Cherishing Relationships, Cultivating Love

Discussion in 'Family of Origin' started by New Leaf, Nov 5, 2015.

  1. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    We have been discussing our relationships with our mates in a P.E. thread, I would like us to move over to FOO.
    This is so relevant to issues faced when we are journeying down this road we are on with all of our children.

    There are different ways men and women deal with the challenge of d cs.

    How do we preserve our sanity, ourselves and especially our relationships with all of the turmoil?

    Faced with so much, how do we cherish our relationships and cultivate love?

    How do we keep the home fires burning, not just for our mates, but for our other children who are waiting in the wings?

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  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I love the questions... don't have many answers, but this will be an interesting discussion
  3. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I do not have answers either, perhaps in the discussion of it, we shall find answers!

    Off to work I go!

    Joyous day to you.
  4. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Well, I think the phrase "cultivating love" is a beginning guideline for us. Especially given the shame and frustration in troubled families, I think we parents feel guilt more than flourishing lovingness. So, guilt is the useless and harmful thing we need to identify and banish so we can cultivate lovingness and get through challenges other families cannot imagine. Instead though, we feel guilty, we wonder where we went wrong, we try so hard to do better. If I could know then what I know now, if I could have known the genesis of the challenges we would all face, and if I could have loved us through it instead of falling into guilt and shame and all those frantic, doomed attempts to "treat" something that had been misdiagnosed from the beginning, we all would have come through this stronger and saner.

    But I didn't know. So, I am doing the best I know, now.

    I like that phrase "cultivating love" very much, Leafy.

    That is a true thing, an excellent guidepost for us.

  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    We do so because we volunteer to take the hit. The default is--let it be me. And not my child.

    Unfortunately it makes a much bigger mess of things.
    I become frightened when on other threads parents put so much credence into diagnoses. This faith in professionals is not merited by them.

    Not only do we parents leap into taking not only blame but responsibility for what has gone wrong...we volunteer to be the damaged one. Me, Me, we as if say. Please let it be me. So I can correct it. Do it better.

    When all along it was life itself, in charge, that can do the remediation. Or G-d. Or our children, best of all.

    It is this that professionals often do not take sufficiently into account. They believe too readily that it is they who do the healing. Of others. When the healing is in us.

    They are helped along by the society, who heaps this authority onto them. And what happens to them? They remain broken...without incentive to look at themselves. It is a sad, sad thing, for us all.

    I want to slip in something about my day today. I went to get M's sister at 10:30. I told her about my idea about the Spanish Speaking Needlework Guild and she loved the idea and wants to do it with me.

    Our plan is to focus on my house and getting me organized, but begin very quickly in selling stuff I have to get rid of it, which will enable us to learn to take photos and to list stuff to sell on Etsy. I have already done Ebay and will show her how.

    Very quickly, as soon as we set up a room to be the sewing room we will begin to do crafts, and work in tandem--getting me together, learning new crafts (Peruvian Point, Oya Crochet from Turkey and Felting) along with those we know already. Me, not much. Her, a lot.

    So when we produce we will have already established a selling process and conduit.

    At that time we will put up announcements and maybe go to the churches, to establish a guild/collective, with the idea of not only working together but to sell, for people to augment their incomes. A large portion of the population here is involved in seasonal agriculture, so this is the exact time of the year to be thinking of this kind of endeavor.

    So now I will link this to this thread. We decided to start just the two of us, because we fear if we invite M now, he will want to be boss and establish the rules and know everything better. The plan is to do it, and let him see us learning and succeeding so as to want to do it as a member not the boss.

    I hope this does not sound negative and condescending.

    We told him about our plans to a point (but not yet about the guild/collective), and he listened nicely and maintained a positive attitude.

    I had a talk with M's sister that I want to pay her, not because I need to but because I want to and it is fair. I established that she is not working "for me" but together, and everybody gives what they can. In my case I have not much to give except my ideas and a little money. So there it is.

    I feel as if I have left the bed, finally, although I am back here to do the computer.

    I do not know where the rest of you use the computer but I like to recline.

    I got tired. I am not used to a long day. I cooked for the 3 of us and then her daughter and 3 grandchildren came and there was food for everybody.

    It is gratifying how much they like my cooking, which is so different than her own. She is amazed how quickly I cook and how flavorsome is the food cooked in the oven. (Where I roast vegetables.) She never uses her oven, cooking everything on the burner. I cook very simply and healthfully and that is the difference. With huge amounts of garlic and onions. I am grateful to be appreciated for something as important as this. They wanted to learn how to prepare everything: the salad dressing, the chicken and meat, the vegetables. I do not think it was only good manners, but partly this.

    All of us take so for granted our cooking, I think.

    Tomorrow she comes at 11. And I will get up early to do errands before that. I will try to check in for a few minutes in the morning, and not until evening after that.

    I am grateful to each of you. I know with one hundred percent certitude that I would not have gotten to this point without you.

    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I do not have other children so I cannot comment usefully on that question but will chime in on the others.
    I think we do not appreciate sufficiently (I speak for myself)the extent of their grief and their anguish.

    M and I are each parents but do not have children in common. M's children turned out well. He has 9. All are hard-working except one, and he is married with children. Of the 9 only one drinks to excess which is a big deal because there is alcoholism on both sides.

    M grieves his daughter who ran away about 20 years ago never to be heard of again. It is a silent hole in his heart.

    He has not seen any of his children for almost 12 years. He cannot return to Mx because of his legal status. If he leaves he will be unable to reenter. In his absence his children, who are all married except one, and nearly all with children of their own, have all come to an understanding of his leaving from the point of view of their mother.

    It is understandable that this is the case, but M is in agony about the loss of his family. An agony that has no end. Until he returns and mends the relationships he will continue to suffer, I think.

    I think I for one have never before understood how deeply is the love of a father for his children and family, the sense of responsibility and obligation.

    I feel quite defensive for him. He was a wonderful and dedicated father. He worked like a dog. They lived well. But he was a workaholic, gone a lot, and drinking sometimes when at home.

    I know that children feel they deserve parents that are not flawed. I know I did. It would be nice if we could give them a happily ever after life. Does such exist?

    But because I believed my parents to be inadequate, I never saw up close the situation of a parent such as M. I have a hard time understanding his kids. I understand why they came to think as they do, I just think they are wrong.
    In our case, M has been more openly supportive of my son than have I. He always wanted to try again. To bring him home. To buy him a home. To work with him. He still believes I should help him.

    Except now he knows the costs to me and our relationship. All hell breaks loose when my son is here. It has gotten to the point when I dread my son coming home. Almost I dread the idea of seeing him. Is that not horrible?

    I worry about him when he does not call, but do not call him at all hardly lately. I have not heard from him since last Thursday, the night before he said he was going for a liver biopsy. Still, I am waiting for him to call. He was calling every day. I think it is because he was angling to return home.
    I think it takes intention. And I think it takes willingness to look at ourselves and to seek where we fall short. I think I have lacked attention in each of these areas.

    I am beginning to see that M gives me more than I give him. I think I am the taker in the relationship, and he is the giver. This is not fair.

  7. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    When our children were young, we learned to sacrifice time and energy for them. We turn our focus to rearing them. I think this sense of sacrifice continues when things become difficult to a different level. An unhealthy one.
    The guilt of it, the searching for answers and accepting blame. I viewed and reviewed my parenting, the mistakes I made. Then came the need to fix it.

    Yes, to be able to recognize this and step aside. To let our adult children take responsibility for their choices. This was difficult for me, because my two were constantly reminding me of what I didn't do. Although we have volumes of photo albums of what we did do.

    That is wonderful Copa. You are cultivating a closer relationship with M's sister.
    'Ike aku, 'ike mai, kokua aku kokua mai; pela iho la ka nohana 'ohana.
    Translation: Recognize others, be recognized, help others, be helped; such is a family relationship
    This is awesome Copa, I am so happy for you. You are taking these purchases and making much meaning out of them, this plan with M's sister.

    This is such a well thought out plan. Keeping the hands and mind busy creating. I am excited to follow along with your progress.

    I do not think this to be negative or condescending at all. It is quite brilliant, really. You know the inner workings of M and are using good judgement to ensure a smooth beginning of your endeavor. This is what I think we are talking about in cultivating love. Taking the time to think about how we can preserve our relationship. Sometimes that means anticipating what all of the variables are according to experience, and finding ways to circumvent possible obstacles.

    M must be happy to see the two of you working together.

    It is good to be able to see the value in the effort others put in, and to honor that. Cedar was talking about having integrity. I think this is essential in any relationship.

    Oh Copa, you have had such a good day. This makes me very happy, to read of it.

    Yes, I am grateful as well to all of my warrior sisters, I feel the same way Copa. There are not words to express my tender affection and heartfelt thanks for the encouragement.

    Thank you
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  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    See, I think M feels responsible for everything. When I tell him something, about an idea, I think he jumps to the feeling that he is responsible, that I am asking him to take responsible for things to turn out well. He feels pressure. It is not necessarily that he needs to dominate, but it is that too.

    Yes and no. He loves his sister and he likes her here.

    I think he has lived his whole life long with a lot of family, and it is more natural for him to have the house full, although we both appreciate the simplicity of being us together.

    The downside: I think he thinks we gossip and that it will come to no good, in particular, that I will be hurt. M's sister is very strong and confident and well-defended. I, more sensitive. And I give her power because she knows all of his children, his wife, and his whole story for 60 years. I defer to her "expertise" too much. This is M's worry, I think.

  9. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I agree. Maybe it is because the language of men and women is so different? I want to talk it out. The hubs does not. He would rather not address it. This does not mean he is not hurting.

    Nine is a big family.

    This is sad. It makes me feel sad for M.

    How difficult for him. Does he speak of this Copa?

    Hubs is the same, very hard working.
    This was his loving sacrifice, I do not know if our children understand the whole of it. They yearn for a relationship with their father, but couldn't see that his work was his way of trying his best to provide for them. My youngest daughter learned to anticipate what her father needed, before he had to ask. This way, she did not have to deal with his sergeant mode. When she moved out, she lamented that she could never please him, this hurt me, because I felt the same way with my father. She says now, that she values the work ethic he instilled in her. She has found ways to look at her dad, with a different perspective. I think that is cultivating love.
    I think happy is overrated. It is impossible to be happy all of the time. Life has its ups and downs. We do well to teach children that all people make mistakes.To teach to look for the good in people. To make the best out of tough situations.
    Working with children in a sports program, I hear parents complaining that their child is not happy. I tell them that discouragement is a part of life, it shows us what we are made of, to be in a tough situation and come out of it. One cannot win all the time. How will these children deal with loss as adults, if they always get what they want as children?

    I wonder if this is from M's culture? The hubs culture is the same. One does not turn ones back on family, no matter what. In my family, the thought was, when you are 18, you find your own way. So different. I believe in this day and age with high cost of living, more and more families live together, generationally. It is feasible, if everyone works to cherish the relationship and cultivate love.
    I do not think this possible with my d cs. They do not look at living at home with thoughts of helping and responsibility. They start out looking as if they do, then quickly begin to take advantage. They act as if they are entitled. This is not cultural.
    "You no work, you no eat."
    That is cultural.
    Ahhh yes, the angling. There always seems to be an angle with my two.

    Yes, where do I fall short? That is the question I have not been asking myself. What more can I do to make my relationship better?

    Since I am back at coaching, I reflect a lot on the metaphor of canoe paddling and life.
    In a Hawaiian outrigger canoe, there are six seats, each with their own job. As in any sport, we teach to work hard as an individual in training, to not judge others, but look at oneself. When paddling in a canoe, everyone must become one to make the canoe move forward. Technique, timing, fitness, all come in to play. The most important thing is attitude, it is crucial to have a positive outlook. When people are not used to the rigors of physically challenging work, the mind has a tendency to go negative. This can be disastrous in a canoe, because the canoe, transfers the negativity. It is a vessel, six people are locked into this vessel, working as one to move it. If one person starts to think negatively, it slowly becomes obvious. They may work less, or have bad feelings and suspicion of how hard others are working. The canoe will not move proficiently. It is amazing to see this. After coaching and paddling for over 20 years, I know it to be true. The best crews, are those who are able to work together positively, to look within themselves and work towards their own best, to forgive their crew mates mistakes, to cherish idiosyncrasies, to bond and cultivate love, to trust each other.
    This is what makes a successful crew, who can pull together in the stormiest ocean conditions.
    This is much like a family.
    I think that is what I need to bring to my relationship with the hubs. To start to look inward, at what my contributions have, or have not been.

    Huh, it was right there in front of me all along.

    Thank you Copa for your forthrightness in sharing this.
  10. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    M cherishes you very much Copa. To feel this way. You have looked at it in a loving light. To mention the dominating aspect at the last.
    He knows his sister well, and wants to protect you. This is sweet. And intuitive.

  11. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Maybe this is one answer to cherishing our relationships, discovering and recognizing the differences between ourselves and our mates, and continuing to fuel the fires of passion. Hard enough to do without challenges. With the challenges of dealing with the complexities of d cs.

    No matter where we are in our relationship with our children, we shan't forget to rekindle our love and passion for our mates. It is essential to cherishing. To not view each other just as an old comfortable pair of house slippers. To not take for granted one another.To view our mate as Copa put it "As if you were an anthropologist entering a new tribe and trying to decipher their customs and language. To "study them like a fascinating, marvelous being from some other world."
    And for those parents who are single, make that study of yourselves, as a fascinating, marvelous being.
    For those who have younger or other older children aside from adult d cs, make them the focus of the study, a fascinating, marvelous being.

    There is so much magic to that statement. Thank you Copa.

    Hawaiian Husband Anthropological Study 101

    Hubs is a very reserved man, he does not make idle talk. I have often wrestled with this, the not talking.
    Favorite saying 'talk is cheap".
    A story from hubs older cousin who was raised by his grandparents, reveals that his grandfather rarely spoke. He was a hard working man, who was charged with the upkeep and cultivation of the family land. He would work the land from sunrise to sunset. Tutu Man would grow peanuts, sweet potato, taro, banana, chili pepper, all sorts of edibles and flowers.
    The Hawaiian word for land is "aina" which literally means "that which feeds."
    That which feeds.

    Provider. That is my hubs. He takes his charge very seriously, to provide for his family.
    His childhood was very difficult. He wanted better for his children. His children's, children.

    Hawaiian grandparents of long ago, traditionally took in their first born grandchildren and raised them as their own.
    The idea to this day of caring in the home for grandchildren is still in practice. The thought of not caring for them......foreign. Many Hawaiian families live together in a multi-generational setting.

    Our family.
    In a nutshell...or coconut shell?
    Struggled for many years with our d cs and grands coming and going. We took them in at one time or another, eventually were given temporary custody for about six months when they were very young. Three grans, two in diapers. CPS involvement. The agency somehow finagled that we received NO support, no food stamps, no help, and on top of that, had to take them for sessions to meet with their parents. We ran through our savings. My youngest daughter was in middle school, son in elementary. The ultimate goal of CPS was to reunite the family, grans back with their parents. This happened. The parents relationship is intensely chaotic and crazy. No stability. Our grans reflect that in every way. It is heart wrenching.

    The toll this took on our family, in particular, the hubs, was immense. My young son, spent the better part of his life going, growing through all of this.

    The cultural expectation to continue to "help" hung over us.

    I realized first the need to detach. Hubs was a reluctant participant. It was a very difficult concept to grasp for both of us, more so for him.

    Here we are 11 long years after, recently detached (three months) raising our teenaged son and trying to rebuild the shambles of our relationship from years of dealing with the turmoil of our d cs.

    Cultivating Love.

    verb (used with object), cultivated,cultivating. prepare and work on (land) in order to raise crops; till. use a cultivator on. promote or improve the growth of (a plant,crop, etc.) by labor and attention. produce by culture: to cultivate a strain of bacteria. develop or improve by education or training;train; refine:
    to cultivate a singing voice. promote the growth or development of (an art,science, etc.); foster. devote oneself to (an art, science, etc.). seek to promote or foster (friendship, love,etc.). seek the acquaintance or friendship of (a person).

    1610-20; < Medieval Latin cultīvātus (past participle of cultīvāre to till), equivalent to cultīv (us) ( Latin cult(us), past participle of colere to care for, till (cf. cult ) + -īvus -ive ) + -ātus -ate1

    I like the idea of looking at cultivating love

    along the same lines of planting, growing, creating a garden.

    Gardening is hard work as is maintaining, cherishing relationships.

    It is a great analogy and fits with the idea of anthropological study of my husband through the eyes of his culture.

    I will continue to contemplate this, and write more later
    But first to sleep.

    Goodnight, or shall I say, good morning to you all.

    La'i ("Lah-ee") leaf

  12. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Copa, I think too that it will be valuable for both you and M, and for your relationship, for each of you to have separate lives and challenges during the day, and good food and companionship and family in the evening. Remember that your first loyalty is to M. Those are the eyes that matter. There is something off about the sister describing M as weak to the woman he loves.

    My mother would do something like that, in her beginning testing of the waters.

    Remember boundaries and integrity.

    Copa, I am so pleased for you. Words cannot express.

    Copa, M knows his sister. What are the family patterns? That is how you will know how to define what you see and hear.

    The sister may have expertise, this is true. You have laughter and heart, and you are brilliant.

    I'm just saying.

    Leafy, your post is beautiful.

  13. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Absence makes the heart grow fonder. How does one say 'How was your day honey?" when together all day. I agree Cedar.
    Describing her brother as weak, but Copa you saw this as vulnerable on the inside, didn't you?
    Perhaps what the sister thinks she knows of M, is not M now, with you?

    I know people as such, Hawaiians would say "Don't bite the bait."

    "Don't bite the bait." Miranda rights. Here is a good old saying "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything."

    I think this is marvelous, too.

    Roles and patterns.
    But you know the M that he is now, with you. You have laughter and heart and are brilliant and you have three count them three motorcycle jackets, one for M and two for you.
    Thank you Cedar, coming from my warrior intelligent, thinking sister, that is a great compliment.


    Think Cedar, keep on thinking.
    good day my sisters,Cedar, Copa and Feeling, time to get going......

    Feeling, where are you?

  14. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Here is a true thing about the Conduct Disorders motorcycle, Leafy. In the saddlebag on the back? There is a beautiful English library with butlers and leaded glass windows where we keep Family of Origin members until we have decided what to do with them, and a needlepoint scroll that reads: "F you, Mom."


    True story.

  15. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I am preparing a needlepoint for my sister as I read this "F you, Atilla."

    Thanks for that one, and what a coincidence this motorcycle appearance.......purpose.
    Imagine that.

    Life is grand and mysterious isn't it?
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    And remember, Cedar, you put my mother in there, and gave her a beautiful, long, scarlet scarf. You are keeping her safe and complementing her on her great beauty, which will make her happy. And she is so glad to finally be able to wear well long, flowing scarves which she never could do before because she was only five feet tall. Thank you for that gift. She would also like big flashy hoop earrings, which I have ordered.

    Thank you for caring for her so well.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015
  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This sister is the oldest girl.

    M was the most successful of the siblings because of his intelligence, willingness to go far and wide, take risks, and extreme hard work.

    This sister has a lazy husband. He is also extreme risk averse. He has provided for his family. That is it. The children, all girls, want things, but do not want to work. Their lives are centered around children and home as was their mother's.

    M was the older brother who took the place of his father with the younger children. He and his brother a year older who died. He was an authority figure. All through their lives the children turned to M for help and to solve problems.

    There is resentment, I think, of his success, and I fear, a bit of dancing around his current vulnerability.

    I do not think they ever thought he would end up with somebody like me. I am completely outside of the mold. Like some newly discovered species. M's sister also said this about me: You are high maintenance and difficult. Of course I set it up, giving her the opening. But it was interesting nonetheless.

    M would not like it at all that she said that.

    There is some competition I think about deserving. Who deserves more or less. Entitlement and not getting it. I think they all feel underneath that they are the entitled one. That M and I are undeserving of what they should rightfully have. Like in our families.

    Remember how another sister maneuvered to get her name on the family home, excluding all of the other siblings, putting at extreme risk her mother?

    While she is the worst of the bunch there is some of that in some of the others. At the same time, they were all taught by M's mother to care for, protect and to look out for the interests of the others, and to above all, to forgive.

    As I see it, M learned best the lesson.

    To call M weak and to call me high maintenance or a lot of trouble or difficult is really a bit much. I am more tickled by it than weakened and I am not sure what she meant. Whether she was talking about the self-indulgence of staying in bed. Or the independence and self-sufficiency.

    It stings more about M, but not much, because it is not true. What M is, I think, is an arrogant and powerful man, broken and humbled. That is not such a bad thing. As Cedar has taught me.

    M's sister is speaking from a very limited understanding of character and of life itself. And that is always what M has told me about this sister. That she does not mean ill, but can damage nonetheless. Like all of us, she views life from the lens of her own experience and interests. And she has the confidence that comes from having not been tested. Confidence from ignorance.

    She has never worked. Her world has been her husband and children. And her siblings and parents. It is like we had lived our whole life long in our FOO and saw life only through its prism.

    I have to go. She will arrive at 11 and I want to do something before then.

  18. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    That is a compliment I think Copa, and a testament, not only to your strength but to the intensity of M's feelings for you. In a family where women assume traditional roles, "high maintenance and difficult" would not be possible.

    The sister must be as curious about you as you are, about her.

    Speaking as she did, using the words that she did, indicates that she is honest and not seeking to please. I am forever being drawn to women like that. I know where I stand.

    So I think I like the sister very much.

    A difficult, high maintenance woman who is beloved would be a woman whose value superceded all expectations. Fascinating, like the way a crystal turns in the sun, flashing light and color.

    Something precious.

    She may have been talking about the fact that in her life, neither self-indulgence nor self-sufficiency would be allowed. In those ways, she is not her own. You are. Not following any of the traditional roles, yet her brother cherishes his life with you.

    The more I think of those words M's sister used, the more I like that she said that, without deception or flowery words. I think a wonderful friendship could develop. An honest relationship.

    D H mom and sisters are like that, Copa.

    Could it be that what she meant, when she named M weak, was that in their culture, the woman should be dominated?

  19. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I am stealing away to answer. Yes, this makes sense.

    This sister is chronically ill. In traditional societies it is often that depression is expressed somatically and treated as such. I will write more about this later.

    She has withdrawn as have I but it has been called something different. Not: I am staying in bed because I choose to. Get over it.

    Women's power is expressed covertly, often in very twisted and damaging ways.

    I think you may be exactly right.

    I will visit back later.

  20. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    We are looking at cherishing our relationships and cultivating love. Since I am visiting here, on CD, and it has helped me so tremendously, I will share how I feel about my newfound sisters and friends who have walked similar paths as I.

    But first......
    the following, a true story

    The rains came and held steady over the island,
    forty days and forty nights of continuous rain.
    The ground, soaked by this slow, steady onslaught, began to move.
    Mud and boulders came down from the mountains.
    The way water moved downhill
    from above our little house changed,
    always a deep concern when living
    under the shadow of a mountain.
    Riverlets and mini waterfalls appeared
    The stream below, swelled.
    On the 39th night
    a rumbling cacophony sounded through the darkness
    boulders let loose from the bed up the mountain
    and charged downstream thundering on their journey.
    A deafening sound.

    The 40th day,the rain let up a bit
    we ventured out running errands.
    The cell phone rang.
    "If you are home, get out, if you are not, do not come home."
    The rain started to pelt the car as we drove.
    An ominous symphony of patter
    and metronome of windshield wipers
    stretched on, as we silently made our way.
    A fire engine blocked the entrance to our road,
    "You cannot go up there"
    They said.
    We parked our car.
    We hurried up the road.
    The rain slowed to a drizzle.
    Making our way up,up
    the steep road had become a river of
    debris and rocks
    hitting our feet and ankles.
    I saw light pouring through
    an area usually shadowed
    in the face of the mountain.
    I knew something was terribly wrong.
    The light of the sun should not have been there.
    We left the raging river atop the road to hike sideways up the hill
    Our house was covered on the mountainside of it
    up to the windowsills, with dirt.
    We walked around to the other side
    water poured underneath our home
    cascading over the hill.
    To our horror
    two cars were buried
    walking down the driveway atop six feet
    of wet, freshly laid earth,
    we peered up
    to the source of the oddly appearing light
    where none could be seen before.

    300 feet up
    the mountain we had so carefully planted
    10 long years of work, gone.
    In a flash, a torrent of water had swept away
    banana trees, decades old avocado trees,
    ti leaf,
    In its place,
    an empty chasm,
    a gorge 300 feet long
    30 feet wide
    20 feet deep.
    Stretching across the road
    making its way
    to the stream below.
    Years and years
    of clearing
    and planting.
    Gone in an instant.

    I write of this here, because I am remembering and comparing this incident in our lives, to the catastrophe of having things go very, very wrong with our children. The years of cultivating love, the time we put in to our children, the loving effort. The great feeling of loss when we realize that there is nothing to be done about the paths our adult children take.

    Who can stop the rain?

    And so we struggle and try, and try to help our children, then we realize, there is nothing we can do.

    Like the water flowing down a mountain, it will find its way to the stream below, and cause devastation in its path.

    I am thankful the good Lord saved our home. It could have been much, much worse.

    The phone rang, "We heard about what happened, do you folks need help?" It was my paddling friend. Shakily, I said "Yes, thank you, bring shovels, and a wheelbarrow if you have."
    Friends came up and shoveled and shoveled and shoveled away at a mountain of dirt. Another friend called his brother, who I do not even know, and offered his little bobcat. That man worked 8 long hours, heaving away yards and yards of soil from our driveway and road, so there was clear passage.

    More and more people showed up to offer help, some we did not even know.

    This is you, my dear CD friends. Clearing the rubble from my heart and mind, helping me to see there is a way to pick up the pieces from this great loss we all suffer with our d cs. Helping me to clear the way towards rebuilding. Towards setting right what had gone so terribly wrong these many years, the turmoil of it, the constancy of the pelting rains of addictive behavior, in my very household. The resulting flash flood of emotion and breakdown. The deep chasm of loss and grief.
    Gone with my d cs, as I have built up the strength of acceptance through coming here, posting and writing and sharing and daring to dream of peace.

    Though my children are out there. Gone.

    There is.....peace.

    We have recovered from that terrible event so many years ago.

    I am recovering from my long years of enabling, desperately trying to help what could not have been helped.

    For who can stop the rain?

    So, before I can continue to write anything more on this subject,
    I must tell you, my sisters, my friends, how much I cherish our relationship,
    that through these months
    I have cultivated a deep love and affection for you.
    How truly amazing and magnificent and marvelous to write this
    to people I have never seen before.
    Yet, I have seen you through your writing.
    The honesty, the pain, the searching, the finding, the helping of others find their way.
    The amazing intelligence and wit,
    the tragedy, the humor, the triumph.
    I am humbled, and blessed.

    The incredible meaning of it all.

    With heart felt love and aloha

    I thank you.

    Mahalo, mahalo, mahalo.
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