ONE SIMPLE DAY IS SIMPLY BEAUTIFULL… can I be losing?

 

I’ve been alone; well, living alone since 2004-2005 when I lived with my boyfriend Steve, 22 years my junior. Since then I sustain myself with only one true friendship.

And what does that mean anymore? During four marriages and several lovers, I’ve cultivated 4 long term girlfriend relationships of 20 or more years endurance. Susanne, was first to reject me…a psychiatric RN who learned to share primal feelings with me from 1998-2006, usually weekly. By this time, I shared tears as easily as saying “good morning.” Sometimes, rageful tears erupted from Susanne that slowly dissipated some of her anxiety. We supported each other with the vulnerability only children feel free to expose. Sadly, in 2015, nine years after rejecting me, Susanne committed suicide, despite living just down the road from her supportive daughter, son-in-law and two young grandchildren that she adored.

Tanya, a nurse practitioner, also shared primal feelings of fear and loss with me; until her unhappy marriage trapped her with the tight grip of helplessness. She told me, “I feel more of my unhappiness when I’m in the presence of your happiness.” Freedom. She began avoiding my phone calls. Finally, I  had to show up unannounced in order to reassure her that I would never abandon her. Several times a year, I continue to leave voice mails saying, I love you. Silence is her only response.

Sue, a social worker in private practice abandoned me after sharing many hikes, dances, and vulnerable tears by first saying: I need time for myself. I understood. Yet, the week before her birthday in 2010 she wanted to dig up Forget-Me-Nots from my overabundance to plant in her yard, then never spoke to me for months by avoiding my infrequent phone calls of loving-kindness, so that I finally had to show up in her driveway to ask “why.”

“Do you have to be hit over the head with a sledgehammer?” she asks.

“No, just tell me why the months of silence; communicate with me,” as tears squiggled down my cheeks.

With tears welling in her eyes, “I don’t want to be friends anymore: you’re controlling, narcissistic and manipulative” …I was truly dumb-founded! Since she was on her way to an appointment she didn’t have time to give me examples. We left each other with loving well wishes.

A few days later, I wrote a loving kindness letter asking for examples to which Sue never replied. When I occasionally see Sue on the street I wave a friendly hello, to which she slowly responds in kind.

I do keep in yearly birthday contact by phone call with my childhood friend, Mary, who recently initiated a visit to my home in New York, she living in Michigan. We had not seen one another for three years, yet feel the ease of decades of sharing supported through yearly holiday letters.  Occasional emails remind us of our connection of growing up love, but we choose not to be close.

For the past 5-6 years I have developed a deep friendship with Gayle, a retired social worker who also has shared with me primal feelings rooted in childhood pain, and she was the one to foster our friendship after reading my first book, TEARS ARE TRUTH…waiting to be spoken. There is nothing we are too afraid to share with one another. She tells me, “You’re the only one I can tell everything,” although she has several close friends and a significant other for 8 years. We hike most weeks to waterfalls in the central New York region – echoing the natural flow of our waterfall-tears whenever they appear.

On Halloween 2016, while hiking, I’m telling Gaylee how much I enjoy pulling the wild grape vines off the lilac bushes, where some branches had been smothered to death, literally. Also, how I pulled more wild grape vines off an abandoned hidden garden of Myrtle and Tiger lilies; and even some that had glommed onto a tall maple tree.

I throw my arms up in the air, and as I shout “freedom!” tears smother my cheeks with love; Gaylee’s arms immediately surrounding my shoulders.

“Now I understand!! I give these plants and flowers their life back – like I am the child inside me whose feelings were smothered by an indoctrinated religion forced upon my growing up,” I shout with the boldness of a child’s uninhibited voice, as we continue our walk along the gorge where water flows freely. Amidst the trees. Scudding the leaves.

Later, that same Halloween day, my son-in-law, Kevin, comes to my home to retrieve his house keys. He’s not yet been inside my ‘new’ apartment of two months, which is a 1840s home divided into four apartments. When he reaches my bedroom in the back, his arms fly into the air, along with a yelp, “Oh my god!” his mouth in the shape of a big eclipse, his eyes wide as a full moon. “This is spectacular!”

The large window claims my dream view of a pond centered in an expansive valley of fields and tree-filled hills, fall orange and yellow colors still a delight.

After Kevin glances fervently over my flower pots and garden and an old Jade plant, which was sporting 20 or more new buds that will flower many many dainty white blossoms by Thanksgiving, Kevin says, smilingly, “Flowers dream about being reincarnated into your garden. They know how much they are appreciated and cared for – it brings them long life.”

“Truly a Lifegasm,” he adds wistfully.

I smile broadly as my heart holds my words, “a Lovegasm.”

BREAKING the law to build TRUST

In 2012, I’m driving into Ithaca, NY, aiming to enjoy the annual June festival when flashing lights in my rear view mirror catch my eye. Of course I pull over as I wonder why. The police officer asks me to get out of my jeep Liberty as he tells me there is a warrant out for my arrest. My license plate, CRYBABE alerted the policeman’s computer as he drove up behind me.

In broad daylight I’m cuffed with my hands in front of me, instead of around my back as he says, “You’re obviously not dangerous.” I’m a psychotherapist who refused the Seneca County court judge’s order to release my psychotherapy notes in a child custody case. It’s against my professional ethics, although the child custody lawyer says no one has ever refused her medical records. I had already submitted a report to the court, which was not accepted as sufficient.

That evening, my oldest daughter picks me up from jail after I am finger printed and pay $500 bail by credit card. I tell her, “I’m surprised how calm I felt as I was driven to the border of two counties; transferred twice, still in cuffs. Must be all my tears have given me courage to trust in myself. That I’ll be safe.”

Within a few days, I call the local journalist-reporter of Seneca County who later interviews me, my lawyer, and the child custody lawyer. I’m so pleased that his article is published in the Ithaca Journal and other county newspapers the week of Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday, with a photo of his face enlarged above my ‘story.’

I never pay the remaining court-ordered $500 plus fine – no one comes after it. Or me:)

A few months later, following another refusal by me to give up another client’s psychotherapy notes in Tompkins County court – I’m dismissed by an angry judge; the recording of my previous testimony in the court room told to be disregarded. As I walked out into the sunlight, I felt empowered: as if the sun emblazoned my truth – and that of my profession – which is essential to building trust with clients.

Within one year, the new release of medical records permission form was changed to say: “(except psychotherapy notes)”.

 

 

 

 

 

Addendum:  By breaking the law, truer justice EVOLves. I feel proud.

ALMOST where?

ALMOST

     THERE. The one song I remember from the one secular album my mother allowed me to buy, sung by the Lettermen.

I don’t remember the lyrics until I look online. I find more than one song with that title. I know it has to be the one sung in 1964. Yet, the 2009 version describes more so how my life’s journey has evolved.

“I don’t have time for dancin’” is what my mother would say – as religion of the ‘born again’ kind ruled our roost – to the point of dancin’ being outlawed as a worldly temptation. Sexuality being the unspoken one. At 16, I didn’t know what masturbation was although warmth exuded between my legs like a summery mesmerizing campfire.

I married the first time as a virgin.

I married the second time as a hypocrite; dancing during the week; arriving at church on Sundays. (I’d given up Wednesday’s midweek prayer meeting by then.)

I married the third time after living with Alain for a year, no longer religious, yet spiritual.

I married the fourth time after becoming a Marriage and Family therapist in private practice and raising two beautiful daughters. (By this time I’d been sexual with 60-70 men. I’d kept a list of their names, not wanting to slight their significance while developing love of my self.)

“Almost there; we’re almost there

How wonderful, wonderful love will be

For you, for me.”….Love has waited such a long time.

….Our paradise, paradise so rare,

Close your eyes for we’re ALMOST THERE.”

Gloria Shayne, Jack Keller, November 1964

As of 2016, I’ve been single, living alone for 18 years with the exception of living with my then boyfriend for the year 2004-2005; he being 22 years younger than me. I loved his inner boy, his soul; but the anger I could not control, or be around.

Five days before I celebrated my 70th birthday, while attending the International Primal Convention, I met David. In the evening during social time, I placed a sweet potato snack between my lips, gesturing to David to bite off the other half, which he did without hesitation. His blue eyes sparkled. My gray-blue eyes dazzled back. Yet, my imagination could never have compared to what happened next.

He motioned me to come outside, where he took my hand in his, walking us across the grass, stopping under a tree. His broad hands then press my cheeks as he smoothes his lips into mine. Are we really making out?

That same warm sizzling feeling from when I was 16 is back radiating between my legs. How can this be at 70? and he’s a handsome 39! I’m greatfull too that he is not french kissing me – yet is passionate as if we could be in love. But we’ve known each other less than 24 hours.

Again, he takes my hand, leading me farther from the buildings and artificial lights – to lie down in the grass, looking upward to the sparkling stars cradling a near full moon. We talk, we kiss; soon he parts my dress and is sucking on my nipples which tingle my clitoris; joining the heavenly stardom.

How long we carried on like this is an unknown – before I am walked to my room where I self-loved into an exquisite diamond-like orgasm.

The next morning at breakfast, I whisper to David, “I can’t believe how juicy I was last evening even before my dynamo orgasm.” We share more of our lives as love spins in our eyes.

After lunch, I go to my room to write in my journal. Soon, I hear a knock on my door – I’m surprised that it’s David. Lovingly and longingly, he pushes me onto my single bed. He kisses and caresses me as if no fear exists. (I do have a roommate.) Our clothes disappear as if nothing else matters. Yes, I’m a bit concerned about my sagging skin although I am in excellent shape. It’s daytime – there’s no hiding – he says, “You’re a sexy woman.” It took some trying for me to accommodate his large penis….almost there.

 

LEAPS of faith bring truer LOVE

I am contemplating a jump out of an airplane as a triumph of making it to my 70th birthday. Not that I’ve had to battle cancer, although I have survived a fractured skull.

But that palls in comparison to the leap from the ‘born again’ christian fold where I was indoctrinated (brain-heart-washed) since my very birth. That leap happened in 1984; the book authored by Aldous Huxley: his prescription for me? Scary yet hopeful.

When I tell others I have been married four times, either a look of shock and or judgmentalness creases their face. I used to be ashamed, now I am pleased, because the last leap of ‘marital bliss’ sent unimaginable emotional pain to my small brain.

I cried, I sobbed, I wept, I bawled like a baby. Yelled like a banshee while taking a sledgehammer to my husband’s ashtray: my dear daddy’s ashes mixed with my tears…he’d smoked, was a diabetic; he died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of sixty.

In winter 2015, some twenty years later, I accept being evicted from my apartment of 14 years, as I refuse to pay the elevated rent when my water pipes still freeze. I feel lighter in more ways than one; letting go of stuff: table and chairs, sewing machine, dishes, etc. And, my next apartment has more light – but the rotten-egg smelling sulfur water, lack of closets, and a smoker downstairs propels me to sign a year lease for a basement apartment of a friend’s house. I knew it was not enough light; yet I signed the easy offer.

Now that it’s August 2016, I’m finally settled after a third apartment move, where my dream of living with a view of a pond comes true…signing on the very last day before I had to renew my old lease. I’m ecstatic like a baby giggling. Amongst others vying for this apartment, I am chosen at the very time of its viewing! My faith is now in the Design Of the Universe (DOU – sounds like TAO) giving me the LOVE I’ve desperately and rebelliously cried out for years…for ‘cryin’ out loud!!

For all these years, I didn’t know why I’d dreamed of having a pond on my ‘property’ – until the springing of my tears as I spoke out loud of the pond in the fields behind my childhood home. Where I played with tadpoles and the frogs they became. Where I picked thumb-size blackberries with which my mother baked the best blackberry pies! Where my father made a toy paddlewheel in the stream leading to the pond.

My sister and I named it Peaceful Park. Truly peace that “passeth all understanding.”

(My license plate reads CRYBABE for more than 15 years.)

 

hONEy moons for truer love…for everyONE

 

I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I don’t remember making love on my first honeymoon. I’m sure we did; how could I forget? being a virgin and a four day graduate of Cornell University’s Nursing School. On our first night, I do remember listening to the tape recording of our ceremony, being moved once again to tears as Chuck sings, “Ich Liebe Dich.” A day later we attempted to surf on the New Jersey shore after submitting to taking on my husband’s last name, Griffeth, but not to the traditional vows, to “obey” him. I’d said, “try to.”

After we created two especially wonderful daughters, my husband left me as an uncloseted gay man – so onto honeymoon number two, eleven years later.

Reid and I honeymooned at Cape Hatteras, NC, writing “I love you” in the ocean-soaked sand. After taking on his last name, Thompson, our honeymoon bed betrothed me with a case of the crabs. Was our budget motel a forewarning of our short-lived marriage of two years? When I said yes to marrying Reid, I was already greatly questioning my growing up “born again” religion. He being a ‘space’ scientist at Cornell University helped push me over the edge to oceanic freedom from my childhood’s religious indoctrination.

After two years together, I told him I needed to “fly”; meaning to be more of MEself…and we parted amicably. A few years later, he was diagnosed with a virulent form of cancer and died at the early age of 44….me attending his memorial.

Four years later, I married Alain, after living together (‘in sin’ ha!) for one year and a subsequent six month separation I initiated due to his addictions which he gave up during that time. Our honeymoon took place in Morocco and France where he was born and raised respectively. Our marriage ceremony was heralded by the sounds of Taughannock Falls similar to the music of the waterfalls of Robert Treman park where my second marriage took place. This time, I insisted on a joined married name: Colbert (my maiden name) – Mauboussin. Maybe by then, I’m almost over the ‘moon’ in love with ME?

Alain returned to smoking and drinking, creating barriers to being more emotionally intimate, which is very important to me. After six months of couple’s therapy he says: “Accept me as I am or leave.” Sadly, a third amicable divorce.

Just a year later, I met my ‘soul mate’, Gregory, through a personal ad…and my life of oceanic emotional pain truly began. Even on our honeymoon in Australia and the Milford Trek in New Zealand, he couldn’t trust me with other men. Despite the lovely nature of the Great Barrier Reef and the spectacular mountains and fjords of New Zealand – my heartfelt-tears became roaring waterfall crying out to be believed; trusted that I didn’t want to be sexual with other men. BEing MEself brought out Gregory’s stinging pain of distrust. The honey was drained out of the full moon shining above us. Yet, the greatest ‘barrier’ to the damned up pain of my childhood had been broken: not being trusted to believe in my own truths….versus the church’s. Finally, I trusted MEself and left, feeling the sweet taste of hONEy-love spreading throughout my heart and soul.

MAKING FRIENDS with a toad…told you so:) lovingly

 

On Father’s day, I drove my best friend Gaylee and myself to my daddy’s grave, where we shared tears of love mixed with my words: “I miss you, I love you incredibly, I hope you hear me – I know you are in my heart always.” (He died in 1977)

I brought a bright brown pottery pot holding three Dianthus (sweet william) flowers splashing pink and purple. I’d planted them several days before; one day I noticed while watering that a bump, the size of a golf ball, had appeared in the soil. I pushed the potting soil down, thinking that a vole or mole or squirrel had dug there searching for a nut or two? The following day the bump appeared again like a flower bulb had erupted, and once again, I packed it downward.

When I set the pot on the side pf daddy’s grave marker, reading, “BEST DAD EVER, LOVE YOU FOREVER,” that same soil lump appeared in the same spot it had before, but this time when I pushed down with my finger, a brown-spotted head appeared to our surprise! Gaylee explodes, “It’s a frog!” Then, it jumped onto the edge of the pot, and I dashed to my car to grab my camera.

Luckily, toad waited the seconds needed for me to snap, snap, snap.

More importantly, we couldn’t leave TOAD at the cemetery when rain was not in the forecast for a week; how would he/she survive? No one to water its home.

Right away, my thoughts went to remembering daddy stopping our car (when I was 10) along side Judd Falls Road to pick up and assist a turtle crossing this busy road.

Gaylee goes to her car to fetch a plastic cup and bag in which she poked some holes for air – in which to carry toad to a wetter-better environment. It just so happened that we were fairly close by a gorge with a waterfall, barely trickling.

(I was surprised how vigorously TOAD jumped to the top of the cup over and over again. Maybe the flowerpot soil was very nutritious as well as cool:)

Since Gaylee is not so steady on her feet – I walked down the hill to the creek, until stopped by a wall, 5-6 feet above a small pool of water maybe 3-4 inches deep. I knew in my heart that that it would be a safe and happy home for our friend as I flung TOAD from the cup, splashing into the shallow water; swimming away.

PERSEVERANCE brings liberation of LOVE

 

Life is a list of perseverances in order to liberate my true being.

So is that why I regularly think: I need to climb the Statue of Liberty? Also, I drive a 2006 Jeep Liberty – claimed by its marketing name: Liberty.

Presently, my twists and turns result in being tired of writing about how I came into this lifetime as a child of rape, conceived in Bremmerhofen, Germany. Yet, I’m fully inspired to write about my seventeen year old dad, unable to speak English, when arriving in the USA from Germany.

Dad, being a youth resister to the rise of Hitler, dreamed of attending medical school in America, as he sailed past the Lady holding high the Liberty Torch into New York City’s harbor. He only knew an aunt and uncle with whom he did not get along; eventually venturing out on his own, finding menial jobs like: “Going up, going down, watch your step please.” He became a US citizen, and joined the US Army, fighting against his homeland: his Catholic family, his three brothers who died in WWII.

He fell in love with my mother, the nurse taking care of him on the ship Huddleston as it returned from WWII; once again sailing past Lady Liberty.

He saved me from being aborted, liberating me by signing my birth certificate as my father, giving up his individualistic dreams especially for me, and then his two children born after me. He loved me as his own, unlike my mother whose shame could not.

My spirit drove me to be liberated from my family’s (mostly my mother’s) addiction to the one-way-to-god religion – finally not just hearing my ten-year-old-inside-voice saying that it is not the truth – and then listening, despite the fear of being rejected by my ‘church’ community.

I would not listen to the baptist church admonishment to keep my two daughters away from their coming-out gay father!

I would run 36 marathons in 36 months, garnering a national women’s record, literally running away from my feelings of not being truly recognized for who I am; finally recognizing (dark painful) Feelings as being the best “F” word going:)

I would marry four times and give up my shame of others judgmentalness.

I would stomp and cry when my fourth husband would not trust that I was telling the truth: I was not having affairs.

I would advocate to provide a HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP SKILLS COURSE at my local high school for 25 years and counting after becoming a Marriage and Family Therapist.

I would write a trilogy of books although I received a 65 in English at Cornell University. All three titles came to me while running (one day in 1995): TEARS ARE TRUTH…waiting to be spoken (published 1999), TEARS ARE TRUST…waiting to be felt (2007), TEARS ARE TRUE LOVE…waiting to be known (2013).

I would hear, “I choose not to forgive you” at my eldest daughter’s 2016 birthday dinner; sliding off her tongue like melting ice cream. A month later I wrote a loving email-letter to her about how resentment hurts her most of all. She knows this already. (all- ready to forgive someday?)  I so desire her true love.

At Mother’s Day brunch (2016) I ask her if she’d like to see the ballroom I’m helping to renovate – to be able to see the before and after. I hear her say: “Not really; but if you would like me to go, I will,” in an innocent girl-like tone.

It’s still May, my most favorite month of the year. My daddy’s 99th birthday is the 4th (if he were alive); my second daughter’s birthday is the 6th; my third granddaughter’s birthday is the 14th. The trees dress up in various shades of greens; tulips speak  their

many colors, and I dig up wild Forget-Me-Nots from a stranger’s yard to transplant to my and other’s gardens. (They say, “Take all you want!”)

I would plead guilty to rolling through a stop sign at 1am, where no head-lights could be seen from the intersection. There is a space under Plea of Guilty to give an “explanation” which I write to the judge as I saw clients at the time of the court appearance.

I would be shocked to read the judge’s letter saying I’m fined $193 for using my own good judgment.

I would appeal the ticket and speak on the phone with Judge Norman; who asks me, “Why did you plead guilty?” I reply with sincerity:  “Because I’m an honest person.” Later, he asks the same question again; I reply, “Because I have integrity. There’s a space for an explanation which you say you read.” I feel liberated.

The judge says, “Why didn’t you come to court so I could see your face?”

     Is this the face of Lady Liberty?

 

 

Addendum: The hurt I felt – the betrayal of trust – of not knowing the truth that my dad was not my bio-father until it was angrily yelled at me by my mother when I was sixteen  has propelled my spirit to tell the truth and to expect to be trusted. I feel in my heart of hearts (as the cliché goes), passionately, that I am truly the reflection of my dad’s heart-face.

 

First to LASTING Impressions of LOVE

I recently returned from my yearly visit to Florida to have a break from the winter’s cold in NY; more so to become closer to my sister, Constance, whom I love, despite our  differences.

She’s religious; I’m spiritual.

I’m attracted to men; she avoids dating.

She has 5 children; I have two.

She’s been divorced once after a 30 year marriage; I’ve been divorced four times, my longest-together-marriage being 6 years. Our overwhelming commonality is sharing a bedroom until I was 16, she was a year younger.

Constance tells me how I hurt her by chasing her around her twin bed, acting like a scary vulture, my hands curled grotesquely in the air. I own it and say ‘I’m sorry’ more than once….now aware that I was acting out my own hurt, with angry helplessness over being constantly criticized by my mother who did not want me. (I’m a child of an acquaintance rape.) Yet, I was saved by my daddy’s love; who chose to keep me, and adopt me, as I am not his biologically.

My parents met on the ship Huddleston, on their return home to America when WWII ended. My mother was the nurse who took care of her patient, my soon-to-be-dad. They had fallen in love.

They married after I was born. When I became an adult, my mother told me that she had fallen out of love, saying, “I shouldn’t have married him.” (Thank goodness she did! I say to myself.) Still, they co-created two more children, my younger sister and brother.

Although I have gathered several photos of my mother and father’s early days together, even their wedding portrait, none carry the feeling of love I can see and feel when I discovered a photo I’d never seen before. It was my last day while visiting my sister (April 2016); found amidst some photos on the table next to the bed I slept in. It’s small 2″ by 2″ size portrays a much larger love: their arms holding each other, while smiling; he in his army uniform, and she dressed in the rosy-cheeked ‘falling in love’  feeling…sadly, her first impression was short-lived but my impression of my daddy continues to enlarge my love for him.

Where do you EAT? from the belief table…

My office is two blocks from Pizza Aroma, owned by Mauricio, who left his home country, El Salvador, to find freedom from war and poverty. I haven’t experienced poverty really, although I was on Medicaid and food stamps for a year when my two daughters were very young and my husband a graduate student.

Until eight years ago, I wouldn’t go out for lunch in order to save money; better spent on traveling or my family. When my psychotherapy business grew despite the 2008 recession, so did my friendship with Mauricio, occasionally enjoying a slice of one of his gourmet pizzas. Imagine a salad pizza: spinach, artichokes, black olives, onions, red peppers, adorned with sprinkled parmesan cheese in balsamic dressing.

I’ve lost count as to how many years I have lunched 3-4 times a week at Pizza Aroma, smiling in return to Mauricio’s black-mustached smile; his delight in slicing fresh cut garlic on my requested Sicilian, or avocados on my black-bean slice.

I like the feeling of giving back to an immigrant who not only creates great pizza slices but also gives America a slice of delicious diversity.

 

LAST MINUTE LOVE that saves me

 

     My mother took good physical care of her three children, myself being the oldest. Yet,

why was I the one she dealt out steaming criticism. I thought maybe it was because I had

a mind of my own; by defending my father, or questioning her one way to god.

One day after school when I was 16, the reason became clear as crystal.  My mother

stands near the window of my sister-shared bedroom; I stand over the vacuum cleaner

near the doorway once again defending my father. “He’s not your father!” she yells.

Shock quaked my world into a spiral of deadly confusion. For many years I had no

memory of what I did next.

After becoming a mother of 2 daughters, I asked my mother how I came to be. She

had met an attractive soldier at a Red Cross dance. Sometime later he invited her to his

place and mickeyed her drink, only realizing this a couple months later when she felt theshock of being pregnant. Apparently, while unconscious, he “had had his way with her” -been raped, although she couldn’t use that word while telling me.

When mom told William Hairston that she was carrying his child, he rejected any

involvement. Luckily, WWII had recently ended; but certainly not the war inside her.

While sailing home from Germany to America, she cared for patients on the ship

Huddleston, and fell in love with Michel S. Colbert. She wrote on a card, now in my

possession, “Forever Yours, Ellen.”

Back then, shame was poured onto women pregnant out of wedlock. Being five

months along, mom asked a doctor to abort me. He refused. (thank god)  Soon after, she and her new love drove 3 hours to Tarrytown, NY where an adoption agency might give me away. (thank goodness that didn’t happen)

At the last minute, my ‘adoptive’ dad signed my birth certificate as my father.

PS. Luckily, my dad saved me by showering me with love equal to that given to his 2

biological children born after me.  I am forever grateful!