Thursday, August 13, 2009

A TORCH STILL LIT - A SON SAILS

My step-son has finished Navy Boot Camp and Medic training school and now is going off to Japan tomorrow and perhaps to Kuwait in several months. I am worried.

When my step-sons were younger I was not allowed to be in their lives. It was very difficult for me and for Skipp to honor their mother's 'hell hath no fury like a woman scorned' approach to everything and sadly this rage in her justified her strong hold on their sons. They were divorced several years when I met Skipp and yet I still was seen as 'in the way'. She held a torch for him for many, many years. And only a year ago finally moved and married a man from high school she had once dated. His wife had died a year prior. When Skipp's "X" dated, which was only a few times over twenty+ ears, she would stop by Skipp's work to introduce the guy to him, seeking his approval. Can you even imagine?
And so my role became to free Skipp to be the best Dad he could be and on her terms. Which, as I reflect, were all designed to keep Skipp close to her. This song speaks for her.



And so I respected this yearning and honored her conditionS and never got in the middle of anything. I knew Skipp loved me and that we were doing what had to be done so he could be active in his son's lives. She had health issues and would have to be hospitalized and when that happened Skipp would go and stay with his sons. It was the right thing to do. He visited them at her home and took them places on weekends without me. It was just the way it had to be. Eventually she relaxed a bit and his boys could spend a holiday with us and visit - but that took years.

After she married and their eldest son got married and had a little baby girl, three years ago now. - we all embarked on a forgiveness journey. I don't know who started it or how it began but our little grand daughter Alaura had her first birthday party here, at our home, and Skipp's "X" and her husband came for dinner here and we all celebrated our grand daughter together. We all spoke honestly and lovingly and she admitted her rage and more importantly now ponders how different things for their sons would be had she not fought against them being in our lives. It was a tender and forgiving time for everyone. Skipp spoke truths silenced for years and she said she held a torch and wrongly denied him because of it - and truth be told - that torch is still lit!! It will never go out.

Still the damage was done, long ago and Skipp's sons are not close to me. We never got the chance to develop that bond. And so as his youngest boy heads off to Japan and perhaps war I am left in a distant space of my own fears and I am outside the circle of father and son, mother and son, parents and son. I never had the chance to complete the circle. And funny thing - as Skipp's "X" drives her son to the airport at five in the morning tomorrow, every fibre of my being believes Skipp should be there too. He is their son. I honored that back then and I still do today.

And so young man - of tender years. - I do love you although you never knew how much. I love you because you are your Father's son - because you are you. Be safe and come home to your parents well and strong. And may you continue to sing - dance- soar and sail...........



Love Gail
Peace.....

17 comments:

Iktomi said...

i can relate a lot to this post. i have always felt like the "outsider" when it comes to my husband and his kids. i have no idea how they see me, if they resent me or if they like me, because it's hard, i know, for kids when one parent loves me more than anything and the other parent hates me more than anything. and now my husband and i have a child together and i have no idea how that's going to go over either, whether they will love their new little brother or resent him.

families are never a simple thing.

Gail said...

Hi Iktomi-

thanks for sharing your experience as a step mom. and ya,families are complicated. Blended families are challenging. phew.

Love Gail
peace.....

Bernie said...

Gail, a few years ago I almost remarried, I was concerned about his 3 young children. Both our spouses had passed away so it was a bit different circumstances than you had but I thought it might work, I read a book on blended families at the time and knew the task ahead would be very hard. Then my son got sick and all my attention was on trying to get him better. I was on my own as he just wasn't available to me. He thought because my kids were older they could manage on their own. A child/adult needs their mom whenever they get sick so I knew then I couldn't marry. He was a very nice man, a good father and I think he would of been a wonderful husband but I didn't feel he included my own children to be an important part of the family as they were adults living their own lives.....even today I feel I made the right choice.
We all are different and unique people and that makes everything complicated but in a perfect world all would be love and accepted. Sad really......:-) Hugs

Gail said...

Hi Bernie-

thank you so much for sharing your experience with almost blending families. I am so glad that you know in your heart that you made the right choice for you. I feel the same way. :-)

Love to you
Gail
peace.....

Eileen said...

This is such a hard subject as I've seen both sides up close and personal. I know many women that just can't let go and move on with their lives. For whatever reason they can not/will not accept that it is final, that it is over, they hold on to that hope that things will turn around and he will once again want her.
And many of these women want no part of 'another wife' in their lives, they didn't choose this for their life, this is not how it was supposed to be so they flat out refuse to accept any more than they absolutely have to, even if that means sacrificing their own children. Sometimes it seems as if some of them realize the damage they are doing, but they can not help themselves.
My heart goes out to all sides, but mostly to the poor children caught in the middle of the firestorm.

May God Guide and Protect your stepson.
Love,
Eileen

Gail said...

Hi Eileen-

thank you so much for your deeply heartfelt words to me. Yes, you described her struggle well - she never let go. like to believe that we have all moved on and that the same mistakes wont be made with our grandchildren. And I too have place my stepson in God's hands - and when I think about it, I always have.
Love to you
Gail
peace....

Whitemist said...

You took a tough and difficult path, but I dare say things seemed to work out a bit for you and your husband. Your fortitude in this is incredible. I certainly see your love for the youngest and I hope the safest of all journies for him.

Gail said...

Hi Whitemist - how are you today? So nice to see you.

I always loved I was just confined as to how and when I could show it. And yet I feel I did the most loving thing by NEVER getting in the way of my husband being able to be with his boys - we all survived and we have experienced the power of forgiveness.
Love to you
Gail
peace.....

Mark said...

You are a very loving and understanding person. Many would not have been able to live the life that you chose as you were unselfish in your actions.
Do not fear for your step son, trust that all is as it should be and all will be as it should be. Worry not about that which you have no control over. Instead visualize the good things he will see and experience and see him returning home safely.

Choices said...

Gail,
Always know in your heart that you did the right thing and it seems like you know you did. Sometimes things are out of our control and we have to do what feels right in our hearts.
Take care.

Gail said...

Hi Mark-

thank you so much for your kind words. I will stay on this side of worry and fear and on the good side of hope and adventure for his journey.

Love Gail
peace....

Hi Anne (Choices)

Always so nice to see you. And yes, I know in my heart that I did the right thing because what I did and what I didn't do was always about love.

Love Gail
peace.....

Wanda said...

Hi Gail...maybe from this point on...there will be a better understanding coming from the "X" and now that the sons are young adults themselves...they will eventually come to know you and repect the person you are and a bond of friendship could well develope between you and them. These sons will some day have children of their own and that is something to look forward to and a way to connect with your husband's sons and be a part of their lives.

Gail said...

Hi Wannda-

thank you so much. and yes, I believe you are so right. we connect and talk comfortably and they see how happy their Dad is so that makes them happy too. :-)

Love to you
Gail
peace.....

Margie said...

Sending good thoughts to you today, Gail.
Your story kind of tugged at my heartstrings!
It could not have been easy for you.
May your son be safe & return home to his loving family!

Take care.

Margie

Gail said...

Hi Margie-

Thank you" for your loving thoughts. And back then I/we did what we had to do so my husband had quality time with his sons, despite the conditions.
And so his younger boy is on his way to Japan as I write.

Love Gail
peace.....

PENolan said...

Hey there
Glad I found this post before it got buried in your archives.
Hope you and Skipp are doing well with this additional worry in your happy little world.
Maybe you can find a little ship to hand on Hope.

Gail said...

Hi Trish-

I love that idea of hanging a little ship on "Hope - the tree".
thanks

Love you
Gail
peace.....