Monday, February 25, 2013

You Can't Go Home

As our transition from RV to house becomes almost complete I am starkly reminded of the fact that the friends who we left in Denver when we went on the road are not the same people now. I'm not even sure if we can even call them friends now. We certainly cannot rely on them as our support system now.

There is such a sense of loss with that and even more of an awareness of just how alone we really are now. It's a stark example of true existential loneliness.

Walt is flying back to Florida from Denver tonight where he went to oversee the splitting up of our stuff that has been in storage the whole three and a half years we have been on the road. Our 'house contents' basically under lock and key waiting for the next phase.

Less than half of what was in the storage will make the trip to Florida. We did a crowdfunding call and collected enough money to only pay for 350 cubic feet. We had over 900 cubic feet of stuff. The whole letting go of attachments was draining but also freeing. We are so grateful to the people who donated - it couldn't have happened without your help.

There is sadness as we close the door on calling Colorado home. Of our old friends only one could free themselves up to help or connect with Walt. The person that helped was one of our 'newer' Denver friends. The 'old' friends were nowhere to be found.

I was very angry about this and was expressing that to my dad when he said. 'They are not the same people now as when you left. You can't go home. Home isn't there anymore'.

I had thought of 85 different lectures and confrontations I would have with these friends. But alas, after my dad's sage observation I understand I have to let them go.

My kids and grandkids are still there. It's IS their home. They showed up to help and were amazing! It is no longer my home. And as the true gypsy I realize that home is where I am at the moment. I am here now in Florida. I did not come here to break connections and strands but that is a side effect. I came here because of my health and my husband's health.

I planted zuchinni in the ground outside last week. It is a metaphor for the planting that is taking place for us now in this new place. I still do not have any sense or feeling that I will actually be here to harvest them.

I realize too that maybe I have nothing my old friends need anymore. I can't teach them how to live and thrive in the same, familiar place. I can't teach them a way to signal it's time to clean the fridge because I only do that when I move. I do have a guest room near the beach so I hope they will find their way to us here.

46 moves for me and 30 something for Walt makes us outcasts and on the fringe. It is lonely but there IS a sense of freedom about it. With strands and most old attachments broken it leaves me and us open to new things. That's scary and I know because we have faced that fear over and over we may be the craziest yet most courageous people I know.

This is Walt's rental car outside of his the La Quinta Hotel in Aurora, CO on Sunday morning, February 24, 2013.

This is the view from Bruno's new PetSmart in Daytona Beach, FL after a heavy downpour on February 25, 2013. In the distance is the Daytona 500 Speedway where Danica Patrick set multiple new records for "firsts" for women in racing during Opening Day racing the day before.  From here I drove 14 miles south to New Smyrna Beach, where we live at 4:30 pm on a Monday on I-95. 

Peace be with you and all that jazz.....
For the latest update and status on how thing are going with Adam and Cadence check out the latest post at Keep Adam & Cadence Together crowdfunding
Copyright (c) 2013. Chardale Irvine.  All rights reserved.

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Little Girl and Her Daddy Need Your Help

Check for the latest update on the status and progress at Keep Cadence and her Daddy (and Grandma) together
These two people need your help:  (to jump ahead click here:  Keep Cadence With Her Daddy
Meet Cadence
and her daddy Adam Mackley

Cadence is my 18 month old grandaughter.  She is the daughter of my son Adam Mackley who lives in Provo, Utah.

Adam is in the fight of his life trying to carve out his permanent parental rights as Cadence's biological dad in a state (Utah) that is completely biased toward protecting the "image" of the nuclear family by stripping the parental rights of fathers who aren't married to their child's mother.  In the state of Utah a man who IS married to the child's mother gets preference to have parental rights - even if the biological father WANTS to be involved in the child's life.  This is case law that is actively used by the state to strip father's of their parental rights and strips little children of their opportunity to have a healthy relationship with their father.

I have created a fundraising project to help Adam pay his attorney his retainer of $500.  It goes into detail about the situation.  Please take a moment to click here Keep Cadence With Her Daddy.  Adam is not fighting to take Cadence's mom's parental rights away.  He's just fighting to keep his own.  Can you help?  If you'd rather work directly with the attorney's office here is a link to their contact info:  Allen, Richards & Pace PC

BTW...a badass, well known and respected Defense Attorney - Randy Richards has agreed to represent Adam.  This is GREAT news but this is not a slam dunk.  The system is VERY biased and they have a battle ahead of them.  He is charging $500 for his retainer which is obviously much lower than normal but even that will be a challenge for Adam.  Anything you can do to help with that will be immensely helpful.  Here is a link to a prominent case he is currently working on:  RandyRichardsforMatthewStewart

Here is a picture of Adam when in the Navy holding his then 6 month old son Shane - Shane is Cadence's 11 year old half brother. 

And here is a picture of me hugging Shane a few years ago on one of his visits to see me when we lived in Aurora, CO.  If Cadence's mom is successful in her efforts to strip Adam of his parental rights I will never have an opportunity to hug Cadence like this.  My fear about that is deep and just the tip of the iceberg of how Adam must feel.  I'm worried about him.  And I'm very worried about her.

This is a complicated family situation where time to bond and connect, to teach and influence, are limited.  A legal intervention that creates even MORE difficulty and decreases that time creates longterm and irrepairable damage.  Adam is exquisitely aware of these limitations but embraces them as part of his challenge.  But as my dad posted on Facebook today: "The one big mistake I made in my life turned out not to be a mistake."  Cadence was created in the traditional way but came into the world to a very non-traditional setting.  She does have two parents who love her in that crazy, 'fight to the death' way that some parents are blessed with and that is GOOD because she is going to need that and THEM both.

Cadence was born with 'leg issues'.  Her short little life has been peppered with painful casting and surgery.  Her ortho needs are being provided by the Shriners Hospital in SLC which is fabulous but Adam has had no say in her care, treatment and strategy.  The mom and hospital are not required to notify him of appointments and surgeries.  Several months ago Cadence had her left foot amputated to prepare for prosthesis.  Adam had to GUESS when the surgery was.  He had to struggle to be allowed to be in the hospital with her.  He is fighting to have a say in her medical care as well.

When you sit down with your child today and have an open, unhindered conversation or a hug with no expected beginning or end with them please notice it.  Please understand what a gift it is to have noone challenging your right to be with that child that has your blood coursing through their veins.  And please try to think about what it would feel like if that were threatened and questioned every day.  Would it turn you into a crazed, feral like mama, daddy or grandparent?  Would you lose your composure and sense of decorum during that challenge?  Would you fight back?  You bet your life you would.  You can help.

Keep Cadence with her Daddy

Peace be with you and all the jazz......