As I sit in a metal chair, my feet resting on white sand, the ocean breeze brushes my hair off my face. The tiki statues stare firmly outwards and a cover band takes an attempt at David Bowie’s Ground control to Major Tom. The dragonfly dances in circles, chasing another. The SeaGulls swoop around hoping that one human dropped something off their plate. People drive up to the Tiki Hut and park their boats and kids play sand games. Dogs lay at their owner’s feet and the clouds slowly pass us by.
This is Paradise.
An announcement of a 30 years wedding anniversary and then the drummer begins to drum on. The breeze takes a break and the humidity takes over causing a sweat mustache to form over our lips. This isn’t the kind of weather where you wear your best as no matter what you do, your clothing will still stick to your skin causing you to look like a damp towel. Makeup slowly floats off your warm skin and the eyes are starting to have forehead droplets interfering with the view. Then the breeze, back from its nap, cools you off again. The clouds begin to gray as this is early afternoon and the showers are due any moment now.
This is Paradise.
The folks are eating, laughing and having fun. Lovers cuddle closer and husbands clutch their wives. Mothers dance with their toddlers and the band plays on. The clouds roll by. Some look like dinosaurs, others like an attempt to practice origami while drunk, but still the band plays on. The sudden fierceness of the crackle and the rain arrives. Pelting down on us hard. We are soaked, we are feeling cooled down and thank goodness I had time to grab my love, my notebook. My coveted notebook so as it did not get wet. I wipe my glasses and slowly sway to the beat of the song. Folks are laughing about being caught in the rain. What are you going to do? This is paradise after all. Strangers dance with each other having a good time.
This is Paradise.
The water rises and circles around the pier. The barnacles being bombarded with the waves. Seaweed is laying gently on the top floating side to side. The smell of the rain hitting the hot cement and grass is invigorating. The palms wave back and forth as though swaying with the music. Everyone is dancing huddled under the Tiki Hut. Then the rain stops as suddenly as it started. There is a feeling of disappointed that the fun is over and everyone starts to scatter back to where they started. I sit back down at my soaking wet table. I am already wet so it truly doesn’t matter. I finish my drink, writing some more and then I decided that I should walk the beach.
This is Paradise.
My thoughts are more complex than usual and the beach is my home. We are safe here and that’s a feeling I haven’t had in years. We are supported now and very much at home. It has been a tough ride to get here. To become safe. To sever ties with those whose only intention was to hurt us. It has been a painful growing up time but I am so much healthier. I am so much stronger and wiser. I could never have imagined enduring what Chloe and I have had to endure alone. But we did in many ways. We had fleeting moments of disparity. We had fleeting moments of giving up. We endured. We dug our heels in harder and continued. We have worked so hard to get to a safe, healthy and happy place. Now, we are healing. Healing from the abuse. Healing from the drama. Healing from the pain.
We are healing in Paradise.
Chloe is flourishing here as I knew she would. The programs, teachers, and opportunities are endless for this kid. She is so happy to be home and bouncing back from her traumatic summer. She is winning awards, volunteering, laughing and walking in confidence again. She losing weight again and acting more confident. She is having sleepovers, reading again, and simply being a kid. Chloe is learning Russian as she has her mothers gypsy blood and wants to travel. She loves to travel and I couldn’t be more grateful to our future as we plan to globe trot. She wants to visit so many places, I think we will have to turn it into a career for her.
I know it’s going to be a battle for the next few years and of course I wish it wasn’t going to be. This battle is out of my hands and all I can do so offer as much safety and stability as I can. I attend my meetings at the battered women’s shelter and Chloe has her therapy. We are committed to moving past this past few years and getting to happier & healthier times.
I have a few new opportunities for speaking that have popped up over the last few days. This is a good thing! I have been interviewed by several radio shows and its increasing peoples understanding of what we have gone through. I cant say that I am thrilled about having to have experienced all that we have but I can say that since telling my our story, we have been able to inspire several thousand folks who are struggling in their own ways. That is an honor like no other. So, please keep sharing my blogs and writing in. I love talking to you all and I am glad that the silver lining of our trauma is that we are able to help so many get through theirs.
Until next time..
Until next time..………………