Saturday, May 26, 2007

What a Day!

It was a day of change.

It was a day of new beginnings.

It was a day of reunion.

It was a day of new found sisterhood.

It was a day where past ill's were washed away.

It was a day of welcome.

It was a day of scenic beauty.

It was a day of tears.

It was a day free of accusation.

It was a day free of crushing guilt.

It was a day of joy.

We arrived in Jennifer's tiny West Virginia hamlet shortly after two p.m., yesterday, even though the graduation wasn't scheduled until seven. This gave all of us plenty of time to spend together before everything got started.

Crystal was radiant. Olivia was thrilled, my dad was proud (but not as proud as his son), and there was a joyous reunion.

Jennifer and I were civil for a few minutes... after which both of us dropped our guards and focused on the happiness of the day, especially when we could see how incredibly important this day was to Olivia and Crystal.

The grownups sat out on the porch on that warm, quiet, perfect afternoon, and chatted about mostly nothing while the girls got to spend time together.

Crystal showed Olivia her room, read to her, played games with her, and the never were never more than two feet away from each other until the graduation ceremony started. My daughters were immediately as thick as thieves, and I could hear them giggling and laughing together through the window. Apparently, something was happening because it got quiet all of a sudden... then they came out of Crystal's room looking guilty! While playing with Crystal's dog, the strap on Olivia's cute little pink dress had gotten broken! No worries, Crystal took a needle and thread to if and sewed it right up.

They went right back to playing together. My daughters had become sisters in more than biology.

After a while, Crystal got around to showing me her room, and I noticed that on her wall, there was an old polaroid picture, (I had a One-Step in those days) that Susan had taken of us, in my tiny Capitol Hill apartment, when Crystal was about 4. She said that she looked at that picture every day. She also showed me a set of my old Marine dog tags. Her mother had given them to her when she found them in an old box. When I was in the corps, we had dog tags in sets of three. two hung around your neck, and one was laced into your bootlaces, lest you get blow to smithreeens and literally lose your head. Well, I have had the third tag on my key chain since I got out of the service in 1989... I never knew where the others were, until now.
Crystal took them apart and gave one to Olivia and said that now, we all had the full set, "three tags, three of us, all together".

What a moment.

The hour was getting late, and everyone changed for graduation. I noticed that Olivia was wearing earrings (clip-on's) as we left the house... Crystal had given them to her (her ears are pierced). Olivia was overjoyed.

We got a quick bite to eat at the local Dairy Queen (the local social center, in the next town), and headed to the High School.

The ceremony was only an hour, mercifully, as it was hot in the un-air conditioned gymnasium.

I got to watch my daughter, my oldest daughter, get her diploma, with her mother, father, paternal grandfather, maternal grandmother, adoptive father, two aunts, an uncle, and a host of friends to cheer her on!

What a night.

Immediately after the ceremony, and pictures, and introductions to friends, we had to get on the road, as it was along drive back home. Although we were invited to spend the night and come to the celebratory barbecue that will be held this afternoon, we couldn't stay.

The girls had thoroughly bonded in that short time, and there were promises of them spending a weekend together in June, and visits from Crystal in July, before she goes off to college in August.

Before we departed, there were hugs and kisses all around.

We had a fast drive home... possibly aided by the fact that I was so happy, I probably could have levitated the car through the high mountains, just on my giddiness alone.

We got home shortly before 1 a.m., with Olivia fast asleep, still wearing her earrings (which she is wearing right now, at 11 a.m., while she watches Shrek in the next room).



PS: Allow me a moment to thank all of you that commented with words of support on my post yesterday. Your words meant a lot to me.


super des said...


Golden Silence said...

What a perfect day.

Jenn in Holland said...

And if that beautiful post from yesterday could be topped by anything? It is this post here.
What a glorious report. What a wonderful day. What a blessed event.

cathouse teri said...

Okay, look! Even I have my limits! I just put on my makeup and I have no intention of crying right now, so I'll finish this later! (Got as far as the polaroid.)

Lovely, lovely.

Melanie said...

Awwww I'm glad youa ll had such a wonderful day!! Especially Olivia!

viciousrumours said...

I'm glad your daughters have this chance to get to know each other. I'm also glad to hear that your ex-wife was good enough to know that even though you had given up parental rights, it didn't make you less important to your daughter. That takes a lot. It sounds like it was a beautiful day and you must have felt such an overwhelming sense of pride.

PT-LawMom said...

Stop making me cry! I am thrilled to hear it went so well all around. Congratulations to all of you!

Janet M Kincaid said...

Sublime! And divine. Beautifully written posts. Thank you for sharing this day with all of us.

Smiling Mom said...

I'm so happy for you! This is me leaving me you my contact information and also asking you to come check out my new site. I'm looking for easy recipes (and I know you are the man) to begin building my recipe page on my site. :-) Congratulations again.

Smiling Mom @

jessabean said...

Great story...I'm so glad it went so well. Thanks for sharing this story with all of us. You must be so proud of your daughters, and I'm sure they are proud of you.

Hope you'll keep us updated on the happiness!

Lady M said...

Beautiful, beautiful. So glad that the girls (and parents!) had such a wonderful day together.

We have some complicated family rearrangements on SwingDaddy's side, and it's a blessing that everyone gets along well enough to enjoy graduations and weddings together.

soccer mom in denial said...

Did anyone else lose it at the part about the three tags? That Crystal handed one to Olivia AND you.... oh I'm blubbering again.

I can't imagine it all but I am so glad for everyone that it was a lovely day.

But happiest of all for Crystal and Soccer Girl.

Janet said...

Yeah, I totally lost it at the three tags. What wonderful girls you have, Bill. Now I have to go find a tissue.

Desert Songbird said...

Beautiful story, GF. Your daughters prove that above all else, family is more important than petty disagreements, blame, and guilt.

Consider yourself truly blessed.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

I am so glad to hear that it went well!

Sounds like a new beginning.....congratulations!

Lavatory Lady said...

Dang, I almost missed this post. Congratulations to ALL of you!! It just goes to show that good things happen when people put their children first.

The Lavatory Lady