Then – Futile Efforts
Just like Olivia before me – a part of me died, a light went out in my heart – permanently extinguished. That isn’t to say that I didn’t try over the following years, but from her side, nothing ever changed. In my opinion anyways.
It was 2 years before I saw her again and I thought it was for a visit, she asked me to baby-sit. It was another year before I saw her the next time and that was no better.
The next few years consisted of phone calls full of anger, lies, broken promises, games, excuses, favouritism, narcissism, I’m sure there was a large dose of selfishness and insanity thrown in for good measure. Really just about anything other than what you would need or use to build a relationship, yet still I held on and tried. There was something that still really bothered me about having only one parent in my life. Something that I thought reflected badly on me as a person.
Our next face to face visit would be almost 10 years later when I would fly home to be with my sister who was losing her child due to terminal illness. I was still trying to be part of the family – and was the only sibling to attend to support her.
What I saw in my mother during that trip scared me. From her personal condition to her home, she was a true enigma to me. Most daughters want to emulate their mothers – I was terrified of being even remotely like her.
Yet there was a small part of me that was happy to see some familiar gestures I had seen myself do – that she did unconsciously. In some ways I could see where I had come from – but I didn’t like what I had seen. I was starting to think that there were benefits of growing up without a mother – well, this one anyways.
I was to fly home again the next year for my sisters wedding – and was completely surprised to find that I was not part of the wedding or even sitting with any member of the family during the wedding or reception. I actually walked to the church by myself (after getting lost in the small town) and had to make my own transportation from the church to the reception because despite the fact that I had been invited, nobody had included me in any of their plans. My previous visit I had rented my own car, but was told there would be no need during this trip as there were more than enough people and it was all planned out. I will never go anyplace again without options for myself to leave.
When I finally arrived at the reception I was seated with one of the tenants of one of my mom’s homes and some girl who was dating the best man and 3 or 4 children whose parents I really never could figure out. From as best I could tell – there were probably about 10 tables that had family at them, some I knew, some I knew to avoid – but there were some obvious other choices available. But still I sat with people I didn’t know waiting and praying for the night to be over, but trying to be a good supportive sister despite the circumstances.
I’m not sure how one rationalizes that so it won’t hurt and I know Seraphina has yet to find a way. I can’t say I blame her, I would be equally as devastated – especially since all of the other sisters and their families were included in all aspects of the wedding. Oh, did I mention that my sister and her wedding party didn’t like their hair or makeup – so I was the one that did it for all of them.
There was a particular incident during the wedding reception that caused Seraphina great concern – specifically when the grooms’ father groped her publicly and continued to seek her out many times over the course of the evening. Rather than raise an issue she tried to avoid him throughout the night and unfortunately one of the other sisters had seen it and helped her to avoid him throughout the evening.
Somehow news of this got back to her mother and the battle was on and a public dance with the man was forced. I don’t think she came as close to throwing up at any point in her life as she did in the 3 minutes it took for that song to be over.
Despite the fact the groom told both Seraphina and mom that he knew of his fathers ways, had feared it would happen – nobody would let him do anything to stop it. The next day mom took Seraphina out to lunch in a public place and berated her for being so weak and told that she must expect such treatment from all men because she like her mother was attractive and well dressed. Flabbergasted I just sat there wondering who this woman was. The first thought that came to mind was that most mothers give you life – mine tried to take it from me, at every opportunity, or tried to. Without going into any more of the horrific details that continued in the days that followed, I can confirm to you that this was the last time I saw my sister or mother in person.
NOW – The Master Gardeners Prodigy
The sign on the gates read: “We welcome you to The Ladybug’s Garden – please join us in sharing this magical place we created with love. There are no rules except to please leave it better than you found it to continue to mystery, wonder and healing for all who visit. You are always welcome to leave your own legacy/memorial items for those you love – past, present and future.”
The handout provided at the gates to the garden explained how it The Ladybugs Garden was one large garden, but separated into 4 different smaller gardens – each with a different theme. Inside the fold it went into the specific details of each garden. The Lullaby Garden, The English Tea Party Garden, The Kipling’s’ Jungle Garden and The Bridge Garden. All made for specific reasons with different groups of people in mind – to encompass everyone that wants to enjoy the gardens.
If you were to look overhead from a plane, you would see that the Ladybug’s garden has been laid out in the shape of a square and in the dead centre of the garden is a huge fountain with benches surrounding its circumference from a comfortable distance. The fountain is filled with fish, tadpoles, lily pads, water lilies and just about the surface you can see the dragonflies. It’s an area for wishing, dreaming or meditating.