The Lost Mom

We’ve All Lost

Last week the judge ruled in her favor.  The contract goes against Utah public policy.  There is no longer an order of visitation.  I lost my son.  He lost another adult (nay, a mom) who loves him.  They lost their souls.

And then the sucker punch today…. it just came out.  I just read it.  It made me feel sick.  The Alliance Defense Fund sent out this press release

I’m as sad as I can be.  I’m broken hearted.  I will always love him.


waiting for my (citizen)SHIP to come in

Let me tell you about last Memorial Day.  It was the last day where I really was allowed time with my Little Guy.  After that day, in fact, within a week, she cut me down to one afternoon a week, always under her watchful eye.  But that day it was him and my dad (pampa) and me.

We went up to my mother’s grave, just west of Ogden.  A small, intimate place were 100 years ago Swedish farmers laid their kin to rest.  It’s not far from the house my father was born in to immigrant parents.  It’s small, no more plots are sold, and my clan is there:  my grandma, her two husbands (both of whom she outlived), my aunts and uncles, my oldest brother, and my mother.

The Little Guy enjoyed putting flags on her grave, memorializing her service in the WAVES during WWII.  We placed flowers.  My dad showed us where his best friend lays, he died during the war when he was 18 years old.  Then we went to dinner and then home.

On the way home, my dad made the mistake of telling the little guy to straighten up.  It was cute and cheeky, the way my dad said it, saying his name from the front seat and telling him to “straighten up.”  Then, we heard his little two year old voice say, “Pampa, straighten up.”  We snickered (always a bad idea), it was so cute.  Then we heard variations of “Pampa straighten up” and “mama straighten up.”  A slight break and then again with the demands from the car seat to straighten up.  A quick look in the rear view mirror showed a boy so pleased with himself.  I laughed each time.  I was so happy that day.

We ate at my dad’s favorite buffet (hey he’s a senior, he likes the buffets).  And the little guy watched for both of us, making sure when one was absent from the table (getting seconds) that they came back soon and the threesome was restored.  From across the restaurant, the little guy in the high chair, he’d yell “Pampa Come!,” a demand he often levied when he wanted his entourage with him.  Or he’d say, “Mama Come.”  And when we were all three sitting at the table again, all was well in the world.

On the way home, just past the Lagoon exit, the little guy said, “I want go Gena’s house.”  He still interchanged the names mama and gena at this point.  I don’t know how she did it, but one day he called me what he always called me, Mama, and the next day he called me Gena.

I told him, “No hon, I’m taking you back to your house, I’m taking you to your home.”  And then my heart broke, in shards that have not yet come back together.  “I don’t want go my house.  Want go Gena’s house.  Want sleep Gena’s bed.”  I explained again that we couldn’t do that before changing the subject.

A sweet woman I know, who has also lost a child through the legal system, wrote me an email.  In discussing the still pending decision by the judge over the legitimacy of the co-parenting contract I signed with the little guy’s mom, she said, “I have a hard time believing that the judge would take you away from him again.”  Those words, those simple words meant something to me.  I keep thinking about the little guy being taking away from me, but also I am being taken away from him.  It reminded me about why I do what I do.

I never want him to think I gave him up voluntarily.  I never abandoned him.  I loved him and I love him still.

But still we, he and I, wait.  We wait to see what our citizenship in this great country means.  We wait to see if laws can expand fast enough to prevent real suffering.  We wait.

It’s strange to live in both the present and the future.  I know that one day this will be a non-issue.  People will wonder how we could be cruel, so barbaric to rip a child from their mama.  We will look at the reasons that the people doing it gave and see them as archaic and tragic.  That will happen, for that I am sure.  20 years, 30 years, maybe 50 years.  Yet right now, I’m not sure that our societies expanding values and notions of decency will happen fast enough to help me.  My future is still within the scope of the narrow views that embody public policy and cultural warfare.

I am happy for those families of the future who will not have this happen to them.  I’m sorry for the families of the past who have experienced such harm and heartache.  And I am not sure about how my situation will be resolved.  Am I too early for the justice?  Or will my citizenship come in?

I’ll end this the way I always want to end these posts.  I’ll tell you why I do this, why I pay a lawyer, why I write this blog, why I wait for a judge to determine our fate.  I do this because I love him.  I do this because he deserves to know someday how hard I fought for him.  I do this because it’s all I can do.  I love him and I always will.

Enough Already!

I’ve been avoiding the fact that there is an article about my court case in the City Weekly. I figured I’d get around to posting it here (after I didn’t feel so sick to my stomach anymore). But I saw that Mombian: Sustenance for Lesbian Moms had linked it and written some good commentary about the general situation of moms splitting and then having custody battles… I figured I’d let their words speak for me. Here’s their link Enough Already!

Enjoy (rolls eyes).

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.