WARNING: Long emotional life story praxis coming through. The story needs to be read to understand the difficulty of what i did and why i did it the way i did. It will be hard to understand seeing as i won't use names and the dynamics are fairly complex. But the act itself was simple. And is probably not done. This is also why i haven't been as active in things like newsletters/podcast as id' like to be. If you want to see it as just a praxis, skip to part three.
ADDITIONAL NOTE: The only camera i own is a webcam. As such, i don't have a picture of the said message (seeing as i had to do this task covertly and i couldn't let anyone know that it was at least partially task). But it's duplicated here for you're enjoyment and taken by my webcam.
Sometimes you see a task, and do it for it's own sake. Sometimes, you do the things in life you have to, and you find the inner drive and strength to do it because you are tasking. Somethings in life are hard, and sometimes, you need the extra boost of knowing that you are contributing something to an awesome life changing community. I would have done this without it being a task, but i couldn't have held it together nearly as well.
Part one: Intro to the fam.
This is the short version.
I have a Mother. And a sister. and a "sister." And a step mom. And i had a Dad, but he is no longer.
Soooooooo now it's dynamics time. Once upon a time my parents were married and there was my "sister", my sister and I. This was before my "sister" got quotation marks. Anyway, for a lot of reasons, mom kicked dad out. Fast-forward a few years.
My "sister" is 16 and a rebel. Not your advrage one, but bad. Lies about things, manipulates people, and makes our house a living hell. I honestly don't know/remember a lot of what happened, but i can see how much isn't told to me, and the silence says a lot. Sister and i used to go in the back room and turn up the music as loud as we could but we could still hear the screaming. Anyway, at around 16, she went to live with my dad and step mom (who he married without inviting us *broods bitterly*). Anyway "sister" disowns mom's side of the family and makes a life for herself in Yuma AZ. Things happen that i don't want to mention on here. She wasn't a good sister. So she got quotations. Also, my sister (as in the one who i feel sisterly towards) got the shitty end of all of the stick. Though she was 4 years younger then my "sister" she took care of us more then "sister" ever did. When i was 13, dad died. And "sister" ran away. I'm not sure when this happened, but i'm fairly sure it happened after dad died.
"Sister" calls on mothers day. She lives in Phenix AZ. She's had a lot of boyfriends, most double her age. She drew off of dad's social security, and didn't have a job. Then she got married. I do not talk to her. I spoke to her the christmas before my dad died. I picked up the phone on the day she got married because i figured mom would want to talk to her, rather then hear it on the answering machine. On mothers day of this year, we got a call saying she was pregnant. This was distressing. She's babysat me. She can't take care of herself. She can't hold a part time job. She goes from doctor to doctor and has them prescribe pills, without telling them about the pills she's already taking. And the father of the child was a grandfather before he ever met my "sister." So i'm worried for that baby. My nephew named for my father (yay weird mixed feelings.)
Part two: The step fam/present day.
My step grandma died a few weeks ago. She was a nice old lady over 90, who lived a long happy life. When i heard, i knew i had to go to the funeral. My stepmom may be a step, but i had a feeling that i needed to go see her to try to make her feel better (if nothing else.) I also had another reason for coming. I had a step nephew turning two who i'd never met, and a nice whom i met when she was four months old. Now she's five. They are my family. They feel like family. I love them. And i'm so happy i got a chance to meet them. but that's not really part of the praxis, so i won't prattle on about how awesome/cute they are. The relevant part is that i had to drive with my sister to college in AZ. We figured that we needed to see step mom, being that her mom just died. And that i wanted to go with them to colorado. And terry informed us (sister and I) that we were going to visit "sister" in the hospital as a family.
So My sister, My sister's girlfriend, my step mom, my step brother and his wife, my step neice and nephew and i all go into this hospital. this is what i'm wearing
I also have Sir Shplankton with me, for comic effect, and he was a handy distraction when the time came to do what i had to do.
We saw my "sister" and her husband. We all talked. We found out the baby is healthy physically for now. My sister stood next to her girlfriend and look like she was controlling the desire to kill everyone. The kids fell asleep. I faked good feelings and cracked jokes, and held Sir Shplakton tightly as i could. It was very strange and very emotional.
Part three: actual praxis time
So this is my challenge. I wanted to install a message to my unborn nephew. One that would tell him where to find me if he needed help someday. But in such a way that "sister" couldn't get my contact information. i had to make it available to someone younger, and less clever without reviling it to "sister" being that i don't want her to be able to contact me. I also had no real tools to do this and had to do it in front of said "sister."
"Sister" has a baby book for the unborn child, with notes from other people, and notes of his development (which i'm sure read like a badly written Christian centric medical drama (i have nothing agents christians, but i have something agents my "sister" leeching off the church because she says "praise the lord" a lot.))
I decide to write him a letter on the last page of the book. It contained an edited version of what i wanted to say: I love him, i'm worried for him, I'm sorry that i won't be there when he's born, or see him much at all. I'm so happy he's alive and i have so much hope for him. I told him that i hoped that everyday, he'd find or make something to be happy about.
What i didn't say is that i was worried for his personal safety. That his mother was more then just a loon, she was a smart, loon who would use him for all the tax money and sympathy he was worth. I'm worried that when he's 12, his dad will be 65 and medically unable to run after if he runs away. I'm sad that he won't be able to breast feed because of the drugs that his mother is on, and that those drugs will do terrible things to her. And most of all, i'm afraid of what will happen to my nephew emotionally. I could barley spend an hour in that hospital room with her. How will this kid survive 18 years?
But i didn't write any of that. What i did do was to look into the box of assorted markers, pens and crayons and find something perfectly suited to what i wanted to do: a white crayon. This was lucky, as was me finishing the letter with a little time to spare before we had to leave. I wrote my email on the page in the white crayon and said P.S. if you need more information, color on this page.
It was obvious. I'm not super proud of it, but i had about five minutes between discovering the crayon and leaving, so i'm fairly proud that i managed to send the kid a message at all. I couldn't do it in code, because i'd have to leave a key that only the kid could figure out. Which would be hard seeing as he's yet unborn. I couldn't count on him being more clever, observant or crafty then his mother. I couldn't say that i was leaving contact info because my "sister" would stop at nothing for that. (for strange reasons i don't care to explain.)
My thought was that my "sister" had worked hard on this book and wouldn't desecrate it for the information it contained, seeing as i didn't say it was a bank number or an address where she could get money. My other thought is that at some-point this kid will be a rebel, find my letter, and not care about his mother's hard work or my words and color on the page till the email address is reviled. It's a long shot in the dark. But i had to try.
Something gained from the visit was an address. I plan to write and send my nephew letters regularly, and i plan for each to have some kind of coded message. While being at the hospital gave me a lot of hope, for both my nephew and my "sister's" ability to maybe find some kernel of goodness in herself to pull together for this kid, i need to make sure that he's okay. Just because his mom disowned us doesn't mean my nephew should have to suffer. I want him in my life just as much as i don't want my "sister" in it.
I'll keep you updated on further contact and such.