My heart is heavy. My heart aches. My heart is weary and I can’t shake this feeling.
Though our paths have yet to meet in person, you have left a mark in my heart so great that what you are going through saddens my very soul.
There has only been one other moment when I cried and hurt for someone else’s pain. The injustice, and unfairness that you and your family suffer from is heavy. I guess it makes me a selfish person to rarely feel for others as much. BUT YOU, you always feel for others, even when you know them, not well. But it takes great pain for me to feel. And your pain is so much, my soul cries.
Remember in the hardest moments that will soon nag you more than it already has, you are loved. You are missed. Your kindness is missed. Your smile is missed. Your wisdom is missed. But this I know, your love is always close by. And not a moment you are forgotten. Be brave, be strong, keep your heart strong, keep singing and keep praying.
It is a break to strengthen you more. To spread your experience and strengthen others. You are one of the strongest woman I have ever come to know and God will see you through this.
I was sitting in bed last night contemplating whether or not to turn the fan on in the room. And suddenly I realized how lucky I am. I am sitting there with a controller for the fan that sits above us. No I didn’t need to get up to press a button, or turn a switch on. I could sit in bed and have this controller do it for me. I got to thinking about how J and I started…
J and I lived in Scarborough, ON while I was pregnant with Apollo. J worked as a Reservations Manager, and I as customer service rep for U-Haul. I lost my job, for some petty stuff, and we had to make due with J bringing in the one income. We eventually moved in with his parents, to help with cost, just a few months before I was due to have Apollo. I remember J telling them I was pregnant. It was the most difficult thing in the world for him to do at the time. While I was twenty, and he was twenty-three, we weren’t financially stable. This was our fear for starting a family, as well as his parents’. We understood that. But this wasn’t a yes or no answer. This was a moment in both our lives we had to stand-up to our responsibilities and move forward from there. For those thinking ” You could have had an abortion.”, this was not an option for either of us. My beliefs are strong with life-changing situations such as this, and I wasn’t going to be selfish and run away.
When Apollo was born, J had taken parental leave to help me with the first few months of caring for a baby. After all, I had no clue what to do. I don’t have siblings, never did I have to take care of a baby alone. While my experiences in babysitting my little cousins, and baby nephews and nieces, it was a completely different experience to care for my own baby. Luckily J had a baby brother, who was sixteen years younger than him. He had gained experience in diaper changing, feeding, and changing clothes of a tiny baby. I, on the other hand, was too afraid to touch the baby. So him being home helped a lot. But this meant what he was earning was cut to almost half of what it was before. He didn’t earn much at U-Haul to begin with. When he returned to work, I had to be home alone with a newborn baby. This proved to be the most difficult thing in the world. But in moments as such, you find your way. You figure it out. You do what you can. Luckily his work moved closer to where we had moved and it was an easier commute for him.
It wasn’t easy sharing living space with his family. Personalities butt heads, and decision making was difficult for our little family, when you’ve got to be considerate of others. In times when we would fight, it would become embarrassing when we’re yelling at each other and trying to figure out our way together. When you first start a family, it’s not easy. You’re both learning to live together, both learning to do things together. You’re understanding responsibilities together and it puts strains on your relationship. We had to work on this, however way we had to, as long as we figured it out.
When Apollo was five months, we decided it was time for us to take charge of our lives, live through the choices we’ve made, and do our best to do things on our own. Well, we still required help from our families. It got really hard financially. J’s income for two weeks was the amount of what we had to pay for rent. We had gotten a car because we needed to get around and that added on to our costs per month. We had less than the bills we’ve accumulated. We were deep in waters, way above the waist. I had applied for a job at Tim Hortons, because I hadn’t gone to post-secondary studies to have a career. When would I have been able to find the time? That’s the mentality you have when you don’t know any better.Thankfully his uncle, and sometimes my Dad, would help babysit Apollo. This job helped a tiny bit with costs but it still wasn’t enough. Even worse, we had gotten into a car accident, had to get rid of the car, and now we’re down to one income again. J was injured and had to take leave from work. It was one unfortunate event after another. We had a couple floods occur during the few years we lived in that basement apartment. There wasn’t enough money to re-direct to various places. We were late on rent payments, struggled with all our other bills, and could barely afford the luxuries we took for granted when we were single. We ended up having to move back to his parents house again. One night, an infomercial on the television for post-secondary education had popped up while Apollo slept. We were sleeping in the living room on a blow-up bed, since J’s room had become a storage room shortly after we moved out. I thought about it in that moment, ” What would it take for me to upgrade my skills and provide a better life for our family?” I was set on going to school from that point on. Apollo was two and a half. I applied to Humber College and from there we had to move forward. We found an apartment north of where we were which would provide a closer distance from the school I would eventually attend. School was to begin in May and I had to figure out what I would do with Apollo while we were both gone. J had returned to work, and I was going to need someone to watch Apollo. My dad had offered; after a while it was no longer possible. Apollo would eventually turn four and he would require some type of social experience. We opted for child care. The good thing about being in Canada is you get some kind of help with child care fees. We were able to put Apollo in childcare without breaking our banks with the cost because most of the fees have been covered by child care assistance from the government. I felt at ease, knowing someone is watching Apollo while I was in school and J at work. But the feeling of being incapable of caring for my own child was always there. I had to do what I had to do. I worked really hard as a student, and in the end I attained Honours in Early Childhood Education. I graduated Honours.
After completing my post-secondary studies, I began working part-time, while J worked full-time still at U-haul. Things got complicated for us at that time, because as much we have finally accomplished one of our many goals, he was beginning to hate his job. Five years at U-Haul, it felt like forever. It felt like he wasn’t going anywhere with working there. He felt stuck. He felt unhappy. He didn’t feel like it was enough to provide for his family. We had gotten into a huge fight one night, most likely because his unhappy attitude effected his home life. I’ve had it with the fights and arguments. I needed him to get better. I needed him to be happy again. I needed him to be the J I know. He was lost, far in there, hoping to be saved. Well he’s not one to ask to be saved. I couldn’t save him. I had one thing left to help him. Being the paper-hoarder that I am. I loved keeping papers in boxes for no reason. I had kept his acceptance letters from colleges when he first graduated from high school. WELL before we had Apollo. In this file was a variety of different types of programs he applied for, not knowing exactly what he wanted to do. A few of his options were, Fashion Design, Electro-mechanical Engineering Technician, Business Administration, and a few other ones. Well, I wasn’t too fond of Fashion Design. I had no clue what Electro-mechanical Engineering was, and he’s already had a go at Business Administration and didn’t like it. So he had to choose. I gave him that night to figure it out. It was four in the morning, and he was concerned about what we were going to do for him to achieve this. Well, I had taken out a loan from the government to pay for my studies until I was finished. It was a debt, I was willing to take for the sake of achieving an education to better our lives. J had to do the same. We were about to venture into more hardships and sacrifices to achieve one more goal from our list. We had to move again, Apollo would be starting Jr. Kindergarten at a new school. We moved back around his parents and lived in a much better apartment with two bedrooms. It seemed big for our little family. I worked and J went to school. We were doing what we can with the income I had, and sometimes we still needed help.
J’s program ran for three years. The first two years happened so fast and just before fourth semester in his second year, we found out we were pregnant with a second baby. This was tough. It was about to get even harder financially. But the thought of being blessed with another child was everything for J and I. We were ecstatic. We knew that it was going to be difficult after she was born but we were going to do whatever it took, as we have always done in any difficult situations we found ourselves in.
J had a couple of semesters left to complete, before we could get our lives going accordingly. It was tough being home alone most of the time to tend to the kids. I’d have the responsibility of taking Apollo to school, and picking him up after school. I’d have to tow Artemis in a stroller with me, get home do some house chores. Sometimes I’d be too exhausted to keep up with the cooking, laundry, cleaning, etc., but I’d pick-up where I’ve left off and continue. Sometimes I wonder how J and I did it. How we managed all this time to do what we had to do for our family. I don’t guarantee that there were never fights or misunderstandings. There were plenty of that to go around. But just like in everything else in life, stress is rooted from the overwhelming loads of responsibilities. Then just before J was to finish his third year, we were granted another blessing, Cassiopeia. She came, just in time for the transition of all the new changes we were about to venture into. J finished school. Honours, at that. I am so proud of what he has accomplished thus far. He has worked hard in everything. The demands were a lot, even for any other persons, but he did his best at all turns. I am so proud to be his partner through this adventure. While it was all hard and we struggled through and through, we have completed our five year goal, from the time I decided to pursue post-secondary education, to J completing his program. We had achieved a house, and a career to be proud of.
Life isn’t easy. But if you try your best for any cause, I can guarantee you the outcome is that much sweeter. There is no good in giving up. You will fall time and time again, but if you get up, just get up, you’ll succeed in whichever way. Trust that you can, and believe that you will. It’s that important, to give yourself the chance. If it doesn’t work the first time, try again, you’ll always get an outcome. Good or bad, what have you got to lose?
I woke up at fourthirty to feed Cassi. She hasn’t been eating consistently. She’s all backed up and crying most of the day. She doesn’t always finish the four oz she usually downs. I hope she’s alright. I hope she poops soon. #thingsthatmomwishesfor
Anyway, it’s now eight past five. The sun is slowly creeping through the living room window. I had gone to the kitchen to get a gatorade, but I opted for water instead. I couldn’t go back to sleep. I feel really conflicted. My heart feels a certain weight of trouble and I just can’t seem to shake it off at this time. J’s alarm has just gone off. This staying up when I could get a few more hours of sleep is probably going to catch up with me come seventhirty when I have to get Apollo up for school. But let’s see where this goes.
I wanted to clarify or expand a little bit on my previous post. It appears many of you guys have split into two in wondering about where I’m coming from. First, I want you to know that the part of me that deals with this aspect of my life has always been quite complicated. For the most part, my relationship with my father was never one to fully grasp or compare to with any other kind of father-daughter relationship. While it seems that any adult and child relationship could withstand the obstacles of being in a family and having to go through the motion of that, it was never the case for the two of us. Forget what you think and know about parent-child relationship. What you know about raising a child. What you think father’s and daughters are.
I like to think of my relationship with my father as some kind of story in a book. One where you piece two people together from halfway through the story and kinda see whether or not it’ll become something.
My father and I had one thing in common, which was dancing. We both loved to perform and we both appreciated the beauty of dance. That’s as good as it gets. Literally. There is absolutely nothing else we have in common. Well when you adopt a child privately at eight months old..an adoption that wasn’t planned, it would leave a certain question in the future about whether or not this would work out.
See, I’m not against adoption at all. I think that it’s one of the best ways to give love and sometimes find love. It is in those unfortunate circumstances that people find real love, sometimes. J and I want to adopt. We want six kids, four to be biologically ours and two to mix into our family and share our love with. But..when an the adoption wasn’t something you thought through and really wanted, eventually there comes consequences from that.
My dad had moved to Canada, after his father passed away. I was three. He tried to leave me with his aunt, but that didn’t work because apparently I cried and cried and wouldn’t stop. So she then sent me to my dad’s sister-in-law, where I would eventually spend the next six years considering as my family (this chapter is a whole other story on its own).
Fast forward to when I was nine. It’s October of ’97 and snow coated the land so well. I’ve landed and my bone marrow could feel the cold as the plane sits to allow people off. A fellow flyer had walked me to baggage claims because the stewardess that was supposed to have been watching me from the Philippines to Canada-maybe got left behind. The whole trip, this lady from the plane took care of me. Anyway, I could see my aunt through the glass windows; who I’d met a year back when she took a trip back home with her giant son (he’s half white). I had finally figured out how to get to them and there he was..my father. He hugged me and covered me with a coat. He wouldn’t stop hugging me, and I wasn’t used to him so I said, “stop hugging me. I don’t even know you.” You probably think I’m a brat, but if you haven’t figured it out by now I’m that person with the foul mouth who says anything and everything as if I’m not aware of what social filter is. He went on to say, “I’m your dad. I’m the one in the pictures.” Well, that statement never did sit well with me.
Moving forward, the first few months were probably the most awkward in our relationship. Here’s an image of my father. Don’t worry you won’t need to close your eyes to imagine.
He’s about 5’8 / 5’9 probably the tallest in his siblings. He’s got a steep nose, with dark hair..wait there’s a photo up there already. He’s literally a spitting image of Antonio Banderas, mixed with a dash of Marc Anthony. The thing is he looks very Spanish. His features are from his uncle. His family is part Spanish, on his dad’s side. Moving on..
We never really had those first six years you’re supposed to have when you have a child. Those years are the most critical in a child’s development. So when you have nothing that you started with or built a foundation from, you’re starting at something half-way completed. It was only a matter of a few years before my next milestone. He had missed the character I’ve become, the mannerisms I had, the person that I was becoming, the toys that I liked, the TV shows that I liked, the kind of friends I liked, the type of clothes I liked, the kid I had become.
He had slowly began to understand my personality. A good kid with a bad temper. Countless troubles at school began, not academically but socially. Being in his mid forties already, he had no clue how to help me socially adjust. This caused chaos in my mind that then transfered into our relationship. I began to grow as a person, and eventually made friends. Having friends who were boys were an issue. Wanting to hang out with friends was an issue. So because we couldn’t find common ground and he refused to find it in him to understand what I was going through; normal stages at that it really became a struggle for the two of us.
My father worked as an accountant, and this means I’d spend the time he was away at work with my aunt who lived near us. In the summer time, during off days from school, I’d bounce around between his family members and his friends. Never finding consistency and balance.
Finally at the end of grade school, I had started a fling with a boy that would eventually become my first puppy love. That lasted till I was sixteen. Those three years would prove to be more trouble between my dad and me. It lead to me going into foster care.
I spent a year in foster care, with an Italian family. It was one of the toughest and confusing time in my life. I wondered why my dad had bothered uprooting me from where I was from to half raising me here. I couldn’t understand why he couldn’t get me. Why our relationship was so complicated. After turning sixteen, I was able to make decisions for myself and what would happen with my status in foster care. A child of the government. I chose to live on my own from then on. And I fend for myself, figuring out life on my own, in my own terms. I would eventually be in and out of his house, because a part of me still cared for him. But it wouldn’t last. And we lost contact.
At eighteen my first serious relationship began. J and I hung out, and didn’t become an item until a year after. Eventually at twenty, J and I became parents. Two people trying to figure out adult life was complicated. Relationship in its own was complicated, but we got through it. A few months before I was due to have Apollo, I e-mailed my dad and figured this thing between us will have to quit. He was becoming a grandpa for the first time ever. I was becoming a mom and it was time to mend the pieces in the aspect of family. I wanted him to be there. I wanted him to know my son. I wanted him to be a part of his life. And with that, things were like nothing happened. My dad would eventually become a part of my life again; a part of Apollo’s life.
My father would be a part of my life for the next several years, helping me while I worked and eventually deciding to take on post-secondary academics. We would still bicker about the petty things of life, from his disapproval of my tendencies of caring for my home, to my way of parenting. This would lose us a few weeks here and there, but my apologies for things even when I wasn’t at fault, would mend these breaks.
A few Christmases ago, he had began his trips to The Philippines where he would spend six months a time. It was the first time he had ever gone for that long. He’s made trips there before but a month at most. Our relationship would become second to his new life after that. He had find no relevance to be around, as I had began my own life, had a child, had a family of my own and would eventually feel as if he was no longer a part of, even with my reassurance that I still needed him. It appears that the chaos of life is all the time when I needed him, but it wasn’t like that. I wanted him to be a part of my life, I wanted us to be better. I wanted us to figure out what this thing was between us that we couldn’t sort through. But his way was way beyond what I was willing to compromise, and I couldn’t find it in me to make mends.
The last month he was in The Philippines, I had informed him that I was due to have a second baby. That J and I were ecstatic to be having another. From his end, this wasn’t a good thing. He had left me with, “Why would you have another one? It’s not cheap to have more kids. You aren’t financially stable, you are just ruining the lives of your kids.” I thought differently. While we did struggle financially, we acquired help from J’s family when were really needed it. And perhaps, they did better in the true definition of what it means to be there for your kids. My dad was no where. But we made it the best we can. It wasn’t easy, it never is, but it was all worth it for the sake of our son. Two years would pass, and we’ve lost everything between my father and I.
Last Christmas was the first time I seen him in over three years. Apollo would still know him as his grandfather, like things never changed, but it would be different for Artemis.
It would also be the last time I’d seen him, except for the brief five minutes he gave me and refused to see me during Easter. I would spend countless times calling him, and he wouldn’t pick-up or return my call. The last I spoken to him was a few weeks back, over facebook video chat. I had shown him our new house, and intended to talk longer to update him on my life and the kids. But this call wouldn’t last longer than ten minutes before he had shoo me away for another incoming call.
At this point, I’m uncertain, as I always have been. That relationship you’re to have with your parents is said to get better as you get older. Well, we’ve been stuck in this ever since I can remember. It hasn’t changed, it wont change and it’ll have to do.
So please be a little more understanding when I say, I do not relate with most child-parent relationships. I do not relate with most emotional attachments between child and parent. It isn’t a thing for me to know or begin to understand how these types of co-existing works. While it sucks that this is the way that part of my life has waved about, I do not regret the efforst I’ve made or in whichever way he figured I haven’t.
There will come a time, when I’ll have to figure all this stuff out. Until then, when I have found it somewhere deep down to understand why this is all acceptable in defence to our differences, then that’ll be the day I find closure. Until then, like most things in my past which I’ve no control of in trying even a tiny bit to fix, it’ll have to sit somewhere between I halfly cared to none.
The good of all this? I’ve my own family now, and my family is the best thing that has ever happened to me. It’s what I have always wanted, it’s what I have always needed.
It’s that time again.. I’ve spent a couple of hours trying to get this out. It was that hard for me to dig in there and find it in me to share. So please be kind.