Best Friends

Best Friends

Monday, February 27, 2012

the truth about family

Not long ago I was told my aunt had cancer, and was not going to make it. She was in her final weeks, or days. Most of my family lives in southern California, they were all there to be with her, say their good byes, etc. I was not. My uncle Dick and his wife Maggie were truly an amazing pair. They were the glue that kept the family a family, after 67 years of marriage they were still so in love and it could be seen by anyone who crossed their path. I was sad to hear that Maggie was not going to be with us much longer, but I knew she had lived a full and very happy life. My cousin kept me posted on her condition and let me know when she passed... thanx to Facebook- otherwise, I never would have known, as I have been out of touch with most of my family until recently. I was hurting and sad, not so much that she had passed, but that I couldn't be there with the rest of the family share in the grief, to support each other thru it. I truly feel I am not part of the family any longer... and that hurts. The service for Maggie was held this weekend, and not a word to me, not an invite, nothing. Really, is this what my family thinks of me? I realize I have chosen to remove myself from my mothers life, but this goes beyond that. I have been left in the dark about many 'family' events for a number of years. Is it because I am a criminal? No, it began before that. Is it because I don't live my life the way they do? Is it my lifestyle choices? Is it the fact that I am not wealthy like the rest of them? I don't get it! Really... what happened to family? 1999 was the last time I was included in a big family event, and then once shortly before 9-11 I was invited to San Diego to say my good byes to another aunt who was in her final stages of cancer. I really don't understand why family does the things they do. I pretend it doesn't bother me, but really, it does. I love everyone of them! And care about what happens. My niece had cancer, I found out thru her blog, not a call from my sister! No one ever kept me posted on her condition, her treatment. The most important person in my family aside from my dad, my aunt Mary. She has not spoken to me since before I went to prison. I got a birthday card from her once... no note, just signed. Pretty sad, Does she realize how much she means to me? Or that I think of her almost every day?
So when people ask about my family... I tell them about my 'mom', the wonderful woman I met when I was 12 who doesn't judge me, and is always there for me... no matter what, my sisters~ I have a number of them! Amazing women who stand by me thru whatever I happen to be going thru, my brothers~ the twins who have been part of my life since my teens who would take a bullet for me, and all the amazing people in my life who I call family because they care, and they don't judge, and they accept me for me!
Yes, it hurts that my biological family doesn't care to be a part of my life or want me to be a part of theirs... It hurts more than you can imagine. But my chosen family knows my past, knows who I am and what I am about~ and they love and accept me anyway! Thank you for that!

Monday, February 20, 2012

So today is a big milestone for me. I guess it doesn't seem like it should be, I- and everyone else- knew I would succeed, but it is still a big deal for me! 5 years ago today~ I walked out of Utahs finest gated community... aka Utah state correctional institute. This was the real beginning of my understanding of 'FREEDOM'. I woke early that day, and as usual- they were running behind in getting people called out to leave, there were only a couple of us that week. Finally I heard my name, and I was at the door! Only a couple people I really cared to say good-bye to, I swore I was never going to look back and stay in the lives of any of these people! (altho, today I am friends with 2 of the most wonderful women I met there.) They searched me- like I was going to steal a part of that place for a keepsake? gave me a bag that had what I came in with 15 months prior... the clothes I wore (which had become way too small! I put on over 50 pounds during that 15 months!), my belly button ring, the necklace my daughter had given me, and my expired drivers license. I walked thru another set of doors that led to the main entrance to the facility- I saw many mothers, dads, husbands, etc. waiting for their loved ones to walk thru those doors... then I saw my Tom. The most amazing friend anyone could ask for! He had been there for me thru all of this- I called him every night, I wrote him a couple times a week, he was my rock and is truly the reason I made it thru those months! And now- there he stood, arms wide open waiting for a hug, and waiting to take me home! I ran... tears running down my face... and I jumped into his arms! It felt so good to be able to touch someone, hold them, and know I was going to be ok! In his hands he had a coat he had bought for me- I put it on (I still wear that coat!), and we walked out to the parking lot. As we walked thru that door to the outside- I was scared, nervous... really? Was I really walking away without a guard? without shackles? Yes I was! I couldn't let go of Tom, I was so happy and excited and scared and so many emotions going on! We got to his truck and there waiting for me was a Mountain Dew and a pack of smokes! I LOVE THAT MAN!
That day he took me shopping to get a few things that would fit, got me shampoo and body wash that I like, make up, hair dye- I really needed that! And all the things I things I needed to feel human again! He made me a fabulous dinner that night- and we drank and danced and had the most amazingly fun evening ever!
Tom and I had talked about getting together for a celebration today, but that was a long time ago. That was before he found out he had cancer, and before he lost the battle. I miss him so much, he was such a huge part of my life. He knew all the details of everything that had happened, and still cared about me! When I lost my home before going to prison- he gave me a place to live, then again when I got out.
Everything that has happened for me since I got out of that place- I can thank him for leading me to it... some might say I give him more credit than he is due, but they didn't know him like I did... very few people truly knew him, and those of us who did, are very blessed to have had him a part of our lives.
Today is bittersweet, I guess. happy to be at this milestone, but sad that he isn't here to share it with me.
But hey~ here's to another 5 years, or 50 years!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fashion Truffles: Etsy Favorite: Kim Peterson Art and a Giveaway!

Had to blog this... This is my sister and her artwork!
Fashion Truffles: Etsy Favorite: Kim Peterson Art and a Giveaway!: As most of you have probably already noticed, I'm a bit obsessed with the world of Etsy. It's just chuck full of talented artists, graphic d...