I'm SOOOOOO sorry. I know I said I was back and then I've been spotty...... but we were driving the last two days - and when we stop at the Noni's house - we don't have cell or internet service.... so no blogging can be done. And *after* driving for 12 hours yesterday I could barely see let alone blog.... so here is my LATE entry for YESTERDAY :) Sorry kids.
So. We had a GREAT time in SoCal. Thanks to Lashla and her gorgeous daughters.... *much* time was spent by the two of us marveling at how well our children got along. There was not one single fight - or discourse, in spite of all of us staying in a two bedroom condo.
They played all day - running down the stairs to wake each other up early every morning just so the fun could get started.... Lashla said, "It's brilliant the way they are getting on so well - it's as though they've known each other all their lives."
"Well," I replied, "they are just like their mother's.... instant soul mates."
"Aye.... " she said, "too right.... too right...."
And then many tears were shed when we had to drive away. I cannot tell you how much I love Lashla. Even though we both had boyfriends (in the same band) when we met - she always knew I was gay. She saw right through me - right through my tough-no nonsense exterior - she knew my heart and loved and understood every ounce of who I was loooooooong before I was willing to accept it myself.
It makes me sit down and really think about my life - how G*d has afforded me the priviledge of having amazing people in my life.... going back to my childhood - Angela, McGhee, Janda, Robin, Courtney and into my 'straight mommy life' - Jenny B., Chloe, J..... and then now in my LGBTQ community - Mia, Torri, Bella, Keller, Keebler..... Hail Mary...... my life is f*cking brimming with amazing people and I'm honestly not worthy. Really..... I'm not. And above all... there's Lashla.
So, being able to see her and hold her and walk with her and talk to her and *see* her face when we have lived apart for 13 years..... it's a blessing and well worth the 17 hour drive (ONE WAY!) to see her.
Of course, I have NO BUSINESSS taking *any* kind of vacation. The cost of my medical benefits has literally strangled the *last* of my savings - and I'm still trying to piece together a life where I'm not away from the kids with full time work - which becomes more challenging every day. However... between Lashla and Grandma having chest pains as of late - I made the decision to go with the help of The Bubbie and The Papa. (thanks guys....) - and we stayed at The Noni's on the way down and on the way home to save on paying for a hotel.
This means I make the 11/12 hour drive to Stockton on day one and a 6 hour drive to Long Beach on day 2 and vice versa. I love love love Noni. She's been The Bubbie's best friend for like a zillion years and has known me since before I was born..... and she's a kick-ass Godmother. The kids love her, too, and they were *very* excited to see her and her new puppy on the way home.
We arrived and Noni BBQ'd dinner, we had a great time at her home which is a bit of a farm - with a wrap around porch and located outside Stockton on a very busy road - 55 miles and hour just outside her gate! It's also the road that the San Joaquin County jail is located.
This particular tidbit is *awesome* for those of us who watch Sons of Anarchy - which is based in the fake town "Charming" which is really Lodi - just up the road, and ALL of the Sons go to San Joaquin County jail - so.... it's kind of rad. lololol (Long live Opi.... that's all I have to say about that!)
Anyhow, we settled down in the guest room for the night - which hosts a door with a screen door to the wrap around porch. Given the hot summer night, we let the door open, but I secured the screen door closed and I talked to them about NOT going outside for ANY reason. (which they would never do).
The kids slept on a blow up mattress and I climbed into the old style wrought iron bed and we all fell asleep after a long day of tearful goodbyes and LA traffic...... until midnight when I woke up with The Girl's Kindle sticking me in the back.
Hmmm......? That's odd. That should be on the floor with her... I wake up enough to plug it into the charger (so it'll be ready for our long drive the next day) and I start to wonder *where* The Girl is.
I look in my bed.... she's not there.
I look on the air-mattress..... she's not there.
I look in the closet......
On the floor.......
In the hall....
In the bathroom....
In the kitchen.....
In the living room.....
In the room where the new puppy is......
back to the bed.....
back to the air-mattress.......
back to the bathroom........
I can't breathe. A pain starts taking over my heart and my mind and I'm having a hard time making my feet move because I'm starting to feel frozen to the wood of the hallway floor.....
I can't open my mouth - no sound comes out..... I can't find the words.....
I try to calm myself - go look again... look *harder* because *THIS* is NOT f*cking happening......
I go back to the bedroom we're staying in and I stand in the room studying every part.....
I can hear occasional cars zooming past the house....
I can hear wild dogs or coyotes or some perhaps f*cking werewolves howling at one another outside.....
f*ck. f*ck. f*ck.......
Worst of all is the soft banging of the screen door as it flaps ever so slightly in the wind.....
holy mother f*ck.
I look in the room *again* and I look at the clock - it's not 12:20 and I can't find my baby.
I can't *FIND* The Girl.
OMG. I can't find her...... how am I going to do this? How am I going to call for help?
How am I going to tell El Capitan.......
If she went outside.... will I ever find her?
What if she was hit by a zooming car?
What if she was .... taken...... (I can't hardly type that word now).
At this point panic has truly set it - and I feel like I'm frozen in time - afraid.
I race down the hall and start shaking The Noni and I'm saying... "I can't find [The Girl], she's not in my room Noni.... she's not in my room......"
The Noni flies out of bed and races down the hall stopping briefly at the air-mattress, she looked in the closet and then she reaches under the bed to pull out a very sleepy, confused Girl who had wrapped herself up in a blanket and rolled under the bed I have been sleeping in.....
I didn't see her there - inside the blanket.
But there was she - bleary eyed, confused and still half-asleep - and SAFE.
Noni put her in my bed and I crawled in next to her and fell asleep.... crying, still shaking - still trying to find my own breath and calm the panic in my heart..... WORST TWENTY MINUTES OF MY LIFE.
WORST F*CKING NIGHT EVER.
And - to be totally honest..... as I fell asleep I thought of alllllllll the times I've written about Kyron Horman and how his Mom, Desiree, has known more pain that I will ever (hopefully) know - and after a twenty minute taste of it ... I'm not sure how she's survived *years* of it.
To say that I'm blessed, in spite of everything that has happened in the last year and a half - is a freaking UNDERSTATEMENT..... sooooo glad The Girl was safe and sound the whole time.
I'm pretty sure that since then her smiles have been evern brighter, her laughter has been just a little bit louder and longer.... or may be I'm just paying even closer attention
Mother, "scorned wife", photographer, designer, potential blog writer and recent guest on The View.... life's been pretty crazy as of late - crazybeautiful that is!
You can see some of Elle's photography at: