Sunday, April 26, 2009

BIRTHDAYS - Two sets of twins.

I have new great grands. A nephew and niece--Grant Allan and Charlotte Belle. Such sweet bundles of love born on 4/23/09. And, today is the 60th birthday of my childhood friends Kathleen Sue and Kristine Lou. Kathy lives near Phoenix, but sadly Kristy died too soon in the late 1980s.

Kristy struggled as a bipolar-rapid cycler, but she was a beautiful, intelligent, and gifted young woman. Even with all the traumas and dramas of being manic depressive, her death was still a surprise. It was Memorial Day weekend and she was attending a picnic in the backyard of a friend, sitting at a picnic table, passing the tomatoes down the line. When out of the blue--literally--a small plane crashed into the backyard and Kristy died instantly. She left a young son and small daughter. She was grieved by her twin and an older sister, along with her elderly parents. She had worn everyone out over the years with her ongoing high-strung, attention-getting behaviors, yet she was a beloved daughter, sister, mom, and friend. We still miss Kristy and pray that she has found peace and rest with her Heavenly Father.

Kathy struggled for years after an early divorce. They just grew apart--each one disappointed with the person the other had become. They did not mourn the loss of the marriage, but it was harder for Kathy to move on, as it is most times with young women who move straight from parent's home to a husband's. And, DP was controlling. He so much wanted Kathy to be independent and intelligent and educated, yet he also was drawn to her beauty and dependence. She was smothering under his strong hand, and made several aborted attempts to return to school or work full-time. In time, she did some testing and found that she had been coping with learning disabilities her entire life--she wasn't dumb! She was just as intelligent as her twin or me; she had been frustrated with the limitations imposed by undiagnosed difficulties. What relief! What release!

Still, after the divorce she did not triumph. I prayed that she would have a good friend who would walk along with her and guide and encourage her. I lived so far away and the myriad of phone calls were not sufficient to under-gird and help her move ahead. God sent such a friend. And, here's where I got mad! Kathy had been abusing prescription drugs for years--running from doctor to doctor and getting whatever she could to suppress and subdue the panic and depression. Years of addiction, undisclosed to me as I suffered through endless and lengthy phone calls of distress and confusion. I had not guessed.

This new friend allowed Kathy to move in if she remained drug-free, and encouraged her to put her fastidious personality to work cleaning houses to make the money she needed to survive. Much of her divorce settlement and money left to her by a cousin was consumed first by breast reduction and then enlargement because they took out too much! She was broke, but clean after a short stint in rehab.

During this time she was introduced by her pastor to a very handsome, divorced Air Force pilot. An answer to yet another prayer--that she would find someone to take care of her, as life on her own would never meet the deep needs of her personality and learned behaviors. They married within a year and settled into a loving marriage that now approaches 25 years.

Happy Birthday, KS! May all your dreams come true. I love you, my lifelong friend.

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