Too many blog posts have been written only in my head. I need to take time when I can, and get what I can written down, instead of waiting to have time to craft something that is as close as I am capable of to the magnificent writing of the blogs I love to read.
When we first met our therapist, we were describing the incidences of our first few weeks with the kids, especially our trip home and the first 16 hours here, which had me on the phone in tears that second day, trying to GET A THERAPY APPOINTMENT NOW, NOT NEXT WEEK. I said, "But it's not as bad as some of what I've read. I mean, there have been some weird peeing things, but they haven't spread feces on the living room walls or anything like that." She gave a little bark of laughter and said, "You're an optimist, aren't you?" At first I thought she was saying I was being overly optimistic and that brown walls were guaranteed in our future. Then I realized she was saying that anyone who can say, "Yay, no sh*t on the walls!" is in the "Glass is half full" camp.
And she's right. I tend to think things can get better. Don't get me wrong-- I can be sad and miserable with the best of them, and I know that life is NOT always fair, that sometimes it DOES give you more than you can handle, and that even beyond the sadness and struggle of the lives around me, there is despair and hardship beyond measure in places far away. But on a level of my that's beyond my conscious control, I seek silver linings, and I celebrate progress.
One of my oldest friends found out, about 18 months ago, that her husband had molested her daughter.
After my mom's death, my dad's mental and physical health deteriorated so rapidly that we had to put him in an adult foster care home--after taking him to the doctor and letting the doctor explain why he couldn't legally or morally help him kill himself.
My two children have gone through things I have trouble even thinking about, and we all have years of hard work ahead to help them heal from that.
Life can suck.
But my friend and her girls are carrying on, with grace and strength and love. My friend, always a strong survivor, found depths in herself even she didn't suspect, and her circle of family and friends, already a support to her, came through in ways she never would have imagined.
My father has regained his enthusiasm for life as he enters his 80s. Just last weekend he participated in an Open Studio tour, and sold several of the photos he has taken in the last year from his wheelchair. He used to travel the world getting pictures of exotic locales, fascinating people, and wild animals. Now his focus (ha!) is the cats at his living place, or flowers we bring him. His art still shines through, and his pride is coming back.
And my kids? So much has been taken from them, so much has been done to them. We are so far from the parents we want to be for them. But we are dedicated to learning and doing better, to supporting them as they learn and grow. We will give them all we can of ourselves. They haven't had that before. Now they do. It's hard, for all of us, and it's not going to get easy for a long time. But we're all here together now. Things will work out.
Yes, I'm an optimist.