Before I get into the joyous aspects of this entry, I feel I must first go into the not so joyous aspects. My life has become an open book so it’s no secret that three out of my four children were adopted / raised by their biological grandparents. To the kids, they were Mom and Dad. They refer to me by my government name. My ex-in-laws did not have to allow me to remain in the kids lives, yet they did and for that I am forever grateful. When they moved from New Jersey to Alabama, the kids were young so there was a seventeen year split between us. Phone calls and letters were our only contact. That was until 2003 when we were reunited. I was blessed with the chance to get to know them and become a part of their lives. It was a chance that very few get. The kids were older by this time and I was already deep into my addiction unbeknownst to me. I became the “Kool mom” the one that went out and partied with them. Not exactly the best example.
Today I’m sober and still maintain a relationship with them. In my head, they are still my babies and I doubt that will ever go away. I felt blessed to be invited to my son Matthew’s wedding in February of this year. He included me I didn’t feel like just the “Biological mother” he made me feel like family. Here it is, eight months later, Matthew and his wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl they named Aaliyah Grace Tirri. Born on Nov. 3, 2015 – at 7:08 am. She was 7 lbs. 10 oz and 20 inches long. Matthew was texting me all night, sent me pictures right after her birth and made me feel a part of what was going on. That in itself means more than words can say.
Had I still been “out there” this whole experience would have been extremely different on so many levels. I am truly grateful to the Powers that be that I am able to not only be a part of this miracle, but I’m able to feel every joyful emotion that comes with it. I have a beautiful granddaughter, she’s absolutely perfect in every way. I’m very proud of my baby and his beautiful wife for this little angelic miracle. I missed most of Matthew’s childhood, but I’ve been blessed and will be able to watch his daughter grow up.
I’ve had many blessings in the five years that I’ve been sober but I think THIS is by far the most amazing. I didn’t have the chance to be a “Mother” to my son, but he is giving me the chance to be a grandparent to his daughter along side the woman who raised him. I’m not some stranger on the outside looking in. I can’t put into words how that feels especially after all we’ve been through. If there was ever a time I was extremely grateful for my sobriety and the fact that I’m not the same person I once was, it’s now.
My whole entire life I’ve avoided having any kind of emotions. Feeling was something I didn’t want to have anything to do with. Today I’ve done nothing but feel and I’ve welcomed it all with open arms. I’ve been in a state of Awe, shock & joy. I’ve even felt a little sad when thinking about what I’d missed. I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster all day and I wouldn’t have it any other way. In the mist of all the excitement, I even picked up the phone to call someone who was very near and dear to me. She passed away last year and for a moment, I forgot. Instantly I fell apart but even with those emotions I was fine and didn’t try to shut them off the way I used to.
In the beginning of my recovery, I doubted everything people were telling me. I doubted I could do it and I couldn’t see my life any other way. My fear of the unknown almost drove me in the opposite direction. I thank God I chose to stick it out. Today has become further proof that my sobriety didn’t give me my life “back” it gave me a whole new life.
AJ Menendez, Master Male Illusionist