I’m back! My 12 followers will be relieved to know that I haven’t disappeared from the earth entirely. I’ve gone through pretty rough patch these last couple of years. I became permanently disabled for my job as a railroader, discovered that there was no way I could survive in Seattle on a fixed income with no marketable job skills, and decided to go back to college East of the Cascades. My son’s father did not approve of this, which triggered a horrible custody battle that continues to this day. In case you weren’t aware, my state of Washington – where I have lived since 1993 – is a “pay to play” state in terms of Family Law, and I’m poor. My friends know the specifics of it, and I prefer to keep it that way for a while, but suffice it to say that there’s few things worse to a mother than losing custody of her child because she’s too poor to afford a lawyer. I’ve only seen my son five days since October 22. It’s been a tough reality to accept. Everything – college, writing, friends… have fallen to the wayside.
I’m still a writer, though. All of my writing these days has been devoted to keeping my son’s spirits up. With so many horrible things going on in the world, I thought that maybe my meager platform could be used to help inspire and encourage others.
Maybe you’re a kid who’s lost their parents. Maybe your parents could not care less about who you are as an individual. Maybe you’ve just had some tough breaks. I’ve been there, kids. I know what that’s like… believe me. You can rise above it! I did.
I’ve come a long way from the shy military brat who had to move every year or so growing up. “The girl who never really fit in anywhere.” I’ve written an entire book about the crazy things I’ve been through these 40+ years, which included 10 years in the psychiatric field, 2 years walking across America for “democracy” with my dog, and 13 years as a lady railroader who fought like hell for workers’ rights, and caught hell for doing it. I shopped my story around a bit last year, but quickly discovered that the modern publishing world cares little about “stories”. It’s all about marketing, and my social media following was “inadequate” for their needs at this time.
Perhaps sharing my story from the lens of the love I have for my child is a better thing to put out into the world than my many failures and woes, anyway. I hope someone out there finds comfort in my words, and maybe one day you’ll find the courage within yourself to do something outrageous and huge and loving and kind. This is your one and only life. Make it count!
So here’s how it’ll work – I’ll bust out the stationary and write my usual letter of encouragement to my kiddo. Then I’ll dictate it into my phone’s lame dictation app, like a reporter calling in a story on a payphone from Indonesia, circa 1965. (It gets about every other word right.) I’ll do some editing – as some things will be for his eyes only – and post it when I can. We’ll see how it goes!
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