From Darkness to Light

Warning:

When I first started my blog, I warned readers I would be posting a lot of music and photos and humor (well, I think I’m funny at least), but would also occasionally have a heavier story to share.

Today’s post is an example of the latter.

A wonderful, provocative challenge was issued by Sreejit from The Seeker’s Dungeon. 

He said “I am asking you to rip yourself open and put yourself back together again; explaining where you’ve been and where you are headed.  In so doing, we hope to help others understand that they are not alone on this path.”

Then, encouraging us to dig deep, he wrote “Many times our darkest moments are what end up turning us towards a path of light. It is these soul shredding moments that I want us to share here. Let us in on one of the moments that took you from darkness to light.”

The following story is my response to his challenge. It’s long, and may be difficult for some readers. I would really appreciate comments, if you read it.

I am posting the link to his blog so you can read it there. That way, maybe you’ll  glance through some of the other posts also. These have been some beautiful and powerful stories.

From Darkness to Light Day 16 by Kathie Arcide

Thank you,

ChosenPerspectives

V.J.’S WEEKLY CHALLENGE #37: STORY

Here’s my story…long, but it makes me so happy every time I tell it.

Hope you enjoy.

 

It’s Never Too Late….

(Branding VS Bonding)

“Maternity is a matter of fact; paternity always a matter of opinion.” Unknown Author

When I was two, my Mom and me found me a Dad. They got married and had my sister Eileen when I was three. They had my sister Barbara when I was six. When I was nine, I found out that Dad was not my first Dad. I don’t remember that fact being particularly bothersome. But when I was twelve and my folks divorced, well, that was definitely bothersome. When I was fifteen, being fairly exhausted by the role of Junior Mother to my sisters while my own Mom drank herself into oblivion, I left home in search of the rest of my childhood. When I was nineteen, my mother made her first (at least discernible) suicide attempt. (She took pills.) She survived, but only after being in a coma for as many days as I had had years on the planet. She woke up saying, “I don’t want to sleep anymore.” I thought she meant it and was really relieved and hopeful. Her narrow escape from death seemed to inspire her. She turned her life around dramatically…but only for a couple of years. When I was 21, my mother was more determined…no reprieve this time. It is much harder to survive suicide by gun.

When I was 24, and had a toddler of my own, the difference between a biological parent and a step-parent right in my face, I wrote my Dad a note. It said, “Now that Mom is not alive, you and I are not REALLY connected by anything, do you want to stop being my Dad?”

As of this writing, I don’t remember how he answered that question. I think it was something sweet and positive.

I do know that after he died in 2001, when we were going through his belongings, I found that 30 year old note from me, crusty with age, in a small box full of obvious treasures; like a very beautiful picture of my mother (his one and only love), correspondence from his father, and a very impressive letter of endorsement from his commanding officer in the U.S. Cavalry recommending him to West Point. My barely camouflaged plea for parental reassurance was in very admirable company indeed.

When I was 40, I received the following letter from my Dad:

 

Dear Kathie,

When your mother and I got married, we didn’t have much money and you were very young so we didn’t think you would mind if we skipped the legal proceedings for me to officially adopt you. Then, as it does, time passed and we just never got around to it.

Would you think it silly now, at this late date, for me to make it all legal? Would you let me adopt you?

I think you know that you have never been any different in my eyes from your two sisters, except that you were my oldest. Your biological father left before you were ever born, marrying your mother in name only, at the “insistence” of your grandfather, so I knew I would be your only Daddy.

Have I ever told you when I knew you were mine?

When your mother and I were dating, we always brought you along. I knew from the start it was a package deal with her and that was just fine by me. One afternoon when we were out, I picked you up to carry you on my shoulders, as had become our routine. Well, while you were up there, you had a little accident and leaked all over my neck. That wasn’t too bad really. But when I went to change my shirt and tie later, I found that you had marked me. My white shirt and neck were stained a bright crimson, the color of my tie. I didn’t think of myself as a “red neck” but I proudly wore that red mark around my neck for several days until it finally wore off. I told the guys at work that my new little girl had branded me. That’s when I knew I was your Daddy.

Now, I would like to make it official if that’s OK with you. Let me know what you think.

Love, Dad

 

My response to him was a no-brainer.

So, the Christmas after my 40th birthday, my Dad flew to Seattle from San Diego. My sister Barbara was there. My sister Eileen, who had rarely seen any of us since our mother died all those years before, flew over from Hawaii, and my 2 long time best friends, Lee and Linda, attended as witnesses. It was definitely official, taking place in a courtroom in front of a judge who asked both my father and I a peculiar series of questions. “Do you have any ulterior motives for taking this step?” “Does doing this help you to avoid legal action in any way?” “Are either of you doing this for financial gain?” etc.

Then the judge pronounced us legally “father and daughter” and leaned over his bench to shake my Dad’s hand. He said, “Congratulations on your new baby girl.” And to my sisters he said “She is your real sister now.” Then he thanked us all profusely saying, “Usually during this week between Christmas and New Years, we have nothing in Family Court except Child Protective Service cases or maybe the termination of parental rights. How refreshing it is for me to have participated in this long awaited and obviously joyous occasion.”

Judging from the things my Dad did during the time immediately before he died, my legal adoption was not the first time he had considered my sisters and I being re-united.

Although he had never uttered a single word of criticism or advice concerning our long-time estranged sibling ties, clearly he had thought about it. He simply carried on three separate father/daughter relationships. He developed his own connection with his 3 grandchildren and before his death he fixed it so that at least once more, we had no choice but to all three be together. I mean really together. We had to join up and cooperate in the dispersal of his estate. All papers had to be signed by all three of us at the same time. There was even plenty of money designated specifically for travel expenses from our respective far corners, etc. Clever, clever man. Either that or he was a real brat.

If Dad was nearby, and we believe he was, we know he got a real kick out of it as his lawyer innocently said, “Yes, I thought this was an unusual request that there be 3 executors and that all must be present in the same place for all procedures. This is not how it is commonly done. Your Father must have known that you three get along really well to put you in this position as equal trustees.”

 

I wonder what that attorney thought of the look of shock, dismay and wonderment that passed among my sisters and me in that moment.

 

Dad, I’m sure, was chuckling. I guess he really believed that it is never too late.

 

IMG_4154
Wedding number ONE, Dad, back left, the only non-Mormon there, except me😉
IMG_4143
Dad, with husband number two (looks like he’s ready to “paddle” him)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #37: Story

SongLyricSunday-1/6/19 Medicine/Doctors

OK, I’m still in, even though our long-time Blogger, Helen Vahdati, is taking what I hope is just a break!

Here you go:

https://jimadamsauthordotcom.wordpress.com/2019/01/06/guest-host/

 

Medicine – Rising Appalachia lyrics

♪ Medicine ♪ official lyrics

Wise men say that rushing is violence
And so is your silence when it’s rooted in compliance
To stand firm in loving defiance, make art your alliance
Give voice to the fire

Move people to the beat of the wind
Gather yourself and begin, to dance the song until it ends
We are winners, champions of the light
Forming in numbers and might, keep the truth close in sight

Medicine Woman, Medicine Man
Walking with grace, I know your face, and I trust your hands
Medicine Woman, Medicine Man
Walking with grace, I know your face, and I trust your hands

Find your teachers in the voice of the forests
Unplug you can’t ignore this, wisdom of the voiceless
Remedies are bountiful and surround us
From the garden to the farthest, prayers made of star dust

Find your healing in the music that calls you
The voice that enthralls you, what do you belong to?
Eyes out! There’s the setting of the sun
Give thanks to each and everyone

The lesson is the Medicine Woman, Medicine Man
Walking with grace I know your face, and I trust your hands
Medicine Woman, Medicine Man
Walking with grace, I know your face, and I trust your hands

I believe in bending backwards and extending
My traps trip back until the message is in action
The yard is feeding, stop stark the disbelieving
‘Cause the garden holds the shards, the medicine is in the
seeds when

We hold tight to our right to protect and
We know our might is ten fold in connection
Our elders hold them bright lights, we protect them
The medicine is evident: the wolf, the hawk, the bear clan

We hold tight to our right to protect and
We know our might is ten fold in connection
Our elders hold them bright lights, we protect them
The medicine is evident: the wolf, the hawk, the bear clan

Medicine Woman, Medicine Man
Walking with grace, I know your face, and I trust your hands
Medicine Woman, Medicine Man
Walking with grace, I know your face, and I trust your hands

Musixmatch.com
Lyrics copyright : legal lyrics licensed by MusiXmatch.

No unauthorized reproduction of lyric. Lyrics powered by http://www.musixmatch.com

One Gift Turned into Three

There is a whole HUGE category of people for whom MUSIC speaks way louder and more clearly than any amount of political discussion or rhetoric! Just ask any true Hippie or Flower Child!

MORE MUSIC!!

Here is a second attempt at re-blogging my friend Karuna’s post today.

I”m going to put the main song I want to pass on directly in here, in case the re-blog doesn’t work again, but do visit her sight also. She always has great, beautiful, inspiring stuff there.

https://livinglearningandlettinggo.com/2018/11/02/one-gift-turned-into-three/

 

Living, Learning and Letting Go

A friend just sent me a link to this video. I loved it.

I decided to listen to another one of his other songs. I loved that one too.

Then this video caught my eye. It wasn’t by Keb’Mo’ but I also loved it!

Thanks Vani… for being the person who led me to this string of gifts.

View original post

Music Playlist for Changing Relationships

The story behind the need for this playlist in the first place is way too long (and very personal) so I will spare you. The short version is this. The combination of music represents the ending of the very best, most fulfilling, most love-filled 25 years of my life.

And even though I put together this CD in the first place for a very specific, very close group of dear friends…chosen family, really…I have found this group of songs really helpful in my therapy practice for several clients needing to grieve over the years.

The info about, and lyrics for, each song are available online (would have made this post way too long) and I hope if any of this music speaks to you (sings to you?) that you’ll research further.

 

Grieving the changes in Relationships

 

Miles Away by Marc Cohn

Sometimes we just need to be in the feelings for a while.

 

 

Help me Understand by Juliette Wyers

       Then comes the struggle for meaning.

 

 

We Just Disagree by Dave Mason

Sometimes this is the only thing that makes sense,

 

 

Thank U by Alanis Morrisette

       And then we can move into Gratitude, even for the difficult

 

 

Thank You by Karen Drucker

       Slowly adding to our list of appreciations

 

 

My Thanksgiving by Don Henley

       Until we realize, we wouldn’t really trade a minute of it,

 

 

Love Heals the Wounds it Makes by Eva Cassidy

       And any left over pain will slowly mend,

 

 

I Miss You by Randy Newman

       Leading us back to our original state of Love and oneness….

 

 

Voyage of the Soul by Frederick Delarue

       Where in lies the greatest peace of all.