When They Hurt, I Hurt

I have four beautiful daughters. One is my blood, two are step, and one is grand.

All my Girls - 2018

There is something to be said about being a mother and having children. All the sudden your heart is walking outside your body. You will do anything to protect them – from heartbreak, disappointment, loss, fear, and confusion. This need to cover them from darkness is so fierce it’s hard.

So hard to let them go and watch them understand the ways of the world – some of the worst ways. The super hard ways. How people will disappoint them. Friends will turn on them. Troubles will come and go. When there are rights and wrongs, there is indifference too. Some whys we will never understand.

Your heart explodes because they are learning the way you learned. The hard way. The harsh way. The people will let you down way.

And I still want to fight for them. So what if the world can be cruel. I am still on their side. I will fight when they are hurt. When they hurt, I hurt.

My bonus girls are now 12 and 14.

Sisters - 2018

I know. I know. Just yesterday they were 2 and 4. So wittle. So chubby. So very magical. And now they are dang near grown. No more chub chub cheeks or a thousand questions. But still my kids. So you know what I mean when I say I don’t want them to hurt. This is the age when the hard truth of adulthood starts to slap them around a bit. Junior High and High School? Talk about waking up from being an innocent kid. Those are the years!

And this December was another harsh jar to their childhood. Their mother disappeared for 30 days. She did not tell the girls much. She only talked to my husband. I heard her say, “It sucks. It’s bad timing.” But that’s it. No I am sorry. No forgive me. No explanation to the girls other than she was in the “hospital”. She wasn’t. We knew that from reverse number look up. But no way to tell the girls about that. It’s not our place especially since we were not even supposed to know. But it is what it is.

Except
.. this hurt my children. My bonus babes. My sweet, loving girls. To have their mother vanish. During Christmas and New Year’s no less.

Now don’t get me wrong. My husband and I loved it. We got to have an unexpected month long visit. Our whole family together and during the holidays! So this was fantastic for us.

But….what about the girls? Young girls that need their Mom. Yeah, Dad is great. Stepmom is nice. But your mom is your MOM. And I know exactly what it’s like to have her gone. It hurts. When they hurt, I hurt.

December was joyful. December was awful. I felt more sick for the girls as each day passed (even into January). I still have pains for them. But I know they are young and they heal quick. She is back and all is the way it was before (I guess).

She hasn’t really talked to us about it. She came back and that was it. I guess I am having a harder time getting over it than they are. I don’t need to know all the gritty details. I don’t even want to know. I just want to hear an I’m Sorry.

I’m sorry I hurt my children. I am sorry I had to do what I had to do. I am sorry I can’t open up about it. I am sorry I have to treat you like strangers.

And what about Thank you? Thank you for keeping the girls. Thank you for caring for them when I couldn’t. Thank for being there at Christmas. Thank your for holding them while they cried on New Years Day for their mother.

I know. I am asking too much. Demanding too much. I have no right.

But someone has to stand for these children. Someone has to fight.

I will always be there for my family. For my kids. For my husband.
The Family 2018

I can’t be sorry for that……and I won’t. Because this isn’t about me or how I want someone to act. This is about two precious girls who shouldn’t have to feel abandoned.

Changes of Time

Time, time, time
See what’s become of me…

That rascal time has done it again. Minutes tripped into days. Days tripped into months. Months tripped into years. Blown away. Flown away. Swept out into the horizon and vanished with the settings of many suns.

Where does it go?

Your guess is as good as mine.

But in that passage of time, there is so much more than the days and nights. There is joy and sadness. Burdens and blessings.

Hearts have mended. Hearts have broken. Some pieces had to be reshaped. Some drifted away like dust to sky. Tender new sprouts took their place.

I’m not going to pretend the last few years have been easy breezy. They haven’t. Life can be hard. Death is harder. Life after loss is the journey. Finding your way without them. Finding the YOU that you are when they are gone.

We laid my Mom to rest. My last living parent.

Mom - March 24, 1942 - January 07, 2017

You know I thought I lost her long ago. To her illness. To her alcohol. To her memory loss. But it wasn’t until she was really gone that I understood what losing your Mother is really like.

Sharon's Roses

It’s been over a year now. See? Sneaky time trickster. I can finally take a breath when I realize she is not here. The shock of it, not as intense. I don’t look for her signs (or smells) as much. Although they pop out every so often, like the Bluebird flying straight at me while admiring Spring in the backyard.

It’s little things to remember. Memories to hold close. And….. I know. I probably haven’t grieved properly.

Because what is that really?

But the sun still sets. My precious family encircles me. I know in every part of my heart where her spirit beats within the new places and the old.

We were born to die, and we die to live. As seedlings of God, we barely blossom on earth; we fully flower in heaven.

Blooms

Salem Dixie Elizabeth

I can finally talk about it.

This dog I loved so much.

Loved with all my heart.

Every single piece of it.

My dear, sweet companion who loved to eat. Who always knew exactly what time dinner was served. Even when daylight savings time tried to trip her up.

Who moved with me from house to house, roommate to roommate, and never complained.

Not one single time.

Her tireless devotion astounded me.

Her soulful eyes moved me.

And time and time again, no matter what happened over the years, she rooted me in goodness.

They just don’t live long enough. No matter how badly I wished she did.

So I said good-bye…

And I know I waited too long…

It’s so very hard to let them go.

Fly high with the Angels, my precious girl, Salem.

Be free to roam.

Be free of pain.

Be free of old hips that don’t move like they are supposed to.

Be free of tired legs and itchy spots you can’t reach anymore.

Run, run, run…over the rainbow bridge.

Back to your youth and fun puppy days.

Heavenly Father, Creator of all things, thank you for having entrusted us with a loyal pet. Thank you for letting her teach us unselfish love. Thank you for the memories that we can recall to brighten our days for the rest of our lives. Finally, in gratitude, we return our pet to you. Amen.

© 2014 Angelia's Photography

Landing on Flickr Explore

Have you ever heard of Flickr Explore?

No?

Well, let me tell you, it’s a page of badassery as far as photographic images go.

The best of the best. The boldest and brightest. The most UNBELIEVABLE photos uploaded to Flickr.

They call it Explore. And if you do Explore, you will be astounded by the talent they choose on a daily basis. That’s right. Every day. From millions of photo uploads, the Flickr Gods choose 500 to display for twenty-four hours on their feature page (called Explore).

That’s one photo out of 17,000 images or something like that. It’s really crazy and the images are crazy good. Did I say that already? They are CRAZY good.

If you’d like to see for yourself, click here. This will take you to the Flickr Explore page for today. At the bottom, you can scroll through previous days.

And this post is not about the secrets of how to hit the Explore page – although I hear there are some, and many have theories on this process. But I do not.

I consider it dumb luck (for me anyway). I’m pretty sure that is how it happened the first time I hit the Explore page. With my image of the vintage light bulb for my Project 52 that week.

Project 52: Week 4 - Low Light

And yes, I am happy with this one. The light is stunning. I found exactly what I wanted and executed it exactly as I saw in my head. And NOOOOO. That never happens with me. I, normally, have a bright idea heh! and it NEVER turns out how I envisioned it.

But this image.

It totally did.

And to my surprise (or dumb luck) hit the Flickr Explore page. It was quite a thrill! Thousands of views and hundreds of people favoring your image. It’s enough to make a photo girl proud.

So, twenty-fours later, my image drops to the next day and a new set of 500 images are displayed.

And of course, those images are just as Ahhhhamazing as the day before! Hey, no big deal, it’s just another day of The Extraordinary Images of Flickr.

Life goes on.

Another week, another photo for my Project 52.

But then…several weeks later…it happens again

Yes, dear readers, my image hit the Flickr Explore page for the second time. And WHAT!?!

This time it is an image of my mean ol’ Maya kitty looking deceptively sweet. Oh, so deceptive!

Project 52: Week 11 - Green

She is probably my go to photo subject. I can’t even tell you how many photos I have of her from kitten to (almost) adult. She is just very photogenic. I mean look at her. She is just gorgeous. And don’t let her fool you, she bites. And she bites hard.

Several of her kitten photos got a lot of views too.

Project 52: Week 28 -  Pair

This one as her eyes were changing from blue to green.

Project 52: Week 26 - Half

This one the day we brought her home.

And just for fun, here is another set of photos on my Flickr that were viewed quite often. One is from the girls’ beginning of school photos. And the other is for the birthday of my oldest step-girl.

Project 52: Week 33 - Back to School

Project 52: Week 18 - Happy Hour

Maybe, they weren’t Explore-worthy, but they sure were view-worthy. I wish I could tell you how it’s done, but alas, it is still a mystery to me.

One thing, I will do…keep posting photos on Flickr and sharing them with you.

Maybe, you will find them as interesting as the Flickr Gods do.