly at bay by the day to day busyness that occupies most of my time.  These days I don’t have much time for doubt.  I don’t have much time to wonder or worry.  These days most of what I am doing is done spur of the moment.  And because there is no time like the present, I suspect that most of my fear and worry and doubt will show up Monday morning.

I don’t expect things to go south, mostly because I cant.  A lot of the times I prepare myself for the worst, and when something better happens – I choose to be pleasantly surprised.  Instead of the other way around.  But this time?  I cant.  I cant even let myself THINK about it.  Which tells me a small something.

Five years ago, I was worried about the worst.  I feared the kids being taken away again, and I worried what would happen.  I held my breath, and lost sleep over these what if thoughts.  But today?  I worry what would happen should I let myself entertain those thoughts.  Those thoughts are something that were buried in the past.  Something I don’t WANT to consider.  Something I don’t WANT to know about.

I may not know what I am doing, I may not be right all the time.  I may still worry about certain things.  But somehow, in my mind and in my heart – those kids have become mine.  Losing them isn’t something that is even on the radar, because it isn’t something I can fathom.  Monday will come, and Monday will go – and we will keep on making the best of these mistakes.  Somehow.