Monday, November 28, 2005

Life Is Just Happening Too Damn Fast!

Well, I see I forgot to post the Cranberry relish - well, I'll do it in time for Christmas, I promise. You will forgive me when you hear my story:

About 6 weeks ago, I picked up the phone and heard somebody ask me if I was the same dks married to an Army officer, who lived in MD in 1984-85 and had a foster child named David. When I assented, the caller told me he was that same David, who had spent years looking for us after we had left the area for a tour in Germany.

That David was a sweet, quiet 16 year-old who had spent most of his life in institutions, had been severely abused by his father to the point of brain damage, been separated from his 3 sisters since he was 5, and was very poorly socialized. He didn't even know how to use a knife and fork when he came to our house from a juvenile detention center. He was with us for 9 months, during which time I despaired of him ever making it in the world outside of institutions. He hated homework, didn't read well, had a hard time with the freedom normal family life brings (but really liked it), and needed 24/7 intervention on the part of school officials, medical people, the legal system, and us. In spite of the difficulties, we became very attached to him, and considered adoption, but knowing we were going to have an overseas assignment, decided he couldn't handle that stress. We managed to locate one of his sisters, though, and flew her from another state to spend holidays with us. That reunion was so poignant.

We lost contact with David, but he spent the next 2 years in a number of placements that were not the best. He ran away from the last institution, and turned 18 "on the lam". He looked for us in a number of cities, hitchiking the West where he thought we might be. He eventually gave up, got some job training and a CDL, met a great girl, started his own tanning business, and married her. He has 3 kids. Guess who we had for Thanksgiving this year?

So this sweet boy, so quiet, so damaged, who I thought would be in prison or a group home somewhere, at best, came to see us, looking for the only good family memories he ever had. We thought we had failed him, but he made the best of whatever he got from us, and has succeeded in life beyond our best hopes. He asked us if we could be a family again, so I went from being a grandmother of 2 to a grandmother of 5 over the Thanksgiving holiday. He was surprised to find he had a baby brother, and happy to see his sister, our daughter (Goddess of Purple) again. Their birthdays are a day apart in November, so we celebrated them together again this year. Our daughter gave him a framed copy of a picture taken on his birthday in 1984 of the two of them together. We gave him a more practical gift of hunting binoculars.

Mr. dks is already tired from running for office, and the election is a year away. Every Saturday brings at least 3 "meet and greets". He found a treasurer last week, an old Army buddy, and his own "Band of Brothers" is forming around him. I don't think he'll be "swift-boated", though, for a little Texas Legislative district campaign. But just in case, Terry, Chad, and some others will be there for him. Goddess of Purple is his communications director, Little Harvard is his volunteer coordinator, The Ned will be organizing block-walking, and I, dks herself, have been named campaign manager. It is going to be a hell of a ride. I was idly wondering last night just how many surprises this campaign will deliver; maybe even winning. Now that would be a mighty change, indeed.

Mmmmm. All those turkey left-overs gone yet? I sent mine home with GoP and the Ned. He doesn't think it has really been Thanksgiving if he doesn't eat turkey for 4 days afterward, so he gets the leftovers. I kept the cranberry relish, and have had it for dessert every night since T-Day.

I hate articles about using left-over turkey. We're supposed to eat turkey sandwiches with them, not make them into all kinds of other stuff like "turkey divan" and "turkey croquettes" or "turkey tetrazzini". All that stuff tastes better with chicken, anyway. But there's nothing like a turkey sandwich with a little chestnut dressing, some mayo, and a schmear of jellied cranberry sauce on sourdough bread.

What are you cooking for dinner tonight?

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