Things are fine here, despite a glitch around my birthday. But the glitch turned out to be a huge reminder to me to NOT think the worst, and to continue to be grateful and hopeful.
We had planned a dinner at our home and invited my youngest and LeBoyfriend - everything was confirmed, and I had prepared a fair amount of food so they could take home leftovers of some favorites. Got a text that afternoon, that she was still planning to come, but he might not be coming. Radar alert. Later, she texted that she would not be coming either. Radar extra sensitive antennae raised. A few cryptic texts later, I had been told that she was "fine", LeBoyfriend and his entire family were "fine", and she was "sorry."
I entered into a full on codependant episode. We three (me, DH and DD1) went thru the formalities of me opening gifts, tried to make a dent in the food, and then I stashed everything, drove to the reservoir, and walked/stomped/cried off three miles of praying, thanking God for the time I'd had this last year, gratefully remembering some of the highpoints, and mentally placing her in His arms again. I was convinced, particularly with my husband's negative reinforcement, that we were on the roller coaster again, and that the wild ride would not stop until the jail doors closed behind her.
My fears appeared confirmed when she took two days off work with flu. I found that out because I codependantly emailed her at her work email, to see how she was doing. I finally decided to call LeBoyfriend two days later, on the pretense of needing to know if he wanted one or two coats of paint on some baseboards he was going to install for us (envisioning of course, the worst case scenario, where the flooring was nearly in on her old bedroom and the job of finishing plus putting in baseboards waited another 16 months while they completed prison sentences....do you believe my stupid brain? do you see the rediculous lengths I went to? I see it in retrospect, but boy at the time, I was irrational and scared shitless).
He sounded hoarse, and said she had given that flu to him, he thought. He was driving that tanker with a 102 degree temp, and chills. She had gone into work both mornings and gotten email and phone calls caught up, and crawled home to sleep and let her stomach settle.
God forgive me, but I was grateful to hear that my kid(s) were ill with a really horrible flu.
One week later, they came over and he worked on the floor, she helped, we laughed, and hugged, and teased and smiled. Like nothing was wrong.
Because nothing was really wrong.
I never found out if anything other than the flu happened, but it isn't my business. People miss things sometimes, and we don't ALL get to know why. They gave me a beautiful card with sweet handwritten messages, and asked if they could take me, and DH, and oldest daughter, out for dinner on DH's birthday (a couple weeks later).
In the ensuing weeks, she's made her regular payments on her laptop her dad let her put on his charge card, made her initial payment (plus a hefty set-up fee payment) to the IRS for her back taxes from three years ago before the last Big Run, and also set up probation payments. And been released not only from informal parole, but also informal probation. And she's making payments with her own little pre-paid credit card that she has her salary deposited to. And she bought a dryer to replace the old unreliable one they had been given by his brother.
I feel sheepish for where my thoughts/fears took me on my birthday. Yes, they could have been in trouble. But they weren't. And I wasted a ton of energy worrying. Once again, I need to be vigilant in working on ME!
Yesterday morning, she called as they were driving to church, to wish her dad a happy birthday. How many things in that sentence there are to be grateful for!!
Last night, we met them at a great restaurant (Claim Jumper!) and we enjoyed well over an hour and a half of laughter, talking, listening to their ideas about the upcoming wedding and drinking in their excitement as they described what they envision for it. I was so blessed by all of it, especially her happy, content smiles (and so full! Yummy!). (I got such a grin out of watching her pay for the meal at the table with her credit card, adding a hefty tip for our great server, because she waited tables for years and she knows how hard it is.... watching her do something so normal and age appropriate - made me proud!)
I continue to work more on me! They're doing a damn fine job of working, managing their affairs, and building a life! I need to file away these memories, and also the realization that they operate in their own way, on their own time, and the occasional glitch does not spell relapse. I'll get there! I know that the past decade is going to have an effect on my thinking process (and we could go to that dark place again someday), but I am going to work on staying in the day, on not wasting energy worrying until it is a fact there is something to worry about. Despite what any naysayers around me say!
My prayers continue for all our precious kids!