Friday, September 24, 2010

The Story of Aaron

I'm not sure why I'm torturing myself this way, but I decided to tell you the story of Aaron today.  Aaron was born to my sister on 12.19.1995.  I have to be completely honest with you - I wasn't excited about it.  At that particular time in my life, I was working full-time, a good job, and taking care of my elderly, ill parents, and trying to make a home out of this old farmhouse.  I felt my life full enough.  At the time, my sister was living with us, and making a lot of life choices I wasn't in agreement with.  It was a difficult time.  She'd just been divorced and was living it up, so to speak.  Who's not to say I wouldn't have done the same thing - I'm not judging in anyway.

When she came home with the news that she was pregnant, I was in denial and wouldn't believe it until I went to the Dr. with her and heard the results for myself.  Good God Almighty.  She was really pregnant.  All my mind and heart could think of was that I was now adding my sister and her unborn child to my 'to do list'.  Nice, huh?

I tried talking her into giving the baby up for adoption, telling her she was in no frame of mind to be raising a child.  I even searched out adoption agencies and places she could go the last trimester of her pregnancy and meet the adoptive parents. 

I'm not sure when my heart changed, but change it did, and within three months, our whole family was anxiously awaiting the birth of this child.  Anxious in many ways - and let me tell you - cause I have to be honest.  I'm sure ya'll know that Aaron is bi-racial.  We live in a very 'racially non-diverse' area.  My parents are from The South.  The Old South.  Need I say more?  We waited until mom was in the hospital, like she was every month or two from emphysema, before we would tell her the news.  We figured it would put her IN the hospital to hear it, so we'd just wait til she was already there.  We were all very anxious to see what he would look like.  I am embarrassed NOW to say this - but I just again, have to be gut honest - we hoped he wouldn't look 'too black'.  Isn't that just the most awful thing you've ever read?  My stars - after he was born, it wouldn't have mattered if he were green, or blue, or purple.  I'm so ashamed of myself for ever feeling that way.

My sister was in labor for 36 hours before they finally did a C-section.  Now ya'll, I have other nieces and nephews, and I love them dearly - I do - but this - I wasn't prepared for this.  The first time I saw Aaron - I fell to my knees and started crying.  I hate to sound like a lunatic, but it's true.  I did.  Something tore my insides out.  I was flat out in love.  My sister still swears she was just the surrogate mother.  I told my Busy Bee girls today in a morning email that Aaron was the balm that soothed my barren womb, and now that he's not here it feels all chapped and dry.

Whilst being pregnant, my sister found a nice little apartment and moved.  She completely turned her life around, and can I just say, she has been the most responsible, straight up mother around.  That child was the best thing that ever happened to her. 

She stayed home with him for two years, and then one day, she came to me saying she just couldn't be a welfare mom any longer, and needed to get to work.  We were trying to pool our minds and money together to pay for child care.  Seeing that I had a husband and a source of income, I asked Glenco if I could indeed quit my job and take care of Aaron so that my sister could go out and work.  He agreed, and so I became a full-time babysitter, parent sitter, and soon after that - sister sitter for my eldest, mentally challenged sister.  It was at that time that I re-started my country priimitives business and began sewing primitive curtain valances.  I was making them by the hundreds and let me just tell you - life was busy.

I know my sister feels that she's missed alot being a single working mother - but I hope that I've helped in some way - giving her the peace of mind that Aaron was being cared for by family.  I'm sure I did.  I was the one that picked up Aaron after school - tended him on his sick days, watched him during summer break.  Homeschooled him the last two years.  After my parents passed on, I got a job working nights and weekends so that I could be with Aaron during the days.  Two years ago I took a part time day job so that I could actually see Glenco once in a while!  That first year was probably the toughest year yet - trying to work and homeschool.  Not a good idea - after losing my job last year (bestthingthateverhappened) it was much easier.

Fast forward to today.

I sit here now - at noon o'clock up in the day.  I can hear the clock ticking, my ears ringing, the wind blowing, the ice falling - I'm alone.  No one to 'take care' of but meself.  I'm so not used to this.  Since I was 20 years old life was always about someone else.  Someone else's needs over my own.  Someone elses agenda.  Now - today, it's my choice.  My decision on how the day is spent.  It feels as uncomfortable as underwear to me - bunching up around my soul - going into places that aren't too comfortable.  Smothering.  I used to have Aaron about 11 hours a day - sis would drop him off at 7:30 in the am, and he'd be here til about 6:30pm or so, after we'd all had supper together and visited with my sis abit.  I see Aaron about three hours a week now.  I know!  I'm dyin' ova here!  I wish I would have had more of a notice.  I wish we could have done one more science experiment, read one more book together - golly, how I miss the laughter, and the singing - and the funny voices.

I find myself feeling horribly guilty at times.  I feel so self absorbed while I spend time at the library, peruse the garden center and plan lunches with friends.  It's so self-indulgent.  I lie in bed at night and decide I'll do things like this:

Finally answer all my emails.
Become a hospice volunteer.
Become a triathlete.
Start a business.
Be a bum.
Plant an heirloom apple orchard.
Go back to school.
Start a daycare.
Learn a new language.
Hike the Applachian Trail.
And on and on and on. 

The reality is that I have a list of things to do so long that I shan't ever finish it.  Big plans for finally doing things around the house that need doing.  I'm awfully scattered at the moment, but friends assure me that it's normal.

Aaron is doing very well in highschool.  He is absolutely loving it.  I'm so excited for him.  I'm so excited that it was his decision to go, and that he is adjusting so well.  I'm glad to see the wings of his independence are working so well for him, and even though I feel the sting of the wind from them - I hope that I had a small part in helping those wings develop.  Even though in some creepy old Aunt way - I want him to stay here and need me forever, I know that this is truth, and right, and life moving in a healthy direction.  I don't know if he'll come back to homeschooling next year - or ever.  It's been so hard to let go.  It's been so hard to find my alone legs.  It's been hard.  Every morning I wake up with a little less sadness and a little more excitement of the days ahead.  It was just all so sudden, this change.  I find myself crying alot - like now - as I type this.  They are bittersweet tears.  Tears of longing for the time when he needed me - tears of knowing he always will - but in a different way.  Tears of life passing by much too quickly - tears of excitement over the things to come. 

Life is so incredibly beautiful - and my prayer and hope for all reading today's post is that you will take the time to see it - to feel it - to let it sink deep in your heart and mind.  

And to realize that a happy life is made of small moments, that seem insignificant at times - a look, a laugh, sharing a dream, eating something delicious.

Life is much better shared, I find.
Open your heart today my friends.
And share yours.


  1. This was beautifully written and something that is always a good reminder for me.

    Thanks Jayme!


  2. Jayme, you made me cry and cry! You are the sweetest, bestest family member anyone could evah have! There are HUGE rewards for you in heaven, my friend, what a treasure you are! It is ME time for you now, time to discover what that is, lol! We will be waiting to hear all about the new chapters in your life adventure! Love and HUGS!

  3. Yes, take some time for you now. I bet you have been neglecting you.
    If it is what is best for him...that is what you want, so be happy for him and happy for you for helping him become the person he is. He still needs you and always will. Probably about the time you get settled doing something else.
    My advice is to just take some time off for now.....don't jump into anything.

  4. I think you are feeling the bittersweet sting all of us mothers face watching our babies grow up and become independent. You are definitely still needed, it is just in a new and different way. Still hurts. And we still cry, but aren't we blessed?

  5. Jayme, you have a way with words... You've said it so beautifully what a lot of us are feeling. We love our kids and want them to grow up happy and healthy, yet that also means letting go. Not always easy...

  6. Jayme,

    Sometimes...just sometimes, a child is fortunate to have TWO wonderful mothers, as is Aaron's case.

    The feelings, thoughts, pauses, reverses, and fast forwards are all entwined around motherhood.

    Jayme, you have given up pieces of yourself and your life, freely -- as a mother would do.

    You have put the dreams, aspirations, and development of a young man at the top of your 'to do' list -- as a mother would do.

    Today Jayme, you are watching your birdie fly the nest and while this stirs so many emotions, just know, a mother's work is never done.

    Your birdie may fly, but to his nest he will always return.


  7. Wow. Pass the tissues. And you are right. A happy life is made of small moments. Thanks for the reminder to enjoy each one.

    PS I had those same big wire rimmed glasses back in the day :)

  8. With tears streaming down my face I thank you again for your beautiful words. Big hug.

  9. Ah, Jayme. Geesh I must be pmsing cuz I'm tearing up all over the place. What an amazing story. I'll admit I've been curious about the story, and I appreciate your telling us. Thank you for being transparent. It blesses others so much when there is a 'realness', not just the sugar coated version. What a blessing you all have eachother. I'm just amazed, and need to go hug my kids...

  10. What a special special post, dear Jayme. Along with your beautifully written thoughts, the pictures of Aaron are priceless! If you will excuse me, I need to go blow my nose and see what I can do about stopping the tears. Love you, Lady.

  11. This is just precious...and so GOD!!! It is also tender to me since one of my son's names is Aaron..he has had health issues that put his life at risk....he is fine, but he carved a special place in my heart like your Aaron.
    I wrote this week on part of these feelings...for me to grow again since so many of my responsibilities are I can relate
    Blessings in this new journey!!!
    Thanks for the beautiful testimony

  12. That boy is as much yours as he would have been if you had carried him for 9 months. I know this is a hard time. Is it possible to see him more than 3 hours a week? I'm sure that would help ease your pain. He is so lucky to have you and your sister is lucky to have your support for all these years. What a blessing you are to all around you.

  13. Oh Jayme,

    There you go again, making me love you even more.

    Aaron is such a beautiful boy and so very lucky to be born into such a loving family.

    I am still crying and my heart is aching because you just said what is most important in life.

    Family and all the little things that most people take for granted.

    Give him a great big hug from me.

    I love you both.

    Glenco is a very special guy too. So obvious he is married to you dear Jayme.

    Love always,

  14. Beautiful. You and your sister and Aaron are blessed to have each other. Thank you for sharing.

  15. Jeez-Louize, Jayme! Ya'll went and made me cry! A "good" kind of cry, tho.
    You are doing better, each and every day. Finding your place in this world. It is as it should be.

    Blessings and a big ol' hug,

  16. Precious post, Jaymes. I'm with Jen - you need to make a date with him on a more regular basis. Still do dinner a couple nights a week or something!
    Loved the pictures of both of you. You're most certainly the best Auntie on the planet.

  17. Big Hugs Sister! BIG HUGS! You are a wonderful woman and my heart hurts for yours. Change is so hard!! It's just stinkin' hard!! But we know that God sure likes to work "suddenly", and that's when the most amazing, fall on our faces in awe, "WOW" things happen. Here's to living in anticipation of what God will do. It's gonna be GREATER THAN, hold on to your underwears!!

    BTW...coming soon on my blog...a post about why women's underwear is so stinkin' uncomfortable and why men's underwear lasts longer!!! Word of the day: Stinkin' )

  18. Okay, I'm running back and forth between your blog and Suzy of Chiot's Run so I could copy this quote from C.S. Lewis for you...

    “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”

    Oh, you have loved! God was so good to meet the need that you, your sister, and Aaron all had at a moment of crisis. He didn't meet just ONE of your needs... He met all three. Do you seriously think He would abandon you now? I thought not. I know you know that. But it doesn't make the pain go away. I'm in tears, right along with you after reading your post today and praying that God will not delay too long in showing you the next step in your journey of life!

  19. Oh Jayme, you touch my soul. I can relate to this story as I have a step daughter and three nephews that call me "Mimi". I have no chlidren of my own. I can say that I love them more than anything and so blessed to have them. How lucky you all were to have each other then and now. I have no doubt that you have touched Aaron's life so deeply that your legacy will live on through him and beyond within his own children some day. You have loved and do love so deeply and that type of love leaves a large print on this earth. What a beautiful child Aaron is and obviously happy. On a lighter note, I always tell my nephews that they aren't allowed to grow up...ever. They just laugh at me but my heart aches a little each day I realize how quickly time is passing and how soon they will fly solo. Thank you for sharing such a candid story.

  20. I don't believe I have ever read anything that comes from the bottom of anyone's heart more than what I just read read here today. Lovely!

  21. I don't believe I have ever read anything that comes from the bottom of anyone's heart more than what I just read read here today. Lovely!

  22. We all feel this when our kids spread their wings and fly, and we had been teaching them all along to do just that. You are so lucky to have a sister who shares this wonderful boy with you, he's not going anywhere Jayme. He will always be that little boy who loved to make cookies or play with the kitties. The good thing about letting them grow up is that they bring you Grandchildren...I know you aren't ready for that but I'm just sayin'...good things are in your future, things you have never even dreamed of! Collect your thoughts (decide what YOU want to be when you grow up) and get busy!

  23. Oh Jayme,
    You are a mom !!! It is always hard when things change. I was a stay at home mom with 3 girls born in 4 years and when they left for school, then college, then marriage it seemed way too fast! I didn't know my role anymore. I filled my days with friends, housework, projects, and sometimes tears. Now life is good. I keep 3 grandkids a couple times a week, help my aging parents and sometimes long for a "me" day. You will persevere. God is good all the time. Blessings sweet one!

  24. Just wait till he leaves for college - am I right? You know me!! :D

  25. I'm a 69 year old geezer who also had an "aunt" to whom my mother would send me during Christmas and summer breaks from school. This was during the pre-junior high school years for me.

    It will be a couple of decades of life experience for Aaron before it fully dawns on him what he got from you. After that, trust me, he will give you tears of joy, daily, with his expressions of appreciation and gratitude.

    I can see it now: "Aaron, please stop for a while. I'm getting dehydrated."

    In the meantime, don't get too dismayed with his newly found interest-of-the-third-kind in other females. He's just following his programming like all of us do.

    Oh, and also in the meantime, if you dig deep enough, while meditating in the chicken coop, you'll find the one thing on your list that you really want to do. It's been there for some time. Get on it.


  26. That was such a heart-felt post you have written...and it will be hard for a while, as you've given so very much to him AND to your sister. Time for YOU right now, and find something to do for yourself. make a list of things, and see which to do first. Bless you!

  27. Jayme, I'm not sure I know anyone more giving and loving and thoughtful as you are. You have spent your life in service to others. You take that time at the library and just soak it up, you've got a lot of "me" time built up and it's 'bout time you used it.

  28. Wow. Aaron is just gorgeous. And so are you. Thank you for keepin' it real.

  29. From my heart to yours- I understand! Hugs- Diana

  30. There are two things we give our children, one is roots, the other is wings. I think you've done a fine job, my dear. Thanks for sharing the story of Aaron with told it beautifully. And now I have to go find a box of tissues. :)

  31. Awwwww.... how sweet!

    And - I don't guess I will ever experience the empty nest, so I can't say that I know what you're going through. By the time my son moves out, I will have at least 3 grand children.

    But... your post was a reminder to cherish the moments. I did another NILMDTS session today and that is always a reminder of how blessed we are to have each moment we have with our dear children and grand children.

    I hope Aaron someday finds the perfect Mrs. Aaron and he gives you grand neices and nephews to enjoy. Not too soon... but someday!

    And I've forgotten what it's like to live in an area that is not so diverse. My neighborhood is about as diverse as they come and skin color is really not an issue. However, I grew up in an area where blacks and whites kept to themselves and even lived in different areas. I'm so glad that my grand children will not have to live like that. They'll most likely have friends in all colors and will learn to appreciate their differences while realizing that in many ways we're the same.

  32. First time on your blog...hooked--what a gift you have! I feel as though I see your heart. Anyone would be blessed to have you in their life.

  33. Jayme, Aaron is one of the luckiest boys on the planet and if he doesn't know it now, he will for the rest of his life. And, it will be a rich and loving life, and he'll never forget you.

  34. He is handsom, and you are a saint for helping them the way you did...A gift from above both ways

  35. Assolutamente d'accordo con lei. Si tratta di qualcosa di diverso e l'idea di mantenere.
    E 'vero! Ritengo che questa sia un'ottima idea. Sono d'accordo con te.

  36. oh Jayme this could have been written by me!!! Our son has had (well actually 2 sons!)both have had complete custody of their children and we have helped to raise them along the way and one is grown(19) and the other who is 9 moved to Ky this past year with her Daddy for a job transfer, never saw that one coming. My heart has been broken and not sure what to do with myself most days without her. She just made my days. I swear I still after one year haven't a clue what to do with myself most days.You put into words all the feelings I couldn't. Thank you for letting us know how Aaron is doing since I still check in on his blog ---hey could you bug him a bit to update and keep it going!!!! Thank you for sharing and putting into words what I couldn't. nancy settel

  37. Your parents, your sisters, and Aaron are blessed for the contributions you made in their lives. It is healthy that you are focusing on how much good has been done by your giving to them all these years. Jayme, dear Jayme, it appears to now be time for you to give to yourself. It's a hard transition for those of us who are most comfortable doing for others. I know you will find a way.

  38. Oh, I'm so glad I saved this one for the start of my quiet Saturday morning! I knew it would be a doozey. I'm going to go ahead and back up the sisterhood - you and Aaron should find a happy middle place. He may be too young to entirely understand it, but he needs more of you, too. It's all about balance, baby!

    This post was beautiful and he is/was just so darn cute!!

  39. I am so glad you chose to tell Aaron's story--the whole story--to share your sister's story and the way our good and loving Father transformed her choices into the biggest blessing of her (and your)life. I appreciate your vulnerability in putting into words your concerns, your misgivings about Aarron's race--especially since living in the south. Again, instead of God's rebuke, you received love--abundant love. Such grace here. I, too, am wandering around in that lonely, quiet time--wondering what comes next. Loved everything about this. Blessings to you and Aaron.

  40. thank you for sharing the story of Aaron. you are amazing. your sissy is amazing. and you already know that i think Aaron is the greatest. you understand family!

  41. You brought me to tears. It was the paragraph about your heart changing. Selfish tears, in a way, because no one in my family anxiously awaited the birth of my babies. Well, unless you count waiting like the doom was upon them. They've come around some now, but it's never been quite "right".

    Can I tell you from my perspective? You supporting your sister...loving her, being there for her, helping her, loving her child (no matter what), being a second mama to him, being a family?
    That is like gold to her and Aaron. She may not always see it, and Aaron may not either. I speak from experience though. I have missed those things from my own family, so I know the whole it causes in your heart. My husband's family is and has been all those things for me, but it's not quite the same, you know?

    Thank you. For opening your heart...years ago to a baby that society might have said was "unwanted" your sister who chose differently than you would have wanted at the us, showing us all a beautiful picture of family and God's heart.

  42. I have also had the privilege and honor of helping raise the light of my niece, Sarah. My sister was a single mom and worked so hard at being a great was all good....not necessarily easy but all good! You just have to let them fly....Sarah is in her third and final year of law school !...can't believe! brings me joy each and every day just by being her...It's not over with Aaron and you...just beginning!...

  43. This is the sweetest life story. It is fun to see Aaron "grow up" in pictures and via your blog.


  44. You're all kinds of cute Jayme. So honest. Thanks for sharing.

  45. Sweet story Jayme. You have been a blessing to your family for sure. I was a divorced, single mother myself with three daughters the youngest being less than one year old when the separation took place. As you know I am from Indiana and had no family of my own up here in Michigan. I would have loved a sister to do what you have done for your nephew to be there to help with my daughters when they were little and I was at work. I remarried when most of the girls were preteen and teenagers and that probably saved me from losing my mind during those teenage years. Hubs and his family are our most wonderful gifts. My youngest daughter is a single mother of two daughters and has always called me her significant other. I am the one she calls for advise and the backup mom/grandma when she needs a break until just recently when a wonderful young man has stepped into their lives and taken my place. Not quite the same I know but it is strange not to receive those daily calls. Now you have done the job God gave you it is time to reap the rewards. Your time is yours, enjoy do not feel guilty you have earned this new start. You will find something that will fill your days.

  46. This is a beautiful post, Jayme. The story of Aaron is one of pure love!

    While you see sadness of being left behind, I see it a little differently. You have helped him to become an independent, successful young man with his own goals, dreams and ideas. You and your sister have given him what he needs to be a successful adult. He'll be OK, and you'll be OK!

    My children are all away at college right now, so I'm feeling a lot of the feelings that you are. And while I'm sad about missing spending oodles of time with them and sharing every single aspect of their life, I'm proud that they are able to function independently, be successful, make plans and work toward their own goals. I'm trying to be OK here, too!

    Thank you for this beautiful post!


  47. Oh, got me with this one. My grandson lives with us and although I know he's not my child...he may as well be. I love him more than I would have ever thought possible. We adopted our girls at 4 and 5 so we never had an infant around...what a blessing from God he is. Aaron was so fortunate to have you. Blessings kind friend, Patty

  48. Jayme,
    What a beautiful post. Aaron's leaving is a good sign that he feels confident and competent enough to go into the world of high school. I can only imagine the hugh void he leaves behind especially if he has been the center of your life for some time. The photos of him are beautiful and I can tell you are a proud aunt/mother. This past fall I have heard many of my friends say they have sent either their first or last born off to college and the void is palpable. They almost don't know what to do with themselves and the time they now have. You will find your way and I hope that all these posts will help settle your heart and subside some of the intense feelings you have. The time Aaron spent with you will be with him for the rest of his life. Be proud momma!

  49. My womb is chapped and dry too...I think it's a lack of estrogen!

    Aaron is a gift from the Lord. I knew it b/c I have met him and see his beautiful spirit.

    He got that from God...but HE used you and his mama to help that gift grow him into who he is today. Isn't it a blessing?!

    Seems both of our nests are empty all of a sudden. So, lets go on a bike ride and split something tasty!

    I'm at peace {thankyouverymuch
    }...are you?

    love you...I really do!

    And it's coffee bean roastin' time!!! And no, I've not ordered them yet.

  50. Just used up the last of kleenexes with that one Jayme. Not only do I love the story itself, but I also love your complete and total honesty in sharing how you felt when Aaron was first born. Not many people would have the courage to go that far (at least I don't think I would) but isn't it wonderful when they just bear their soul and tell it like it really is? Aaron really is a beautiful boy. Thank you SO much for sharing this! Happy Sunday!

  51. Oh my ... I'm just bawling - maybe due to changes in my own life that make me relate (sending my oldest off to college and a divorce). I, too, feel very alone and not as needed as I have been for years. This post was absolutely beautiful and oh so honest. I love the way you "tell it like it is." You are going to make it and be better and try new things and keep on growing every day. Transitions are always hard.

    Twyla in MN

  52. Jayme-
    One your answers is so lovingly revealed in this post.
    It is...
    Just keep writing.


  53. Don't know how I stumbled onto your blog, but you are bookmarked. Your honest words about Aaron, really hit home. We have 3 bi-racial grandkids, and when the first one came along, we were scared to death. Not because of our prejudice, but the world can sure be cruel. Of course the cruel ones were the relatives. Our grandkids are our lives, and when the oldest moved away a year ago, thought we would die. Harder than when our girls moved out. He is a very lucky, and quite handsome young man.

  54. You are a beautiful person. You create beauty all around you ... with the people lucky enough to know and love you, by the words you write and through your actions. Thank you.

  55. That was one of the most real, heartfelt posts I've read from a blog in a long while. Beautiful!

  56. wow, what a lovely story. Thank you.


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