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I'm a mother of 3 who started blogging as a way to share our many adventures and to expand beyond the everyday "mommy world". While there IS so much more to us mommies than the title, there is very little that doesn't in some way or another lead us back to or influence our children...if anything. So, I hope you enjoy following our family's randomness, because as all moms know- you can never anticipate what tomorrow will bring! Thanks for visiting and have a blessed day! :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My Really Random Week

**I've literally spent hours on this post.  I even posted it late last night only to remove it hours later because it just didn't sit well with me.  I'm not sure it's worth all this effort but despite my issues with my "father", I'm still called by God to honor him.  I often talk too much (or type) and I don't wish to gossip or slander anyone.  We all make mistakes.  My father is a part of my testimony so I want to share that, but I also wish to honor God in doing so.  It's been a tough balancing act for me in figuring out how to accomplish that goal.  With that said, here is the post.  I hope I've succeeded in speaking truth when necessary and holding my tongue (or fingers) when unnecessary.

I don't even know where to begin in describing this past week.  It was a real doozy, that's for sure.  Imagine finding out that your biological father was arrested and charged with shooting with intent to kill.  You haven't seen him in over 30 years and the last time you spoke to him on the phone was at least 5 years ago.  He never paid a dime in child support and was basically MIA for your entire childhood.  He wrote you a letter (more like a novel) nearly 20 years ago, just before you graduated from high school, while incarcerated for armed bank robbery and check kiting and for which he still claims his innocence.  He never initiated contact with your younger brother, who is now deceased, and you aren't even sure whether or not he knows that his son is dead...or if he even cares.

Seemingly incapable of rehabilitation and despite his multiple offenses, he still feels comfortable asking friends to donate money so he can make bail and pay attorney's fees.  I'm still somewhat shocked by it all.  Where was he when my brother and I were kids and we needed money?  Looking back over his past, I have to wonder if maybe we were better off not knowing him.  He certainly seems to have a penchant for finding, really bad trouble.  I suppose there is something to be said for avoiding that environment.

On the other hand, I'm not so sure.  I mean, my brother is dead, after all.  While I can't place sole blame for that on my biological father's shoulders, I'm convinced that his absence was a contributing factor to Matt's suicide.  What is a boy left to think when his father's not around but that he's unwanted?  What's a boy left to think after learning some of his father's criminal history but that he somehow has "bad blood" in him?  What's a boy left to think when his biological father reaches out to his sister, but not to him?  Ironically, Matt had the "privilege" of meeting our father (I hate calling him that.  Let's just call him "Ed" from now on, ok?) several years ago during a trip to Colorado.  Mom says Matt came back changed after that trip.  I don't know how Matt found Ed or what they talked about during their meeting but I do know this...  The last time I talked to Ed (over 5 years ago), he claimed that he tried to call Matt several times after that meeting but Matt would never answer or return his calls.  When I told Matt about that conversation, he got really angry and quickly spat out, "That's a lie!  He never tried to call me!  That's a flat-out lie!"  I wish in that moment that I had told Matt that I believed him.  In retrospect, I think he needed to hear me say that.  Instead I said, "I'm just telling you what he told me, Matt.  That's all."

I don't know why I ever believed a word that came out of Ed's mouth.  He had a reputation as a smooth talker and for being a master con-artist and manipulator.  He can spin a tale, no doubt.  I tried to contact him shortly after Matt died to let him know what had happened.  This was a few years after our last conversation and the phone number I had for him was no longer in service.  So, I called the grandfather that I'd only spoken to once before and left a message with him.  That was nearly three years ago.  Maybe he got the message.  Maybe he didn't.  I don't know.  Frankly, I don't know exactly why I even tried to contact him.  Maybe I was testing him to see how much he cared (if at all), if he was sorry for not being there, if he would be saddened to hear that his chance for redemption and relationship with his son were at an end.  Well, he has no doubt failed the test, whether he got the message or not.  How do you just walk out on your kids and not call or anything?  How do you lie about it?  Now that I'm a mom, I seriously cannot understand this behavior.  I would never walk out on my children!  Even if my spouse tried to keep them from me (which is what he claimed...another lie, but honestly even if it were true, I wouldn't blame my mom for it at all.  I see now that he was dangerous.), I would fight and I would find a way to see my own flesh and blood.  They are the very best part of me...and I can now say with confidence that my brother and I were the very best part of him.  It's a shame that he missed out on that...watching us grow up.  I wish I could say that it was all his loss.  But my sister and I are without a brother now, my nephews are without a father, and my mom is without a son.  My sister and my nephews have never even met Ed, yet his decisions have still had a profound effect on their lives.  We all live with the consequences of his actions (or lack thereof).  We all lost.

Even when I talked to Ed five years ago, I was the one to initiate contact.  I honestly didn't want to call and struggled with the decision for a while.  Ultimately, I made that call for my kids.  As his descendants, we are entitled to Native American benefits and he was the only one I knew who had the family history information I needed.  I found out that I was issued a CDIB (Certificate of Indian Blood) card at birth.  Too bad I didn't know that sooner or college could have been free. :)

Anyway, I digress.  The timing of this news does not escape me.  Our youngest son had a birthday this past week and so did my mom.  For my son, another birthday without an uncle.  For my mom, another without a son.  Justin and I also celebrate our ninth wedding anniversary this coming week.  I've mentioned before how my brother gave me away on my wedding day and how special that was, so it should come as no surprise that the week leading up to that anniversary (along with Josiah's birthday and mom's birthday) would bring Matt to the forefront of my mind, particularly this year given this latest news.

Yet, God remains faithful and good.  He finds ways to speak to me and even as I grow more aware of His presence from day to day, He still catches me by surprise.  If you keep up with my blog, you may remember what song was playing when Matt walked me down the aisle nine years ago.  For those who don't or have just forgotten, it was "How Beautiful".  We sang that song this past Sunday in church.  I don't believe that was a coincidence.  On the heels of my father's news, my mother's birthday and right before our anniversary when Matt has been on my mind more frequently than before, we just happen to sing this song?  No.  God intended for me to hear that song at that particular moment and while I'm not arrogant enough to think that it was solely for my benefit, I know He was speaking to me through it.  We don't sing "How Beautiful" very often at our church.  In the year that we've been here, I think it's only been sung twice on a Sunday.

You may also recall the personal significance and encounters I've had with dragonflies since Matt's death.  They are a symbol of happiness, speed, and purity in Native American culture.  It sounds weird but God uses them to communicate with me and give me comfort.  Last night, Justin and I took the kids to a local park and walked along the creek for a bit.  I saw two of the most beautiful blue dragonflies I've ever seen.  They playfully darted around me and Sadie, seemingly aware and yet unafraid of our presence.  It was very calming and peaceful.

My ankle pain returned this week too.  (Here is the story about that.)  I'll grant that this occurrence may have more to do with my subconscious affecting my body rather than an intentional message from the Lord, but it still reminds me that some day there will be no more pain or sorrow.  It still reminds me of Matt and God's promises.  My hope is renewed that I will see him again. :)

Before I forget, Ed's arrest wasn't the only one we learned about this week.  Apparently, our boys' school nurse was arrested and charged with practicing nursing without a license.  You can read the article for all the details there, but this was shocking news.  Their nurse was very kind and the kids seemed to love her.  I think they will miss seeing her once school starts.  Other unexpected happenings this week involved a Christian friend of mine who "came out" and my kids witnessing some "tortoise loving" during our zoo trip on Wednesday.  It has truly been a bizarre and eventful week and kind of exhausting.  I'm still processing everything so if you see me around town and I seem a bit distracted, please forgive me.  It's not you.  It's me and my really random week.  :P  Until next time!

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