Her Bad Mother

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sunshine, On A Cloudy Day

Update on Zachary below.

This is going to sound trite, but I'm going to say it anyway: sometimes, on even the darkest day, a little bit of sunshine bursts through a gap in the clouds and that streak of light - even if it does not have the power to warm cold bones and frigid skin - reminds you that there's blue sky up there somewhere, above and behind and beyond the dark. The smiles of my children - I warned you about the trite - are such bursts of light.

So is this:

Hi Catherine (& well wishers),

I kept up w/ your blog and every single one of your comments on my Beaner and I cannot thank you enough for posting my story and helping me out even though I know that you are going through a lot and I am so sorry if I put you in a position. I say this because I know the hurt you are going through now… but what you did is life changing for me and my kids and I will forever be grateful.

On Friday night I was able to get visitation w/ my two older kids for the weekend. It was the first time I’d been w/ them for more than 2 hours since Beaner was born. It was a great visit and they just adored her. I had originally told them when I was making the adoption plan that Beaner was going to live w/ a family that couldn’t have babies. I thought that was the only way for them to understand…I can honestly say it was a very hard weekend w/ all 3 of them, but I wouldn’t have had any different. We were all finally together, our family…My Family. How could I give her up and take her away from her big brother and sister who were lying nuzzled right next to her giving her so many kisses? Would they ever forgive me for taking her away from them, would she for giving her up? Believe me, there was a moment where all 4 of us were crying at the same time… I know its going to be hard, but you know I want to do it, I have to do it for them…

Everyone one that left a comment, sent prayers and thoughts my way will always be in my thoughts and prayers, as I will be forever grateful.. They gave me A LOT of advice and I read and processed every single one of them over and over…Thank you for sharing personal stories, I know how hard that is and was for some.. I wasn’t strong enough on my own to not get help and opinions from others. Right now I’m taking the adoptive parents backing out, your blog entry about your brother and I’m taking them as a sign…a sign that things are right now because they are supposed to be, that I will learn and grow and put this behind me as a very hard and confusing part of my life…

I can honestly say that this time last week it was at any moment that I was going to sign the adoption papers. I drove by the agency 8 times and visited my caseworker once, but there was not one moment that I could actually make the pen move on the paper…I couldn’t sign…So I’ll take that as another sign…

So, it's final, a decision is made….I’m keeping my Beaner, she will grow up w/ her big sister (2yrs) Itty Bitty who will lovingly teach her everything she knows…and her big brother (4yrs) Lil Man who will always be there for her and protect her as much as he can… He was such a good big brother this weekend making sure Itty Bitty was gentle w/ Beaner… I am glad to know that adoption as an option was there for me, because I do know that there would have been parents out there willing to love her and take care of her. And it would have been my decision had this mess w/ my parents not happened…but I now believe things happened for a reason… this all happened for a reason…

Things are going to be different…I know they are, its not going to happen overnight…but I will keep believing because I will have my kids…all 3 of my kids. I love them more so much. And I will never give up, I promise them that…I will do everything in my power to make sure they are provided for…I won’t be ashamed to go the welfare office and get the help that I need now to get back up on my feet…I will do this because its too late to do an adoption plan…I love her too much to let her go now...

Thank you HBM, I don’t know if you realize it… but because of you and your help, my family will be forever grateful indebted to you… My prayers and my thoughts are with you finding your brother and that your Nephew Zach will get better…he’s young, and I’m sure a fighter…

Always here,

PS Attached is a picture of Beaner, so you can meet the little one who this was all about… OH, and, well she needs a name now… I don’t know about you but Beaner C, Attorney at Law doesn’t sound right for her future… So if you wanna ask your readers for any suggestions, I would welcome it… My other kids are names begin w/ M’s, so I would like to find an M name…

I want you all to know this: the greater share of Marie's thanks is due to you, dear internets, dear friends. I corresponded with her, shared my meager thoughts, and posted her story, but you all did so much more: you shared your own stories, you shared your wisdom, you filled this virtual page with warmth and hope and love and realism and friendship and support. As you have done so often for me. As you continue to do now. For that, all the gratitude in the world is barely enough.

Now, you heard her. She needs a name for a baby girl - her baby girl - a name that begins with M...


(Zachary has not improved. The doctors still don't know why the strain of meningitis that is attacking him is attacking so aggressively and unreservedly. They think that there is probably something more than meningitis that is waging war on him, but they don't know what. Zachary continues to fight. I leave for Vancouver tomorrow, to sit with my sister at his bedside and offer all the love that I can.

If you have more prayers and good wishes to spare, I will accept them gratefully.)


Update on Beaner:

Hi Catherine,

I wanted to let you know that Little Mia Catherine is doing great! She is 8 weeks old and a great baby, ya I'm a little biased!! :) I just want to say thank you again, what you did for me was life changing... It opened new doors for me, and I am so happy w/ ALL my kids and her with me! Good news, I found a job...a bigger place to live w/ my friend that will accomodate all of us!! My brother moved down and is babysitting while I work (11pm-7am)...so everything is falling into place!! So anytime you are in NM please hit me up, I owe you a few drinks!! :) Much love Friend!!

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008


He was the first baby that I ever loved. He was the boy who taught me that I could love and care for someone much smaller than myself and still be myself. He was the reason I decided that I wanted one, maybe two, of my own (I will always be grateful to him for showing me that such love is possible, that the feel of one small, precious hand in one's own is enough to fill the heart to busting, to satisfy it for an eternity). He was four when he toasted my husband and I at our wedding: TO FLAMILY, he said, raising his little glass of milk. To flamily. His name is Zachary, and I adore him.

Until two days ago, he was vibrant, beautiful, all tanned legs and arms and muscle and tousled hair, the very picture of unbridled boyhood in its sixteenth summer. Then it all turned. One minute he's getting ready to go to his summer job, the next he's vomiting in a clinic, the next he's crumpled on the floor of the hospital, unable to walk. The next he's medivacced to Vancouver, to a larger, better hospital, to specialists, to a place where they try to make sick children feel better. Beautiful boy, crippled and hurting and scared.

He's fighting for his life, for his body, with his body. It's meningitis, and it's aggressive. It's wrapped itself around his spine and is attacking, circling its way like a snake, inching its way to his brain, licking at him with a poisonous tongue. He's paralyzed, and he's scared, we're all scared, and we don't how this is going to go.

I am so worried that I feel physically ill. I desperately want to see him, and to see my sister, who has already suffered so much, and to just wrap them in my arms and squeeze, hard, hard as I can. But it's complicated, and I can't just jump on a plane, because I do, now, have my own children, and it pains me desperately that I can't just rush home nownownow to my family and be there. And hold my Zach, and tell him that it's going to be okay.

Because it will be okay. It must.

It must.

(Oh, hey! Welcome to THE MOST DEPRESSING BLOG IN THE WORLD. Bring your Zoloft and your Xanax and your vodka and stay awhile! I don't have the violin soloist going - YET - but in the meantime I have some lovely, sombre chamber music rolling on 8-track in the background. Do, stay. Misery loves company, especially if it brings liquor.)

(Am feeling just totally defeated, and really fucking tired of all the SAD and the HEAVY and the LOW.)

(I can has hope nao plz?)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Oh, Hai, I Can Has Bitching?

The Bitchfest is coming soon - very soon - to a blog near you. Get more details HERE.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

And Miles To Go

I think that I broke my mom's heart all over again, writing that post. Even though she told me to go ahead, even though she knew it was coming, her heart wasn't ready.

That was beautiful, she said. I only read it once. I won't be able to read it again.

-That's okay, I said.

But it was beautiful.

-I just told the story.

But the way you told it.


Something you didn't write about... why I've been afraid to look for him... I'm afraid of the hurt. If he didn't want to have anything to do with me, it would hurt as much as it did when I gave him up. It would feel like the same loss. It would be that loss, all over again. I would feel it all, all over again.


It's a wound that's never healed.

-We don't have to do this, if you don't want. I don't. You just have to say so.

No. Do it.

-You'll tell me if you want me to stop?


Both of our hearts will break many times, I think, before this is over. But hers will break more than mine, the cracks will run deeper and longer, and I am pained by that. I'm pained by that because she's my mother, and I love her, and I want to spare her hurt. But I'm also pained because I will, I know, be the architect of some of that hurt, because it will be my words that press her heart to strain. I can only hope that there is some joy - or at least some release, or some closure - at the end of this journey.

I am so tired, and we've barely begun.


She loved your comments. The comments stretched the ache in her heart, and soothed it. That so many people understood, that so many people took something from her story, that was precious. Thank you.

We've quite a journey ahead of us.


I had to walk away from e-mail this weekend. I needed a break. But I've read and am reading everything. If you haven't heard from me yet, it's just because I've been putting sleep and baby-cuddling ahead of correspondence. You will hear from me. I'm indebted to all of you.

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