I never thought that this day would actually come. I’ve been praying every day, hoping every day for 9 years +, that my family would be back together again. I married at age 22, in 1984. We had 2 daughters and in 1992 became legally divorced. I won’t bother you with all of the trials and tribulations of everything that we’ve gone through, but I do wish to tell you a story of “HOPE”.
When my ex husband left in 1991, I was suddenly alone with 2 daughters, ages 3 and 5 1/2. My oldest had just started Kindergarten and the youngest just had her 3rd birthday. First I cried until I couldn’t cry another tear. Then I toughened up and bucked up and mustered up the strength and courage to do it on my own. I had felt pretty much and had actually been pretty much “alone” for the most part of those 8 years. On a Saturday night he took me out to dinner and told me he wanted a divorce. We’d met in Late August 1983 and only 7 months later, in April 1984, we got married. So, like I said, he told me that he wanted a divorce on a Saturday night. I freaked out a bit, cried a lot and by Monday, I had gone from a “stay at home mom” to a full time Interpreter for the Deaf at a school system. I thank God for going to College, especially at that point in my life.
That was the end of September and by June I knew that my “dream job” was not going to work. I needed health insurance because I found out that I truly was on my own; for the most part. My parents lived 35 or more miles away, my mother was very ill and they couldn’t babysit or help in that way. Next, I got a job at a major University hospital. I was an Outpatient clerk III and an Interpreter for the Deaf. I liked my new job and the independence it gave me. But the first few months I could not get to day care on time to pick up my daughters because the latest pick up time was 6:00 pm. I could not get there without an accident, before at least 6:20 pm because I got off at 5:30pm. I got my father to agree to sit in the car with my daughters until I got there and I was grateful for that. Though I never really understood why he couldn’t have taken them just straight across the street to our apartment and let them get their backpacks off and start homework or get a drink? But hey, I was happy with what I got. I was very thankful. I awoke at 5:10 am every work morning M-Fri, and got ready, showered etc. Then at 6:15 am, I awoke my 3 1/2 and 6 year old daughters. I cleaned them up, did their hair beautifully every day with bows and curls and such. We never “looked” poor! I fed them breakfast, listened to anything they needed to talk about and we left for Day Care at 7:15 am. The worst was in the deepest darkest of the Michigan Winters, and taking my babies out into the dark of night and the below 20 degree temps most days, or worse. My youngest used to cry every Sunday night and I hated putting her through it but I had no choice. I loved them and they needed someone responsible and loving to care for them. I didn’t want to lose their respect some day and let them think that I just sat on my rear end eating chocolates! NO! I went out and as hard as it was, I got a full time job and for awhile even went back to College to better myself.
For years I had no child support or “on” again and “off” again child support.Finally, when my father in law started paying it, then it came regularly and life became just a tad bit better when I knew that I had enough to get by for 2 weeks until my paycheck came; and with only usually $20 to spare. I got food stamps and Medicaid insurance for about 6 months, until I could get my own insurance and until I made only $80 per month too much to get food stamps. I was so proud though!! I was soooo proud when I made $80 a month too much to get the $250 worth of monthly food stamps.
So life went on…..much happened and it was hard for us. We all survived and I remarried in 1997 on Valentines day. Then to make this story more about the good than the bad, I have to tell you why I named this story about “HOPE”. In 2004, my oldest daughter became estranged from us, her family at age 18. She had to find her own way and figure some things out on her own. It broke my heart and I’m pretty sure she felt that her heart was broken too. But days turned into months and then years went by….and by…and by…..
I prayed and I hoped and every Christmas that went by, every Birthday that past and each Mother’s day that came and went, I cried and prayed and cried some more. I would listen to songs and look at photo’s that reminded me of much harder days but days in which I still had hope, in many ways. Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband of now 18 years. He is the best thing that ever happened to me & us in life, other than having my girls. He is my soul-mate and I love him and he loves me and we are a team.
Nine years ago or more, when all of that happened, I had bought a necklace that was gold and silver and has the word “HOPE” on it. I swore to wear it until my oldest daughter and I were together again. So much more happened throughout all of those years, but that is not for me to write about today. Today I am only looking forward and not backwards. Finally, today, I can take off my HOPE necklace if and when I so choose, because my prayers have been answered.
I had lunch with a very old friend in August, her name is Janet. We had our first baby girls only weeks apart and became great friends. She moved an hour and half away and then I moved and then I got divorced and then her husband passed and life kept changing for us. But through it all we stayed friends. She met me for coffee one day in August 2014. I told her that I was “losing hope of ever getting back with my oldest daughter”. I told her how much I love my daughter and always have and always will. I told her how much I wanted her in my life and how we all missed her so much. She told me to “just call her”. But I was just a bit nervous to call out of the blue like that. I mean I had sent notes, letters, gifts etc over the years but then I sort of “gave up”….not on her…but just on trying to contact her again. So she told me “why not try and text her and just tell her how you are feeling?”…I thought about it and then I did it the very next day!
I am here to tell you to NEVER give UP HOPE!! I texted my daughter and I told her that “I love her” and I told her that “I was thinking of her and hope she was doing OK?” She told me she was “tired of being pregnant and due in a couple of weeks with her 2nd child.” I had heard that she got married 5 years ago, but I had not been invited nor ever told about it until my cousin in AZ told me the day afterwards. I was heartsick and heartbroken again.
So…back to the good stuff! I texted her and she texted me back. I asked if I could have a photo of my granddaughter who was 20 months and she sent me 5 pictures! I was ecstatic!! She said that she “couldn’t choose” just one single photo…and I was glad for that! Then I asked if she might let me know when the new baby is born and also send me a photo. She did just that!! We started talking then more and more and texting and one day she invited me to come over after she’d gotten home for a few days from the hospital and having her 2nd C-section (she had 2 C sections, just like me)!
Her mother in law was there and my daughter and I hugged and we laughed and we cried. Her mother in law was so nice and funny and I was put at ease right away. This was the beginning for us again. A chance to start new. We have had over 6 weeks now of spending time together. We talk daily and we see each other almost 4 times a week if not more! Sometimes I sit in the car and let her go in and get her errands done, so she doesn’t have to take 2 babies in with her. Other times she comes over to the park near my house or to my house and we have a tea party! I got down my girls’ old small table and chairs set and cleaned them up. We had a tea party and she and Olivia and I had such a beautiful time.
I will always include her in everything because I remember my mother always took the girls into her room and left me sitting on the couch by myself after I had driven 45 minutes to their house! She always wanted to have “girl talk” with them “ALONE” and I was not invited. It hurt my feelings but I always figured that as long as my girls were happy, then I was OK too. But I really enjoyed all of us having our tea party together, even little newborn baby girl was there with us, sleeping…..but feeling the good feelings in the room.
On Monday of this week, my oldest daughter and I drove an hour to her younger sisters house, my youngest daughter and her husband live about an hour from here. My oldest daughter and I only live about 4 blocks away from each other now! I love it so much! So anyways, my youngest daughters, 26th birthday is next week, so we took a picnic lunch and went to their house and to the park and went for a little walk.. This was the first time we’d been together in almost a decade! It is a wonderful feeling!!! I almost forgot to tell you that a week or two after we started seeing each other, my husband and my oldest daughter saw one another; they hugged and he got teary eyed.
Life is so much better when you can let go of the past and all of the hurts, big and small. If you can let it all go and start over and refreshed with a new found way of life and have no need for hurt or revenge or anything but kindness and love and a sense of family…that’s when life will turn around! When I could finally stop and think and let go of all of the old “junk”, that is when my “HOPE” came true and my life is so much more fulfilled now. Of course there are times in life when one might have been damaged physically, verbally, emotionally and worse. Unfortunately, sometimes in those cases, it’s not always just a matter of moving on. Sometimes just forgiving in your heart, can lessen the load and it can help you move on just to have forgiveness in your own heart. We cannot force anyone else to think, feel or act in any certain ways. We can’t force anyone to feel how we want them to feel.
I am in chronic pain from RSD/CRPS , RA, DDD, SSS, OA, Dysautonomia/POTS/NCS and many other health issues. I was in a MVA in 2002 and have suffered through 12 surgeries and alot of pain. I have had a heart attack, a CVA (stroke) and I’ve gone to many Dr’s visits. I am through it and sort of on the other side now; and couldn’t be happier, unless of course the pain was gone. But it’s a lot easier to bear when you feel loved and you are being more loving yourself. I am so happy that my family is together again. I will never again hold onto anything bad in my mind, heart or soul. I give it up to God and I am going to enjoy life as best that I can. I will have my days in pain when I cannot do anything, but I will have the love of my daughters and granddaughters. I love them, my husband and their husbands Thank you for reading my story and please…NEVER give up HOPE…..it does come, but in “his” time, not in ours. We don’t know why?? But God does know what he wanted me or all of us to learn first. Thank you again… also thanks for allowing me the pleasure of posting a few photos from our day at my youngest daughters house and a few others too.
One more thing before I sign off for today. I wanted to apologize for being away from my writing for a whole month. I try to write weekly or bi-weekly. As you can see from my story above and the photo’s, I was just very busy this month; allowing things to happen naturally and waiting for the best time to tell you this wonderful news!