The bombshell news is not as major as I made it sound. Please forgive me for the drama. There is no cliffhanger. I do have news, however! I am moving in with a family I have known for 15 years. Here's the story...
Around 15 years ago I was living in Arkansas and had run out of places to live. I was basically homeless. My sister Jody in Atlanta invited me to move in with her and her husband. She bought me a plane ticket, and I moved in with nothing more than a suitcase. Within a week I found a newspaper ad wanting a live-in nanny to three children. Karla was two years old then, and she is still in my life today at 16 years old. I only lived with them for about a year, then I moved on with my life, We've been in touch off and on ever since. They are in a couple of my videos, but "Violent Family" probably has the best shots. (I just now realized that this story is a repeat from that "Violent Family" post -- but if you're anything like me, you totally forgot.)
Never in a million years would I have guessed I'd be living with them again. We had our rough times and even hated each other. But there's always been a connection underneath it all.
It still makes no sense whatsoever for me to move in with them.
My plan all along was to move into a bigger place because I was outgrowing this one. Instead I will be moving into a single room with far less space. I will be getting rid of most of my stuff and living as simply as possible. This is incredibly -- and surprisingly -- appealing to me. I should have been a monk. Except I didn't know this was appealing until I began entertaining the idea.
When I go to that house, I feel a sense of "home" that I haven't felt since I was going to Cedar Hill Enrichment Center every few weeks. Before that, the last time I felt a sense of "home" was when I was living with Caroline -- my roommate in Arkansas. I've never felt that way while living here in this highrise. I have never belonged here, and I miss that sense of belonging. I know I will have that feeling when I move in with -- who I call -- my spiritual family.
The family consists of Darlene, the mother of Karla and Alex. She and I first met when I arrived on her doorstep with a suitcase. We had been talking on the phone and decided I would be ideal for the nanny job. Karla was a big responsibility for me back then, yet Darlene did as much, if not more, than I did. Karla had two moms, and to this day she calls me her second mom. Karla also had two older bothers at the time, but I mostly dealt with Karla.
In 1996 I decided to get back into mental health advocacy, and I found an advocate named Jim who helped me get on the mental health center's advisory board. Jim and I became close friends, and I introduced him to Darlene. They fell in love, got married, and had Alex. Jim died of cancer when Alex was four or five. I wasn't anywhere around back then and had no idea about Jim until much later. Now Alex is 9 years old.
So I will be living with people I have a deep bonding with.
Darlene and I had a hard time even considering this. I still don't know how it was brought up! But it feels as if a decision was made on a higher plane and we're just carrying it through. It could just be a stepping stone for my true purpose. It could be a lot of things. But I feel a strong sense of purpose. No agenda, no "fixing" anything, no clue whatsoever. It's the weirdest thing.
I feel like this is a leap of faith. There's nothing more to it. We'll just have to see what happens. I feel good about it, though. Right now, that's all I'm focusing on.
One thing Darlene said the room did not have was a closet. Hmmmmm.... I started looking on the internet for one, but yuck yuck yuck. It felt too overwhelming! Then suddenly a brand new wardrobe from a local hotel landed in Kenny's hands. (Kenny is a family friend). Apparently a former neighbor who worked at a hotel asked Kenny if he needed a wardrobe. So there goes my closet worries! Little things like that keep happening. As long as I've known them, it's always been that way.
In other news...
I've started a new blog called Pet Memorial. Of course it was inspired by Miracle, but it was also inspired by other pets who have died within the last few weeks. It seems to be a theme in my life, and it began at the most unlikely place: Funny the Vlog. Bev takes in foster dogs and she video blogged a litter of puppies. When one of them died, I cried my eyes out. It was so sad to me, more than it "should" have been. I'll never forget that puppy. Then Miracle died shortly afterward, and Sue's cat on the same day. Jodie's dog Sophie, who I grew to love while in MN, died a couple days ago. That was the deciding factor behind the website. I remember how healing it was for me to make "A Tribute to Miracle" on the day he died. It is healing in a way that a memorial service is healing.
I miss Miracle more than words can say, but I am seeing more miracles in my life since he left. I think of him every time another one happens.
Oh yea, and the person who I thought the news of me moving would freak out was my sister Jody. We had sister night last night, and I finally told her. She is doing her very best to digest it. This truly was a bombshell for her.
I'll keep you all posted, and I promise - No More Cliff hangers!