Guarding Angels

I was very fortunate while in high school to have a family take my sister and me in when my mother's world fell apart. Make no mistake, it was hell on her to leave us. She wasn't even friends with the family who took us in but being 15 and 17, respectively, she knew we wouldn't be helpless without her. Her youth was filled with hardship and living with my best friend, her preacher father and devoted mother could hardly compare. Mother had my younger brothers to care for and she was in a place where she was barely caring for herself. I was angry at my father at the time for bailing on his family but I stand, frankly, in gratitude now because I know the happiness my mother lives today, I see the success of my brothers while my sister and I experienced insight as to what a different kind of family dynamic could look like.

I often speak of life coming full circle.

It's now my turn to take in my daughter's best friend. I expect nothing from the fragments of family she has just as that family, so many years ago, expected nothing of my family. In less than two years she'll be considered an adult entering the world with her life experiences. I ask myself, looking back, what did I lack in family before entering the home of my girlfriend. As I run a short mental list, I'm under the complete awareness that this wonderful girl coming into our lives has a much, much longer list. And as she explained to me the ins and outs of temporary custody, I couldn't help my sadness in thinking no child should ever be so versed in anything that feels so disconnected from Love. But I rethought that knowing it was Love that had taken us in, it is Love that takes her in.

I just want her to come to understand that real Love is never temporary.