Friday, May 24, 2019

My Andramada





To say the last 9 months have been the worst in my life would be an understatement. August 27, 2019 has changed me. Quite honestly, most times, I don't recognize me anymore.

Yes, I have fantastic children, an amazing Stephen, precious friends who fill in the missing places, and the most Earth shattering grandson that ever existed; but, at the end of every day, I lay down, and my heart literally hurts because my sister isn't here.

I know I should be grateful, and at times I am, but most times I'm just mad. Combined with other losses, it feels most times impossible. I genuinely cannot find enough tears.

It's all made worse because I really do have all those people and things above, and I know that I have hurt all of them in this place. They are trying, they are some really phenomenal people, but they are not my Andreana. Or Andramada, as I called her, well, because.

They are not the baby I spent countless hours wrapping their broken leg in Saran wrap before I bathed her.

They aren't the little red headed baby I grieved heavily over as I bounced through foster care.

They aren't the funny little barefooted girl who hid amongst my pile of stuffed animals for photos.

They aren't the young woman who worked so hard to rise above her circumstances.

They aren't the Mama who chose life for her babies when she knew it might kill her.

They aren't my saving grace when life broke me, who gave me one cheddar round, and a sweet tea, every morning when she drove my babies to school.

They aren't the ones who laughed as I cut all the chocolate off my Snickers bars and ate it because the chocolate ratio was off.

They aren't the one who waxed places we should not have waxed, when we clearly should not have been waxing.

They aren't the ones who did the Cupid shuffle with my parrot with me.

They aren't the one who drove way too fast to Gatlinburg to rescue my babies, and piled way too many people in their little ass car, because they could get there faster than me.

They aren't the ones who grabbed my Mama and drove to Charlotte when they knew I had reached my breaking point.

They aren't the ones who sat up with me all night, for days, when I hurt too much to see morning.

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Friday, May 17, 2019

Anchors, Jesus, and The People Who Won't Let Go

                               for·sak·en
                                                      /fərˈsākən/
                                                          abandoned or deserted.
  1. "a journey into forgotten and forsaken places"
Jesus and I aren't friends right now. While we have had a strained relationship for years, losing my sister pretty much upped my resentment to insurmountable and my desire to fix it to nothing.
It's a weird place for me because since I was about 15, no matter what happened, I fell back on Jesus and my faith and the knowledge that "All things work together for my good."
And then my sister died.
And there is no goodness in that.
Not now.
Not ever.
Not for any reason.
It's fucking awful.
And so Jesus and I aren't friends right now.
And before you cast me aside, I want you to remember Jesus in the garden when He cried because He was alone or Jesus on the cross who asked why He had been forsaken.
You aren't forsaken by your friends.
You aren't forsaken even by people who you think love you.
In that moment, Jesus, felt forsaken. And right now, I do too.
I feel that way, but I know something different. I know because of the anchors in my life who refuse to let me forget. They cling tightly to me, no matter how chaotic things get, always reminding me that I am loved.
I can't see them and forget who Jesus is.
I can't feel their love and not know, even if I don't feel it, that He loves me.


Thursday, May 16, 2019

Rape Babies and Other Horrible Things We Say For the Sake of Social Justice

I've taken a break from most social media.
I've managed to ride a great many waves through social justice and am typically able to see both sides, whether I agree or not, without too much personal consequence.
But not this. Not Rape babies or people arguing over which babies are ok to kill and which ones are not.
I am and have always been Pro Life. Not Pro Birth. Pro Life. Life of all colors, economic status, gender, sexuality, nationality, faith, socioeconomic status and on and on and on.
For me, the baby conceived between two people who love one another is no more beautiful that the baby who was unplanned. The healthy baby, no better than the one who will spend a lifetime creating everyday miracles of survival. The baby born in poverty, no less than the ones born with all they will ever need. The ones born in crisis, or of crisis, are just as precious to me than those who come in joy.
The circumstances of ones life do not change the value, before or after someone is born.
I wish I could say that I was born in a marriage of love and respect, but the reality is, it is a miracle I or any of my siblings are here. Some of us didn't make it. Domestic violence ruled my life before I was ever born. BUT I WAS BORN.
I was poor.
Hungry.
Unwanted.
Abused.
Abandoned.
and many many more things I may never say out loud. BUT I AM HERE. And despite all my sometimes fucked-up-ness, I'm glad I'm here.
I'm glad that I am here because my babies are here and now my grandson is here.
None of those things would have happened if my Mama cared about "Rape Babies."

In the Land of No Sadness in Which My Grandson Lives Because His Mama is Amazing

My grandson doesn't know sadness. He doesn't know chaos. He doesn't know pain or loss.

That's not to say he hasn't had his bottle later than the exact moment he wanted it or been pissed when his Mama, Daddy, or one of us didn't move fast enough; because that has absolutely happened.

But it has been momentary. You can literally show him the bottle you are making and he stops crying because he knows it is coming.
You can say to him, "Baby Nina is coming shhhh." And he does. He does hush because he knows I'm coming, or his amazing mom and dad, or other family members are coming. There is no panic, no loss, no grief.

His joy, peace, and trust are blindsiding and fascinating to me. The way he looks at me, even when he is mad, wrecks my heart. He trusts me. He trusts his parents and the world and the honest, humiliating truth is, this is new for me.

I grew up in chaos, darkness, loss and I swore my children never would. I then made decision after decision, from staying when I should have left to parenting children who should have never been in homes, I broke that promise.

While pregnant with my first we literally, and accidentally joined a cult. She was born less than 24 hrs after a 17 hr rush to TN, me crammed in the back of a car with a bassinet and the little bit of things we could cram in the car.

I began being a foster parent before finding out I was pregnant with my second. I should have stopped then, but I didn't. My ill placed pride and faith led me down a very long road, that I am still on, of chaos, brokenness, and heartache.

By the time my son was born, I was a broken woman.  I look at who I even was then and don't recognize her. I cried for hours, wrangled kids who were killing our family pets, and somehow managed to make sure everyone's physical needs were met.

I wish I could say things for better after that, but quite honestly, they got worse.
They got worse and worse until my eyes finally opened and I finally started choosing safety first.

The healing process has been long and awful. The cost to those who never chose has been most times too much and I may never forgive myself.

But that was then, and here we are.

Now we are home, we have home and peace and safety. We have everydays and hope that even if things are hard, there will be things.

His parents and family have worked hard to ensure that his biggest worry is if you don't rock him while you are also patting his back or if he decides to drink 6 ounces instead of his normal 4.

It is priceless and beautiful and so foreign I find myself constantly trying to sort it out.
And now my grandson is here and there is no sorting. There is no question. He is joy. He is the embodiment of home, safe, forever.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

RS&KM #2 Your First Mama's Day Without Your Mama

I genuinely don't know what to say here. I love words. They are my favorite play things. Yet, when I try to grasp what today is like for you, I can't find any. When I try to convey what I'm thinking or what to share with you, I find only tears. I'm just so very sorry. This week should not have happened.
Especially not on this week.
I love you.
I'm sorry.
Auntie Jess

Mother's Day Rollercoasters


Thursday, May 09, 2019

RS&KM #1

Hello Kiddos,
I'm all out of words right now, but have to start somewhere.
It will be a few years before you see this, and that thought makes my everything hurt, but I am resting on someday.
Someday you will be older. Someday you will know just how many people were around who loved you and wanted to be in your life. Someday we will stay up too late and share silly stories about your mama. Someday we will. I promise.
Love,
Auntie Jess

The God of Miracles

I'm tired. I have a lot of people reminding me of who God is. And I guess I know what they are saying is true. A God of Miracles. A Go...