Ever since my last post, I’ve been getting such an amazing outpouring of support. To those of you who have reached out with kind words, offers of assistance, and more, I offer my sincerest thanks. It warms my heart to know that so many people are willing to help my sister so much–most of you have never even met her!
Sharing the story of my family, and how Shannon and I entered each other’s lives, can sometimes be intense. Some people feel awkward asking questions, and worry that I’ll be upset by the subject. Here’s some relief: I’m not.
People have asked me many times if I miss my mom, if I’m mad at her, if I hate her, what I would say to her. My feelings have changed wildly over the past few years, but I’ll say this: I don’t feel bad or awkward about answering those questions. Not at all.
It’s hard to miss my mom when I had such little time with her, really. Sometimes I don’t remember her much. My parents divorced when I was 8 or 9. In the third grade, I used to spend a week at her house, a week at my dad’s, on and on until eventually I was living with just my dad. I was young, but even then I believe I knew it was best. My dad retained my childhood home, I was going to the same school, I didn’t have to keep moving around. I was also closer to my dad. He likes to share stories of how when I was very young, I’d climb all over him when he got home. I think we were meant to be friends. It’s easy to see we had a unique bond from early in life. He is my best friend, something I’m honored to say. When I was 10, my mom called from the road; she had started driving a truck across the country. I told her I was going to start learning the saxophone in school. I never heard from her again after that.
For a while I think I was mad at my mom for leaving us. I think I thought I was supposed to be mad. Truth be told, I know without a doubt that being with my dad was the absolute best situation for me and my younger brother. Anger was a feeling that never lasted. Same with hate. People seemed to make me think I was supposed to hate the woman who was ok with packing up and leaving behind her children without looking back. Maybe I should. Really, I’m mature enough to understand that she was not the best person to raise me and Carmen. It was best for her, and us, to have the clean break. I’m completely ok with it–thankful, in fact, to have had the life I’ve been blessed to have.
What would I say to her now? I’m not sure. I hope that she’s well, and that she’s able to be at peace with the life she’s made for herself. I guess that’s all I’d have to say. “Be well, make peace. I have.” My father brought up contacting her about my sister’s struggle, but I’m not even sure what to say. If she ever searches for this blog, maybe she’ll see for herself and decide if she should do anything. I guess to end, I’d tell her that Shannon is very sick, but it’s up to her if she wants to connect with her other daughter.
So yeah, I’ve had my fair share of lemons in life, I guess. But the thing is: I really, really like lemonade. Things weren’t always perfect for me growing up–of course they weren’t! I have no complaints. I’m here. I’ve made it this far. I’m determined to keep thriving. To beat the odds.