Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Bittersweet Memorial Weekend

I thought about my father often over the Memorial Weekend, because he fought in World War II. His photo, at left, sits on the table at the entrance of my home. My father never talked about the war, and I'm not even sure what his position was while serving in the army. I will talk to my brother about it, because I'm curious. Over the years, I read the letters that he would send to my mom, from different places where he was stationed. On my court we had somewhat of a block party on Saturday, and again on Monday, to get rid of the leftover food. We live in a community that is somewhat old fashioned, kids play with each other daily and parents look out for each other.

My younger sister telephoned me on Saturday, and stated that she felt as if she was regressing back to her old lifestyle, that being an alcoholic, and she was afraid. I had not seen her since Christmas, and she wanted to come and spend a few days with us. Everyone who knows me, knows the story of L, and the many years that I have "enabled", or have tried to just keep her alive. If you are lucky enough to have had to deal with some who is an alcoholic I'm sure, you can imagine what I have gone through over the past 25 years with my sister. My sister went to Rehab, about 2 years ago, and has been in her own apartment for the past 7 months. L is unable to really take care of herself, when she lives alone, it NEVER works out! Our birthmother did drugs and alcohol when she carried all of us, but L seems to be the one this has affected. Currently L lives about 65 miles from my home, which is a good thing. When I went to pick her up on Sunday, I called her on my cellphone when I was about 1/2 mile from her place, just to let her know how close I was, she answered her phone and said she was waiting out front. The closer I got, from a distance I could see a frail women coming towards my car. Inside me, I gasped as she opened the car door, and put all of her belongings inside. L is already a small framed women, but clearly she had lost about 25 pounds since I saw her at Christmas. All of my emotions were starting to line my face. We both tried to make small talk in the car, but over the years it is a difficult thing to do. I expressed my concern and once again as I have told her a thousand times that it would be good if she went to talk with a therapist, and even get on an anti-depressant, which she sort of scoffs at. I continue driving and I'm in deep thought trying to keep my emotions in check, and starting to realize the real reason why she is here. When L called me earlier she had mentioned that her TV, was no longer working, and I mentioned that maybe in a week or two, I would bring one that she had left at our house. L relies on the TV, to go to sleep, and just for company. However being the alcoholic that she is, the TV and her telephone are always the first things to go, meaning either she sells them for alcohol or whatever else she uses. L seemed to enjoy Mark, and he made her smile, I'm sure it makes her think of the baby she gave up for adoption, to a lovely lesbian couple. We all found out about the baby af few years later. The week-end went by, and everyone was happy to see her. On the return trip home, I carried the TV up the stairs for her and then hugged her good-bye and told her that I loved her. As I turned away, and then looked back at her, I saw the tears fill her eyes, and I felt if she knew that I felt her pain.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Brief Comment, To My Birthmother!

I have wanted to write to you for a long time, but now that I have a son, I want him to have a general idea of who you are. I'm 47 years old, and have a son named Mark, who was born in Anand, India. Although we have met, less than a handful of times, I don't know much about you except from what I have pieced togather. You are between 65-67 years old, and your mother left you, just as you left the four of us. Your mother was an only child, who was left alone, when alcoholism robbed her of her parents. Your grandparents were born in the 1800's, so they were not that far removed from slavery, although the ramifications have pretty much destroyed your family. Its so hard to gather my thoughts without my mind drifting back to the parents who raised me. I remember their smell, what type of clothes they liked to wear, what food they liked to eat, and vacations that we took, what their political interests were, and what we did as children, to get on their nerves. I thought at some point you would ask us about our life, but I guess it is to awkward, or maybe its just too painful.

What do I tell my son, since you still are alive? That you live in New Jersey, with your children and grandchildren. I can tell him that you were married to our biological father, who we met 3 years ago, who has since died. Do I tell him that alcohol and drugs were the life that you both chose. I would like for him to know more about you than a paragraph or two, or the hollowness that I feel when your name is ever mentioned. If there were one thing in the world, that I would like for you to do for me, that is please just say that you are sorry for any pain that you may have caused.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mark as a Wannabe Tennis Star

We took a picture of our son, Mark, in April 2009 during a visit to his grandparents' house in New Jersey. Here he is dressed up as a wannabe tennis star. He will be taking lessons from his grandpa, Eion McRae. Eion is already gearing up for the challenge by scheduling extra lessons with his coach, Mitchell.

If tennis doesn't work out there is always chess. Mark's father, Colin, has played chess for a long time. We had a visit from friends of the family in which their 5-year-old daughter played chess with Colin. Mark got into the act too. In his first game with a tournament chess set, Mark ate the knight. Crystal is not looking forward to the day, a mere three years from now, when Mark will first beat her in chess.
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Gobbler Hosting

No, I'm Not The Nanny!!!!

Yesterday, Mark and I went meet my girlfriend for lunch at a popular spot in Columbia, Md. As soon as we walked into the door and saw my girlfriend she immediately reached out to hold Mark because she had not seen him in a couple of weeks. When we got to the counter for the young girl to take our order, she immediately asked my girlfriend who is 20 years older than me how old Mark was. My girlfriend pointed to me and said that I was his mother. The girls face behind the counter then took on a look of shock and awe. I really didn't realize until yesterday that when this happens, I begin to feel sullen inside. My friend who is a journalist just asked me a couple of weeks ago, if this was an issue at all for me, and I think then, I was trying to hold those feelings at bay. I don't want to wear a t-shirt that states, No, I'm not the nanny, No, I'm not the maid. YES I'M THE MOTHER!! I do realize that is is very unusual to see a black women, with an extremly fair skinned child. It is more acceptable to see a white women, with a black child, who may have come from Ethopia, and people know that the child is adopted. The plot line for the Ethopian child is easy to figure out whereas mine is not. However, I don't want to have to explain my story to strangers, nor feel agnst when I get outside of my doors.

I have to learn to put the same armour on for my son,that I have for my husband, who is white. Inside, my head the FU factor is permanently enshrined into my ceberal cortex as if it were part of my DNA. The reality is that I have had over 18 years to develop that, with Colin and only 7 months with Mark. My fair skinned son, with his hazel eyes, and two little bottom teeth is the love of my life. Amani, I finally understand what you were trying to say with your blog, sorry if I misjudged you.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Trying to figure out this Blog stuff!!

I thought it was about time, that I started blogging. Which leads to me question who cares what I write about? Well for starters, Me! I follow other people's blogs, and my favorite is Mike and Mike. I'm really starting this so that I can keep a record to one day give my children. Currently we have a son named Mark, who will be 7 months old tomorrow. The past couple of weeks, I have been helping out a young lady who is 17 years old, and lives with abusive parents. She would like for us to adopt her, or help get her emancipated, but in Maryland, where we both live, emancipation is a gray area. I will go and speak with an attorney to see find out what is the best available option to take. This young lady was in the foster care system 2 years ago, and lived with my girlfriend. I guess I really want to help her because when I was 2 years old, my birth parents left us to die in an apartment in Peekskill, New York, and we landed in the foster care sytem. We were lucky because the parents who raised us, took all 4 of us in, and gave us a great life. What is interesting is that my parents who raised us were older when they got us, my mom was 52 years old, and my dad was 59. I just did the math the other day and realized that. They both are now deceased, and I miss them more than ever. It is great to be able to have a safe place, where there is lots of love and support that you call home. That is the life that I want to build for Mark, and if we are lucky enough to have a surrogate get pregnant again, for his future sibbling. I keep telling myself that I should write a book about my life, but it looks like I will start blogging about it instead. Blogging does place you in a vuleurable place.

Monday, May 11, 2009