Have Faith

“Have faith.” She tells me

But how can you have

Faith in the faithless?

How can you have faith

In someone who has

Let you down

More than they have

Raised you up?

How can you trust

Your heart with

Someone who never

Sees your feelings

As valid.

Who builds herself up

By tearing you down

Over and over again.

“Have faith.” She suggests.

Never again.

Happy Birthday, Lilly

I can see it so clearly in my head. A pink birthday cake dotted with candles in the middle of the table. Big, bright balloons hanging from the ceiling gently blowing in the summer breeze. Party hats, streamers, toy horns, confetti finish the party tableau. The only thing that is missing is the birthday girl. She’s eight-years-old today, my niece’s daughter. How can she have been in this world for eight years now and I’ve never set eyes on her? I’ve never spoken to her. I have no connection to her at all except through blood. Her mother, my niece, was my heart growing up. She and I were so close and then she turned 20 and for whatever reason decided to move across the country to California. She changed her phone number. She unfriended the entire family on Facebook. She did everything she could to tell us to stay away. She didn’t need us anymore. She didn’t want us in her life anymore. And she broke my heart in ways I didn’t know were possible. And now, for the past eight years on July 27th, I wish my grand-niece Lilly happy birthday and make the same wish. A wish that I get to see her one day. To meet her and to talk to her. To be able to tell her everything I’ve wanted to but I couldn’t because her mother made the decision that we weren’t worthy enough to be in their life.  I hope she is happy. I hope she has a great life. I hope she has a happy birthday and many, many more like them. But most importantly I hope, in some way, she knows that she has a family who has never met her who love her so very much. Happy birthday, Lilly.

Surprise Visit

Yesterday my niece and nephew surprised me with a visit. They have been absolutely wonderful during this difficult time. They lost their dad in 2011 and their mom in 2016 and they keep telling me that I was there for them during those times so they are making sure they are there for me during this sorrowful time. The three of us have always been close ever since my sister and her husband adopted them from Russia. They are also close to my mom and losing her is hurting them deeply. To see them doing their best to set that aside to be there for me has moved me beyond words. I just feel so lucky and grateful to have them in my life. They are definitely one of the things that are bringing light to my life right now and pushing the encroaching darkness away.

You’ve Hurt Me Again

You’ve hurt me again. I lie here in tangled sheets a mess of raw nerves unable to sleep. My hear races trying to keep up with the thoughts that are chasing each other through my brain. Frustratingly I roll over and try to go to sleep but eventually give up and get up to sit in the corner chair. Wrapping myself in a blanket I sit and stare out the window into the night sky as if the answers to my questions are out there somewhere.  I’m so tired of questioning myself about your choices. Why you wouldn’t stop in and see me after driving three hours to visit our mom in the hospital. I was only another 15 minutes away. It wouldn’t have taken much more time, even a five-minute visit would have been enough. Or why not let me know you were coming so I could have met you at the hospital? Why didn’t you want to see me? We’re sisters, aren’t we? What I would give to feel comfortable enough to call you and ask you these questions. However, I know you feel little empathy or compassion when it comes to me, which saddens me even more. I find myself wondering why the most toxic people in our lives are usually related to us. Why is that? Who decided to tether our hearts to people who overlook, ignore, and dismiss us over and over again? The first rays of sunset rouse me from these thoughts and I stumble back to my cold sheets and try to find some sleep before morning has fully arrived.

Years Gone Bye

Today I felt really down and melancholy and surprisingly regretful. Regretful for all the years I took family Easter get-togethers for granted. I didn’t realize the value and importance of them until they didn’t happen anymore. Every year growing up it was a tradition for us all to go out to brunch or stay home and my mom would cook a big dinner for all of us.  At first, I was the only child there but then my nephews and nieces came along and made the day brighter and filled with colorful dresses and tales of the Easter Bunny and baskets and laughter. We were a family. Now we’ve all scattered to the wind and no longer get together the way we did for so long. Words can’t do justice to how much I miss it now. I wish I could have captured more moments during that time and kept them safe and sound.  Is that how it is for all families? Siblings grow up and get married and have children and move away. Traditions end without anyone realizing the last time is the last time. I wish I would have known that before. I would have savored each moment, each look, and each laugh. But we never do. We never know it is goodbye until it’s too late.