In mid August, a couple of days after my younger daughter’s seventh birthday, I reached out to my girls’ biological mother, Ruthie.
Me: I’ve been thinking about you the last few days and wanted to say hello. I hope you are doing well.
Okay, truth be told, I thought of her more days than not; however, I needed to tread lightly for my own sake.
Ruthie and I hadn’t communicated in two and a half years. When I didn’t hear back this time, I concluded she had no desire to get in touch. I let go of any hope. And then I heard back from her at the end of September.
Ruthie: This went to my “other” folder so I just now saw it but I think of you all the time. Hello back.
What did she mean by hello back? Was that her being cautious in her reply? A passive way of saying she didn’t want to reestablish contact? Should I reply and if so, then how?
God told me to reply so I did so, with caution.
Me: Hearing back from you is a nice surprise…
Ruthie: I was very happy to hear from you also… If there is anything you would like to ask me please feel free.
We talked on the phone a few days later.
I told her about the challenges with the girls, namely Payten. I also told her about my memoir and my hope to publish.
She told me she’s been sober almost two years, has a job, and had gotten her GED. If I was a person who cried when happy, I would’ve flooded the house!
We met for coffee.
I cannot remember the last time there was such joy in my heart.
She looked healthy and happy. Her teeth were fixed and she showed them off in a brilliant smile. But the biggest change has been her demeanor. She is calm and reflective; she has a sense of vulnerability and is honest about things she couldn’t be in the past.
I have struggled with anger towards Ruthie, and hurt feelings from the choices she made. However, these feelings NEVER eclipsed my love for her. And so I am taking things slow. My heart is cautiously optimistic that this new Ruthie will be around for a long, long time.
She said something in an email to me that the old Ruthie would not, and perhaps could not say:
I know that trust has to be earned. All I can think of is to take baby steps at whatever pace is comfortable. I really enjoy the pictures and the time we got to spend together. I don’t know if there is anything I can do to make up for any of my past actions and if there please let me know. But I do plan on not repeating the past and that is something that will only be proven one day at a time…
And that’s how I am taking it, one day at a time.
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