I was tired last night, so I was in bed by quarter to ten. I woke up at 12:30. Went back to sleep. I woke up again at 2:30. This time, sleep didn’t return. An hour later, I got up and finished the final cleanup of the projects I’ve had going at my house the last few days. It’s nice to have everything completely put back together.
My mind racing the entire time.
When I moved to Colorado three and a half years ago, I started over. When I move back to Oregon, I’m going to be starting over again. I thought of the number of times I’ve started over…the number of times I’ve reinvented myself. I found my mind meandering through the corridors of losses I’ve had in my life. I was drawn back to my teen years when in the aftermath of my adopted mom’s death, my adopted dad fell apart and returned me to foster care. Already grieving the loss of a parent at 13 years old, I lost everything else in my life too. Friends, family, school, etc. I was moved to another city, so I didn’t even have familiar surroundings.
Yet, during those years, I found connection to others. My foster brother, Jason, was four years younger, and my foster sister, Ronda, was one year older. Jason made me laugh, and Ronda was my best friend and called me “Sis.”
When I was close to aging out of the system, Jason committed suicide. I lost touch with Ronda as she was descending into life on the streets as I was preparing for college. A few years passed, I got word that she had been murdered. They never found who did it. Then again, the cops don’t always look that hard when it’s someone like her. I was in my early 20s feeling like I was the last one standing. Eight years later after my adopted dad died, I began counseling where I was diagnosed with PTSD and received treatment.
I’m not sure why they’re on my mind right now. Maybe because I’m starting over again. Maybe because they’re watching over me. No matter what the reason I’m thinking of them now; no matter why I experienced such loss; I have never and will never regret for even a moment loving them, being family, having each others’ backs. No matter the tears I shed, no amount of sadness will ever outweigh the joy, the love, and the light they brought into such a dark and lonely part of my life.
I just want to say, “Thank you!” May you both rest in peace.
This song, written and performed by Nightbirde, is about her journey fighting cancer. (She has since passed.)
Lovely words about difficult memories. You remember the best of Jason and Ronda, and they know the best of you. It’s to reveal the best of you that you are changing and growing and seeking a way back to a place were you are honoured and respected. Blessings to you on this day of thanks.
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