It has been six months since we flew caution to the wind and moved away from everything we ever knew. I still have moments that I wake up and think it was a dream and only when I look for my favorite tree outside my bathroom window does it occur to me that it is not a dream. We didn't just move to a new house in the same area we moved to my idea of paradise and what mostly makes it paradise is that we all came together. Being away from everything can be a good thing at times. This is now home, our new normal.
Perks to being away include the fact that I don't feel like I need to escape to get through the month of July. I don't walk into rooms and see my mother and have to replay those last days over and over. I don't have to tell myself there was nothing I could have done and that it wasn't my fault. I don't have to convince myself that if only I could run away I wouldn't have to feel the loss constantly. I am away and I still feel the loss but only now that it is July, and especially now that I have had a phone call from my dad to remind me.
My step brother has passed away. My dad called to let me know. The shocking part is that I actually got a call. We have literally gone years without a word from him. We moved four states away and he didn't call to see if we arrived safely. He called three months later. If there is bad news to be shared or a family function to attend it is my aunt who sends a text or a phone call to inform us. It is a very sad time. I'm mostly sad because while our parents are married I nor my children were included in my dad's new family. Just as my dad's family always referred to me as my mother's daughter and rarely as father's daughter I was never considered a sister or a daughter to his wife and step children, no matter what I did or tried. I'm a reasonably intelligent person, I can take a hint. So my step brother has passed away and I am sad for the brother/sister relationship I didn't get to have and I'm sad for his family but I am essentially a stranger looking in from the outside. This being confirmed by the fact that I wasn't even mentioned as a sister in the obituary.
My dad then went on to ask me if I remembered what day my mother died. It has been three days since this phone call and I still can't figure how he could think I would forget. I'm an only child and my mother wasn't married at the time of her death at fifty two years of age. I was her care taker. I was 31 with three children ages 7, 6, and 1 to take care of while I took care of my dying mother and I turned 32 the day after she died. I can't forget that. He continued with 'what year was it?' to which I responded it will be 12 years this year it was 2004. He said, 'it doesn't seem like its been that long ago.' I said, 'well I get to remember it every year so...' He said, 'well I guess we all have things we have to carry with us.' Indeed. He continued to endear himself to my heart further but I won't share the rest of it. I just absorbed it all and mostly I just wondered why I'm not worthy of his love.
You know how God sometimes protects you from yourself? I couldn't respond how I might have, had I not been so stunned to just answer the questions. My dad may lack compassion and completely lack sensitivity but that doesn't mean that I have to lose those things when speaking with him. It does not give me the right to be rude and it doesn't even necessarily allow me to tell him how I feel about how I am treated by him or the rest of his family. His wife once essentially told me I was a mistake and my dad wouldn't have married my mom had she not been pregnant. It's not true but it sums up how she feels about me and she never wanted my children to call her grandma. I have tried talking to him and it gets me nowhere. What it does do is remind me of who I don't want to be, how I don't want to treat people, and sometimes why I really needed to move away from everything I ever knew.
I believe I needed to move so I could be allowed to grow. God takes us from our comfort zones so we can be stretched and grow into who we are meant to be. I had become so comfortable I was afraid to do things I had once done. I was so comfortable I didn't necessarily need to leave the house. I had become so comfortable it is possible I was beginning to convince myself that I could go on the rest of my life not living life to the fullest and continuing to run from God and what is quite possibly what he had planned for me all along. I stopped writing. I convinced myself I had finished that segment in life and that God couldn't possibly want me to do it anymore because no one read what I had to say anyway. I wasn't any good at it and I should spend more time reading instead of writing. And maybe I'm not good at it but I'm starting to think it isn't up to me to decide that. I started forgetting who I was.
God knows who I am. I tend to forget or I tend to think He is wrong and I am right. I am nobody. I can't be used for anything. What could I possibly contribute to the literary world or any part of the world in general? But what if its not about me? What if my healing and growing comes when just one person reads what I have to say finds God seeking them out?
I read quite a bit and I love to sing. Reading is an escape. Singing is fun. I'm a terrible singer. I know this, it isn't my gift. I still love it. Yesterday I helped with my first demo day and tore down a wall. Something I may have talked myself out of before. I was awesome. I'm trying to find myself. Maybe you are too. When I write it is like I'm taking others with me on this journey. Maybe you can relate to my adventures with my family, maybe you can relate to my journey with God, maybe you just need to feel like you aren't alone in this haphazard road we are all on together called Life. Whatever brings you here, I hope you find yourself too. I hope God reaches your heart through something He has me write. So it appears I'm finding my way back. When God gives me the words I'll meet you here. Until next time...