I wish you could visit me here today. It's Mother's day, and all day I've been wondering if you felt appreciated by me. I wish you could see my house, and my little boy: the grandson you never met. You used to be so good at diminishing my problems; wow, do I need that now.
It's been rough lately. I've been "served" with papers- Bruce, your grandson's father, is filing for full custody and child support payments. (It's the only time he ever served me anything.) (And he, by the way, never paid me a dime of child support.)
I've spent hours, energy and money seeking legal counsel. My efforts paid off, and I have retained the best lawyer I could find. (I'm no fool- I'm fully aware that said lawyer represents Big Daddy- the loving, protective father I never had.) Your life, Mother, was so different from mine, yet the fathers of our children did their damnedest to ruin things for both of us.
I tried to learn from your experience; I never married, determined not to let any man do to me what had been done to you. I allowed the father, Bruce, to see our son when he asked. I tried hard to keep the peace, but his controlling, often angry behavior caused me to watch carefully.
He finally went overboard last December to the point where I had to involve the police. I stopped allowing visitation. I had all legal rights- the courts had never been involved, and I had always given up my right to child support payments just so my child wouldn't have to adhere to a standard visitation schedule, which allows ample time with the non-custodial parent.
Well, Bruce's threats have come to fruition, and he's indeed "hauling me into court." I now face the monumental task of proving that I have been the child's sole caretaker all his life, and that I've excelled at it. This is such a ridiculous waste of time and effort. I'm already working full time at my demanding job and single parenting; now I'm also a full time advocate for myself and my son, having to move mountains to prove the obvious.
My lawyer has asked me to contact my family and support network. Sadly, such people are missing. Once I became a single parent, my former friends slipped away. I had no time to seek new friends; even other mothers tend to stick with other married mothers.
So, my work in putting together my case will be hampered by the very problem that has plagued me since my son was born. I have nobody to step forward and say, "This woman has done everything humanly possible to raise her son well despite the obstacle of social isolation. Her son is happy, especially now that the father is out of the picture and he feels free to be himself in the absence of the father's criticism. Custody should remain with the mother, and visitation should either be disallowed, or allowed with supervision only, to protect the child from further harm."
I know you'd do it if you could. I know that if you were alive, you'd move heaven and earth to ease my burden. You'd probably hop on the next flight, and stay with me to keep my house in order and my child fed while I take care of the overwhelming task in front of me (during my free hours away from work). Never before have I faced such a devastating problem, but I certainly can imagine the way you'd offer youself to assist in any way.
You'd have undoubtedly taken my mind off all this at times, also. I often think of the laughing fits we used to have regularly. Every once in a while, I have one of those laughing fits with your grandson. It must be some kind of genetic humor wavelength thing, because it's never happened to me with anyone else.
So, Happy Mother's Day. I miss you more than ever.