Yesterday morning was one of those weird mornings where my heart just led me where it needed to go, and in the most unexpected way.
I woke up early, as usual, with the intention of giving my Blythe doll a hair treatment(avid doll collector here). I've been working non-stop on October's bundle box art, as well as art for the upcoming "Survival and Triumph" auction on Facebook, so I wanted to spend the morning completely indulging my inner child in some play time.
But here's the thing...she didn't want to be indulged. She wanted to work. As I prepared my coffee and glanced at the time (6:30 am), it dawned on me how early I wake up. I've been like this for a few years. And my next thought was "if only Joe could see me now" and grief hit me in the gut. I wasn't expecting it.
Joe was my step-father. He began dating my mother when I was around seven, after my father died. I liked him immediately. He was safe. He was stable. he seemed to like me and he was good to my mom. I was a pretty seasoned seven year old so all these qualities were very important to me. I needed some one in our lives who wasn't going to beat my mom, steal the tv, and more importantly, some one to keep her calm. She wasn't allowed to curse at me when he was around. She wasn't allowed to hit me when he was around. For brief moments, I could be a kid. They married when I was nine and had my brothers.
He passed away in a car accident a few weeks after my 15th birthday, May 7, 1993. I had just returned from a 10 month stay at Calvary's Comfort, a home for pregnant teens. My son Will was 3 months old. My brothers were 5 and 3. We haven't really been a family since that day, not for any consistent period of time anyway. Grief, addiction, and dysfunction led everyone to go their separate ways. I've had to work hard to accept that we all have our own way of dealing with pain and we do the best we can.
and yesterday morning, as i stirred my coffee it all came rushing back, once again.
I felt as if I was 15 all over again. I remember what I was wearing that day when my aunt picked me up early from school.
I remember feeling numb when we got to the hospital and were told he was gone.
I didn't cry that day.
I didn't cry until I was 20 years old, living in a residential drug treatment center, in the South Bronx, with my two boys .
18 years later, I thought I was done. I know that it doesn't work like that but from time to time i try to convince myself it does.
Some time ago I would not have know what to do with what the wave of grief that hit me in my kitchen. and I probably would my have responded to what I was feeling in a self destructive way. I was sooo good at that.
Today I know different. Today i know that I need to just feel it and Let it run its course. I knew that instead of my inner child wanting to play, she needed room to cry because she missed her dad. And we did just that... cried and painted.
Here is the result.
And when it was all over I had a feeling that Joe was quite aware and quite proud with just how early I wake up now.