Tag Archives: healing

The Sandy Hook Elementary Snowflake Project. An Opportunity For Healing.

The first day of holiday break and my daughter, home from college, dragged her brothers to the kitchen table.

“We’re making snowflakes. As many as you can. And we’re sending them to Sandy Hook Elementary.”

She had heard about the Snowflake Project for Sandy Hook Elementary on Facebook and like many of us, was searching for a way to help.

So two young boys, under the firm direction of their older sister, sat for hours at the kitchen table, designing, cutting, decorating. Pleased with some of their creations. Tossing their failures (or giving them to Mom, because Mom loves everything they create.)

PicMonkey Collage

And then, they wrote little notes, welcoming the students back to school, placed their creations in an envelope and sent them on their way. A small gesture. But so meaningful for my children to help with the healing, theirs and ours.

After my own children went back to school I was curious about the snowflake project and found this post.  Sandy Hook was inundated with snowflakes, from all over the world. An outpouring of love and caring. More snowflakes than they needed, they are no longer accepting snowflake donations. But if you are moved to help, check in here.

Or, create your own winter wonderland. At your school. Your home.

Snowflakes. To remind us of what is beautiful.

And precious.

And fleeting.

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Filed under Be-Causes, In the News, Uncategorized

To You, Dear Readers. Thanks For Helping Me Deal.

Your outpouring of support for my last post (The Life And Times of Six-Year-Old Jane) has touched me so. Especially when I’ve been such a horrible reciprocating blogger of late. I’m going through some (not serious) health issues that have me pre-occupied. All is well. I will be ok. Just extra distracted, scattered and annoyed with the struggles.

I’m great at putting emotions or moments I’d rather forget in a drawer and never thinking about them again. Or, brushing things aside and saying, “I’ll get to that later.” When my husband and I have had an argument and much later he says, “Remember when we disagreed about….” I can actually feel the memory of that uncomfortable moment start to show his (because bad memories are always male, right?) ugly head. I’ll stop my husband in mid-sentence and say, “No! I don’t want to remember. Let’s just move on.” Yes, I’m the one with her fingers in her ears singing “La, la, la, la,la,  la!”  

But I’m learning that you can’t truly move on unless you’ve dealt with it head on.

When Dawn and Tori inspired me to write a post, tongue-in-cheek, about a 6-year-old memoir, I thought, “Ooooo. This will be fun.”

It wasn’t.

It reminded me of things I had stuffed.  Things I hadn’t dealt with. Things I’d rather forget. And I chose not to write about the heavy, heavy stuff. Too painful.

I cried a bit, writing what little I wrote. I miss that little girl. She was cute and always smiling. She loved music and listening to baseball games on her stuffed Tiger with the transistor radio tucked inside.(Remember those?) And she just wanted hugs, approval and love.

Don’t get me wrong. My parents did the best they could with what parenting talents God gave them. And I have many happy memories. But most of those happy memories don’t involve my parents. I think that’s why I am so hell-bent on creating happy memories with my own children.

I have a soft-spot for children who are ignored or forgotten. I suppose we all do. But I have always gravitated toward charities, causes, and professions that could help those children. When I dabbled in foster care and had those two beautiful girls in my home it was the most rewarding and emotionally draining year of my life. I’ve thought about becoming a child advocate volunteer many times. But I always stop short, knowing that I may have to open a cupboard or two and deal with a few of my own demons.

And at for-sen-sumpin years old, I’m still not ready.

Baby steps.

Tiny baby steps.

Thanks for pushing me along.

 

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Filed under Observations, Ponderings

For My Sweet Adia – Wherever You Are

About a week ago, I began listening to the songs on my iPod in alphabetical order. I came across a song I hadn’t listened to in a long time.

Adia by Sarah McLachlan.

It was released about 5 years after we gave up our foster daughters. The first time I heard it on the radio I had to pull over into a parking lot. I was sobbing and couldn’t drive. It was about my “Adia” – that sweet, innocent and damaged 6-year-old girl who lived in my home for almost a year.

She still lives in my heart. And this song is for her.

“Adia I do believe I failed you
Adia I know I’ve let you down
don’t you know I tried so hard
to love you in my way” – We tried. We really, really tried. And you and your sister seemed so happy with us. But court date after court date after court date – the judge would not sever your biological mother’s rights. Even though she was still turning tricks. Even though she was still using. Even though she bounced from apartment to apartment. He kept giving her another chance. And while he was giving your mother chances you were being held in limbo. Wanting to attach to us, wanting to know that you were safely where you belonged.

“Adia I’m empty since you left me
trying to find a way to carry on
I search myself and everyone
to see where we went wrong” – We held on as long as we could. Yet, I still feel guilty. I still feel as if I should have done more to keep you safe. At the last court date, when the judge gave your mom another 3 months (again) to get her act together I burst into his chambers. I shouted, “We’re offering to pay for their college education and you’re telling me I’m going to be paying for their prison term. ‘Cause that’s were these girls are headed if we don’t find them a safe, healthy, permanent home!” He told me if I didn’t leave I’d be held in contempt. I sulked out of the room, defeated.

“there’s no one left to finger
there’s no one here to blame
there’s no one left to talk to, honey
and there ain’t no one to buy our innocence” – But he didn’t live with us. He didn’t see the night terrors. He wasn’t missing steak knives and scissors. He didn’t find the food you hoarded and hid in your pillow case or your backpack. He wasn’t there to clean the feces off the bathroom wall after every supervised visit with your mother. And he wasn’t there when all of that behavior died down about a week after that mandatory, monthly visit. He couldn’t hear the laughter and silliness return. Those three glorious weeks when you and your sister almost magically turned into two lovable, normal, happy little girls again.

“Adia I thought that we could make it
I know I can’t change the way you feel
I leave you with your misery
a friend who won’t betray
pull you from your tower
take away your pain
show you all the beauty you possess” – I want you to know – sweet, amazing girl – that at the time we accepted you in our home I thought it was the perfect decision. I thought that we could make it. And then, when we had to let you go, I thought that was the right decision, too. I’m crying, now, as I write this – even though you left almost 17 years ago. I still think about you. I still wonder how you are. I still pray that you feel more joy than pain. And I hope you know how beautiful, how lovely, how amazing you are.

“’cause we are born innocent
believe me Adia
we are still innocent
it’s easy, we all FALTER,
but does it matter” – And I still get angry that such an innocent, amazing, sweet  little you was abused by your mother’s boyfriends, discarded by your mother and tossed about the court system. Property. Because of biology. When what you really needed was love and caring. And there are plenty of people out there willing to give it.

But humans aren’t perfect.

Our system isn’t perfect.

And you. Innocent you – who didn’t ask to be born in the first place – had to suffer for it.

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Filed under Be-Causes, children, Music

Tunes for Tuesday – American Tune

I am feeling so melancholy.  Sometimes I play upbeat, crazy, happy songs to lift me out of a funk. Then other times, I listen to the songs the mimic the mood I’m in, honoring and celebrating the fact that I’m human. This is one of those songs.

“Many’s the time I’ve been mistaken
And many times confused” – I wish sometimes that I wasn’t the Pollyanna that I am. When people are cruel or unkind, I just don’t get it. What propels you to that level? What satisfaction can anyone possibly get from being unkind?

“Yes, and I’ve often felt forsaken
And certainly misused” – I trust too much. I believe everyone comes from the place that I come from – sunshine and roses. And then I’m horribly disappointed. Over and over. I never seem to learn.

“Oh, but I’m all right, I’m all right
I’m just weary to my bones” – And it’s true. I get over it. But I still never seem to learn. And it wears me down. So I start to mistrust or use more caution. And I don’t like the person I become. So I shake it off and start all over.

“And I don’t know a soul who’s not been battered
I don’t have a friend who feels at ease” – I know I’m not alone. But I still feel that way. Alone. Not a fun place to be.

“I don’t know a dream that’s not been shattered
or driven to its knees
but it’s all right, it’s all right
for we lived so well so long” – And I know we all get out of our funk. And the struggles we were dealing with seem so far away when we look back on them. We just need to be reminded. So today, I’m reminding myself how far I’ve come. My life may not be the picture perfect scripted utopia I wanted – and that’s ok.

“Still, when I think of the
road we’re traveling on
I wonder what’s gone wrong
I can’t help it, I wonder what’s gone wrong” – But that doesn’t mean I don’t have regret. I wish I could be one of those people who don’t think twice. Moves on so easily. That’s not me. I second guess. I kick myself. I think if only I had done (fill in the blank). I’d like to think that I live without regret and because I don’t wallow in my past transgressions I suppose I do an ok job of it. But that doesn’t mean I don’t envy those who seem detached from the past.

“Oh, and it’s alright, it’s all right, it’s all right
You can’t be forever blessed
Still, tomorrow’s going to be another working day
And I’m trying to get some rest” – So you go to bed and wake up to a new day. A long time ago, another lifetime ago, I was married. And unhappy. And someone suggested I might be depressed. I said “No. I wake every day in such a good mood. I’m not depressed.” What I didn’t say was “Oh. You might be right. I’m so exhausted by 3pm and all I want to do is sleep. And everything at the end of the day makes me cry.” But I struggled through. And moved on. And each day got a little easier. That’s all we can hope for.

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Filed under Music