It’s early Saturday morning and I just decided to grab some coffee and hit the keys- these keyboard keys that is. Actually I think I’d better grab another cup of java so hold please…
Ahhhh coffee. Do you know I went three years without a drop of coffee before I decided one day to grab a cup and viola? I am a coffee drinker again and have been for at least 4 years now. Just like that. I have gone a lot of years without a lot of things in my life- all by choice. Most is for the absolute best really, I am in recovery. My clean date is September 5, 2008 and all I can say to that is I am forever grateful for finding a new way to live. I am not going to speak about the other things I go without, it is all by choice.
Usually in the mornings I am hanging out my bedroom window talking to chickens and feeding my fat cat Hermes – that has not been the case lately. My college daughter Irene is home for the winter break which includes Christmas and the New Year coming; I will return her soon to her dorm life the Saturday after the New Year. I hope. I say I hope because in reality she is struggling, two of three classes she passed with excellent grades and one she failed. I don’t know what any of that means other than I will have to arrange for a tutor and more support. I am sure there are lots of new college students struggling, I am sure it has nothing to do with her Autism- it is just calculus. It may have to do with turning in assignments, things I always made sure she did when she was home with me.
Home. Home is very different now and seems to be wherever I rest my head lately. I have a room I rent and that is really all I need. I have let go of just about everything I owned. Kept some work clothes and camping gear, the children and grandchildren’s keepsakes. You know all the hand painted pictures, the yearbooks and little ceramic items they created for me in school. All the awards and trophies, the special rocks from camping trips and my little box of teeth they lost in their younger years. All of the mementos that I hold dear to my heart, that no one ever saved of my mine from my youth. My things were tossed out, some were even given to me when I returned from my runaway days only for me to toss out in my addiction. I couldn’t keep anything back then and have little to no memories. Reasons why I love to make so many memories now and to take all the pictures for evidence and proof of my existence. The only existence of my life for over a decade was mugshots, those were the pictures that were captured of me. I digress.
Back to home. Irene does not like it where I am living so for now I have not been there. I have been at moms sleeping on the couch or somewhere else where it has been a bit more comfortable- but still close to enough to moms to be close to Irene. Irene has a room at moms where she can close the door and close the world out. Now some may wonder how I am letting my child decide where we stay, Irene is Autistic. Irene is eighteen now and legally an adult- legally, not mentally. She is pretty much my only concern in life. Yes I do have other children, but this amazing thing happens when you groom your children to be adults equipping them with the tools they need to survive the world. They grow up. They sprout wings grow up and move on and out. It is called life and I have done a great job raising my children providing them with the life skills needed to become adults. I may have arrived on the scene late to the parental parade, but I showed up.
Irene is different. Different but not less. She may very well be living with me her entire life. I have given her the best tools out there, she is soaring at college. Go Slugs! She is attending her classes, cleaning up beaches, going on school trips and chasing Pokémon wherever she goes. The reality is I am not sure how far she goes or what the outcome will be, I just have to have faith. Faith in time. This time at this moment is what I have faith in- for everyone and everything. Faith.
Faith brings me to the New Year, and the past year as well. Faith is all I have, mixed with a whole lot of love, courage, perseverance and my recovery. Without that I have nothing. I thank my God I have everything I need! Faith will move mountains. It will open doors and close doors as long as you just keep going. I will. I will keep going. I will no longer stand in the door waiting. I was. I was waiting for two people to work on what needed to be worked on and hopefully make their way back to one another.
A funny thing happens when you do the work- you just keep growing. My Sponsor in the 12 Step Fellowship I belong to has always said the same thing to me throughout the years, “just keep doing your steps Christine.” I didn’t understand that years ago in the beginning. Those early years when I thought I would stay married to the second husband, the ‘lifer’ in prison who is no longer a lifer due to new laws and has a release date in 2021. That will be a new saga to write about then, but for now we are still on this one- staying in today. Linda always said those words to me because she knew, she knows, with Stepwork there lays a journey to self-discovery and you may find all those things you thought you were and wanted may change. They have changed. I no longer want what I once had. He made it easier every time I saw him- every time I see him, to know why I left. I thank him for that and I thank my God for the gift of awareness.
My dear friend said to me well over a year ago, yes go live with him- you need to see. Well I did. Unfortunately it was all the outside issues that became our issues that made a difference in our lives at that time- in my opinion. We all have them, opinions. It was our kids, who were adults. It was maybe even that accident? Everything seemed to be going smoothly up until shortly after. It was the behaviors. Those behaviors that surface without doing the work. It is sad really. I no longer feel for any of that. With the needed Stepwork, just dropping my twelfth again and committing to the New Year’s recovery with yet another round I have found acceptance for the time and the gift of closing the door for good and moving on.
What seemed important no longer does. My friend Nancie was the person who had confirmed it would be good to go see what it would be like to live with him. It was her handsome husband who asked me that one question when I saw him last Saturday, “will I see you on the New Year’s ride?” That question. He later apologized for it, he forgot he said. I let him know I loved him and it was Ok. Many people forget still-John just forgot.
I am forgetting. I am forgetting the past and moving on. I am closing the door for the New Year and letting it all go. I am deleting the memories, locking away the photos and those dreams of what I thought would always be. I am filling my life with new dreams. I am filling my heart with new goals and ideas and opening the doors to the world and the word yes. I filling my soul with hope. I always have hope.
My God knew and always knows what I need, long before I do. A few months back I was asked to speak at a New Year’s Eve event up in Humboldt County- I said yes. Yes knowing I would be gone on New Year’s Day. Yes- knowing it will always be the Fellowship that saves my ass and gives me what I need. Yes to open doors and love. I am in love! Love with my life and the choices I make. Love with the journey and the possibilities that are out there. In love of the unknown. In love with willingness and faith. In love with knowing life is too short to be unhappy. Life is so amazing and should be enjoyed- hold nothing back and live it to the fullest!
I am in love with me and what exciting opportunities are out there with the New Year that is coming.
It is now New Year’s Eve. I had stopped clacking on the keys the other day and picked them up again today. It was meant to be. It was all meant to be. Tonight I will let it all go. I will leave it all here in this beautiful place and go home anew. I love my life. It was meant to be mine. All of it!
The Chicken Lady