The Lost Mom


All he knew is that I just never came back….
April 28, 2009, 9:40 pm
Filed under: non-bio mom, visitation | Tags: ,

This could break a woman’s heart.

It haunts me really. It’s the thing that can wake me up in the middle of the night. Tightening in the chest.

The idea, that in his barely two year old mind, all his knew is that one day I was there and then I just never came back. He has no way to know that I wanted, every day, to see him. That I longed to hold him and kiss his little cheeks. He’ll never know that I cried for months. He’ll never know. But I do.

All he knows is that I never came back.

This has been just a brutal reality. An injustice that can never be undone. She stole time from me. Important, precious time at a time in his life when every day he changes. Every day he discovers something new. She stole him from me for the last 10 (almost 11) months. I can never have that back.

For the first 1 1/2 years I had every day, every beautiful day with him. It’s funny, now, how I cherish the memories of all those times … then. How I remember fondly the great-stomach-flu incident. Vomit wouldn’t even bother me now. Wouldn’t we all cherish the vomitous nights if we knew they might be all the nights we get?

I remember that last day I saw him. I didn’t know it would be my last day. I would have held him longer. Tighter. Told him more times that I love him. Wouldn’t we all do that if we knew it was the last day? Perhaps we should do that every day? Just in case.

So, tonight, I look at the only photos I have of him. A suspension of time. And tomorrow I will see him again. I will come back.

It takes my breath away.



This is definately not for everybody
April 28, 2009, 1:28 pm
Filed under: art, tapestries | Tags:

I don’t really know how to describe what I’m doing here. Somehow I found an art muse last fall and the craziness of the style and content made me feel sane. Enjoy.

trapped girls

trapped girls

trapped girls in detail

trapped girls in detail

trapped in more detail

trapped in more detail

up close and personal.... those strands of beads are all hand sewn on there

up close and personal.... those strands of beads are all hand sewn on there

Mavis and Raul

Mavis and Raul

I call him my 50's cocktail party guy

I call him my 50's cocktail party guy

poor, poor Mavis

poor, poor Mavis



It’s Official
April 27, 2009, 2:09 pm
Filed under: non-bio mom, visitation | Tags:

I’m going to see my Little Guy this Wednesday!  Thomas the Train anyone?



Map Picture updates
April 26, 2009, 10:05 pm
Filed under: art as activism, non-bio mom | Tags: ,

I know that you’re all just dying to see the progress of my forever unfinished map project (see the page link for map, to understand the project). So here it is.

As of 4/26/2009

map 2/4/2009

map 2/4/2009
map 4/26/2009 detail

map 4/26/2009 detail

4/26/2009 more detail


Truth to power baby, truth to power
April 24, 2009, 11:44 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I think I’m still in shock…. only, it’s the good kind of shock this time.  The bottom line: I’m going to see him some time next week. The judge ordered it. So be it!

Who would have guessed?  When I woke up this morning I dreaded the idea of going into court. In fact, my inner kid came out and I said, “I don’t want to go.” Of course I did go. You can read over at Keri’s blog her account of the proceedings (thanks for the support Keri) piecesofgray.wordpress.com

The judge still has to determine if he will dismiss the contract that she and I entered into. Until then, though, I’ll get to play trains with the little guy. I’m so, so happy. You’ll just have to imagine how happy I am because I don’t have words to describe it.

A couple of humorous stories from the proceedings (all thanks to my charming father):

So, my 87 year old father had come to court to testify and to give me moral support (and he was a great witness). At the end of the morning, while the judge was ordering some kind of visitation (and all I can tell you is that the other side seemed to be scrambling, giving so many excuses about why that wouldn’t be a good idea) my dad motioned for me. I’m at the plaintiff table and he’s in the front row, so it’s a bit of a spectacle for me to just turn around and talk with him. And, let’s just say it here, he isn’t the most discreet whisperer I’ve ever known and he doesn’t really hear very well. At any rate, he said, “They’re trying to drag this out, you not seeing him, so that he won’t recognize you.” I said, “I know.” He pointed at my lawyer, Lauren, and said, “Does she know.” He apparently, wanted this specific point to be in the public record. I assured him that we were doing okay and thanked him for the co-counsel.

My dad is the equivalent of co-counsel from Mayberry (you know… The Andy Griffith Show). He thinks if I just show them the birth certificate that has my last name on it (hyphenated with her’s) that that should be enough for the judge. When he brings it up, “didn’t you give them the birth certificate,” I try to explain that it’s a bit more complicated than that. He looks at me like I’m a damn fool. He’s like, “duh.” And when I really think about it, I think he’s right. Of course he’s right. But, apparently, despite our town’s spanky clean exterior, this isn’t Mayberry and things are a bit more complicated than common sense.

A side note about language:  You might have noticed that I’m avoiding in the post calling him my son or me his mom. I’m not going to from here on out. This was apparently the big harm I had done to him, the harm that makes me a threat to him (according to the opposing side). So, because I am a reasonable person, I will be his Gena and he will be my Little Guy. No more calling me mom (and could I care less or what right now?) and no more calling him my son. It works for me because my entire purpose in going to court, in pursuing this, is to have a reasonable relationship with the Little Guy.

So thank you all for your support. Thank you for your love and good vibes. And for those who could make it to court today, thank you for letting me hear your beautiful tears of joy. At that very moment, when it became clear that the judge would order some kind of visitation (for next week!) I was clutching my heart. And I heard your soft sniffles and I didn’t feel so alone.

Where we go from here is anyone’s guess. I just know that hearing the judge say from the bench, “Let me tell you where the law is coming from on this. A child needs all the love they can get,” made me feel that, even in our small corner of ridged Utah, maybe hope is alive. Maybe Mayberry justice does prevail!



Why a Lost Mom or The Unfinished Map
April 23, 2009, 12:32 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

This blog, my first blog ever, is devoted to my forever unfinished art piece.

map 1

map 1

I will continually update my progress with the map. The base of the map is a white flannel baby blanket with hand-stitched felt cut outs.

Why a map: I am making this map because I am lost. I am lost to my three year old son. At first I thought he was lost and then I realized that, no, I know exactly where he is. He lives in the house I used to share with my ex-partner, his other mother (his bio-mother, if you must know). He lives there with her and her new husband. I am not allowed to visit him however. It is me who is lost.

I am making this map, I will always make this map, so that he will one day find his way back to me. In fact, if you happen to see a charastmatic, charming, three year old with the cutest nose in history, tell him I’m working on the map as fast as I can.

I am also making this map to represent what feels to me the most brutal thing about this situation. The fact that we live just a few miles from one another. We are so close. We could be in the same store at the same time or walking in the park at the exact same moment. I could round a street corner, or a grocery isle and see him and his mother. In fact, I think of this scenario often. What would I do. I think of just yelling out his name and scoping him up. My heart pounding.

It’s also a brutal thought because it’s been ten months (since June 2008) since I have seen him. It’s been nearly a third of his young life. Would he remember? Would it take a moment. Would his mother tense up? Would it cause more confusion and harm? I have no answers. So I make this map instead.

As I unwind the story of this map, I’ll also unwind the story of a love affair gone awry. I’ll tell you things as honestly as I can. I’ll tell you about him. I’ll tell you about me. I’ll tell you about her. I’ll probably tell you about her new husband. I’ll want to talk about issues of identity; issues of the law; issues of public policy; issues of betrayal; issues of heartache. Always, though, I’ll make the map.

Feel free to comment. Feel free to disagree with me. Feel free to share. Do not become hateful (of course that is for me to decide, but hey, it’s my blog — and I’ll do my best to explain my rationale).

Before I go, so you can get an idea of where I might be going with the complicated art piece, here are some examples I did of a prototype of this piece.

prototype 1Here you can see some of the detail.

Here is a closeup of the detail:

close up detail 1

close up detail 1

detail 2

detail 2

detail 3

detail 3

those are monopoly pieces, little trees, beaded fences, and hand stitched felt walk ways.

but check out the community garden (it’s my own utopia).

detail 4

detail 4

The garden is there on the left.

I’ll be adding more here in the next few days. More pictures of the map. And… and…. and…. a small little (oh-so-non-emotional discussion) about my upcoming court case on Friday (day after tomorrow) where a judge will be deciding if a co-parenting agreement is a valid contract in the state of Utah.

Until then… to all you other Lost Moms, hang in there. We are not alone. Our pain may feel solitary (okay, mind does) but it is a pain that is shared by many woman who have lost their children (or in this case, their children have lost them) due to being on the wrong side of public policy. Take good care of yourselves. Let’s take good care of each other.