KINDRED # 23

Rachel’s Blog
Thanksgiving morning early is my favorite time of the day. Most folks I talk with hate the earlier rise but for me the mundane prep work and quiet gives me time to think and reflect. This is our second holiday with Michael and to be honest, it feels like this has always been holidays with him. I see though in him what so many parents that created their family differently see in their kids, a lack of being jaded at family gatherings and a deep contentment from knowing he is where he belongs. I want him to look back in his life and not mourn the people who abandoned him but instead embrace the people who loved him without condition.
I am thankful for many things, a new one this year is my Hoover Drive partner in crime, Amy. She ties for me this idea of grief as healing and grief as a marker of knowing not just bad things but good things impacted your life. Amy lost her father, Bud, before she was even a full-fledged toddler. Even more tragically to suicide. Through the years the loss of not having him at key milestones in her life was overwhelming and that pain wrought damage on her body and her heart. As a child, the double edge of this was not only was he gone but he chose this path. This is a big concept and hard for adults to grasp, no less kids.
Right before the new phase of her life with Seth, she then lost her mother, Zena. For those who knew her even the best wordsmith would have trouble capturing her essence on paper. She was fierce, kind, lost, dynamic, caring, straightforward and protective. Yes, she had her own untapped grief but she, after a tragedy, pulled herself up and did what she always felt was best for her kids. Knowing the relationship Amy shared with her, I do not think anyone could ever fully grasp the grief in her passing.
Ok Rachel, why on Thanksgiving are you talking about grief and not gratitude? Because I believe that moving through grief uncovers gratitude. Bud took his life as he saw that the only way he could protect the people her loved more than himself: Amy and Zena. This, as Zena would say, shonda, has depths and layers of sadness . This is a grief that never leaves but can do one of two things: make you or break you.
Amy, whether she knows it or not, made it . The gratitude I see in this is that losing Bud and Zena was so painful because Amy knew she was loved without condition and loved more than life. In all the sadness the gift is that she has never taken giving or receiving love for granted and she rallies for those devoid of love. The people she loved live on in her anyway, but their legacy is creating a child who wants others to see peace and happiness.
I get pissed when folks say Mike must be so grateful to you. He is my child, no gratitude required, we do what parents do. What I do want for him is that when Kim and my time comes, he understands that he misses and grieves us because of love. I want that for all the kiddos in care. They all grieve abandonment and loss in such brutal ways. To then have a forever family and know you are loved without limits is something we take for granted. ALL children should have this, not just some.
Because of birthdays and passing dates, Thanksgiving has never been a big one for Miss Amy. My wish is this continues to change for her. The place in her heart for missing Bud and Zena will never end. I do believe though, as we continue with KINDRED, as she sees what the power of her love on children that feel unloved does, as she raises a new generational peaceful warrior ( shout out to Mr. Ty ) , as this all happens, my wish is that these new pieces of love gently cradle the grief in her heart .That the power of her love for others will have Bud and Zena dancing in her soul!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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