This is an odd story, with an odd ending. But it's a happy ending. Don't we all need happy endings from time to time? There's no photos in this one, but there kind of is at the end.
I have a friend. He has a lovely daughter. She has never been any trouble whatsoever. When she was a baby, people were amazed and charmed by her. People wanted to buy them dinner because of this baby girl. Entering restaurants, hostesses wanted to take her into show her to the cooking staff (no really, I saw this happen twice). She was an amazing child, beautiful and such a charmer. She went to events with her mother and father and charmed everyone she met, taking control of social situations unlike anyone I ever saw before at four years of age.
When his wife left him, it broke his daughter. His son from another previous marriage was celebrating as the wicked old step mother was gone forever and they had been embattled in a war for years. But the daughter, who always lived a bit in her imaginary world, was lost.
She created her own world which expanded over the years out of grade school into junior high and high school and that was where it all came tumbling down.
When her mother decided to move out, she took the daughter and didn't tell her what was happening until they were settled into another place, her mother's parent's beach house. She created a magical world where she counted for something. The mother and daughter had always been inseparable. But then the daughter hit junior high and something changed. She felt abandoned by her mother.
Her father was always there for her but the mother told stories about him. So the daughter felt disaffected and lost even though she didn't have to.
Her Mom tried marriage therapy after she moved out, she lasted nine months but was angry that the therapist didn't "fix" the marriage. Pity the therapist here. The deal was that the Mom demanded of the Dad that he get rid of his son. Then she would come back. But the Dad could only send the son to his mother who was an alcoholic and he wouldn't do it. He told the Mom that he chose to keep his son and his wife and daughter, all of whom he loved very much. But the Mom wasn't going to put up with that. The Dad chose a child over her, and so, it was over.
Once they agreed (actually the Dad said if the Mom wanted a divorce, he didn't but he wouldn't stand in her way any longer as he saw it was a lost cause. He knew he had last his love, the woman who told him years ago to take the word "divorce" and remove it from his vocabulary. He did. It took him five years but he learned to trust her. Five years beyond that, he now found himself in the middle of a divorce.
That next night, after they agreed on the phone to divorce, the Mom had a guy over for dinner. The daughter heard her say at the dinner table that it was so nice to cook again for someone. But she had not in nine months invited the Dad over for dinner, not once. The daughter was dropped off at the Dad's so he could take her to school the next morning and that was when the daughter told the Dad all about the dinner the night before. Dad smiled, said that was okay and he was happy Mom was enjoying herself. But inside, the Dad was cut, deeply. And so it went from then on.
Mom asked the daughter if she would give permission to date the man. The daughter said, Okay, because he seemed okay.
The Mom moved the daughter and herself into the man's party house on the beach, a rented million dollar house. Eventually, they bought a house near the Mom's Parent's beach house. One day, Mom got pregnant. They rushed to Vegas to get married, not telling the Daughter, not telling the Dad, just dropping the Daughter at the Parent's house.
So Mom remarried. But she never asked the Daughter's permission. The Daughter resented her for that ever since, because, if she would ask about the dating, shouldn't she have asked about the marrying? And according to the Daughter, permission wouldn't have been given. The Dad saw that one coming. He never asked the Daughter for permission to date. He just never brought anyone home, because he never found anyone to replace the Mom. Even though the kids badly wanted a new Mom around the house. But what is a Dad to do?
So, now the Mom has a baby. A new baby in the house. Suddenly Mom is happy again. But the Daughter is in Junior High and being forgotten. The Dad goes to all the concerts. He tried to go to the parent teacher conferences, but the Mom made it so uncomfortable and humiliating, he stopped going. But he went to everything else, and eventually the Mom stopped going.
The Daughter became Dad's Daughter, no longer being Mom's Daughter. But she still lived with Mom, and now, Step-Dad, and Half Sister, whom she loved anyway.
Then the break happened and she started to cut herself. She started to see and hear things. Scary things. She lost time. Did things she didn't remember. Then it got worse. Finally there were doctors involved. Psychiatrists. Mental Hospitals. It was a scary time. Daughter moved in full time with Dad.
But eventually, with Dad's help and a little of Mom's (although Dad went into debt and still it, he never got a dime from Mom to help). Daughter took college courses in high school. She finally graduated. Dad, taking a chance but thinking she'd earned it, paid for her to go to Paris with her best friend for a graduation present. More debt. But it was a healing experience. For everyone. She had a good time. She proved she could do it.
Then she fitfully started college and in the end dropped out. But she was an artist and had an eye for photography. She got very good internships. She learned, she painted, she played music. She was always very social, amiable, but she had trouble with her hallucinations, her lost time, her lies.
Eventually, she moved out, got a house with friends in Seattle. And the healing then really began. The hallucinations grew less frequent, less scary, the lies stopped. She was growing into an adult. She started to do music on the streets, with friends, travel to concerts, to events. She started to enjoy life. She had various jobs and one she loved and stayed with summer after summer.
Then she decided to go to Europe. She she earned the money to buy her plane ticket. But she needed more. So she took the Blue Fox Fur she got handed down to her from her Dad's Mom and put it on eBay.
And that is where it is now. There is an eBay sale for a Hudson Bay Blue Fox Fur that she needs to sell it to help pay for her trip (ending: Wednesday August 17, 2011 19:06:12 PDT). And so, if you know anyone who might want a Blue Fox Fur Coat, please feel free to say nothing about this, but bid on the coat and help a girl achieve her dream after a broken life that she is working hard to repair and live and enjoy. Even if you don't want a fur coat, this is one of those special things you can do to help someone who really deserves it.
This girl is going to be someone, something special. I know it. I don't know what she will end up being, but she is too talented, too liked by everyone she meets for it not to happen. And this is a chance to help someone achieve whatever that is going to be. Time is short.
As for the Mom and Dad?
Mom is still raising her replacement daughter. She left her new husband once but went back. I guess the thing with the musician didn't pan out. The ironic thing is that Mom said she went back to her marriage because of something a lovelorn Dad told her on the phone, that he wished the marriage hadn't broken up and regretted that. So she went back. Well, good for her... I think. Not sure if that's good for her spouse or not, but hopefully it's good for the new daughter.
I really like this family. Even more now that the Mom is out of the way, as things were always tense when she was about. Dad is still single. He dated some, had a girlfriend for a year or so but now he is working hard to try to switch his career from a technical one to the artistic one which he always wanted to do; but instead he stayed where the money was to support his wife's desires at a career that failed, and the children's needs and happiness as best he could. Now it's his time.
His Son (the Daughter's step-Brother) is working at a job he loves, where there is a grand piano at work that he can play on his breaks and he is happy; he just put a deposit on a room in a house where a few others live. The kids get along very well, by the way.
Dad is still looking for that right lady and I hope that one day soon, he finds her. Because like his daughter, he really deserves a good chance at happiness. I wish her well on her extended trip to Europe. It really sounds like she has planned out a Grand Adventure.