Friday, July 30, 2010

Pulling up another chair....

Our circle continues to grow... And we all know how much our little community can do to help each of us keep a grip on our sanity, our serenity, etc! Take a sec to visit her soon!!
Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Checking in...

'Son' arrived and is settled in with his family. The grill/smoker made it, all the way across the country, strapped to his bright blue 'burban, no more flats, no issues, just smooth travels. He immediately set up the grill and smoked ribs for his parents... He has a big interview today with some bigwigs in a company he has applied to... they will be lucky to have him!

All is well here. I’m reading blogs, commenting on some, and working on me. I’ve gotten much accomplished on the crisis center quilts – by the end of August I should have four more quilted on the big frame and ready to send up to my Dad to distribute at one of the centers.

My daughter, Le Boyfriend, and myself are perfecting the long lost art of letter writing. She says in her letters that she is remaining clean while in prison, though she is surrounded by those who are not. I’m choosing to hope that is true. It’s been well over a hundred degrees where she is, almost daily. She walks in the early mornings on a track; later when she reaches the final room assignment that she will have, she will get to run on the track. Apparently that’s a privilege? She’s looking forward to the exercise. She’s lost 15 pounds, and is on new psych medications. Her letters have gone from almost illegible, to fairly neat writing. That’s when I know her medications are working!

She wants to come home for a while after prison. Not a good idea in my mind. My husband says she can, but only if she agrees not to resume her smoking habit. Rather than get involved in the chaos and stress that will ultimately result from his ultimatum, I’ve decided that as long as he makes that a stipulation, that I can’t agree to her coming home. I will not live with the constant questions, accusations when she comes home from an NA meeting smelling like smoke, etc. It obviously is something between him and her, but I will not live in the war zone. Either we welcome her home with the previous rule that all smoking takes place outside under the “smoking tree” (as the kids named it), or we will simply have to love her unconditionally and support her as much as we can, from a distance.

I simply cannot believe that he wants to make remaining a nonsmoker a caveat for living with us. But since I really don’t think it’s appropriate that she live with us, anyway, it’s moot.

What did I want to do? I wanted to offer her a few days, maximum one week, that she could come home, decompress, get through to parole and get information about where she should live (supposedly parole will assist), and also get set up with mental health and get her medications, get to a few felony-friendly job interviews, and take in a few meetings. That’s all I wanted to do for her, other than just enjoy her presence and her smile, and hug on her frequently! She wants to do all those things, even the mental health part. She says her medications are giving her clarity and she understands her actions more. That’s pretty huge.

He says she can’t even come here for a couple of days, unless she is not smoking. I’m sure she will promise that, but it won’t last, so I’m going to have to make it abundantly clear to both her and LeBoyfriend, that due to his stipulation, she can only be here for a week even IF she is willing to accept his “rule”. I doubt she’ll make aboard the bus to come home without lighting up, but whatever.

Still, right now, I’m in a holding pattern. I’m taking care of me, avoiding conflict, getting my work done, getting sewing done on the quilts for the women’s crisis centers, and planning a trip to my parents in September. I’ll have to work while I’m there, but only half days. The afternoons will be filled with chickens, horses, wide open spaces, crafts with Dad, time to listen to and absorb my folks, soaking up memories with them. I can’t wait!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010


('Son' has made it more than halfway to his new home! Yay! )

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Reminding myself to look at the good side....

Sorry to have been so scarce. I’ve been reading on blogs, commenting on some, but haven’t had much to say. I have been a bit sad these last two weeks. My “son” (I told his story here) and his girlfriend, who coincidentally is my oldest daughter’s best friend, broke up. As much as I rejoiced in my “world getting smaller” when they hooked up and for the time they lived together….

boy, when they broke up, it pretty much left us ALL heartbroken.

It wasn’t messy. It wasn’t mean. He doesn’t love her any more. She thought he was “the one.” He hung on and tried maybe longer than he should. She’s accepted it. They are still “friends”. He was left in the position of having no one here except us, his California family, and since he is unemployed, he saw a chance to change his life for the better: He’s moving to be with his real family, in Alabama, where his dad is pastoring a church. Most of his family lives there now. He’s going “home”, even if it’s a new home for him!

He has four job opportunities lined up already. He will pay one-fourth the rent cost for twice the square footage he and the girlfriend and her small son were living in here. How can this not be a win-win for him!?

My head knows this is a smart move for him. My heart ain’t so happy.

We said goodbye yesterday, and he’s updating on Facebook as he drives cross country…. His grill is strapped to the top of his Suburban! We call him the Grillmeister, or Master of the Grill – he can do amazing things with charcoal and his grill! There’s a python buried in that car somewhere, in a huge tank.

And a good chunk of our hearts is probably in there too. I’m convinced part of mine has been torn out.

The hurt part of me is still thinking, “Damn, you broke up with the girlfriend, I get that. Why are you breaking up with the rest of us?”

The sensible mom part of me is thinking, “What a golden opportunity, and he’ll be with his real family, his aging parents (he’s 30, the youngest of five and there’s a span of about 15 years between him and the oldest sib!), and so, good for him!”

The codependent part of me is thinking “how do I tell my youngest, our addict currently in prison, that her ‘brother’ is gone?”

She was the one who came to us years ago and said, “he’s getting out, his folks have taken a new church in ‘Bama, and he needs a home….”

She was the one that took her tips and bought the bunk bed they used to coexist in her tiny bedroom.

She was the one that dragged him to meetings and took him to parole appointments and she was the one who gave me the best son I never had.

He's an amazing guy. He has more than five years clean!! His success gives me huge amounts of hope. My daughter has mentioned since she relapsed, that she looks at him as a role model, because he walked away from the drugs, away from the lifestyle, and he's succeeded. She so admires that.

This was a hard decision for him to reach, but I have no doubt it was not made lightly. He's grown so much in the last five years. I love him so much! We all do! My husband and I both cried at the curb, saying goodbye. :(

My oldest has already written the youngest a letter giving her the news. She’s heartbroken too. He roomed with her for a full year just like he did with my youngest. They’ve been so close, so much a sibling group, the three of them. More like siblings than many actual siblings I know.

My oldest is left, in her words, “to clean up the wreckage.” She is heartbroken, but every time she goes to hang out with the girlfriend and her little boy, she walks into "their" place and he’s not there. She can’t really grieve it in front of her friend, cos the friend has been devastated and is grieving too.

And the girlfriend’s little boy, who is my oldest’s godson, is completely confused.

Life just is sad sometimes.

My ‘son’ made it to Flagstaff before he blew a tire (retread). He’s fine, car’s fine. Four new tires later, he’s now passed Albuquerque. He’s going to be “home” in another two days. His mom and dad are so expectant and happy, and that is a huge thing for me to remember. They’ve waited a long time for this. He told me he wasn’t much of a son for a lot of years. He’s grateful for the opportunity to make it up to them!

He’s a good man, and I miss him. A lot!