Daily Prompt: Irrelevant

When they entered our lives, they aimed to make us irrelevant.

They worked with the devil and provided him with fuel

Without regard for the tiny souls who were being lost in the ash.

They stood in the path that led from this hell

To salvation with every burning ember as their shield.

But in the name of love and family,

We marched through every demon they could throw.

With heads held high and truth on our side,

We blew the wind to shift the smoke

So that they could not see us pass.

We brought our own burning embers

But these were not fueled with hateful hearts and begrudged intentions

But rather ignited with the torches from generations of angels.

We persevered and found paradise. We would not be irrelevant!

We would not be irrelevant!

 

And now,

Now that the smoke has cleared

And the path is now narrow,

They aim to reach this paradise

On the rounds of our shoulders, on the sweat of our brow,

On the very strings of the hearts that they worked to unravel?!?!

I say to them

You ARE irrelevant!

 

Sometimes, you just gotta rant!

“Gigi”

 

 

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Daily Prompt: Sting

A sting comes abruptly. There is rarely any warning outside of the gradually increasing buzzing sound that could either reflect the closening of the little insect or a shift in the wind that is carrying with it the sounds of the world around. Most often, one assumes that the noises are at a distance and continue on about their conversations or soaking in the beauty of the outdoors. Then, all at once, a pain so shocking and excruciating stops you in your track as the bee, who gave its own life to bring you this pain, takes a look at its victim and retreats leaving a part of it with you.

In much the same way, we heard the buzzing of the CPS workers around us but believed that the sense of uncertainty was simply carried over by the wind from the case they were building against my grandson’s father. Never did we imagine that the threat was so real or so close. We knew the bees were in our yard but thought that they were there to pollinate and make our yard, our lives, more complete by protecting the children.

Yet, it what seemed like a frozen moment in time, we felt the sting. We looked in the face of the bees that were willing to give up their own humanity to leave us with a hole in our heart where they had placed their stinger. We pulled the stinger and watched our lives slowly seep out of the wound that they had left. We felt our breathing slow as our souls reacted to the poison that had infested the very roots of our family tree.

We watched as the hive celebrated the accomplishments of its members. We watched as the queen gave honors over the fallen in the name of the mission. We watched in horror as others flew from the hive to have other families meet the same fate.

Love, for the record, is a powerful treatment for a sting. Family is an amazing insecticide. Prayer can make a hive fall from its tree. We can shake CPS. We can heal from the sting. We can bring back the humanity.

The hole is still there. The wound is a reminder. My grandchildren are home, but we will not forget that the threat to all families continues.

Until every sting has been healed and every stinger removed,

“Gigi”

 

via Daily Prompt: Sting

Sympathy: Daily Prompt

A simple poem that we have all chanted in our minds as we face those who “support us” but also support the very system that has broken our homes and tried to break our spirits.  Side note, I am beyond bored being away from home and so ready for my Florida sunshine! So I appreciate this outlet to pass a little time 🙂

 

“I’m sorry you are going through this,”

“I’m sorry that I didn’t know.”

“I’m sorry that this happened.”

“I’m sorry but I have to go.”

LEAVE! But take your sympathy

Because your choice to not know,

Your choice to turn your head

Your choice to accept these injustices

Has led to these empty beds.

Do not offer sympathy

Offer actions, change, support

Do not choose to allow

The injustices of Family Court

 

If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem,

“Gigi”

 

Sympathy

 

Peculiar: Things Never Noticed Before Our CPS Case

This storm and process of evacuating Florida to avoid Irma’s fury toting four toddlers have made it difficult to concentrate on blogging and, for that, I apologize. I remember thinking, during our case, that I could not believe that the rest of the world could keep turning while my family was in ruins. I could not imagine that people were cooking turkeys or worrying about graduations when MY family was under attack. Of course, I think back now and realize that I was fighting to be able to enjoy those things in complete oblivion once again. I wanted to focus on the larger picture and be able to concern myself with the problems of others rather than singularly thinking of my own family.

Then the case was won and my family was returned. But, I could not go back to oblivion. I could not only focus on jumping back into the life of the Jones’. My eyes have been opened and every thing that has happened to us is also happening to others. So, thus the apology. Yes, I can get distracted but I should not get so distracted that I lose contact with those who are struggling as we did. Those who are out there who want to be concerned with this large storm and the safety of others but can only concentrate on the fact that their own family is hurting. Please know, that your job right now is to do what you are doing.

Your worry should not turn to ours but rather ours should turn to yours.

You are in a battle that affects all of our lives. I felt like less of a person, disconnected from the world. We who have overcome this obstacle to happiness should not allow you to feel those emotions. Instead, we should always let you know that you are not alone and that you are doing everything that you can. The destruction that I may find at home following the storm is nothing compared to the destruction that your family is going through and I know that this realization has not been properly portrayed through my absence this weekend.

In a loss for words and a tired mind, I turned to a daily prompt provided by a fellow blogger and found the word “peculiar.”  I couldn’t find the connection between my need to connect with you and this word. Strange, different, directly associated with…Discussing CPS is not considered peculiar to those of us who have encountered them and those who have not encountered this injustice would not understand any metaphorical connections that I might make. So I nearly closed up my laptop and went to check in on the little ones before turning in for the night. But I still felt like I was missing something that might keep my mind awake through the night. Then it hit me, there are things that I once thought were normal but now I see them as peculiar to the child protective system that has destroyed so many lives and families. So, these are my thoughts on the oblivion that CPS stole from us all:

  1. The Oblivion: I once saw two people having a discussion about maybe a reunion whereas one of the friends brought their laptop to save the plans and the other one could not get a baby sitter for the day so they had to bring their children alone. The friend with the children may seem a bit distracted but the friend with the laptop was clearly inspired as she typed away and checked for any messages that were perhaps from other friends engaged in the planning.
  2. The Reality: These are not casual meetings and they are not friends. The individual with the laptop is a supervised visitation provider and the distracted individual is trying to both interact with her children and appear engaged with the provider. I want to call out to her and tell her to truly be in the moment . I want to ask the children if they are okay. I want to tell the provider to put herself in the parent’s shoes. I see the drain in their eyes. I see the fear and the sadness. I no longer think of a planned reunion but rather of a plan to prevent reunification.

 

  1. The Oblivion: I saw those billboards asking for foster parents and I envisioned families reaching out and putting aside their own needs to help children who had maybe became orphans or their parents were getting treatment. I saw good in a system where people would willingly open their homes just to make certain these children are not alone while their family mends. I saw the billboards and saw hope.
  2. The Reality: I can no longer feel hopeful driving down the interstate and looking up at these billboards. In fact, I cannot even look. I see people who will stop at nothing to replace the family bonds with those that will program the children into what the government wants them to be. I see the foster families as carefully selected computer programmers and the children as pawns to be bartered or sold to bring revenue for this mission. I see the parties who were involved in our heartache and those who are involved in yours. I see a loss of hope and fear that others feel the same.

 

  1. The Oblivion: All families are happy on the holidays. Or so I thought. I lived in a world where I understood financial struggles but I also knew that the holidays always worked themselves out. We made silly boxes of Christmas Eve necessities. We made peanut butter bonbons. We held the grandchildren up to the tree to hang the star. I believed, and loved the idea, that all families were doing the same thing at the same time.
  2. The Reality: Every happiness can be ripped away at no fault of our own and this means that many families are not doing these things. Many families are unable to put up a tree or bake cookies because of their sadness and loss. Many families are struggling to open up their social networks to reach out for help because they will immediately see the family photos with Santa that will surely flood their news feed. Not everyone is happy and not everyone is ready to deck the halls.

Do not get me wrong, there are so many other moments and situations that I would never have found to be peculiar during my previous state of oblivion but these are just a few that my tired mind can recollect. At times, I would like to go back to feeling hope for all of the society and believing the best in every situation. But, if I were to do so, then I could not reach out to others and try to help to guide them through the maze that is CPS. And quite frankly, I am afraid to be oblivious now as we can never let our guard down.

So, when you feel that your whole world has changed because of this, know that you are not alone. But also know that we can change the whole world because they have changed ours.

Please let others know that oblivion is a dangerous place to live,

“Gigi”

 

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Peculiar

Timeout for Toddlers: Practice in Solitary

Solitary is both the punishment and the reward for expressing our desire to not interact with others at the time. It is the timeout of all stages of life even if the punishment is self-assigned.

As I was considering a response to this blogging prompt, my grandson, Elliott, decided that he wanted to take a block from his younger cousin while they were all playing together in the living room. The bedroom is also full of toys, safety equipment, and a baby gate secured at the door. The response to Elliott’s unwillingness to share was to place him in timeout in the bedroom. Comically, the number of toys in the bedroom would not constitute what most people would call discipline or punishment. In fact, most kids would consider this a treat. Not only would he not have to share, being in the room alone, but he had access to different toys than the other children who were still in the living room playing. Yet, he was in timeout. He was being punished for not playing well with others because he was not being ALLOWED to play with them?!?! As I pondered on this contradiction between punishment and giving him exactly what he had wanted, I found my understanding of today’s prompt.

gate

Today, I am reaching out to an entire world of potential readers. I still have access to others and all of the things that I may possibly want including some elements of life that others may have no access to. Yet, when I opted to work from home as a freelance academic writer, I essentially put myself in timeout. My interactions were minimal and my ability to move from the confinement of my online world to the physical world outside became restricted as my workload increased. This was a voluntary situation, at first. I no longer wanted to live in the hustle and bustle of the outside world. I wanted only to enjoy my family and my coffee. Essentially, I only wanted the toys that had been outside of my reach when I was out in the world with others.

The same is true of many writers, bloggers, and social media addicts. For purposes from work to anxiety, people have become more comfortable only accessing the parts of the real world that can be found in timeout. Their connection to others has been shielded by the presence of safety equipment and a gate that they have secured at their door. Yet, just as did Elliott, at some point, people begin to look for a way to break free from their solitude. They need someone to share with or to communicate with. Once out of timeout, however, if they have remained too long, they are uncertain how to reintegrate into the outside world. With an entire generation of those who have been in voluntary timeout for the majority of their lives, we see on the news that re-emerging can be confusing and leave newcomers at the hands of extremists as their mentors and guides into society. They are confused as to whether or not the world in solitude was a punishment or if they have entered into a real world of such violence that they must either participate or retreat to the safety of their confinement.

We must, as a society, be there to mentor one another. Just as we do with a toddler who acts out, we must explain the differences between right and wrong as they pertain to the real world. We must do so without anger or judgment. The period of timeout is over and we must rejoin the rest of the children in the living room. Can we please do so with love and respect for one another?

Guiding Children is a Blessing: Guiding Ourselves is a Challenge,

“Gigi”

 

 

Solitary