I love with a new year we get to have a clean slate and for me it gives me much hope. It seems like many have given up and lost hope especially with this virus. It has knocked the wind out of many. I do know one thing for sure that no matter what happens God is with us.
One of the reasons why I wanted to write my memoirs was to share the story of redemption. My blog is called beauty from Ashes because God took a horrible situation and He made it beautiful. Isaiah 61:3 “…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair”. Wow that verse says it all. Yes my story is hard to read at times and the abuse I endured was horrific but God was with me every step of the way. I’ve been writing it to give people Hope in a world that has lost all hope. God used my story to make me a strong woman who stands up for others. Even though it sounds ridiculous God uses our stories for His glory and to help others.
After twelve years of hell, I guess my dad decided to contact my mom. He knew where she lived as he had her address all along. He said she could have contact with her kids. He wrote and sent her photos and I started a dialogue with to me was a complete stranger. I had no relationship and for a young girl how do you wrap your head around this was your mom. She wanted to see Peter and I. She was cautioned by my dad that if she tried to get custody of us or any legal action. He would never let her ever see us again. My mom just wanted to see us. She lived in Canada and she arranged for us to fly from Dublin to Vancouver airport.
The day came for us to fly to Canada and meet our mom. It was the Christmas of 1983. I was scared and I had never flown before but I was so glad Peter was with me. I will never forget the doors of the airport opening and this woman coming running out of the crowds and hugging Peter. I just stood there. She eventually came over to me and hugged me. I stood like a board. We got our luggage and I met Ben who was married to my mom. We drove to the ferry to catch it to go back back to Vancouver Island where they lived.
Ben worked for the ferries and so everyone knew him. He was kind and soft spoken. He asked if I wanted fries with gravy said that was a Canadian thing. I only knew chips with ketchup. We eventually got back to their home. As we drove I was amazed that Canadians lived in homes not igloos where was the snow. That’s what I had learned in school. They had a nice home and we got settled in our rooms.
I was super shy and our mom was so glad we were home that lots of people came to visit. I had no idea who they were but they had supported my mom in her loss for 12 years. My mom owned a store downtown and she took me there to visit. We went out for lunches, dinners and other people’s homes. I met Mandy and John, Ben’s Parents. The first time I met them I really liked them. They came on Christmas morning for a special brunch at our home and then later we went to their home for Christmas dinner. I got really nice presents for Christmas. A video game, clothes and a teddy bear I still own today.
Even though my mom was a stranger to me I felt this warm love something that was totally foreign to me. I spent three weeks with her and Ben. Then it was time to go back to Ireland. Even though they were my family how do you leave this to go back to your hellish life. When we went back Peter left Ireland and came to love in Canada. I was alone again. My siblings took my toys and my clothes were taken away from me and given to them.
I was able to return the following summer for two months. My next post will be about that trip. That was a difficult trip. Stay tuned….