For June 2, 2017, my graduate, & youngest girl…

May 20, 2017

Diane—

So in less than two weeks you will be a high school graduate.  I am hoping that your little graduation present gets here in time.
I’m writing this letter for you so that you can get the little ‘bump’ you need to send you out into the world and make it big—but make it big in your way and in the process making YOUR dreams come true.
I bought a CD for you today.  There are two songs there that are the reason why I bought what I bought.  There are two songs that are my personal gift and message for you.

My Wish

 I hope the days come easy and the moments pass slow,
And each road leads you where you wanna go,
And if you’re faced with a choice, and you have to choose,
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.
And if one door opens to another door closed,
I hope you keep on walkin’ till you find the window,
If it’s cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile.
But more than anything, more than anything

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

     Suppose it could be said better-but, when you are in doubt just remember that at least your mom is cheering you on.  I realize that I have made a lot of mistakes.  I’ve realized that being a mom to one child doesn’t make you good mom to all kids.  My weaknesses with my oldest were sometimes still my weakness, and sometimes by the time I got to you, I had a whole new set of weaknesses.  No matter how poorly I have said, “I love you.”  Know that I always have, & that my dreams for you were always big, even if I couldn’t provide you with a great jumping off pad.
There will be times when I still have to be a ‘mom’.  Unfortunately, that is just the rules for engagement between you and I.  But, I am hoping that we can always talk about any problems we have and work them out.    The thing that I am really best at and can still do for you, is to be your cheerleader.    And I always will be that.   And I want all the same things for you as I ever wanted for the other three:

  1. Be Happy. Be Healthy.  3. Follow your Dreams. 4. Don’t hurt others.

That last one is the hardest one for me.  That’s the one I choke on.  It’s the only one that can ever get between you and I.  It’s really important to me because so many people have worked so hard hurt those around me.  I’ve lived the fall out; I’ve seen the emotional devastation.   That is where I draw my line in the sand.

But, having said that I cannot imagine you hurting someone on purpose, for the sake of fun or anything else.  You are a really good person. The one kid who actually turned out the way I hoped all my kids would.  I see a happy life for you.  That is not to say you won’t hit bumps.    Sometimes those bumps really hurt.  Sometimes the days will get really dark.  It’s just how life goes sometimes.  Light a candle, say a prayer, take some really deep breaths, take a long bath, listen to music, paint, and call your mom.

One thing to remember is even when you feel really, really alone, the truth is that you are not.  You have friends and family who love you and want the best for you.  Even if all they can give you is a hug, and probably that’s all you’d need anyhow to be able to get out there and face the world again.

“Stand”

You feel like a candle in a hurricane
Just like a picture with a broken frame
Alone and helpless
Like you’ve lost your fight
But you’ll be alright, you’ll be alright

‘Cause when push comes to shove
You taste what you’re made of
You might bend, ’til you break
‘Cause it’s all you can take
On your knees you look up
Decide you’ve had enough
You get mad, you get strong
Wipe your hands, shake it off
Then you stand…

You come from a LONG LINE of really tough people.  Not perfect people….just really tough people. People who have faced all kinds of situations—starvation, witch hunts, wild bears, wars, homelessness, extreme cold, rape, molest, abuse.  Each one not only survived but succeeded in some way, or else YOU would not be on this earth today.  Each of us alive today on this earth can believe this because it’s true!  And, it is all the more of a reason to celebrate YOU!
You have been handed the gift of life.  Each person in your life is a gift.  Maybe there will be times when you can’t see it, but EVERYONE who crosses your path will share something with you, even if all it is ‘just’ a smile.  It might be a small or a great gift: wisdom, fact, love, a hug, a meal, a theory, maybe someday a child.   Never take it for granted.  There might be a billion of us here on earth, but there is only one me and only one you!!  That makes us special. It makes being your mom special!

Thank you for choosing me to be your mom.  Thank you for the GIFT of being YOU!!
I do LOVE YOU!!!  & I always will!!  xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

Kids…

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I was stuck on a mountain top about maybe three weeks ago.  I was stuck for 2.5 days. While coming down off the mountain there were a lot of people assisting–it’s amazing how many there were.  I got messages from a sheriff, who informed me that he’d been talking to two of my kids.  Two of them sent me messages of love.

Unfortunately, I have decided that those kids don’t have a clue what love is.  They know what control is.  They know how to say what should be said at the particular moment.  But, they have no clue what real love is.  Which I find weird.  My oldest got up at my wedding and read 1 Corinthians 4-13.  Not that said child would accept this as a definition, but her mother would and since the mother is writing this that’s all that matters:

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Now, having defined what I might refer to as a definition of “perfect love” or at least something to strive for.

When I got home from the mountain–there were two things that I heard right away.  My 26 year old son made arrangements for his drug dealer to move in, take over payments, and this guaranteed a roof over his head.  He told at least one of his sisters that they could “visit”.  That takes some nerve considering that we were not even declared dead yet, and were missing all of 2.5 days.  Don’t consider me dead until I’ve been missing at least a week, I know how to survive.

The other story I came home to was that my oldest, 33 years old, had decided that she was the oldest next of kin to my (ex) husband and that she would be handling all the affairs (his and mine).  She obviously totally missed the fact that her father has three living sisters, a brother, and a living mother.  She also missed the fact that she was NEVER our intended or even our chosen person for handling our affairs–else we would have told her where the OFFICIAL paperwork was.  There were so many assumptions on her part, including the fact that she said any court would turn over the paperwork that we had filed….  Anyway, she informed the younger two kids that they would be paying her rent.  This story came over across from the two youngest and the story came across the exact same way from both kids.  When you get a story being told the exact same way by two different people, then you can figure it’s true.  At least that is what I figure.

I told this story at my women’s group, and on my facebook, and to a lot of other people.  Everyone one that I trust my true feelings with all reacted the same: “Well you know the truth about how they feel about you now.  It sounds like you need to take care of business.”  Only one of the older children was smart enough to keep her mouth shut.  My adopted child–is the brightest and most honest of the three oldest.

But, you know, it was my youngest who was waiting by the door when I got home.  It was her who filed the missing person’s reports, it was her who coordinated everything.  It was her who took it all in, and listened.  Not only was she at the door when we got home, but it was obvious that she had been in tears— there had been lot’s and lot’s of tears.  She didn’t make deals with any others out in the world, she simply did her best to keep things together to help the authorities— I told her yesterday, that if I should die tomorrow, I know she’s going to be ok.  No matter how young she wants to play her cards (she’s 18 and not quite out of high school), the truth is that she can survive rough times without me now.  That is a comforting thought for me.  Though a mom is never done…. for all intents and purposes, it means I did my job, and I did it well.   She managed to personify what I call love… she kept hopes up that mom was returning, she helped to lay out the groundwork needed to help authorities find me.  She gave it all she had, and she didn’t care about who was going to get what.

I’m not sure I can blame my older two for who they have become. The youngest of those two (the 26 year old) has had very little time with his biological father, and yet, he is his father all over again.  They both are just their biological father reincarnations–yup, yup, the guy who asked me to sleep with his sister.  I can see they can’t help the genetic mess they inherited, but I can also draw the line.  This is where I get off….

Two days after coming home off the mountain, I informed my son that his ‘father’ (adopted) was going to be his payee.  That is all I said. I did not explain anything, I did not go on…I simply said it as if it were a matter of fact, because it was.  I certainly did not expect the temper tantrum that we all got.  And I will be honest, so much was going on with this particular kid that I’m not sure I’ve teased it all right but, I got onto Facebook to see the remark:  “If I’m going to be treated like an animal, I’m going to act like an animal.”  Immediately, I took that as a threat.  No one was treating him like an animal.  The kid asked no questions, not even “what will change if dad is my payee?”  Next thing I know a friend of his is coming to me letting me know that he threatened to burn our house down.  Really? We could have died up on that mountain and you are supposedly glad we are home, but you are going to burn our house down?  It might not be worth much to anyone else, but for me it’s home!!  Maybe I could have ignored it, had he not already started a fire in our home (in a closet) a few years back.  I confronted him about that threat, which of course he denied.  I told him he needed to just leave the property.  Then came, of course, “mom go to the doctor with me so I can figure out what the threat was, how was I manipulating? ”  It’s all DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, get a book and read it.  I divorced your biological father over this crap, and I’m not going there again.  Figure it out, I’m not going to the doctor with you.

The son was moved out in less than a week.  But the next day after his friend told me of the threat, the friends car had a screw driver or something punched through is oil filter, and three belts were broke in that same day.  The son denied it, and then turned around and admitted it to his step-mother.  What I do not know is did he do it because his friend ‘snitched’ over threatening the burn the house down, or did he do it because he didn’t want the friend to “snitch” about what happened to the Jeep.  Either way—it’s nuts.

This 26 year old son, decided that we would die unless he went out and searched for me, NOW.  This 26 year old son is a non-licensed FELON who has NEVER had permission to drive anything of mine, or his father’s.   And yet the neighbor saw him and his friend drive the Jeep off the property.  When it was brought back we did not know it, but they had done major damage to it.

It just got out of the shop yesterday.  The bill came to $1800.00.  The rear end had a LOT of metal in it, and the spider gears were missing multiple teeth.  The bulk of the charges were from rebuilding that.  The transmission was full of water and the note on the bill says that happens when a vehicle has sat in water for  a couple of days.  And even though the transmission has been flushed and new fluids put in, it does not go into first gear on it’s own.  It now needs to go to a transmission shop, which will likely cost another 2K.  One child, two days=4K of damage.

The truth of the matter was that in about two more days we probably could have driven our car off that mountain.  We were never in any real danger.  We both know about ourselves and our bodies   We both are quite aware that we are survivors and what our two oldest children voiced and did was totally uncalled for, and inappropriate.

The guys (son and friend) still have not yet told us the truth about the Jeep. Their story is that they got into a pothole in Myrtle Creek and that it was so deep that the Jeep had to be winched out.  Right?!  You have a bridge to sell me too, right?

Parents might look stupid to all you young people out there.  But, the stupidity, usually is more like a “blind love.”  More than likely no one in the world is going to forgive you more than your parents will.   You can do some really stupid stuff–if no one else will forgive you, usually your parents will.  But, just a piece of advice, don’t take it for granted just in case.

But, parents are human too.  Their patience does wear out.  Some parents wear out before others….some are very, very long suffering.  Where ever it is that I fell on the continuum, the bottom line is that I have drawn my lines in the sand with my kids.
The oldest two biological kids are just shit out of luck.  I’m done being patient.

I’m tired of the violence, I’m tired of the manipulation, I’m tired of the baiting. I’m tired of the games that I never took as ‘games’.   I’m tired of dealing with all the ‘red flags’.  I’m living my life, and I’m spending their inheritance.  I promise you two, that no matter how much is left when I die—there will be NONE left for you.

And yes, every single house payment we make is money in the bank for the youngest. But, she was there!    She will never get an interest rate as low as the one we have now. It will be my honor to hand it down to someone who will respect the land itself and what it meant to us.

My adopted one—I’m no mind reader. I have no idea what she wants from me.  I’m really dangerously close to saying the same thing to her.  I’m tired of kids thinking they can ask anything thing they want of me, and expect it.  I’m tired of being bullied by all of them. I’m just tired.

And I’m sick of being sorry about being tired.  Therefore, no more apologies.  I am a good person, hell, I’m a GREAT person.  I am generous, warm, thoughtful, empathetic, sympathetic, and compassionate.  But from now on, I am #1 with me!

Clyde let me know that he’s known me for 13 or 14 years now and has never known me to be manipulative.  I’m honest, I have patience, I’m a survivor, I love to laugh…  I’m doing what I do best from here on out.  I would have loved to included you kids. But at this point, I don’t feel like you are even in my sphere of greatness.  Sorry, but you do not measure up.  And you know, only YOU can fix that.

“Float like a ButterflySting Like a Bee.”  –Muhammad Ali

So, the message is,  that parents run out of gas.  They get tired. They do reach the point where your shit just doesn’t cut it anymore.  If you do not want your words coming back to bite you in the ass, then consider not saying them at all.

Poetry in Motion

Tygh Valley, Oregon (Hwy. 197)

Tygh Valley, Oregon (Hwy. 197)

Wanted,
A Human
A Friend
Someone who dances
Who is free
Who will wait and see
Tomorrow, Today, whatever day
Seizes the moment,
Sings happily-
Cries when they need to,
Does it with honesty.
Remembers their friendships
Treasures them all,
Bereft of the moments
that need to be thrown to the atoll.
Human to touch,
Human to feel,
One that loves,
One or many.
Makes no excuses
Won’t live a lie
Harmful to no one
Loyal to goodness
Mirror thyself
Walk on the beach
Take a book
Answer to no one
Except yourself
Innocence gone
Nevermore Naive
An Equal to this Mess
A Friend to the end.

Copyright 2016, Peggy Ann Rowe, Duplication/Modification with permission only.
for what it’s worth: written on the 33rd anniversary of my father’s death.