Just a note-This day is one of the best days of my life! This is a year old, my girls have now as of today, October 2, 2017 been in my custody for 5 years. I have almost been in my older children’s lives as long as I was gone. The picture of when they were young, Cassidy was just visiting having already been removed from me along with her brothers and sister who I would go 10 years without seeing. It’s also shortly before I would leave altogether. Happy Birthday Mom- it is never too late!
Sunday Morning with Coffee and Chickens:
Faith in today, October 2nd….
As I sip on my coffee watching my chickens mill around the back forty searching for grubs and enjoying the fall leaves; I know how truly blessed I am. Usually I have the back slider open, my computer sits right next to it and I can hear the sounds of my yard, I love that. This morning however there is a fall chill and even though I love that more, there is a grandchild sleeping on my couch. So I type these keys lightly and keep the chill out for him, ever aware of how different my life is today.
October 2nd is a huge day for my family, it’s my mother’s 72nd birthday. My father is celebrating a huge milestone, one of which you have to know him to know. Today also marks 4 years since I stood before the judge and earned the right to have custody of my young girls, who are not so young anymore.
This was no easy feat, having been gone for as many years as I was out of my children’s lives. I was there sometimes, but I was never really there, and for many years I was not even there; you know. I did not have the support of my family when I decided to regain custody, my biological family that is, and understandably so. I knew though, I knew I was done; even at over 3 years clean back then, they did not. That is Ok, I’ve got a proven track record of what I was like that mom knew all too well.
Imagine my shock when the court clerk gave me a court date that landed on mom’s birthday. I actually asked for a different date out of fear, they said no. It was meant to be. I came to believe quickly that it was a sign, my Higher Power knew what was going on long before I ever had a thought of it. This would be the best gift I could ever give my mother, the gift of being a grandmother not a guardian. The gift of her daughter becoming accountable, responsible, and present in her children’s lives. Although that is not how she saw it then, I knew, and she does now too 4 years later.
I remember an affirmation that was given to me by my family the weekend I made the decision to file for custody of my girls. My NA family. Divine Wisdom Guides You, I believe that and have faith in that.
There are no coincidences in my life, everything has happened and will happen for a reason. I have faith, and I pay attention to the little things that I consider signs. I didn’t always….
The Chicken Lady
It is a Saturday morning and my coffee is almost done- it’s still dark outside since the time change has set in with the month of September being more than halfway over. I really need a cup of coffee though so hold on just one moment…. Perfect. Now because of fall my chickens are not even thinking of stirring about. The girls, my chickens, get a break so to say during the cold months. They like to go to bed early, wake late, and egg production seems to slow -it’s called mother nature. Although I could hang lights to ensure my egg count doesn’t drop, I prefer the natural way and have a couple of chickens who are year round layers to keep my family afloat.
It seems like life is just like that, a change of seasons. As I get older I seem to appreciate life so much more where previously I took it all for granted. No longer though. Now I stay in the moment and take everything I can in; especially time with those I love knowing how fast it can all be gone. Around here is a sad day for many I know including myself for someone who has been taken in the blink of an eye way too young- but that is not my story to tell and those thoughts I will keep to myself.
This story is about a man who lived quite a few years- his name is Steve. While he is no longer here his life is a celebration. The days he enjoyed outside the walls of a prison that confined him for so long are all, every one of them, a miracle that many of us had the pleasure to witness. I heard about Steve long before he came home so to speak, home to us and the circle I run with. Now if you have ever read one of my stories you know the circle I speak of- it is worldwide. One of the gifts that I get by hanging around this circle is enjoying to the fullest the people I meet and the journeys that we walk together.
I met Steve on day one at a meeting and gave him a hug, but he didn’t remember me. How could he? Steve had what to him probably seem like a million people wanting hugs and pictures. We loved on him how we do. I myself just took the hug and said welcome home. Steve looked like he was shell-shocked and I didn’t want to be just another person walking up to take a picture with him.
I remember watching on Facebook Steve getting his first phone, ice cream and so on. Next thing you know he was on Facebook with his own account and later would join Instagram. We became “friends” so to say, social media friends. Shortly after that we started chatting. We had some of the most funniest conversations, I am sure he had funny conversations with everyone, but these were mine. It seemed as if Steve took to social media like a butterfly takes to wings, he just took off. Steve took to life that way too. I can’t begin to imagine the life he had behind the walls for so long, that is not my story. However my truth is I have imagined it and took part in it considering the choices that I made for a while and those that I kept close to me lived it for me-some still do.
This made me appreciate Steve’s journey so much more, I watched him with complete joy. Someone made it out and was living life to the fullest! I watched him everywhere with everyone, there were a million pictures taken with Steve, it seemed to be a thing.
Steve used to call me a superstar in our conversations, of course I told him I was not. “The famous Chicken Lady,” he would say to me and, “when would we meet?” A friend had called me the Chicken Lady once and it stuck so I used it often and still do to this day. Social media can make it seem like people may be famous I guess if you have been sheltered for so long and start to live through your phone. He was glued to his, it was very funny. In seconds we would be chatting from Instagram to Facebook and back again as if he forgot what he was doing and our last conversation. My cubicle life at the time made room for that, but not so much anymore by choice.
By a series of events that happened one day on September 22, 2016, things being cancelled and so on in my life I had a free night and Steve had asked me to join him. I said yes. We drove forever for a meeting, one was closed so we just kept driving around Sacramento until we found an open door. We talked of tacos, women, how I had kissed more girls than him, and relationships. I shared quite a bit with him and in return he did the same. We laughed so much that night. I had never heard Steve’s story so to say and he really wanted me to hear it-so much so that he interrupted the meeting and asked if he could share. I had never seen such a thing and of course he was obliged. At the end of the night I took him to his home and we laughed all the way there too, the conversation never stopped for a second. We had the best meeting in that car, just the two of us, both addicts sharing with one another.
Before leaving my car that night he told me how happy he was to finally meet a superstar-the famous Chicken Lady. I said what are you talking about Steve, you are the superstar my friend-the man, the myth, “the legend,” and it was me who was happy to spend some time with him. Someone who finally made it out! We chatted for a bit later that night and laughed some more. His last message to me was at 4:23am in the early morning hours. Steve went to sleep and never woke up. I was in disbelief when I heard the news, yes on social media. I don’t know why but I messaged him simply-Steve. He never answered me. We did finally take that picture that night-his last selfie, at the last meeting he shared at where I got to hear his story. At times I still wear his sweater, it keeps me warm on cold nights and I place his picture on my family altar for Dia De Los Muertos where I celebrate those in my life that have passed. Those that I love.
The Chicken Lady
This little ditty was written a year ago today, September 3, 2016. In my attempt to capture my previous reflections I am pleased that the social media site I use frequently assists me in this endeavor-Facebook. I’m not sure how much longer I will use this site, for me I sometimes feel I am just about done with it. However Facebook allows me to connect with people all around the world with a certain circle I run with, so for now I stay. I will always stay in that circle though either way- no matter what.
Just one more side note, it’s actually a Sunday now but I will not change the text. I am at my little beach house again, as I always am at this time of year. I’m with different people- it’s a different season in so many ways. I’m still blossoming.
Saturday Morning with Coffee and Chickens
A change in season’s is just what I needed…
I love the fall, it is my absolute favorite season out of the four. It calls for sweaters in the mornings, good coffee, a drive up the mountain to Apple Hill, or maybe even the ocean. I love the ocean when it’s cold out.
The tides, just like the leaves falling, remind me that everything keeps changing. I am learning as I get older, to just roll with it too. There are no guarantees, I would like to think there are though. Is that just me?
If we are lucky, we keep going, growing, learning, and living. The past, my past, was just but a few moments strung together that lasted a little longer than the average day. What’s funny though is, I can look at it now as a season. Those seasons of my life are long gone, they hold memories, some good, and yes some bad. They have taught me a few things that I will take with me on my journey though, thankfully.
Fall is here, it’s my favorite and I am just going to enjoy this season of my life!
The Chicken Lady
It’s early on Saturday morning and I have to hit the road soon. So soon that the chickens are lucky they got replenished water and feed before I left and my coffee has barely had time to steep in my little French Press. The taste is not half bad though. How could it be? No matter what I do I take the time to do it right. Yes even when I am in a rush. The dogs are staring at me as if I forgot about feeding them, I have but will handle that soon. I really just wanted to put these thoughts that have been swirling around in my head down on paper before I travel. I would like to think that will not take long as well, this story has been percolating since Tuesday night. My truth is Saturday has now turned into Sunday morning. Most of this was written yesterday but the full life that I embrace today sometimes takes precedence over words-the words can be written later. Life is about living and I am going to live it-now on to the story.
Have you ever had that one person that you just meshed with from the first encounter? Like peas and carrots. Well many moons ago in another life I had that. I met her. Her name is Yolanda and that is what she goes by now, she will always be Nani to me though. No I have not changed any names for the sake of privacy and I heard someone once say, “if you don’t like what I write, you should have lived differently.” This is my story and I digress-I do that sometimes. By our second encounter, within moments she had me seated in a chair and was dying the tips of my hair blonde, I am a brunette. I remember Nani saying my hair would look, “tuff,” she was right. Boy did I look different. I usually looked out-of-place wherever I was, but I always fit right in.
We would rapidly become inseparable; her husband Jeff even let me in and I would say even trusted me. Now with the lives we were living at that time trust was abnormal. I trusted them though and they were my home, wherever I was. I would go here and there, often alone, but their door was always open to me and just a phone call away from no matter what city I was in. They did have a home when we first met, but with the choices we make their home disappeared just like mine had along with my children years earlier and hotels and motels were now a way of life. We had become nomads. I remember on one occasion where I was in a situation where Nani just happened to walk up, I was in a hotel in a rather frightful disposition that had gone all bad. There were four or five people who had come for me and maybe even a bat, little old me, all men and just one woman because-well we were equal opportunity people back then with not a care or code in the world. Someone had thought I was after her man and I was going to pay a price, well that was never the case but with my looks it was always what they thought. The truth is, if I was with your man it was because he was as crazy and willing as I was to commit a crime-no questions asked or a hesitation in the world, just go. Nani knew them, more importantly, she knew me better than that and had the clout with one word to put an end to that in an instant.
After that incident I got in the car with them and took off for a ride that would not stop for quite some time. Let’s face it, I was the only licensed driver out of all of us. There was another captive-we will call him Ed because that is his name. At times we would have another passenger in our little caravan but that was more of a burden than anything, a babysitting job if you will, so he did not travel with us often. Heroin addicts can be such a handful. That’s what everyone was but me, I was the tweaker who just dabbled here and there with THAT. Amazingly enough Ed had a beautiful mansion of a home in Truckee, California and more property in Southern California, but we never managed to make it there often and spent most of our time in hotels-we were just busy people doing a whole lot of nothing with our lives.
As much fun as all of that sounds, sometimes you get tired of the life. Well I got tired, literally tired, and instead of leaving with Ed to Truckee I grabbed the Hilton’s pillows and took off to another spot to sleep-I always had spots. I loved Truckee by the way and the house, at the time though my job was to keep Ed interested and not necessarily with scrabble; with my smile and sweet conversation-nothing more. I was good at what I did no matter what I was doing.
I would leave one way, Ed would leave another and within two hours our friends were incarcerated. That was the end of us practically. After a series of rather unfortunate events ensued and the dust had landed Nani would do 6 years in the penitentiary, Jeff would hang himself in the Amador County Jail on his way to prison, Ed would be on his own to be manipulated by others not so kind as us, and I would land in recovery one more time- not the last time.
After a few more times in and out I stayed in the rooms. It was actually Ed who was now clean and extended a helping hand to me when I finally landed thankfully and gave my life a chance. As soon as I could I found her and took care of her with all the stuff you do for a person who was in prison. I was good at that too. I had hope my friend would follow my footsteps, like I had followed hers once- that we would be peas and carrots again. She used to tell me she could no longer hang out with me because I would be the one to send her back to prison with the crazy stunts I pulled. Nani had done 10 years earlier in the penitentiary – we were not nice people. She was now the one doing time and I was out living. For some time I held myself accountable- if I had stayed, if I was driving, if I was watching him none of that would have happened. I have since made peace with all that and I know it was just not my burden to bear. It is the choices that we make that take us on the paths that we live.
Well my friend came in and out of the rooms that I stay in. For a while we were like peas and carrots again and her daughter even followed her into a different life. That meant her grandchildren would start living differently too. Nani did not stay, but her daughter did and maybe that was all that was supposed to happen. They are my gifts that I get to watch from afar. I have seen them grow up, re-unite with their mom, and continue to have beautiful lives- they are teenagers now.
My friend just got out-again. August 6, 2017 she was released after serving 6 little months. I had hopes she would want what I have- a new way to live. I sent her all those things we send people who are locked up, I even sent a few letters. I can’t drag or chase anyone in here with me, I don’t have that kind of power. I can hope and pray for them, that is all. The silent prayers that people prayed for me for so many, many times throughout the years, through their tears.
I saw Nani August 22, 2017, 15 days after her release- I had to. The description is not pretty, visible holes in her chest and legs, her voice already more raspy than normal, when she kissed me my lips still could taste the Carmex she had slathered on trying to stop the cracks, it wasn’t helping. I had called first, I knew where she was and yes I still went. When I called that kid I used to watch- her nephew who was like my brother was there and when she started crying on the phone and her voice had changed, he asked who it was. She said Christine, he didn’t even know who that was because that is not what I went by out there. When I changed, I changed everything, yes even the name I went by. As soon as he figured out who was on the phone I could hear his words, “tell her to come get us and get us into a program right now!” He meant it, she laughed, I knew it wasn’t going to happen.
When I left her on the street in front of that house, we hugged and laughed. I showed her the picture of the man I am in love with and told her of some of the adventures we had been on. I let her know my kids are good, even her god-daughter my youngest Irene. I had hopes this would spark something- it didn’t. Her boyfriend had now walked up, he was about 20 years younger than her, I knew him too. You could see the fear in his eyes. Would I take her away with me? Would he lose her? She told him to go inside, he said no and stood afar just watching us. I am sure he thought if he went in she would drive away with me and she would be gone- like I had done so many times with her in the past in my previous life. Just gone.
As we said our final goodbyes, yes laughing through the tears I noticed my glasses in her hand. With all the hugging, laughing and crying in those brief moments you would have thought we were one person, we had become enmeshed again like peas and carrots. I didn’t want to let her go and I don’t think she did either. We did though, let go, I finally let go- that is no longer my life and hasn’t been for some time. As I turned to walk away I laughed and said I need my glasses, they were still in her hand. They were hers, I pulled mine out of my pocket and they were exactly the same; little red Dollar Store glasses. What are the odds?
The Chicken Lady
It’s Sunday over here on the yard and if you’ve ever read one of my little stories you know where I am, in one of my favorite spots-by the back slider gazing out into my yard with the chickens. My chickens have been frustrated with me lately for so many reasons, yes they let me know. They have been confined to the back-forty since the new puppy Jordan has been in our lives; it is for their own safety. Snoopy my big fat beagle knows the drill, don’t mess with the chickens, Jordan has not learned this yet. I do miss waking to the sounds of my chickens pecking at the back door on Sunday’s when I might have managed to doze off back to sleep-I am an early riser. However with the weather changing I can now keep the bedroom window open for the morning breeze; it also allows me to hear the rustling of the leaves while my girls forage for their morning grubs and the egg laying calls they make with pride so early, the life of free range chickens. I think they have noticed my lack of time with them as well on the hammock. They like to hop up and nestle, some just perch on either end and roost for a while; not all 16 show me love like this but at least 5 do. They bring a calmness to my life, a bit of peace and serenity that I just can’t explain. Lately there has been something else that brings that as well.
I have been traveling this summer. Some places just around the corner to neighboring cities, some places far away. A few of the trips have been with the kids, some with the ladies, but most with him. Camping, concerts, events, and even a trip to the backyard with the grand-kids can be an exciting adventure for this grandma. Life is what you make of it and I choose to make it fun. Of course life still shows up and as I key this story out the grandson has awoken and the sound of an electronic sword is swooshing around next to me with the Power Rangers blaring from the TV in the background. I am not sure how I am even gathering my thoughts with all the action, but I am. Just one of my gifts.
Maybe it is that calmness I was speaking of that allows me to be still and enjoy the moments no matter what is going on around me? I am sure it is just the growth of the journey that I am on, the spirit awakening. I will not attribute it to him, but he helps. I can be the most chaotic person at times. Maybe it’s all in my head? I am a bit off the wall and always on the run somewhere doing something. I am not sure if he doesn’t seem to mind all of this or if I just settle down when I am around him- either way it feels good. I think it is a conglomeration of both, a balance if you will.
I have been on some amazing journeys this summer, quite a few on the back of his little motor scooter. I have seen and experienced the beauty of places I have never been, some of those in my own heart. It has been quite a freeing experience, opening up and trusting once again. I don’t do that lightly. He has taken me to more than just places and I trust him-no matter what and wherever we go. However those places that we have gone to have been riveting. Day trips up the mountains with friends, long coastal trips down the seashore for getaways. I even bought a ticket, packed a bag, and met him in South Dakota where he then took me everywhere I am sure he could in the few days we had there before I boarded for home.
The open fields and the skies in South Dakota were breath-taking and in an instant the weather would change and you knew there was something greater than you out there in control. Just be. That is what I am taking from this part of my journey this summer. Just be -Christine. Wherever you are, whether it be in the trees, on the road, with the kids or with him; just be. Enjoy it while you can and take it all in, because you never know what tomorrow brings. I can only hope that it is more of this feeling I have been allowed to enjoy at this moment.
The Chicken Lady
Just a bit about this blog, it was written last year on this day- August 7, 2016. It came up in a memory on Facebook, a good one. As I reflect on it I’m currently in Sturgis, South Dakota at the 77th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally with a man I love. We have been riding all over, not just here but everywhere. Who would have thought that this is where I would be today? Just get up and go do things before it’s too late. Or in my case as I always say, it’s never too late.
I am still on the journey finding Christine and passion for life; I hope my quest never stops, enjoy.
Sunday Morning with Coffee and Chicken’s
How absolutely amazing is it to finally start finding yourself, OK, continue to find yourself at the age of 47? The saying for me, “getting better with age”, really encompasses my choices and zest for life.
I am growing up, still gratefully learning who and what I want to be. Finding the FUN in life. You may see my Facebook side, which is actually me go figure. However, just a few short years ago I was very sedate, quiet, I stayed in woman’s meetings and the only way you knew me is if we did service together or I was asked to chair. I would walk in, throw it down, and walk out; still not letting you in. I stayed home every weekend and babysat grandkids, joyfully, EVERY weekend. Hahaha Daughter moved away, far enough so that I became a visitor, not a nanny, kids got older, and I started venturing out. Creepin.
Time has a way of healing if you do the work, and I did, do, and am.
I needed that time, to work on Christine. I had a lot of figuring out to do. I still do. One thing that I have been figuring out though is that I am going to have fun in whatever I am doing. If I do service, I have fun and still manage to get the job done. I do a lot of service. This act I do for others is really very selfish; it has done more for me. It has allowed me to meet some amazing people and let people into my life and my home, I don’t do that. I am a very private person. Secret Squirrel Morraco Mole type of private.
Coming up on 8yrs soon, over 3 yrs in my home and I only have 2 things on the walls at my house of which I just added this past year. Almost as if I was waiting for the other shoe to drop and I might lose it all. More likely that I somehow was gonna fuck it all up and walk away, one more time. I don’t have those fears anymore. Those are choices, that I am no longer willing to make. So I do the work, stay in the middle, let people in, some I let right back out.
I am getting better with age!
The Chicken Lady
It’s a Sunday over here on the yard. The sun has long since been up and regardless of what time I went to sleep last night, past midnight though which just doesn’t happen much for me anymore, I am still an early riser. The sounds of the chicken’s however got me moving this morning. The egg laying calls which signal I have slept in, leaves rustling out by the side fence, and just the chatter of my lovely ladies; 16 hen’s and counting. I can almost feel the season changing into fall-I love the fall most. This little piece has taken some time to get started. The coffee had to be made, the dogs fed, the cat let in and out; all of that while I shuffle around the house on my hardwood floors in my slippers. Not to mention just the fact that my mind wanders from here to yesteryear and back in an instant, sometimes it just wanders into the back-forty with the chicken’s and the sounds of the birds in the trees.
Last weekend I went on an amazing trip, one might say a once in a lifetime trip. However I have a feeling there will be plenty more once in a lifetimes with him, there have been so many already I stopped counting. We rode to Los Angeles from Sacramento along the coast and back on his Harley for a concert to remember, one I definitely will. The music was classic, it was actually called The Classic West; from a time when I was young and the memories were still good, it is still my favorite music. I know he wondered if I could make it, I knew I could and as I always told him leading up to the trip-it would be him who would have to haul me, I would just be holding on and I did.
I am a crier. I never was a crier before. From a very young age I seemed to have shut off emotions altogether. The means to feel anything for anyone had long since been removed almost out of necessity or second if not first nature, even for myself. The gift of being in touch with yourself and the capacity it takes to feel all the feelings, the good and bad is something I will never take for granted again. Many years after I found a new way to live a common theme resurfaced from my past. Did you even care about me? Did you ever even love me? The answer was always the same; yes, to the best of my ability.
Gratefully the tears of joy and gratitude constantly flow from my face on a regular basis today and everyday for the life that I live now. I often times reflect while I am driving alone in the car; I spent so much of my previous life in solitude driving in a car on my way somewhere. Always thinking. It’s no wonder that driving is still a time for reflection for me. Being on the back of a bike was something completely different. So much so that I came home and started window shopping for my own, but that story will be another day in the future. The sense of freedom I felt while riding through California was astounding; it literally took my breath away. There was a lot of healing happening on the back of that bike for me while he hauled me from here to there.
I have managed to do quite of work on me, the inside stuff throughout the years. What I know is that it will probably never be done, that work of the heart and soul; I am thankful for the knowledge of that. It is like that onion they speak of, layers. Sometimes even though you have healed that part, something comes up to remind you of it and you get to do a bit more healing. If you are lucky enough to look at how it affected you and your choices.
Well on the long ride home I shed a whole layer of that onion just like that along with a quite a few tears. Maybe it was the scenery? Maybe it was the company? Maybe it was both? More than likely it was just the time it took to get where I needed to be, metaphorically, to let some of my past go. That trip would take me through quite a bit of my life; on a long desert highway, cool wind in my hair.
I lead a pretty charmed life nowadays, one that is full of love. I don’t think he will ever have to wonder once if I love him either; my eyes tell a different story today. In fact no one wonders anymore if the light is on, I can’t stop shining. This little tale started in the wee hours of the morning and ended up taking a hiatus until my return from another ride, just a day trip with friends celebrating life! My chicken’s are now on their roosts for the night; in fact my own little chicken’s, my daughters, are ready for bed too goodnight.
The Chicken Lady
It is a Saturday and my coffee is strong; it always is with my trusty little French press. I have already been out to the back-40 to feed the 17 chicken’s, we don’t have time for all their names right now but the youngest is named Hope. She is a Black Copper Maran that will produce the most beautiful chocolate eggs when she is ready. Hope’s name derived from the fact that she was the only survivor of a shipment of 6 little chicks; she could be called nothing else. Hope more than likely will be the last little chick I add to my flock for a few years as well, maybe. You never know what happens in this thing called life; I try my best to stay in the moment, enjoy it all, and take it in stride. No matter what.
There is this little saying that goes around in the circle that I run in, it is a rather large circle by the way, it is- “don’t leave before the miracle happens.” Well it took me a long time to figure that one out for myself, but I did finally get it. What I have found through that process was that I was indeed, “the miracle.” All the things that happen in my life are the miracles and blessings that I get to enjoy. I do enjoy them all, even the not so fun moments that I get to learn and grow from. I might not exactly enjoy them in that moment, but I have learned so much from them; enough to now appreciate them as they come as opportunities to grow from in that moment. Kind of an epiphany.
My latest little miracle happened a little more than a week ago, very few people know, you know. In an instant my little life changed, just a bit. My eldest daughter Marina, who is just 25, showed up on my couch sleeping-alone. That alone part was the tough part. You see, Marina is a mother of two. She has a seriously stable life, career, family, and she had even moved away, with him, and taken my little grandbabies to another town for an opportunity to grow in her chosen field. Just a bit more about Marina and I, she was removed from my life along with her brothers and sisters in 1999, with good reason for just over 10 long years. I truly had no clue how much time had passed, that is the life that I had chose and those choices would lead me down a path that I almost didn’t survive. I did though, I would come up a few times for air, into that circle I spoke of; but I would make the choice to leave a few times before I stayed.
That little saying, “don’t leave before the miracle happens,” I never got it before. Probably because I just fooled around in that circle and I wasn’t ready-yet. However, that last shot of air I had proved to be what I needed. Things were happening in my life and in my children’s lives that I had no clue of at the time; I believe it was a Divine Intervention that brought me back. I had left that circle again, one more time. Well my daughter had heard I was alive and heard where I was, she thought. So Marina, at the young age of 16 ran away to the last place she knew where her mother might be. She was wrong, I had made the choice to go away again; I was long gone already in so many ways. I left before the miracle had happened, my child finding me; clean. That was the miracle-I missed it that time.
Marina on my couch a few weeks ago, that is my miracle today. She has always had a key, but never really used it; in fact always said she couldn’t find it. What has transpired over the past week is I am a part- time, full- time grandma again. She went back and got her babies. I was able to share with her what it might be like if she didn’t; she was never going to leave them, she is not like I was. My home is full and my daughter is under my roof for now. Marina hasn’t been under my roof since she was 6 years old. I have all three of my daughters in my home, I really just realized that as I typed out these words, I also have two grandsons who have electronics glued to their little hands. We will work on that part soon enough. We also have an air mattress, food, and lots of love; thankfully we have two bathrooms too.
The gifts I get around here, that circle I run in, are immeasurable. The tears of absolute joy and gratitude that fall from my face daily I just can’t describe, they are falling now. I don’t know how long Marina will be here? I am just a stop on her journey and ever so grateful that this time when she came looking for me I was there; in my home waiting for her with no judgments, just love. The fact that I am here for her now; that is the miracle. That is my miracle. I will stay on this journey that I am on, no matter what. I once pulled a little strip of paper out of a bag that was chosen just for me and that was, “Divine Wisdom Guides You.” I believe that, so I will just keep going down the road on the path that I am on.
The Chicken Lady
It is a Sunday and I am currently staring at a few different situations unfolding in my life while I sip on my coffee watching the two dogs watch me from the yard, anxious to be released into the back forty where they can run wild and chase the chicken’s. I make a pretty mean cup of coffee by the way with my little French press, however that is not the topic for the moment. Actually it could be, I have so much that has been floating around in my head that I have wanted to put down on paper; I just haven’t had the time. I have started a blog, I am a blogger or is it bloggess? I do like the sound of bloggess. For whatever reason, possibly my need and strive for perfection, I have not posted anything much as of yet due to the fact that I want to capture my previous writings and chronicle them in order. That bit of perfectionism that has been creeping out is proving to cause a hindrance to my creative process since I have been writing for a few years now and only started to save those writings in a designated location last year. So I have decided just to write, write, write, and will probably write something later to describe why everything is written out-of-order. As if someone will take the time to read my silly ramblings.
On to the watering can. Imagine if you will a young girl obsessed with a watering can; and then just kick that up a notch. Irene, my youngest child that I have had the privilege of raising is Autistic; what that means is she is just like you and I. Only better. Irene over the past few years has been collecting watering cans; it has only been recently that I have noticed. I can see two in the back yard now as I type, one on my kitchen floor, I know she has at least two in her room and countless others under the sink and in the garage. Often times when we are at the store, whether it be a traditional store or a thrift, she gravitates to the watering cans. I always note as she walks up to me holding yet another can, how many we have at home. Sometimes I let her get the can and sometimes I don’t.
Autistic children often have some habits that make them unique, I am not sure if she will take this into adulthood. A few of her others are she hums. I have no idea what she hums and I do not even know if she is aware of it? What I do know is that it is one of the sweetest sounds that I have ever heard and when she is humming; I know everything’s alright in her little world. Irene glides too, all around the house. I have hardwood floors and what it looks like is skating in slipper socks or actual slippers. She has a new pair of slippers that she is already wearing out. I am very surprised that the floors don’t possess a groove for her path or certain spots on my walls have not lost the glow from the paint where she touches softly to push-off and the walls show no signs of wear and tear. She bounces like a pinball and that I am positive she has no clue of but that is my best description of that.
Moving forward I will put a shelf up for her cans in the garage and let her start her collection or at least display the collection she already has. I will not dissuade her any longer at the register when it comes to a new can. As I mentioned above, it is only recently that I even noticed all the cans throughout the years and how they have grown. She likes to watch things grow and is constantly planting something somewhere. Now if I could just get her to remember to water with those cans we might have a forest over here, we do not.
Encouragement is all I do here in my life, with all of my children. I admit I may encourage this one a bit more. I remember when she didn’t speak or look at me. I remember when she screamed and cupped her ears at the sounds of just about any noise. I remember when I was told she defecated on herself in class all the time and would run out escaping to various parts of the field without anyone even noticing she was gone. I remember when they told me she would never be able to live alone, that they had centers for housing when she grew up and if we were lucky she might be able to hold a part-time job with assistance. Irene has made great strides with years of encouragement, social skills classes and love. She can do anything!
The Chicken Lady