Family

Sarrah also played a key role in one of the best gifts of my lifetime, the reconnection with my teenage daughter Heather, who did not know me.  The sting of realities that came with our separate lives, were a part of every day.  Volumes could be written about all that was missed and about what a person goes through, along life’s way. The quiet moments while walking the many miles with Sarrah enabled my mind to work through the unintentional slow burning process of introspection and reflection.

After a dozen plus years of hoping, waiting… dreaming and the scheming required for mental chess games, I was actually getting a second chance with Heather.  Our recycled beginning was as it should have been, when she was ready.  The next few years of watching her struggle for independence and freedom were hard; in my role I practiced painful patience while she was driven by youthful curiosity.  Like the anti-gravity nature of plants, many things worth having seem to require stubborn struggle, even thrive due to it.

I was attending college at the time and made our relationship the topic of an assignment.  In the pursuit of a little help, I stumbled into something.  At the (heavy handed, over-the-top, borderline irritating) insistence of my writing lab tutor, I entered my paper “What Happens” written for my Writing 101 class, in the Highline Community College Arcturus.  This was the last class required for me to complete my “Twenty year / Two year” AAS degree.  I understand that most people take this class early on in their collegiate pursuits, but I dreaded it enough, to save it for last.  Arcturus is an annual artistic contest for current HCC students to submit photos, drawings and writings, in which the chosen entries are published into a book.  After almost a dozen consecutive years of continuing part-time student status, I had never heard of it.

***

{From my Writing in Arcturus 2003}

(Written as it was happening… and most importantly, submitted with Heather’s approval)

“It is wonderful, exciting and a bit scary to feel our relationship slowly unfolding as if it were an old weathered document, misplaced all these years waiting to be found.  Perhaps it’ll yield a long lost treasure map, a blueprint for something timeless or maybe just an intricate drawing of a sad face clown.”

***

As Heather and I carefully, took turns, slowly… unfolding our delicate treasure map, Sarrah as always was constantly by my side, happy to listen to my ramblings and walk me through it.

As I watched them meet for the first time it was obvious that Heather adored Sarrah.  Their initial meeting was when Heather returned to our home after a surprise eighteenth birthday party dinner for her (my first ‘in person’ celebration of her birthday, in sixteen years).  She had only seen pictures of Sarrah, so the occasion was a little anticipated.  Heather had not been to my house since she was a little girl, so Sarrah helped ease any tension from the occasion.  After all, a cute Dalmatian could not hurt my appeal to a teenaged young lady.

Heather was drawn to Sarrah.  She drew two fabulous pieces of artwork in pen and ink, from photographs taken by others; one of Sarrah and me walking on the beach as the sun was setting (taken by Nissa) and the other of Sarrah peaking from behind a bush, magically enhancing these moments… capturing them in their time.  These drawings were gifts to me, from my daughter, of gifts to me, from Sarrah.

Participating in another of Heather’s artistic passions, she also photographed Sarrah, often.  I don’t think you can have too many pictures, especially those taken by people close to the memory.

Image

And… years later Sarrah got to be part of Gracey’s life, from the beginning.  In a twist of tradition, October Fourth in the year of Two Thousand Four, Heather welcomed a daughter of her own, into our world.  My granddaughter was named Gracey Jane; she instantly began further growing and gluing our family together.  Sarrah was enthralled with this little person.  She was amazed and attracted to the baby Gracey.  As time passed and less supervision was required, they formed their own bond and connected on family gatherings.

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4 thoughts on “Family

    • Thank You
      It was tough for a very long time and the first time that I discovered writing to be therapeutic for me.
      I posted my “What Happens” story when I started this blog to share the experiences, giving a little hope is a bonus.
      Best Wishes for your relationship

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