Years ago, when I was not even 20, I saw a psychic who told me I would have 3 children. She looked very carefully at the lines on my hand, and softly said,” I see two tall men and a small woman standing together looking at your stone.”

There are two inconsistencies with her message that have appeared over the years.

As a matter of fact,  I gave birth to 3 sons, with the first dying within an hour of his birth, and I never gave birth to any more children following my youngest son, Nicholas.

The second inconsistency would be the whole “looking down at my stone” rubbish, as I do not want to be buried and my kids know if they put me or my ashes in the dirt, I will haunt them for the rest of their lives and might even show up as a ghost to traumatize them while they are having sex some time in the future, after I am long gone.

I would do it, and they know it.

When the boys were young, and I knew I wouldn’t be having any more children, I decided that the small woman must be one of their future wives. Future me maybe hits it off well with one of their wives and she will come with them to the “stone”, which better translate to grassy wood or stream or wherever they decide to toss my ashes. I have already expressed that I don’t care where that happens, as I will be everywhere, so the location of my remains does not matter in the least to me.

The story of how I met my Samantha is pretty convoluted.

She is the daughter of a man(child) I was involved with for many, many years. He had lost contact with his daughter years previous to our getting together, as her mother was bitter about the circumstances of the breakdown of their relationship, as far as I can surmise from the information that has been shared with me. Samantha has confirmed that to him, so it seems to be that it was indeed the reason she was kept from him until he located her (with my help), when she was about 18.

I wish I could say that it all turned out lovely, but it really didn’t, at all. Samantha’s upbringing with her mother was the stuff nightmares are made of, and despite our hopes that she had had a lovely childhood, she most certainly did not. She eventually called child services and had herself and her brother removed from the home her mother and stepfather resided in and never lived with them again. So, she basically brought herself up, in a rotten broken system, and moved in with a boyfriend and his mother at the age of 16. Not surprisingly, she didn’t make the best choice in a boyfriend.

Knowing her and her delicate heart, I suspect she was attracted to the home and the mother figure more than the boy himself. The normalcy of the environment.

At the time she came into my life, she had walls around her that Trump could only dream of. This tiny little girl barely 5’1, with a permanent tight-lipped expression on her face and language a sailor would envy. (That actually endeared her to me, as I come from a long line of creative cursers.) She talked a real tough game. Acted like nothing could ever make her crack and it was very difficult to ease into this new relationship for both her father and for me.

I made the decision to hold back and allow whatever relationship we would have to be decided by her. She was an adult already, and I was not sure what my place would be in her life at that time- friend, big sister, Dad’s wife, or evil step-mother. Plus I felt her relationship with her father was more important work. Sadly, they struggled to connect right from the start, and that broke my heart for both of them. He wanted to treat her like the 7-year-old he last saw and she had been basically taking care of herself AND her little brother her entire life, so did not welcome that from him. No matter how many times I tried to tell him that, he ignored it and carried on, which just made her more angry- and she was already a girl hosting a lifetime of anger inside of her small frame.

I honestly think she was smarter than anyone gave her credit for and knew he couldn’t be trusted with her heart, so she refused to allow it to happen. Not from anything her mother said to her, but from her own gut feeling and years of analyzing broken people and their motivations. She saved herself from more heartache.

I know her father loves her as much as he can love anyone in this world, but he really isn’t one to count on. He comes and goes. He’s here, then he’s not.


I separated from her father a couple of years back. At the time, I wasn’t entirely sure how she would proceed, or with who.

She chose me.

Immediately and with more support than I could have ever expected.

I have spent a lot of time getting to know Samantha and my love for her has a permanent place in my heart, in that special space that once only had room for my boys.

During the last 2 years, she has severed ties with her mother, and does not talk to her at all. She has now severed ties with her father, as well, in what I suspect was her feeling that it was only fair, as she was making that choice with her mother. The last time he tried contacting her, she asked him for space. She was planning a wedding and was not in the frame of mind to deal with trying to fix their relationship at that time.

She had found a nice guy, lived with him for many years, and didn’t need that male relationship, as her guy was a big old bear of protection between her and the world around her.

During the time she made these difficult decisions, I listened to her. and allowed her the time to figure out what was best for her. If I have done anything, I have tried to encourage her that perhaps someday her mother and father will change and that there is always hope for that.

Not to give up the hope. Ever.

I have also told her that she has every right to make whatever decisions she wants with her life. I gently suggested that she was always so angry and blowing up at minor issues, and that I have noticed that this doesn’t happen anymore. I never say a negative thing about her mother or her father, but I also don’t think she owes either of them anything.

Having raised sons, this is all new to me.

The bar is higher here and she expects more of me than my sons ever have.

The daily calls or texts- ” How do I check my credit score” , ” What temperature for the chicken” , ” I have a chance at a new job- what do I do”, ” do you think I drink enough water”……endless questions and requests for advice!

It was me and my boys who were her family at her wedding in Mexico in November, and I was the mother of the bride- I have the dried corsage and pictures to prove it!

Recently, we left the hospital after visiting her grandmother, and I suddenly blurted out to her that being old and vulnerable scared me more than dying did. I have worked in healthcare long enough to see the elderly languishing in chairs, some of them strapped in and medicated, to prevent falls. I have also prepared investigative reports on abuse and neglect, by staff and families. I am aware of the realities of long-term care.

I was the driver, so I kept my eyes straight ahead, full of tears, and tried to shake the feeling off. Focus on the road. Get us both home safe.

I felt her hand reach out for mine that was on the stick shift, and she squeezed it and held on for a long time.

She said ” Shannon-  I would never let that happen to you- I promise.”

And I glanced at her quickly, and realized that in spite of the paths we had both taken, and the ones we chose not to take, and the people in both our lives that had fallen away over the years,  I had been given the gift of a daughter.

And not one I created myself- one who chose to love me and invite me into her heart as a mother.

Looking back, I wonder if her father was only a bridge to get to the side she was waiting for me on, like a little child, lost and looking for help.

Or perhaps, I was the lost child, waiting for her to come and find me.

“Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.”

Marcus Aurelius












6 thoughts on “Samantha

  1. calensariel May 18, 2018 / 4:48 pm

    What a beautiful story, Shannon. I still have those pictures in your file. It’s kind of cool to know the backstory. And that Marcus Aurelius quote is wonderful. (creative cursers! Love that! I belong to that club, too. LOL I learned mine from the four TV repairmen I worked with at RCA. 😀 )

    Liked by 1 person

  2. metalflowermaker May 18, 2018 / 6:01 pm

    “I will haunt them for the rest of their lives and might even show up as a ghost to traumatize them while they are having sex some time in the future, after I am long gone.

    I would do it, and they know it.”

    That is spit out your soymilk funny!

    Thank you for this chapter of your life. Your ex served his purpose, he was a good bridge for you to Samantha. It’s sad when someone can’t move beyond the memory of their child in spite of their current age. You’re a very good engaging writer.

    Liked by 1 person

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