Last summer is a blurr. The pictures remain on my camera. They serve as reminders of the summer that passed while I attempted to come to terms with the changes in my reality. My daughter learned to hang glide - taking flight to the extent possible on a first few flights. We spent time on the Virginia and North Carolina coasts - gorgeous and wonderfully peaceful. We watched fireworks from a roof top in DC on the most gorgeous July night one could imagine. We walked to and from summer camp talking of love, value, choices, dishonesty, and relationships that evolve and change. We talked of love, fear, light, shadow, and we cried.
And in August my daughter's paternal family found out about her and about me and our lives opened that much farther as they embraced us and we them.
For ten years she didn't have a paternal extended family and they didn't know of her.
How much can a heart open?
How much can a family embrace, invite, welcome, and come to terms with not knowing of a grand daughter, a great granddaughter, a cousin, a sister, a niece?
As I welcomed this extended family into my daughter's life - her family into her life, I have learned to let go and to examine my heart.
Tuesday, we will travel to see my daughter's extended family. She will discover a life that was largely unknown to her until now despite my efforts to share what I knew of her dad's childhood and past.
And I... I am stepping into a world about which I know very little. I am taking a step that leaves me shaking at the very thought. For someone who doesn't hesitate to begin a new adventure, the concept of this journey is emotionally challenging on many levels.
Yet this journey is less about me than it is my daughter; it is about her family and sharing her life with them as they embrace and invite her to share theirs. it is about the continuation of new beginnings and a fractured family discovering its previously unknown member. It is about opportunities to heel - to give - to love and to share love.
And I am as nervous as nervous can be with the full realization that I trust it will be what it will be.
And I have been told, in no uncertain terms, by friends of all genders, that I am crazy.
And perhaps i am...
I am definitely on the path less traveled right now
Definitely taking a risk
And for one of the first times in my life I am very aware that my hands aren't on the wheel