Sunday, May 28, 2006

There is one person who can make me feel less like an impending-orphaned, tortured soul; the daughter of my soon-to-be new husband. I'll call her Lovely.

I met my soon-to-be new husband a little over 2 years ago. Neither one of us had a clue that we would be where we are now. That is a story for a completely different blog. The biggest surprise though, has been Lovely.

Today she took me swimming. We donned our suits and after I got done being completely shocked at how strange I looked in a swimsuit after gaining 10 pounds since I last wore it, we hit the pool. For 2 hours, I was not a daughter, but a soon-to-be stepmother. I was a friend to a little girl who needs that more than anything these days. We splashed and played, jumped off the diving board, and then I retired to rest like a grown up while she continued on being a kid. For 2 hours, I was not the scared child of my parents, but the guardian of a child I find myself loving more and more everyday.

Lovely knows my parents are not well. She has caught me in her room with her Cavi, holding him and whispering my secrets in his little potato chip ears. My nose is red, my eyes are red, my makeup is streaked and she says nothing. She sits beside me on her bed and rubs my hair.

I think the Cavi knows her secrets too.

See, Lovely and I have something in common. Her parents divorce has been unfair to her. It has been bitter and cruel, and her mother has taken no steps to shield her from the adults' thoughts and feelings. From what I understand, their marriage was no less unfair to her. Lovely played the peace keeper and wound healer during and after her parents' fights. And neither of these roles did she sign on for in life.

My parents' illnesses have been unfair to me as well. As selfish as it may seem to talk about me when my parents are both terminal, may I remind everyone that I am not writing to show the best of me, and in fact, most of the time I feel as though I'm writing to release my demons. Point being, Lovely and I have both had to grow up much faster than we ought to, and we had both been forced to see our parents as true human beings with flaws, anger, sickness, pain, sadness, fear, and brokenness.

So in the pool with Lovely, I can forget. As the rest of the families go on around us, I find comfort in this child and hope that she finds comfort in me too. Maybe she will get to know my mother and love her like a grandchild. They both would be so lucky.