When I landed in detox for a second time in two weeks on April 1, 2012 (no April fool’s joke) my withdrawal was harder than it had ever been before. I had been told that with each relapse would bring a more intese and difficult detox. The first 24 hours would prove to be horrible and a lesson I needed to be taught. I vowed to never put my body through it again. On the first evening I was standing at the nurses’ station when suddenly my legs went weak and I felt flushed. I couldn’t get my bearings and grabbed ahold of the counter to keep myself from falling to the ground. Luckily the nurse was facing my direction and grabbed a wheelchair and the blood pressure monitor. My pulse was upwards of 150 beats per minute and my pressure was in the danger zone for seizure. I couldn’t think clearly and I felt myself losing touch with reality. Then the vomiting set in. This time it wasn’t flu-like throwing up. It was violent wretching as if my body was doing everything it could to expel poison out of itself. By evening the vomiting had not subsided despite the administration of anti-nausea medications. My nurse told me that she would need to give me a pill via my rectum. If my dignity wasn’t already shattered, this was all I needed. With my hands clutching the sides of my bathroom sink, she pulled down my pants and underwear, spread my butt cheeks and inserted a pill as I heaved and vomited into the sink, propelling bile out of one hole while attempting to not propel medication out of the other. It was humiliating, degrading and I remember thinking to myself, “What have you come to – you know better. This needs to NEVER happen again.” Thank God it worked. I didn’t have to repeat that process again during my 8 day stay.

The next day Dixie came up to visit and we decided that I needed a higher level of care than an IOP would provide. We began discussion my going to a treatment center for 28 days. I was willing and open to it and she began researching my options. It became apparent very quickly that treatment was not going to be cheap. My insurance wanted me to participate and fail in an IOP program before they were willing to cover the cost of in-patient rehab. We knew better though and made the decision that we would do whatever it took to get me the help I needed to save my life. That committment came to be my mantra and what I would live by and continue to live by today. “No Matter What”. I promised to choose life “No Matter What”, and I promised to do “Whatever it Took” to make that happen.

We found out about a Treatment Facility called Journey Healing Center and Dixie called to get more information. They wanted $2500 to reserve a bed for me. We didn’t have $25 let alone $2500 sitting around. I had just spent the last five years spending every last cent on alcohol. We began using the resources around us and asked for help. Dixie called a friend of ours and asked to borrow the money. Without hesitation that friend called Journey and paid the $2500. I now had a bed reserved. The next step was to find a way to pay for 28 days of treatment. Journey required payment of $13,000 up front and I only had a couple of days to figure it out. I swallowed my pride, picked up the phone and called my father to ask him for help. I pleaded with him to front the money for me, and that I would work with insurance who I knew would cover my stay after going through the appeals process. He was unwilling to assist financially. He explained to me that they were preparing for their European cruise and that it was costing him a lot of money. I explained to him that I was saving my life and didn’t he see the worth in my request. He didn’t budge. He also went on to let me know that I didn’t need to go to a treatment facility. I was perfectly capable of handling my issues through participation in Alcoholics Anonymous and possibly and IOP program. No way did I need in patient care. He was an expert after all. On top of thathe made it clear that he was disappointed in the choice I had made to be unfaithful to Becky. This was the first I had heard of this from my father. It had been nearly four years and he chose that moment to share his opinion with me. I hung up the phone feeling crushed, and once again abandoned and rejected by my parents when I needed them most. It was clear that they were not going to help me get to Journey.

Dixie called my best friend who is also a very close friend of hers. Without hesitation she opened a credit card and financed my first 28 days of treatment. She wanted me to live and she was prepared to do whatever it took to make that happen. She wasn’t worried about me owing her money right then but rather me getting the help I needed to save my life. With my bed reserved and my 28 days paid I completed my detox and on the day that I was discharged from the hospital I was picked up by a Journey staff member and transported to my new tmporary home.

I arrived at Journey just as lunch was finishing. I remember walking into the house via the kitchen door, and all of the residents turning to look at the new arrival. I felt like I had walked into a new school half way through the year. They all knew each other and I was the stranger. It felt lonely and unfamiliar. I spent my first hour sitting at the bar in the kitchen staring at my lunch while my tears fell from my face onto my food. Reality had set in that I was in rehab. This was real. How did I let myself get to this point? How many times had I attempted to stop on my own and failed? I wanted to go home and pretend like nothing had happened. I wanted it to be a dream where I would wake up and everthing would be fixed, including myself. I missed Dixie terribly and I longed for her arms around me. This was not a dream and I was not going home. I had made a promise and for me to keep that promise I would have to stay.

That evening Dixie received permission to bring me a few things from home. Seeing her was exactly what I needed. It reaffirmed that I was in the right place and for the right reason. It was temporary and before I knew it I would be home again. Fifty-six days later I would walk out the front door of Journey to return home. I didn’t know on that first day that I would leave fifty-six days later – all I knew was that I was not going to be leaving until I had resolved all that needed resolving in order for me to stay sober. In the next few days exactly what I would need to resolve would be presented to me by my treatment team. It boiled down to four things. 1. Childhood Trauma 2. The Church 3. My Parents 4. My Identity. Each of these I will write about independently given they represent very different pieces of my collective journey. Each piece played a vital role in my recovery and it would take my “no matter what” attitude to get through each of them.

Today marks 13 months of continuous sobriety for me. Three hundred and ninety-six days. Nine thousand, four hundred and eighty-three hours without the influence of drugs or alcohol. I get asked quite often how I did it. I have a journal entry that sums it up perfectly.

“No Matter What”
Setting out on a voyage, it is not most important to understand how to get where you are going, but why. You can spend all of your time and energy on the “how”; plan out every detail, ask the experts, test the waters, experiment, collect data, wait for facts in order to believe. Or, you can put that energy into the “why”; figure out what it is you truly want, why you want it and go for it. The stronger the “why” is, the more insignificant the “how” will become. “No matter what” will become the most profound statement you will make to yourself and as you are hit with circumstances both in and out of your control “no matter what” will become your mantra. As you navigate the seemingly impossible “no matter what” will materialize as your compass and your guide. “No matter what” will guide you safely through rough waters, white squalls and perfect storms. There will be days when you resent “no matter what”. Days when you will curse “no matter what”- and even through that resentment and anger the “why” will remain important enough to you that when the waters calm and the sun re-emerges you will find gratitude for “no matter what” and feel blessed and appreciate the “why”. One day you will wake to find your voyage complete – land in sight – and you realize your safe arrival. It is at this time you will have come to fully appreciate the “why” – the same “why” you once took for granted you now never will and the “no matter what” that brought you safely to your destination becomes the realization that “you” were the “how” – you had it in you all along. All you needed was a “why” and to believe in yourself. -Kai

Accept Yourself

mag.ic \ma-jik\ noun: an extraordinary power or influence seemingly from a supernatural source

I wrote this the day after I achieved one year of sobriety. It is the first entry in a very special leather-bound journal that Dixie gave me to commemorate my accomplishment. My magical moment occurred long before my one year arrived, and was the moment in which I realized that I mattered, I counted, and I had self-worth. It was the day I looked at myself in the mirror and for the first time I was able to look myself in the eye. I had spent forty-one years staring past my self, unable to accept me for who I truly was. I had spent my life demanding acceptance from the world around me and had completely missed the fact that unless I accepted myself I would never get anywhere. The day I found love for Kai was the day my obsession from alcohol began to fade and was replaced with self-respect, self-love, and self-worth. It was also the day I fell to my knees, right there in rehab in my bathroom and thanked God for my life. The day I felt like his child again and knew that it was I who had removed myself from him for all of those years and not him from me. If I would have been asked to describe my most magical and spiritual moment it would not have been in a treatment facility bathroom recovering from alcohol addiction. I have come to learn that experiences like mine cannot be predicted or planned. They can only happen when you truly belive you are powerless and turn your life and will over to God. It is then and only then that the miracle will occur.

4.3.13

There comes a moment in your life when you find yourself, your “true” self. The self you were always meant to be – and in that magical moment the reaction you have can only be described as spiritual and transformational. In that moment, you rise up out of yourself as if propelled by a force more powerful than anything you have ever felt – to give yourself the most genuine, enthusiastic and well deserved standing ovation. It is in that moment you see your potential, untainted and unobstructed and you know with every molecule in your constitution and every ounce of your soul that you are now a game changer. Nothing will ever be the same again – you control the outcome, you are destined for greatness and now that you are out of your own way there is nothing to stop you from getting it. Go out and change the world, one day at a time, one step at a time, one choice at a time. -Kai

In August of 2011 I was sent by my work to a “Leadership Training” outside of Houston, Texas. It was a four-day training that proved to be one of the most impacting experiences of my life. The training was held on a ranch filled with hundreds of pecan trees. We spent half of the time indoors in a classroom and the other half outdoors in the Texas heat. The objective was to take 35 “strangers” and by the end of the four days turn us into a high performance team. In order to do that, we were taken through various processes that would test our ability to let go of our old habits and embrace a new way of thinking. Some of the processes were completed as a team, and some were meant for individual growth. I found myself doing both the impossible and the unreasonable as we were guided by our trainers. I realized that I had little to no self-worth and why. I also found out that I was not trusting and as each day progressed I began to break open, revealing deep wounds from my past that had never been touched or resolved. On the final day of training we went through a process called the “Childhood Re-Frame”. In this exercise, each class member sat with their partner who they had selected to be their “power partner” throughout the training. My partner was Tony, an attorney who worked for the same company that had sent me to Texas. He stood at 6’4″ and weighed about 230 lbs. He looked like an All-American linebacker. For three days Tony and I had achieved the impossible, and conquered each task given to us with courage and the hearts of lions. That morning, sitting in the classroom we had no idea that what we were about to undertake would require all of the courage we had left. It would also require complete trust and it just so happened that in those three short days I had come to trust Tony. The childhood re-frame is a process that takes each participant back in time to early childhood and stirs up memories of relationships and experiences with significant people in your life. It is known as a guided meditation and between the spoken words music is used to make the experience more impacting. We began and I allowed myself to venture into spaces and places of my past that for a lifetime had haunted me. For many the ages of 4-7 are a time filled with memories of family and love, of innocence and wonder. For me that time of my life represented darkness and evil, a time when innocence was lost and I was unprotected and very much alone. As we were guided back to our childhood I struggled to find happy memories. Instead I saw images of events which should never have occurred, and parents who were not nurturing. My “little child” was fractured and broken. Where others were remembering birthdays and celebrations, I could only see death and torture. There I was, standing in a puddle of my own urine trembling as I witnessed my older cousin perform acts too horrific and gruesome to describe. That little child, me – in my innocence could only make sense of the nightmare by telling myself that God must have made a mistake in sending me to earth.

The experiences of my childhood went directly against everything I was being taught in church each Sunday. “You are a Child of God, of infinite worth”. There was no way this could be true. How could I have worth? How could God truly love me and allow this to happen? I was taught that God hears and answers prayers. I prayed. I begged. I pleaded. I asked over and over again for things to stop and they didn’t. This only confirmed my suspicions that God wanted nothing to do with me. I had after all been a mistake. I deserved to be miserable and that is exactly what I would tell myself and believe for the next three decades of my life.

I left Houston feeling raw and broken wide open. I could no longer escape the memories of my past, nor the choices I had made throughout my life that led me to where I was at that moment. Prior to attending the training I had struggled with alcohol. My drinking had already landed me in detox for six days in June of 2010. That had been a wake up call for me, and I stayed sober for 64 days. Then I rationalized that my drinking had merely been the result of a lack of judgement and I now knew better. I returned to drinking socially and within a few months was drinking heavily on the weekends and after work. Upon my return from Houston I hit the bottle with a vengeance, pouring Tequila down my throat at any and every opportunity I had. Drinking became my solution to my inability to face what now presented itself to me both when I was wide awake and sound asleep. Alcohol was the only thing that could take me to a place where memories no longer existed and where I did not care. It took me to complete blackness emotionally and physically it was taking me to black out. I began to rely on the bottle to function, to get me through the day, to allow me to parent, to be a partner, to be a friend, and at the end of the day to put me to sleep. It ruled my world and I worshipped it.

Training had also impacted me positively and awakened me to the knowledge that I had within me the power to choose positive in my life. I knew that I was the only thing holding myself back and getting in my own way. I had learned that there is a universal principle that for every negative exists a positive and given that, why would the choice ever be the negative? I knew that every time I picked up a shot glass I was choosing death over life. I was acutely aware of the damage it was doing to my children, my partner, my job, my health and ultimately my life. My body cried out in anguish over my choices. I knew I needed a solution other than alcohol and I began looking at what options were available. Since training had given me the tools to be successful I made the decision to return to the ranch as a volunteer. I returned four more times participating as a staff member in the same training I had completed. When I was at the ranch, my drinking would decrease and I would return home with renewed dedication to moderate my alcohol consumption. This was followed by a return to drinking more heavily than before and the cycle repeated itself over and over again. In March of 2012 I committed to volunteer one more time and made the same resolve I had before. This time it would work. Training proved to be different that March. There were an odd number of students and I was asked to participate in any of the processes that required a partner.

The first exercise was a trust walk in which one partner was blind folded and the other was mute. I was the first to be blind and my partner and I set off with confidence and our sights set on a successful outcome. We were outside amidst the pecan trees and she led me across the ground. I could hear the crackle of twigs and dry leaves beneath my feet. I hardly knew my partner, and felt comfortable enough that she would not allow me to trip or fall on my journey. After several minutes she brought me to a halt and from the sounds around me I could tell that I would be leaving the comfort of the ground and into the unknown. My trust began to decrease as my anxiety intensified. We then ascended up what felt like a series of wooden steps where we again came to a stop. She grabbed my right leg and proceeded to pull it forward while attempting to pick my right foot off of the ground. I resisted. I was paralyzed and had no idea where my foot would land. After several unsuccessful attempts to get me to budge I heard a voice call out to me. It was one of the trainers and he said in a tone that sounded commanding, Step strong Kai! Step strong! He almost sounded annoyed and it pissed me off. I flung my leg forward and prayed to God it would find firm ground wherever it landed. It did! After another short flight of stairs down I was instructed to remove my blindfold. I turned around to see what had caused my paralyzing fear. It was a gap approximately 24 inches wide. Something I normally would have navigated effortlessly had I not been blind but which rendered me helpless and terrified. This simple exercise held profound symbolism for my life at that time. I was living a life in fear and lacked the courage to make the changes needed to move forward (stop drinking and confront my past). I needed to “step strong” and trust that I would land safely.

The next day I sat in front of that same partner and participated for the second time in the childhood re-frame exercise. There I was again, eyes closed, imagining myself standing in the ruins of my childhood and powerless to do anything about it. This time my reaction was overwhelming sadness for that little child. Tears flowed faster than I could catch them with tissue. I could not hold back the pain and sorrow that had resided inside of me for a lifetime. Even when the exercise came to an end I struggled to regain my composure. Once again I left the ranch broken wide open and medicating my internal wounds with alcohol. By the time I made it back to Salt Lake City I had lost any desire to function. I didn’t care if I showered or ate. All I cared about was keeping myself in a state of numbness so that I wouldn’t have to face the awful truth within me.
By this time I had been drinking heavily for so long that I became fearful of detoxing on my own. If I did not drink constantly I would start having severe withdrawal symptoms within 2 hours of my last shot. My hands would start shaking violently, I would get nauseated and my heart would start to race. Shortly afterwards the sweating would begin, followed by vomiting. I was scared I would have seizures and I knew my blood pressure was dangerously high. There were moments when I almost asked Dixie to take me to the ER to get lithium to help but then became fearful doctors would make me go through a formal detox. So I kept drinking. At night I would fall into bed or pass out on the couch wondering if I would wake in the morning. I was prepared for death, I was apathetic to it. I figured if it happened it happened. When I would wake up alive, it would surprise me and I would stumble into the kitchen, open the refrigerator and pull out the tequila. Setting it on the counter I would tell myself not to do it, I would even say it out loud. Then I would being pouring it into the shot glass. My hands would be shaking so badly the bottle would bang repeatedly against the shot glass. I knew what would come next. The moment I swallowed the tequila my gag reflex would kick in and I would immediately vomit into the kitchen sink. Even my body was telling me that it was finished. I’d repeat the process again and the second shot would go down more smoothly, numbing my esophagus and stomach. From there it was smooth sailing. Unless I ran out of alcohol.

On the morning of March 23, 2012 my eyes opened to Dixie standing at my bedside. She looked me in the eye and said, “Honey I’m going to be brutally honest with you. You need to get some control in your life.” She then left for work. Two hours later I called her and told her I needed help. That day I was admitted to detox at the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute. I stayed there for five days. I was discharged on Thursday with an aftercare plan that included starting an IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) the following Monday. The program allowed me to work during the day and participate in the afternoon. It would last about eight weeks and during that time I would be randomly drug tested for alcohol use. A friend picked me up and brought me home since Dixie was working. When Dixie got home we ran back up to the U to pick up my prescriptions. On the way down the hill I turned to her and said, “Here’s the deal, I’m going to drink this weekend since I won’t be drinking anymore starting on Monday. You can either take me to the liquor store now or I can take you home and go myself.” I will never forget the look on her face. At the time I didn’t see it but looking back I remember the shock, the sadness, the pain of my request and subsequent decision. She drove me to the liquor store where I paused before entering to remove my hospital bracelet. I purchased a large amount of tequila and that weekend proceeded to drink myself back to the brink of death. By Saturday evening I became nasty and belligerent towards Dixie. I said things to her that I never should have uttered.

By Sunday morning I was back at rock bottom and by early afternoon back in detox. This time my stay lasted 8 days. This time my aftercare plan included rehab at a treatment facility. This time the outcome would be totally different. This time I would “step strong”. This time I would  come home as Kai.

Me

I began blogging back in 2006 as a way to share my experiences as a mother of two children being raised by two women. At the time I was in a relationship that after seven years ended due to my infidelity. My blog became much more than what it was originally intended to be. It became my vehicle to express myself through words as I navigated my way through life’s obstacles. Along the way I shared about my experience with gastric bypass, weight loss, adultery, finding love again, losing my current partner’s children and my struggle with alcohol addiction. Over the past two plus years my writing came to a halt. It wasn’t because I ran out of things to say. The reality is that in those two years I could have written more than I did in the four years prior combined. I didn’t have the heart to write. I didn’t have the courage to share. That has all changed now. A few weeks ago my dear friend was in town visiting from California and asked me when I was going to blog again. I told her I would blog that night and I didn’t. Today I am making good on my word and going forward I will once again be sharing my thoughts and feelings. This time I will not be holding back. My blog will become my outlet for sharing my experience, strength and hope as it relates to my journey through life as my authentic self; as a mother, a partner, an alcoholic in recovery and most importantly as KAI. Welcome back to my blog. Take what you like and leave the rest behind.

Having a partner who works for Delta airlines has its perks. The Friday after Thanksgiving I flew to Hawaii to watch my hometown football team take the State Championship. GO RED RAIDERS!!!! It was thrilling and I loved every minute of it from the kick-off to the drive home. The cars drove back to the North Shore from Aloha Stadium caravan style and we honked our horns the entire time. People lined the streets as we approached the school boundaries. They had signs and banners and they were cheering. By the time we got to the high school it felt like we were on a parade route. The school busses with the players stopped about 1/4 mile before the entrance to the highschool. The players got off of the busses and walked up the highway. It gave me goosebumps. I’m so proud of those boys, of the highschool, and of our community.

Last year they were undefeated and the day before the state championship a decision was made to disqualify them from playing. They apparently had an ineligible player (one student had repeated 8th grade and he was 3rd string). Not only did they not get to play in the championship, their entire season was wiped out. Tragically there was a suicide as the result of that situation. The community mourned and grieved and then banded together for this season.

In 2011 they were not undefeated – they fought their way back to the top and what sweet redemption it was!!! All Hail, Kahuku Hail!!!

I don’t remember there being so much hype over 8.8.8 or 9.9.9 or even 10.10.10. Today is 11.11.11. I have heard it is the end of the world. I would rather believe that it is the beginning of something beautiful. You know there is a universal principle that for every negative there is a positive. That said, why would you ever choose negative? Happy Veteran’s Day, thank you to the brave men and women who have made our freedom possible!

It’s been seven and a half months since we last saw M&W. Seven and a half long gruelling and at times very difficult months. Many times I composed a post in my head but it was too painful to write. In the meantime seven and a half months have passed. I want to say the ache gets better, but it doesn’t. I want to say we have adjusted, but we haven’t. I want to say we have heard something…..anything….but we haven’t. The two capes still hang on J’s bedpost. Whenever he does a magic show for the family he wears both of them. Sometimes he sits in W’s chair and says, “I think I’ll sit here because it makes me think of W.” Now that J can write he writes letters to W. He still doesn’t understand why he can’t see him and a few weeks ago he begged to call him. I relented and he called from the house phone. Of course there was no answer and no call back after J left a message. I’m tired of watching my son suffer from something I cannot control or fix.

There are days when I am so angry. There are days when I can’t stop the tears. There have even been days when I have wanted to walk away from all of this because there are days when it really is that hard. There are days when I find myself wondering if today is the day that there will be pictures in the mail, or a text message to D’s phone, or a phone call. There are nights when I dream about them and when I wake up my pillow is wet. I imagine J&A vanishing and I can’t comprehend it, nor can I imagine taking them away from their other mother.

Did I mention it has been seven and a half months? Their shoes are still downstairs by the door. Their coats are still hung up on the wall. Their toys are still where they left them. Their beds still have their blankets on them. One night D put their blankets in bed with her so she could smell them. It was heartbreaking.

I was looking through some of the last pictures we took. I realized how much J&A have changed. I wondered how much M&W have changed. They are suspended in my mind the way they were when they left and they likely will be until I see them again.

So I’m back blogging again. WooHoo. I’ve got to let it out somewhere. I promise, there will also be happy posts. Right now I’m pretty damn proud of myself for blogging period.

The holidays are coming. I am facing them with optimism and faith and hope. I think it’s pretty obvious what every member of my household wants for Christmas.

For Christmas I got M (D’s daughter) a butterfly hatchery. You order the caterpillars and a few weeks later they arrive in a little jar where they stay until they form into a chrysalis. From there you place them carefully in the net enclosure and wait for the metamorphosis. It is quite remarkable and one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed. To watch something creepy and crawly turn into something so breathtaking is one of those miracles that you just don’t try to understand because you will only confuse yourself further.

M’s favorite thing in the whole wide world are butterflies. I remember when she was 3 she would call them “buttflies” and I would laugh hysterically. Over time she grew out of that, but her passion for butterflies got stronger. In the summer you will often find her flitting about the yard looking for them, and when she spots them the genuine excitement in her voice warms your heart. We only had M and W (D’s son and M’s twin brother) every other weekend so imagine the excitement when the caterpillars arrived on a Saturday when they were with us. We promised to watch them while they were away and then 12 sleeps later when they returned the first place M would go was to the little jar. She was also here when a few of them emerged from their cocoons. It’s now been several months and they butterfiles have dwindled down to two, but the two that remain love the habitat that my brother has created for them. He keeps wet paper towels and fresh fruit and flowers for them to feed and watches over them daily. He did after all make a promise to M to keep them safe.

One week ago D reached out to her ex to see when the kids spring break was. I’m not going to go into all of the gory details but the conversation ended with a text message that the kids would not be coming for the weekend. At the heart of the matter? D’s ex made the statement, “If you want the benefits of visitation you will need to start providing financial support.” We used to have the twins every other week. Then the ultimatum was delivered that we would have them every other weekend. There is never any compromise. We are completely at the mercy of the ex who is also the “bio” parent. We have dealt with the every other weekend. It hasn’t been easy. Two sleeps every fourteen is hard on D, it’s hard on my kids, and it’s really hard on M and W. They would drive 90 minutes on Friday and arrive about 6pm to have to turn around and drive 90 minutes back on Sunday afternoon to be home by 6 (as mandated by the ex). Then tball and soccer started and D was told they would only be down when there weren’t games that conflicted. Again no compromise, and we dealt as hard as it was with what we got. Now don’t get me wrong. D is more than happy to provide for the children, and when they are with her she meets their every temporal, emotional, and spiritual need. She also offered to pay educational, medical, dental or child related bill. Simply send the bill to us and we will pay it. Not good enough, because that would be a compromise right?

So for five days after the fight and the final text from the ex D sent a text asking how much money was wanted so she could see her children. She has yet to receive a response. Friday night at 6pm came and went and there was no pitter patter of footsteps through the front door. No exclamation from J and A of, “M & W are here!”. There were no forts, or trips to our favorite restaurant, or movies with popcorn, or checking on the beloved butterflies. I knew it would be difficult so I kept the kids busy. D had to work, and at night we planned activities that kept us moving forward. Despite this, there was still a hole. Sunday morning while cooking special breakfast (which I do every weekend for the kids) I kept thinking W would come around the corner and say, “Kyla! I smell bacon!” When I heard something in the hallway I assumed it was M running back and forth on all fours like a monkey. My assumptions were illusions and when I put the french toast and bacon and eggs on the table I couldn’t help but notice the two plates missing. Each of our children has a special plate they  made at color me mine. They all are different colors and they are used for every meal. Light green and pink and green were on the table. Purple and blue were not. Later while cleaning J’s room I couldn’t help but notice that hanging on two of his bed posts were two little super hero capes. One red, one blue. Each one with the boys names embroidered on the them. I asked J if he wanted to take W’s cape down to his room to which he replied, “No mom, it’s where we hang our capes”. I could not hold my tears back so I turned and left the room.

What do you do? What do you say? How do you fix something like this in a state where someone like D does not have a legal voice? Have you ever had that dream where you try to scream and nothing comes out? Or where you do scream but noone hears you? We have decided to find our voice in this. M & W need to know that we are fighting for them. We started a journal, “Letters to the Babies”. I am going to make it into a blog where we can write to them. One day we will hand them the letters and they will have a record of how much they are loved. In addition to this we are going to band together with others in our situation and those who support us and we will find a voice. It’s time that situations like this are put to an end. It’s unfortunate that we are not alone. This is happening too frequently and without consequence to those perpetuating the hurt to the children of the community. For now D and I live with the hope that M & W already know they are loved. We live with the faith that maybe just maybe there will be a knock at the door in ten sleeps. We live with the knowledge that we are doing what we can with what we have. We live with the determination to keep living, and to make J and A and D’s son J happy. Most of all we live knowing that we will see them again. We may not know when, but it will happen.

This morning as I walked down the hall past the butterfly habitat there was a flurry of activity. I stopped to look inside and saw two beautiful creatures flying about, their wings vibrant with color and their enthusiasm for life contagious. I couldn’t help but think that perhaps it was M & W’s way of saying, “We love you too.”

My babysitter is family to me. She has watched my children since they were babies. They call her “Grandma”. Two days ago she lost her 2 month old granddaughter to SIDS. She put her down for a nap and when her daughter came to get her the baby wasn’t breathing. She was pronounced DOA at the hospital. I don’t really have much to say, my heart is full of grief for a family that I have adopted as my own. If I can ask anything please carry them in your heart and prayers for a bit – and hug your children, and your significant others, and call your family and tell them you love them.

So my most fabulous and wonderful doctor in the whole wide world called and I DO NOT HAVE CANCER!!!!! My reaction? I burst into tears and could hardly speak. You have NO IDEA how much this means to me especially now with the General battling the deathly illness. It’s been a long month – tests, more tests, biopsies, more tests, and then the waiting, but it was worth it because the best news in the world is when your doctor tells you that you are O.K. My results had come back irregular because of an infection – which we can handle. Thank you for your well wishes and prayers. I love you all!