I wrote this 2 years ago as a blanket blog post to let the people in my life know what the tide brought my way. A special friend asked me to clear some things up a few days ago and i sent her the link. I have since reread it a few times. It isn't the best story i have ever written because it's best told with plain speak. It is the best story i will ever tell though. It tells how i found a little more of the life that i now have and love. It tells how the stork brought me a little girl who i wasn't too crazy about when we first met and who i now love more than any other human being on the planet save one, who is her sister and equal. And it tells how i don't really think it safe, wise or even worthwhile for me to want too much anymore because on some level i don't always know what will bring true happiness.
Lyric's mother Natalie and i split up shortly after she was born. We'd known each other since we were children and were good-good friends, however it took us a year or two after our parting for the feelings of a failed and tumultuous relationship to subside and for us to come to a place where we could be friends and also work together for Lyric's benefit. She got in another relationship a few years ago with an old mutual friend of ours, Sam. Prior to that he asked for my blessing in pursuing her which i thought was honorable. He had his share of problems, a lot of which were similar to ones i struggled with in the past but he had a heart of gold. Lyric liked him. So did I. Anyway, they had Phoenix 2+ years ago. Shortly after that, Natalie found out she had cervical and ovarian cancer. Her relationship wasn't going too well at the time and Sam wasn't doing so great either. His fight with addiction and alcoholism had returned into his life in a bad way. He wasn't able to support them at the time and Natalie wasn't able to either, especially with surgeries and treatments for her illness approaching. She called me and asked if she and Phoenix could come live at my house while she was in that process and also getting back on her feet. I wasn't initially in love with the idea but after prayer, counsel and deliberation i came to a yes and told them to come on.
They came. It was challenging at first. Real talk. It changed the dynamic of my home, my social patterns, the noise barrier, all that. Phoenix cried a lot more than Lyric ever did. I quickly found out that i can be overbearing and self-righteous way more than i used to think. A lot of good things came out of it immediately too though. I had been having Lyric one week on, one week off and the week i didn't have her i was still living a pretty structureless and frivolous lifestyle. Lots of sleep deprivation and poor dating habits you could say. So amongst other things, them being here brought some balance back into my life over time and helped me surrender further to my lot and ministry in life which is first and foremost that of a father.
After getting settled in, Natalie started having her surgeries, I started getting to know Phoenix reluctantly, Sam went to treatment and got sober, Lyric started kindergarten and life just kept happening. And then, right when he seemed to be doing well and all appeared pretty hopeful, Sam relapsed and within a month was dead of an overdose. He was supposed to come and see Phoenix the next day, but he never made it. It's sad to watch someone with so much to live for and so much untapped potential just not quite be able to get there and to see them suffer by their own hand. It was hard for all of us and for some reason i really thought he was going to pull out and make it. He was such a good guy. I miss him. Sometimes i think i hear him laugh and i miss him real bad. I mourned his passing but more so mourned his leaving a daughter that wouldn't have him there to do the things that Lyric and i get to do with each other. I am such an imperfect father and i am clear on that, however, Lyric and i have something strong. And it only grows. Im in love with that girl and she knows it. Im forever grateful too because i've seen what can happen to girls that don't know what it means to be loved. I see how they search for it in people, places and things and often in the wrong ones. I didn't want that for Phoe and within days of Sam's passing i became clear on what my role in this was to be. The day before i asked Natalie if i could adopt Phoenix, Lyric talked to me and in some heavy words for a 5 year old told me that Phoenix was her sister and needed our help. I will always remember the way she said it. It erased any last minute doubt or confusion from my mind.
The next day i talked with Nat and told her what i wanted and that i was sure Sam would be happy about it. Its pretty easy to agree on that point and though its mostly about the living and about Phoenix, i feel good knowing that my friend is being honored by whats happening also. Lyric and I agreed that if I was going to be Phoe's father that she and Lyric and I would be equals and she was fine with that. Natalie gave her blessing. It honestly wasn't until this spring that i begin to think and feel for her the way i do about Lyric, but my heart has shifted and although i swore for years i would never share the place where Lyric lives inside of me with another, Phoenix lives there too now. I was in Mexico staring at the sea when i realized that. I thought about her smile and i knew then that we were one. It was a good day.
Phoenix is talking now. She calls me daddy like Lyric does and it feels normal. It feels right. I think she likes me more than Lyric's sassy ass does sometimes. I am home more now and she requires a lot as most 2 year olds do. We went to the dentist today. She's having her adenoids removed next week. She isn't fully potty trained yet and in the last week has discovered that taking her diaper off and peeing on the floor is a worthwhile pursuit. Good times. Busy times. I think with one child i was able to still maintain a certain social presence and active selfishness but now that i have two girls a lot of that has ebbed. Im doing my best to roll with it and occasionally i even do it gracefully. Occasionally.
Natalie had her last surgery a few months back and the cancer is gone. She also just finished school and life has opened up for her and within her in new ways. We still live together although we are not together as a couple. We work pretty well together and our relationship is somewhere along the lines of a brother and sister who talk smack to each other but are clear on their alliance. Our situation is unconventional and im pretty unclear about the details of the future but i know that for now the girls are happy and they know that they have two parents that love them, love each other and are there and available. I work from home mostly so i am here with them most days. We just spent a week at the beach and live a pretty charmed life i guess. Lately has found me trying to learn how to disconnect from my work and my plans on a greater level and do more for and with them. And to practice greater levels of patience. Last years standards were good at the time but this year they aren't enough. Its always like that though if we are growing. Anyway.
I wanted to put this out there so some of you who i don't get to see much know whats going on in my life and to also let you know that gifts wrapped in what seems like difficulty are still a common theme on my path. I appreciate any well wishes or acknowledgment on how cool these happenings are but am not trying to air my goods in public for a public response. I am the fortunate one in this situation and the others are just getting what life wants them to have. I am grateful to be a participant and despite my flawed nature to be a servant of life. This last year has reminded me that i know so little about what comes next and what my ultimate purpose here is. All i can really do is take measures to stay clear and and available to what life and the greater good wants me to be and do while im here. And i try to do that. I really do. If you are a close friend and haven't met Phoe Phoe yet, hit me up sometime and come by and see us. We are walking together and will do so for the duration. Thanks for letting me share our life with you.
And that is how we got here. I made a few choices along the way but i see now that most of the things that make my life what it is today weren't necessarily born from my desires or plans, they just came and i said yes. I love what came my way and imagine i can trust what is yet to come as well. While i say that i am sure that i don't want my future to include cancers, deaths, more children and new housemates, i remember feeling about that way before and yet i look at what all of these things have brought me. I don't know what else i want but i know i am in love with what i have. And i especially like what the stork brought my way.