You may have noticed that I took a break from blogging on the website. I was tired. For a long time, I was doing two posts a day with no let up. I was also very discouraged because all of that work did not seem to be yielding the result I was hoping for: reconnection with my two sweet sisters. But the year off has been very sweet to me. I started seeing a counselor who helped me write a letter to you and to Purity. After reading it, Purity contacted me and we started hanging out every once in awhile. What relief! Now that she’s back in my life, my thoughts turn to you and helping you find the strength to talk to all of the people who love you. Perhaps reading my letter will help you understand what I’ve been trying to accomplish the last few years…
Dearest Purity and Bea,
I know you are both disappointed with me. But, perhaps you do not know how many times your grandfather and I have tried to deal with this situation. I have, in fact, tried several times to talk to your parents.
On that horrible Christmas Day, way back in 2013, I knew something was wrong the moment I came into the house to give you and your family your Christmas presents. You witnessed my asking Lee what was wrong. She asked me if I had asked you to come and live with me. I asked her not to discuss it at that point because you and your sister were standing there. Adults should not fight in front of children. This was inappropriate. So a few weeks later, I texted your father and asked him if I could take him out for coffee and explain my side of the situation.
I had hoped that this first opportunity would allow me to explain my position. But your father did not wish to speak to me without Lee being present. This was about the middle of January 2014.
For the next few months, your grandfather tried, repeatedly, to speak to your dad about the issue. Your dad told Grandpa that I was “in the wrong place at the wrong time.” I think Grandpa was hoping the menfolk could be more rational and resolve the issue.
In July, I saw Lee and her mom at the Farmer’s Market and I asked to speak to her. She told me she was with her mom and did not wish to discuss the situation. I respected her wishes to wait and I immediately followed her direction to call your dad to set up a time to meet.
Nearly two weeks went by and I decided I needed to do something. I showed up at the house, as you remember, and I was told that I showed up “unannounced.”
After the episode in July, your dad did text me the next day offering to let me come over to the house. Honestly, I was tired. I was tired of my simple invitation to give you (and your sister) some space and some perspective being turned into something else. Your grandfather was getting more fragile and your grandmother needed me to help her and be strong. So I stopped trying for a while.
Grandpa died at 7:30 am on January 29th, 2015. Two HOURS after he passed, I called your brothers to inform them of the situation. I did ask them to pass the news onto your side of the family. Kris tells me he did tell your dad. We had your grandfather’s family to call (see obituary), and your grandmother’s family to call. Grandma was devastated by the loss of her best friend and husband of 47 years. She needed her brothers and her family’s support. I took off a week from work and needed to keep my sub going until I could come back to work. There were death certificates to apply for and the coroner to deal with. We did wait to have the memorial service until April because Grandma simply could not handle doing it sooner. Kris did attend the memorial. Brandon chose not to attend as your mom was there. He called Grandma a few times too. Your Aunt Becca wrote a kind post on Facebook about Grandpa too.
In April 2017, when your sister Purity asked me to try talking to your parents again, I went home and immediately wrote the letter. It was a tough letter to write. But I did it anyway – because Purity asked it of me.
When I showed it to Purity, she talked to me about my need “to respect the parents.” I feel I have gone above and beyond in the “respecting your parents” department. It was gut wrenching to hear that she would not “catch up with me” anymore. I knew you both were probably not aware of all of my attempts to fix this situation. But it really hurt me.
And I continued to try to get you what you both wanted. When I got no response to the letter from your parents, I called your dad in early May, before Purity’s graduation. No response. I went to the graduation anyway. A friend who knows my side of the situation bought my ticket for me. Her son graduated with Purity: Trevor Whitman.
In late May, I called Lee and appealed to her to “stop this” silence and talk to me. No response.
Finally, in late November 2017 – I wrote a four page typed explanation to your parents. My letter started with an apology (for the length of the letter) and I apologized for several of my past actions throughout the letter. I still have a copy of this letter if you wish to read it. I did not get any response after this attempt either.
I’m tired girls. I’m tired of the mountain this molehill has become. You know I had no intention of taking you both away from your parents. If I wanted kids, I would have had them myself. And I do have kids…lots of them. They are my students and I love them. But, I also LOVE coming home to a quiet house and a kitty who is happy to see me.
I do wish things had gone differently. I do wish I could have done something to stop this situation from spiralling out of control. But honestly, I don’t think my doing anything differently would have yielded another result. I do think we’d be in this situation regardless. I have tried NOT to involve you in this issue. In my silence, I have refrained from saying ugly things about your parents, but you need to know my side of the story, too.
It hurts to be blocked on Facebook and out of your life when all I ever did was try to help you. You know I was trying to help you. I was also trying NOT to offend your parents. I’m so tired of feeling like I’m walking on eggshells, girls. I deserve some respect and so does your grandmother.
Your grandma is pretty convinced she won’t ever see Bea again. She cried like that in the store because she was so glad to see you (Purity). We just want to love you and your sister. That’s all we ever wanted. We just want to love you and share whatever part of your lives you wish to share with us.
These last four and a half years have been very hard on us, girls. I do not begrudge you girls loving your step-mother. If you remember, I told you both often how lucky you were to have her in your lives.
I believe it’s time for things to start to be put right. I’ve tried several times to fix the situation. But I just can not do it without help. I know there will probably have to be another conversation with your parents.
I really hope that one or both of you will call me so we can reconnect. There are two sides to every story. I wish I could see you and help you understand that I’ve been trying to protect you in all of this. My silence is not disrespect. Maybe if you saw the school I work in with all the teachers and kids and how we do things…our culture. Adults (teachers) just do not attack each other with kids standing there watching. If you have to question an adult you do this PRIVATELY. You do not force kids to watch two adults,(they love) fighting. This is a form of child abuse.
If you decide that you wish to keep things as they are, that is your choice. I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me for NOT being able to fix this situation. I cannot fix it alone. I am not perfect. I did and do make mistakes. But when does the grudge holding end???
If I do not hear from you after this point, know ALWAYS that I love you and I hope the very best for you in the future. You deserve to be happy. You are both beautiful and smart and oh, so sassy! In my heart, you both will always be my “spirit children.”
Shalom (Hebrew for Peace),