Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Thinking of Opal. The first puppy I adopted as an adult. I don't know what brought me to think of her tonight. It started with a vivid memories of me and my ex-coworkers visiting the SPCA in search for a puppy for my ex who had just lost his long time companion. All of us were at the time young ladies in heals. We caused quite a stir at the rescue center. The guys were all creating a ruckus wanting us to adopt them. I asked if anyone of them were potty trained and one guy said he was and he knew how to flush. The vet came out and said "now, I have to put that one to sleep" referring the adult male who knew how to flush. It was hilarious. In the midst of it all, there was this little Shepard mix that caught my eye. I picked her and brought her to him as his birthday present, if I recall correctly. He named her Opal, after his birthstone. She was nothing like his previous dog. She was smart. She captured the heart of her greatest critic, his father, who hated dogs. She became his companion. Especially at night. She would lay by him as he sip on his night cap and ate his peanuts. She was loved. I loved her too. I was the one that potty trained her. I picked her!!! and I had to say goodbye to her. We spent our last day walking the empty field next to his parents' home. I looked her in her eyes knowing that will be our last goodbye. She went about her business. Not a care in the world and that evening we parted. I have never seen her again.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I've been checking in with my nieces the last two days. Both girls have very different needs. I have my own perspective on things that is quite different from what they are used to. But the beauty is, I am in a unique position where they do trust me enough to reach out to me. In the past, my views are often undermined by my mother. The girls are aware of grandma's hatred and resentment towards me and will never openly defy her authority. But now that she is no longer here, they no longer have that hurdle to navigate. I do catch myself getting lazy and wanting to be uninvolved. Also, the process is rather frustrating as I want them to get it now. But in reality, these take time. No one knows how long the process will be. And there is also a possibility that they will never get it. But for now, I will try to be a good aunt and be there for them. I have to stand true to myself and not enable them or cripple them anymore than they have been. My hope is to help them navigate through this hurdle and future challenges so that they can end up as winners. I can only take one step at a time. My youngest niece said that she really yearns for the day where she has a family that is filled with laughter.  I can only tell the youngest that the only way out is to stay focus and work hard. To make changes on her own behaviors and do better. Being young, she disputed my advice and feels that she has done her best. She was defensive and I can't help but see my mother in her when she acts that way. My mother is always defensive and you can never tell her how to do anything better. I hope she is different. I hope it is only the age and her immaturity that is getting in the way. The oldest is still clearly distraught by her father's cheating behaviors and her loyalty towards her mother. How I wish she can detach herself from her parents' foolishness and start to focus more on her own future. She is the caregiver and that should not be her responsibility. Unlike the little one, she didn't openly disagree. But she is still not detached. She is still very reactive and not getting anything resolve. This is only the beginning and I have remind myself to be patient. To give them a chance. To always be a soft place for them to land. To always love them. And at the end of the day, I have to accept whatever will be will be.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Received frantic messages from my oldest niece yesterday. Purging all about her father, my golden child brother's latest conquest. He is cheating again. This time with a local woman who attends the same church. Pictures of them were openly paraded on both their social media wall. He takes my youngest niece to all his rendezvous expecting her to play along, while keeping his secret. My oldest niece has had the suspicion for awhile and finally forced the truth out of her sister. In her tears, she felt torn. To tell her mother or not to tell. If she is to tell, when is a good time?

My golden child brother's cheating behavior came to light over 10 years ago. He was laying a prostitute while his wife was pregnant with their 3rd child. The truth came to light when one of my classmate decided to tell on him. My mother, whom for years has always characterized this brother of mine as the most noble, had to face the hard truth that he is a liar and a cheater. That, he is someone that cannot be trusted. Soon after the birth of my youngest niece, my sister in law decided to stay married but she packed up and left to work in a nearby country. Leaving the children with my parents.

As the oldest in the family, my niece was left to fend for herself while shouldering the responsibility to protect her younger siblings. To make matter worse, my mother hated her from the day she chose her sitter over grandma at the tender age of one. My mother did not hold back her wrath against my oldest niece. Making her life a living hell.

My niece made a decision to leave soon after the met a boy a few years ago. Staying over at his place, more often than being home. These days, she only goes by to check in on her sister. Each visit usually ends up with arguments with her father. Each visit, he will insist that she gives him money. He even went as far as insisting that she pays him to take the youngest to school. My niece pays the mortgage and the bills, while he stays jobless and use her money to pay for his woman. Apparently, there were others. The children and my parents have seen love letters sent by other women over the years. Something I had never known.

I called my niece as soon as I got those messages. While navigating my brother's foolishness, her mother came up with the brilliant idea of transferring the name of the current house to my nephew, selling it, borrowing more money from the bank and then my niece is suppose to buy another home for the family.

It came to a point during our conversation, I asked her about her aspiration. These are her parents' mistakes and at some point, I told her that she has to start thinking about herself and her future. As for the cheating, I reminded her that her parents' marriage were long gone. If the other woman wants him, we should wrap him up and deliver him straight to her doorstep. As for the plan of buying another home for the family, if she were to do that, when will she be able to buy her own home and start her own family. I reminded her that these should not be her responsibility. If she wants to help, she has to set limits. Otherwise, she is not doing justice to herself and her future.

Knowing what I know, I don't think anyone has ever told her to consider her own well-being. This niece of mine is my heart. She was the first born and I always remember how excited I was when she finally arrived. I showered her with toys and clothes, and she always know that I love her. I don't always have a chance to talk to her but when I do, I try to steer her towards the direction that will be best for her. When I first found out about the boy, I warned her about the birds and the bees. She listened and I am pleased that she has protected herself thus far. As always, I can only guide her along. It is unfortunate that her parents do not have her best interest at heart.

At this time, I can only say a prayer for her. A prayer of strength. I also pray that God sends angels to protect and guide her. I pray that God will take that burden away from her so that she can finally soar and be whom God has intended for her to be. I want to see her happy. I want to see her fulfilled. I want her to finally have someone who will love her and protect her. It is about time.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A cousin from my husband side got married today. Pictures of her proud father was posted on social network site the last few days. I felt very sad today because those pictures reminded me of what I yearned for all my life and what I never will have. It still amazes me how raw those feelings can be. I can't help but wonder what happened to our wedding album that we gave my parents as a gift. I have not seen it in years and it wouldn't surprise me, that it got thrown away. Knowing that my parents weren't be able to attend our wedding, we hired a videographer to capture the moment. They never did view the video nor did they ever shown any interest. Maybe that's why I am sad. I tried so hard to include my parents in my life and I got shot down time and time again. I can't help but wonder what goes through their mind when I got married? I know they weren't happy for me and they certainly weren't proud of me. I can't help but be a little envious that this cousin of ours to have a father who had waited all his life for this day. To see his little girl all grown up. To see her happy. To see her finally find someone who cares for her. To finally be able to walk her down the aisle. To finally have his dance as a father of the bride. What privilege it is to have such parents.