Category Archives: Waiting for an Ending

~Going Home~

When the prodigal son returns, he’s afraid.  Very afraid, as the bible tells us.  (keep reading, I’m not getting biblical on you)  He wasted his entire inheritance, abandoned his family, and screwed up royally.  Yet he goes home, faces the truth, and prepares to beg for forgiveness. 

Because at some point we all have to go home. 

But life doesn’t always follow the story.  Or maybe it always does, but it’s the path that becomes entirely different. 

We’re not prepared for the hill that lays in wait just before the doorstep.  The hill built out of fear, hate, spite, revenge, hurt, and denial.  The hill that our home has not built, but the one that the prodigal son has built himself.  And we can’t see our loved ones standing in circles around that hill with shovels, and spades, and even explosives, just waiting for the words to be spoken, just waiting to help tear down that hill.

Yet we choose to add to the hill.  Always heaping on more and more, making it seem impossible.

Until we despise the idea of going home all together.

But you see, going home is not an option you can choose to ignore.  Denying truths only eat at your soul.  One way or another you will climb that hill, eventually.

And just know you have a family, waiting to hold your hand…

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~We Won’t Let You Fade Away~

Father’s day will be here soon.  But you won’t be.

We’ll be doing the cards and the handmade signs, the special lunches and dinners, the phone calls, the hugs, the memories.  But we can’t give him, your father, what he wants most.

You.

There will be kisses and hugs, smiles and laughs.  There’ll be soft-spoken words of love from a toddler and grown up man stuff from the boy.  But there won’t be anything from his first-born daughter, not even a phone call or a discount store card.

Just emptiness.  That’s what you gave him.  A hole deep within his soul that no one will ever be able to fill… except for you. 

And I want to hate you for that.

I want to, but I cannot.

And so this Sunday, know that his love for you will only be growing stronger, that we will forever be thinking of you, no matter how hard you may try to fade away…

Hope and Staying Grounded

There’s a funny little thing about hope.  Sometimes you can have too much.  And having too much hope is pretty much like having too much coffee in your cup.  It’s going to slosh all over and get you burned.

You know that time when you had everything planned out, thought everybody was on the same page, and you knew you were going to have the best day ever?  And everyone else followed their own script and not yours and you’re left with the bitter taste of disappointment in your mouth.  It’s like that.

Or if you read so deep into the little things and your hope swells up like a hot-air balloon and starts pulling you through the daydream clouds… Until you fly straight into the electric wires, and you realize your balloon was only the size of a nickel to start with.  It’s like that.

Hope can make you develop this whole other world in your head, one that may not ever come to be.

But you can’t ignore the hopes.

Fill your balloon, but keep your ground ties secure.

My stepdaughter was seen back near her home town 9 months ago, she ignored everyone she saw and quickly left again.  She or someone emailed my husband 6 months ago, with some thing against a pastor he likes… no response ever came back. 

Hope, it swelled, it blossomed, it stung.

Hope is what keeps telling me that they will be the case that defeats the odds and bends to my will.  So many have been lost to cult like lives… why would our case be special, turn out different?  Just because I say so?  Because I HOPEYes because I HOPE.

And then they’re back again, just this week, back in their hometown.  Just when I have my hope all balanced and checked, and tightly secured.  Back again, spotted by a close family member, at a garage sale.  There was a brief conversation… my balloon swells, it pulls tightly at the ground ties… it wants to soar.  My stubbornness, my pride, my heart, my soul… they shake and tremble, they want to cut the ground ties…

But my mind has seen this movie before, it’s not sure if there can be a different ending, isn’t this just everything playing on repeat?  It doesn’t want to get lost in the daydream clouds… it doesn’t want to feel, ANYTHING.  And my heart screams at my brain that this is not the same movie, this is not the same thing… that this time there is hope.  Real hope.  New hope

The ties in the lines are double checked, and pulled extra tight.  I need to stay here, we need to stay here, all grounded and safe… Safe on the ground, looking up into the clouds, because I’m not ready to leave them yet, even if it might hurt.

He Doesn’t Ask Anymore

It was hard on my son at first, he’d ask weekly where his big sister was.  I’d lie flat out, saying, “Oh honey, she’s just been working really hard, she’ll call… one day.”

Except one day hasn’t come in over a year and a half.  The phone has not rang in over 365 days. 

He doesn’t ask about her anymore.

And how do you explain to a six-year-old that his big sister has run away because she thinks we’re sinners who are unchoosen?  How do you tell those brown eyes that she doesn’t want us anymore?  How do I break his heart ever so softly, when in truth, it’s all harsh?

How does anyone explain how a normal human being can take the bible so far out of context to believe that God is calling you to abandon everyone, even your own child to worship him?  How does one praise from under a bushel?

I wrote almost daily after she disappeared.  I had a blog specifically aimed at reaching her, knowing (with my lurky super spy skills) that she or her mother were online… but over the past year I’ve lost the words.

How many times can you say, “Come back, no matter what, we still love you”?

How many tears can be spilt over a keyboard?

How many prayers can be said alone in the cover of night?

I don’t cry anymore, not for her, not for her husband, not for her child, not for me.  My soul will forever be broken for the loss that her father, my husband, is experiencing, a loss I’m not sure he will ever get past. 

A loss I’m not sure we will ever get past.

Yet we have no choice.  We must keep living.  We don’t get the choice to run away from the things that hurt us.

And so my son forgets, and so I shall allow him to.  Just for now.  It feels safe to let him let go slowly, quietly, peacefully.  It feels better, maybe easier to let him in on the hurt when his heart isn’t so young.  When his mind can better understand… even if I’m positive my mind never will.

And maybe I’m quietly praying that she’ll come back before he ever feels the real loss…

365 days, my door has remained open, forever it shall remain.

 

 

“They Won’t be Coming Back”

He said, “They won’t be coming back.”

 I stared blankly at the screen trying to reign in the words.  Everyone has always entertained my belief that they will be back one day… no one had ever shut off the entire thought so completely.  I’m hardly ever at a loss of words, but all I could manage to do was to change the subject as quickly as possible. 

Hearing true thoughts from a whole nother viewpoint can be a punch in the stomach. 

(back story on my stepdaughter and her mother running away for religious reasons here )

I live the pain my husband has felt from the whole ordeal, I feel the pain for the baby she abandoned, I see the twisted remains of her husband she left… but the pain of her siblings, loosing a mother and a sister, I’m afraid it might be more than I can bare. 

It’s hard enough to see my son forget about her completely.

And is that what they really wanted?  To be forgotten?  And knowing that at one point we all believed and praised from the same bible, aren’t they contradicting the whole entire book?  Aren’t we supposed to show our faith and proclaim it from a mountain top?  How do we share if we hide?

Or was there more to it all?  Other problems so grand, running was the only option…  Or could fear keep them hidden, fear of being so wrong, so lost, so caught up that it’s hard to face the truth.

And will they come back?

My faith, my heart, my soul say they will be back.  No one can run forever, we all get tired, we all fall.  I’ve done my best to remind myself that WHEN they come back that it won’t be them.  I will not be wrapping my arms around the same girl who I knew, but a familiar shell with different fillings.  The same and so different. 

But what if they don’t come back.

What then?

I suppose my only answer can be… I won’t let that happen.  

Which is foolish and childish, stubborn and unrealistic.  But what if one of the only people who still has any hope at all looses hope?  What if hope disappears?  Why come back if hope is gone?  I will always have hope.

In the Dreams

Above all, beyond all, the dreams bother me the most, the worst.

They taunt, they squeeze, they twist, they leave gaps little can fill.

Breadcrumbs of hope laced with sweet honey, they offer perfection and the ending I’ve so been longing for.  The winds soon gust, wiping away the trail, scattering the hope in places unreachable.

I wake. 

Unsure of what my mind is trying to say.

I can guess, and try to name.  That one moment must be in the shadows of my shelfishness.  That one there, maybe it’s telling me if I got ahead of the game things will be alright.

I guess.  I push.  I want to know more.

I cannot command my dreams.  I can only beg for more.  For more pieces to solve the riddle.  A riddle with no answer, a riddle to the story without an ending.

I try to keep my mind from buying into the jumbled movies, the thoughts, the images flashed through my head as I sleep.  But they weigh heavy as I keep on with the day… there in the dishes, there in the meals, there in the kisses and hugs and bed time routines. 

I come to terms with the year and plus time that has passed since she was here.  I’ve dealt with most of those fears, hurts, losses, struggles.  But it’s in the dreams that I feel.  It is in the dreams that I’m unraveled.  It’s the dreams that get me.

~Waiting for an Ending~

She left us all too long ago.  Nothing more than a memory lingering on our souls. 

It’s strange how much one person can affect so many, even when you fight the knowledge, not wanting to give attention, to feed the fire.  It’s strange how much one person can affect your own self, even when it shouldn’t.

My stepdaughter, my husband’s daughter left all that she knew, all that we thought she loved over a year ago.  Vanished into thin air to pursue a faith we were too sinful for. 

Of age, and too stubborn to sway there was little anyone could do.  We lie to ourselves, promising better results had we just said a little more, loved a little deeper, stood up just one more time.  I doubt little could have been changed.

She didn’t go alone.  She was weak and fresh into postpartum depression (un-diagnosed), and her mom, complete with her own list of troubles, wisked her off into a romance of being perfect with God, and better than this world.  Abandoning her new husband, her new child and anyone that was not chosen.

I could diagnose, point fingers, speculate and blame.  But that time has passed. 

We heard little at first, and now we hear nothing.  There’s been small traces of paths, and I do believe that I know exactly where they are.  But her blood family wishes for me not to act on what I know, and that I must respect.

I keep writing, keep sharing our story, for reasons I can’t explain.  The months of crying and questioning have passed, the urgency has fizzled.  Life after all can’t stop moving, and one can’t sit still forever. 

I was never close to her, I never became her stepmother.  We talked, we shared and we laughed, we were both pregnant at the same time.  We had a bond of our own, nothing deep, nothing intimate, just an understanding of two souls who were so different but so the same, forced together into an instant family.

I get why she ran.

So I suppose I keep writing, I keep sharing, because some where inside I know there’s good in this.  One day the words will become clear, the story will flow and the ending will finally be made known.  And that’s the trouble.  Writing a story without an end. 

I’ve been asked repeatedly by family members to write on this, beyond my blog that I had long abandoned.  But how does one write a story with no ending?  I guess that’s my own mystery to find out…