As my reader, you know that the majority of my blogs are based on my personal and current life experiences, while also integrating to you...readers, clients, followers, friends and family, a tip or two along the way. For me, writing is often how I breathe. Most of my clients know that I tend to encourage writing of some sort as part of their weekly actions steps. When life gets super fast, emotional, calm.... whatever the situation, I find writing allows me to stop, reflect, connect and yes.. breathe a little deeper. Journey with me through this one and at the end, realize I am letting you know that you are simply not alone.
"Packing up Barbie" has been sitting on my heart for a few days. I've ignored her, forgotten her, tried to deny her.. but alas, I've decided to face her head on and let the writing commence.
I've been holding out hope for lots of years that my daughters would reunite. Yes, I was the mom that had lots and lots of Barbies. (I was also the mom that had the simple conversation that Barbie bodies were just pretend and not a standard but despite all of the body image stuff , a good old make believe day of playing with and designing clothes and forts and homes for Barbies is just a right of passage in my opinion and was, in our lives, quite harmless). My daughters, now 18 and 20, used to play with these, constantly. Their sisterhood and creative imaginations were happily intact and free. I want those moments back. I get growing up. I get moving on. I get drifting a part a little, and those are things I feel like I could've adjusted and adapted too. What I didn't expect, what I didn't count on, was addiction tearing these girls apart.
Just like one didn't choose to be addict, one didn't choose to "lose" her sister. I carried around with me the hope that they would reunite. I carried around with me faith that the time would come before my youngest leaves the state and moves to college ( in four days) that they would be happy again. I didn't realize when my oldest daughter started her battle at 13, that her Barbie days were forever over. I remember, like a life altering accident, the moment her life, their innocent sisterhood, our lives, changed. I remember the call in the middle of the night. I remember her self-hatred that started the next day, and I remember wishing the drug had never entered her body for the first time, realizing she was the one in our family whom addiction didn't pass up.
Anger, sadness, misunderstanding, hurt, pain, loss, addiction, treatment centers, homelessness, tears. All of these things kept my two most treasured life gifts apart.
Satan is the thief. When we catch him, he will be required to restore seven times as much as what he stole from us.
Three years ago, (four years into her addiction), I threw my Bible and my wooden cross that I slept with as far as I could toss them. I had a choice to make: I was going to believe in God and have faith NO MATTER WHAT, or I was going to let my anger and my sadness tear me further away from the only thing I knew could bring me hope. I chose to believe.
You see, I may have packed the Barbies for now, realizing that my window has closed. You need also to see that I believe I will get those same Barbies back out for the day my daughters reunite, perhaps with their own daughters, and they will play together again. Their relationship will be restored. What has been stolen will be gained back.
What I would give for the days we spent, just the three of us, watching old movies, eating popcorn with melted chocolate chips staining every shirt they spilled on, laughing with one another as we fell asleep in one big bed. Some would say I created an addict by babying her. Some would say my coddling her with songs, stories and lullabies at night, crippled her into not growing up. I disagree, I raised them the same. I didn't create nor cause her addiction. I loved and raised them the best way I knew how. I am thankful beyond measure for having those moments.
I knew packing my youngest for college would hurt. I knew I'd be thrilled for her new journey. I didn't know I would be saying goodbye to a dream of two beautiful sisters spending a beautiful moment together before their lives went different ways. I didn't know.
Thanks for reading. I hope your take away is this.... no matter what life has thrown your way, no matter where life went the "wrong" way, hold on to a hope bigger than your dreams. Hold on tight. For we may not know when restoration and redemption comes, but we do know to look around, to look up, to reach out to those around us offering shoulders, ears, compassion, time and love when we struggle. And that to me is a gentle reminder of God's love.
Dream on. Hold on. Be free.. until the miracle comes.