Fragile, Fragmented, Fractured, but still a Family  

Thursday, December 31, 2009

I just got home from my daughters house after a couple days together. I can not describe the feeling it gives me. Something deep inside feels centered, quiet, and yes at peace.



What I wanted to share is what transpired while I was there.



First I thought about backing out. My youngest son got violently ill the night before. He is old enough to care for himself, but I'm still a mom and I was going to be a few hundred miles away. Other than any excuse to get together, I was going so my older son could get some head shots done. This was planned well in advance, and even though it would have been acceptable to not go, a reschedule would have been difficult to pull off once he goes back to college.



There was another reason to go and this one was purely self serving. There were going to be several adoptee's that Rachael and I talk to on a regular basis in the Ohio area for a one night get together. Coined as the "Mid West Bastard Hook Up" and I was invited to tag along.



On top of all that my grand daughter was coming home for the first time in 2 months. She was given a two month stay at the prestigious Lenawee County Country Club (if you catch my drift)



So many things were planned, scheduled, worked around to make this happen and then my son got sick. I would have cancelled in a heart beat, but he wouldn't let me. That's the first sign of a family.



My oldest son and I packed up all the clothes we were going to need and headed out. The 3 to 5 inches we were expecting was already starting to fall and I still had to get my tires put on before I could leave town. Another reason I didn't want to go, if my sick son needed something from the store he would have to get it himself or wait hours upon hours for my husband to bring it home. I got what I could before I left, but there wasn't much opened that early in our tiny town. I was worried my son would try to get out, get stuck and then what? But I really needed these head shots, really wanted to go to the Bastard Hook Up and really wanted to be there for my grand daughter when she came home. We made it happen. Tires went on first thing in the morning, sick son fended for himself and lived, I got there in just enough time to drive to Ohio for the Hook up and the pictures were done the next day. All that was left was my grand daughter.



It was fun watching my son and daughter interact. It always is. Both boys love their sister and that couldn't make me any prouder. A fragmented family coming back together doesn't always work out, especially when there are so many years between them. She is 20 years older than my youngest and 19 years older than the oldest. Needless to say her surrender affected me.



so we get done with the shoot, eat at the table like a family (something that never happens at my house) and we settle in for the evening. Exhausted we all pretty much called it a day early.



Next morning, we lumbered around, talked about D coming home, and tried not to get too excited. Early afternoon, the transformation on her room started. Something that needed to be done before she got home. It needed to be transformed back into a bedroom from the almost pig sty that it was. My son in law could see that it was difficult for his wife to get the motivation necessary so he initiated the task and she joined him almost immediately. There were things that Rach knew she would find in D's room and there were a few surprises. When it was done, Rach went into the garage by herself and sat for a few minutes. I waited and then went to check on her. It wasn't long before my son was in there too. We talked about what was found, how her problems aren't necessarily her fault, that through reunion they were able to discover and make sense of my grand daughters as well as my daughters fondness for alcohol. My son sat and listened while Rachael talked through her tears about the things she didn't realize were going on with her daughter. She even said she didn't know where she went wrong. I had to chuckle at that because its every parents thought when their kids slide into weirdness. I looked at her and then at him and told them both that with all the information given from both Rachael and I, that if they allow this to happen to them it is no ones fault but their own.

My oldest son has a fondness for alcohol too. He has been warned most of his life that there is the potential for either him, his brother or both to have inherited this defective gene and they need to know about it. Most of the time he blows me off as just being a mom who doesn't want her kid to drink. But I have learned from past experiences with my kids that even though they blow me off, later on when its needed, to my surprise they display behavior that indicates they actually retained most of what I had said.

My daughter feeling defeated, anxious and afraid about "her" daughter coming home, couldn't help but shed tears over the situation. I saw my son ache "for' her. He reached out grabbed her and hugged her so tight. Then extended his hand to me. (Sign two of a family) What I have tried to do is "knowledge it out". I can't breed it out, it's bread in. I can however use the knowledge I have and make sure that my kids understand that its real and serious.

It was at this time that I knew I had made the right choice by keeping our plans. It was worth more than I can say to have my son experience this family moment, mostly because we don't have many. He is of legal age now and his own man. I have never told my son he can not drink. I told him he shouldn't, and if he does he needs to keep himself in check. I think he believes that now.

He went with Rachael to pick up D when it was time. The two stayed up long past the rest of us. I hope what she had to say, increased my sons knowledge of what kind of genetics we come from, how it can in fact sneak up on you and one day your life is out of control, and that any facility like the one she was in wasn't high on her list of repeats.

It's been ten years that Rachael and I have been slowly putting our fractured life back together. This is the first family situation that extended past my sons that has come into play. As much as I wish it hadn't happened, I'm glad my son and I were there. Its one of the few times I've felt like I have extended family. Like life exists beyond my two sons.

So as Fragile, Fragmented, and Fractured as we are, we have managed to put back together, a Family.


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2 comments: to “ Fragile, Fragmented, Fractured, but still a Family

  • rachael
    Tuesday, January 5, 2010 at 1:43:00 PM PST  

    it meant the world to me that you were there. i would have made it just fine on my own, but to have you and T there made it much easier.
    my brothers are my life. i dont have words to relay the passion and commitment i have to them. or you lori.

    yes we are fractured and some may even say broken. but dammit-things heal. and i have to admit that in the big picture....you and my brothers are the best thing i have ever given myself.

    to any that read this, any that care to take the time, family comes in all forms. not all of us are the cleavers. ozzy and harriet do not reside in every home. and you dont need them. family stems from something much deeper than the facade of stability and normality. its a deep seeded, utterly passionate, dont think just do thing that words cant come close to doing justice.

    family is whomever you take into your heart and whomever you allow to take yours. sometimes time, distance, blank slates, bloodlines, history and surnames mean nothing. its that fire in your soul that makes you family. i have been lucky enough to have that for so many people. and i have felt it back from them.
    my afamily, my bfamily, my friends, my uber patient hubby, my children.....my fellow bastards.

    sharing in joys and pain, love and heartache, highs and lows. never letting go of that passion. thats what can make a family work.

  • rachael
    Tuesday, January 5, 2010 at 1:43:00 PM PST  

    it meant the world to me that you were there. i would have made it just fine on my own, but to have you and T there made it much easier.
    my brothers are my life. i dont have words to relay the passion and commitment i have to them. or you lori.

    yes we are fractured and some may even say broken. but dammit-things heal. and i have to admit that in the big picture....you and my brothers are the best thing i have ever given myself.

    to any that read this, any that care to take the time, family comes in all forms. not all of us are the cleavers. ozzy and harriet do not reside in every home. and you dont need them. family stems from something much deeper than the facade of stability and normality. its a deep seeded, utterly passionate, dont think just do thing that words cant come close to doing justice.

    family is whomever you take into your heart and whomever you allow to take yours. sometimes time, distance, blank slates, bloodlines, history and surnames mean nothing. its that fire in your soul that makes you family. i have been lucky enough to have that for so many people. and i have felt it back from them.
    my afamily, my bfamily, my friends, my uber patient hubby, my children.....my fellow bastards.

    sharing in joys and pain, love and heartache, highs and lows. never letting go of that passion. thats what can make a family work.

 

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