Tuesday, March 25, 2008

She Speaks

Thanks for all the love around my very long post the other day. I definitely spent the weekend by my computer - refreshing every few hours or so. But I didn't hear from her - until today.

Seeing her name and knowing she wrote it, is seriously haunting. You can't imagine how long I've waited for this conversation. About 7 years ago, I resorted to the fact that she was probably dead. She lived a dangerous life. I know that sounds very fiction but it's true. No boundaries or even a compass. She hitch-hiked across the county for God's sake. The fact that she has lived this entire life for the last dozen years is just so unbelievable to me.

Her email was short but said a thousand things. She said she was scared. She thanked me for telling her Mercy was safe & healthy but also said she knows she doesn't have a right to ask those questions anymore. She doesn't know where to start or how to ask for forgiveness. I don't have any answers for her.

I have so much compassion for her but, at the same time, I question it. I mean, how could you leave your child? What kind of person could literally walk away and simply trust that she would be cared for? From the place I stand, it eats at me. I like to think, no matter what would happen/ed in my life, I could never do what she did. & even if we live through terrible experiences, we can still make choices and live differently, right?

Then again, I step back and I think it's wrong to judge her. How do we know how all of these awful things affected her? The same things may have happened to me or you but we have strong family support & maybe that's what made all the difference. I can't even imagine otherwise.

When I sent her a note thru myspace, I told her that Mercy was doing well. After I sent it and after obsessing for days, I regretted saying anything about her daughter. On one hand, she doesn't deserve to know. On the other hand, anything I say can scare her away and I'm guessing everything around her leaving, seats her right on the edge of escaping again.

And that's a risk for me. I'm scared too. I spent years looking for her - just for the answer of whether or not she was alive. Investing in this "new relationship" with her feels very scary for me. At the same time, I am so grateful that she took a step toward home. And so grateful that, if Mercy wants answers, she just might be able to get them.

Some of you wrote about my loss of two girls. And while there are many similarities, my feelings of loss are nowhere comparable between the two. However, knowing that Mercy might know her mother one day gives me hope for Gray and me. I think of the questions she'll have and the peace that the answers will give her. I obviously didn't abandon Gracie but part of me wonders if she'll have those same feelings. She must. Needless to say, it has opened some thought around both girls.

I wrote her back. I'm taking baby steps , trying to avoid scaring her. My biggest fear is that she can so easily disappear again. I'm not telling my family (other than my mom) that we're speaking. I don't want Mercy to know anything. Yet. She'll be 17 in just a few months. Soon enough, she'll be able to decide for herself.

Hold my hand as I tip toe in.