Autumn

Autumn

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Little Bit & Pieces

A few days ago, "Honey, next Saturday I'm driving north and will bring my mother here. She plans to stay for a week."

"Really....ah, okay."

Just like that...

When she arrived I stood and gave the 'ole reach out my hand routine. She gently slapped it aside and instead gave me a hug.

Shucks...felt so loved I had a cup of coffee ready when she came out this morning, dressed in black, ready for church.

She likes to stay in character.

*****

(Late afternoon, June 12th)

When I'd reached the main isle of the market I began the search for the frozen section with my focus on the overhead signs in search for icecream. I found my target and was about to make the turn when this flash of red, low down, caught my attention and I immediately tried to step aside in order to avoid a collision.

Instead, the little girl wrapped her arms around my waste. Total and complete shock. I looked down and realized the tiny girl in the red dress was my Little Bit and behind her was a shopping cart held by her father.



So many thoughts and emotions ripped through my mind and I knew I had but milliseconds to react. I reached down and took her and kissed and hugged and kissed again and tried to soak/absorb as much of her as I could because I knew or thought for certain he'd jerk her away and run.

She hadn't said a word. She just held me tight. After a few seconds she looked up into my face with the most wonderful smile and I again bent and whispered into her ear, "I love you. Nana loves you," and then, "Are you happy?"

She smiled and said, "Yes, Papa. I'm okay." She released me and took a step back and in a happy kind of way said, "Now, Papa, take a picture for Nana."

I reached, in desperation, and took her back into my arms, hugged her again, and took the first photo. For the second picture, she stepped back, and I took a full body shot. Her father remained still, head down, almost as if he were embarrassed.

With Little Bit back in my arms I turned to him and extended my hand. We shook. I asked after his welfare, life, work and he shyly answered. Things weren't good. Money is tight. He'd asked for a raise and was refused. His company (Acura) had even cut vacation pay. His wife, Little Bit's step-mother, refused full time work. Same old story.

I reminded him he needed to visit his mother and expressed her love of him. Only a nod in return.

As we spoke I gave kisses to Little Bit. As the old saying goes, I had eyes only for her. She told me she'd graduated to third grade and I replied of course you did, Honey. Then I turned back to her father, my son, and said, with care, "She's awful thin."

"She eats like a horse. Can't put weight on her." I smiled and said, "Yeah....she is her father's child, after all."

He has rules. His rules exclude sweets, any fats, and starches.

Little Bit, during this brief and unexpected encounter remained fairly reserved. She held me during the entire visit. When I'd ask a question she'd quickly cut her eyes in his direction, but she'd answer, in each instance, all of my questions, in a tiny whisper. I wanted so badly to take her in my arms and walk out, to take her home to her Nana. To protect her and feed her and love her. But, the law is on her father's side. I'm just her grandfather, a void in the legal system, and his wife is the law in their home.

Bitter, aren't I. Such is life.

Twice I asked if he'd please visit his mother and try and restore life back to normal, for all of us. My queries were answered only in nods. Never a vocal affirmative.  

And then, she was gone.


We had all of five minutes.

*****

As you may have noticed I haven't written much of late. There is a reason. First, business has increased, and secondly I have been slowly weaning, ever so carefully, myself off most of my heart medications. The side effects of all these medications are awful. Muscle problems, cramps, lack of sleep, fatigue.  Before the doctors saddled me with all these pills I was a fairly active dude...now, I feel like a piece of, well, crap. Unfortunately there is a price when you begin to drop medication from your daily routine. I understand and will take precautions, but why on earth should a person need two cholesterol drugs when one should suffice.



It'll work out in the long run.

*****

Take care out there.

Stephen

41 comments:

  1. I am so glad you got those few moments. I have been thinking about you lately. Sending you my love.

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    1. It was a wonderful, though unexpected surprise. Thank you, pretty lady. I'll take all the love available.

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  2. Those few moments are so precious to you I know. MAJOR HUGS!! So glad you at least that bit of time. I would have been bawling my eyes out..nearly am now.
    Happy to hear your weaning off some of those meds. It can be tough but I know you are careful and the MRS will keep an eye on you.

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    1. That was my 'first' moment in over a year, one year six days, to be exact. Like I said, if I had not been in a public place I'm sure I would have melted into the tile. Thanks, my sweet friend.

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  3. Feel your pain. Spent a small fortune on lawyers helping a son get his kids away from the psycho birth mother.

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    1. We did the same with out son...two lawyers in two different states and I private investigator...expensive to say the least. Then, he marries and abandons us and will not allow us to visit our grandchildren. Thanks, my friend.

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    2. Ouch! Mine married a good woman with children and have done a good job of blending their family plus having another. Her kids asked me what they should call me. I asked them what they wanted to call me. They asked, Can we call you Grandpa"? Of course, I answered, "Yes". That is the way it has ben every since. I'm a lucky man.

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  4. You are so right about the 'downside' of some drugs. It can be rough.
    Now. Perhaps someone with authority should discuss Bit's diet with her dad. She is so beautiful. But she looks fragile. Hard to tell from the photo because her hair is pulled back . . . but is it thinning?

    I'm sure your son wants the best for Little Bit, but we all have blind spots. A growing body cannot thrive on a diet without some starches and fats.

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    1. I so wish someone with authority would investigate...but we can not initiate the call to DCF. If he read our signatures on the complaint all hope for a reunion with our grandchildren would be lost. Thanks, Sweet Cathy.

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    2. Stephen . . . I thought that might be the case. And please . . delete my comment if there is any chance it could be problematic, Please.

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    3. Cathy, your comment is just fine. It'll stay. Thanks, my lovely friend.

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  5. So happy you got a chance to hold her and kiss her and get the picture. I'm sure the whispering in her ear she will treasure for many moons. She knows how very much you two love her. She may be a little on thin side but if she is growing taller that is all good. Early spring birthdays do that to kids! Her beautiful eyes are so lit up. . .I am positive she loves ya as much as you live her. So kind of her suggesting a picture for her Nana. She misses her too you know. .I just was thinking the other day. . .I wonder if this could be an opportunity to patch things up. If I am correct with my memory --don't him and his mother share the same birth date? I remember a long time SW telling me and just beamed with joy while telling me. You know it can happen but how special is that! I hope he remembers all the good intentions ya have for him and his family. But he must not lose sight of the only two people who will forgive and love him regardless. Prayers.

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    1. Yes, they share the same birth date. He failed to call her on Mother's Day, and I expect the same with his mother's birthday. His wife will not allow contact. He hasn't the balls (excuse the term) to stand tall in the saddle. His wife believes we love his daughter more than their son...sadly, this is true since we've never had the opportunity to visit with the little fella...she never allowed us. Thanks, Sis.

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  6. How wonderful for both you and your Little Bit. This encounter will be the best thing she remembers until the next.

    And one day she will turn up on your doorstep... with or without her father. (although it does appear that he might be beginning to rethink a few things.)

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    1. I can't wait, Ellen...really. Thanks, my sweet friend.

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  7. We take what we can get in life sometimes. Much better than nothing.

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    1. Amen, Brother...as the kids say, 'That's church.'

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  8. Progess. Painfully slow baby step progress... but progress nonetheless. Hang in there, Buddy.

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    1. I planted a seed. Showed restraint, didn't knock his block off, and I smiled and shook his hand. We'll see. Oh, and he said he wanted a carry piece...which I then offered. He only needs to take the first step in my direction, if his wife will allow.

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  9. I am so glad you got to see her & actually give her a hug! You know she loves you & Sweet Wife without a doubt. I was waiting to hear how the 'visit' went before commenting. Glad it was your son that was with her & so very happy to hear it was civilized, albeit quick.

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    1. Indeed brief, but it made my day. Thanks, my lovely friend.

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  10. I'm so happy that you got to see her, and hug her, and kiss her, and whisper in her ear. What a special gift, and right when you appeared to need it most. I hope that this is the first step of many that will bring her back to you, Stephen.

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    1. I too hope it's a first step, though I won't hold my breath...thanks, Pretty Lady.

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  11. So happy you got at least a few minutes. Maybe a seed will have been planted.

    Drugs can be nasty things - my doctor tried to poison me recently. Well, not really, but the side affects were worse than the problem they were supposed to deal with. Hope you can simply adjust your diet to do what the drugs are supposed to do.

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    1. PH, I have made adjustments. I don't like the change but it's worth it to be free of the drugs.

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  12. All good stuff, my friend. So happy for you to have that encounter!

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    1. Thank you, my friend. I'm happy too.

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  13. Nothing more to add then be careful with the meds. I too am trying to cut from 2 meds for the same issue to one or none at all. Life stress says differently. Be strong my friend.

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    1. Stephen, that's absolutely wonderful. I know how much you've missed her, and she knows you love her and haven't forgotten about her. Stay strong. Maybe this is an opening to seeing her, your grandson, and your son more often.

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    2. Thank you, Rob.

      Daddybear, it was wonderful. Now, I wait.

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  14. One day your son will grow up, Stephen. Perhaps since he didn't run, and let you hold Little Bit and chat, he is beginning to realize how wrong he was. Baby steps - even for an adult child, is a good sign.
    Take care of yourself. When you have your health, you can handle anything. (Hugs)

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    1. Thanks for the wonderful hug....God bless you.

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  15. We're praying for you Stephen. I am convinced that she will someday be back in your life.

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  16. That is great that you got to see and hold her. Maybe, If we all give many more prayers. Maybe we can soften his heart, and maybe his wife's also. And change things around.

    And, I'm glad that you can get off of a few of them pills my friend. I'm trying to get rid of a few of mine. Just need to see what the doc has to say.

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    1. Unfortunately some meds will stay...but the rest are headed for the toilet. Thanks, I too hope my Little Bit will be back in our lives.

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  17. Awesome! I'm so glad you had the chance encounter. I don't know the back story, but maybe this small and seemingly cordial encounter will lead to better things for you and your son. Which, hopefully, will lead to seeing your granddaughter on a regular occasion.

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    1. Coop, from you lips to God's ears...thanks, my friend.

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  18. Dear Stephen,

    I apologize for the delayed response to your post. I've been taking care of my ill father out of town. Tonight's really the first night I've been able to get into Blogger and make comments and blog post.

    I'm happy you had the opportunity to see your Little Bit in the grocery store. Grocery stores bring great surprises. Having the opportunity to wrap your arms around your dear grand daughter is the best medicine one can receive in life. I'm very proud of you for extending your hand to your son. For your son to stand back and let you visit with your grand daughter is a real good sign that things may not be so good at home for him. He opened up briefly to you, this is potentially the start of seeing your grand daughter a little more often. You may see her again in the store.

    Keep up the good work at getting off of some of your medications.

    Sending hugs and love to you and Sweet Wife.

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