I have this new friend, I’ve known her for 5 or 6 years, but only as of yesterday would I say we bonded. we’re somewhat related by marriage, in that one of her relatives is married to one of my peeps.

on the off chance that she or the relative we have in common read this (which I really doubt) I’ll call her j.

j and her family lived here in my carolina corner for a couple of years, and we never really spent much time together, aside from family gatherings. it’s not that we disliked each other all that much, it’s just that we’re two very different people.

they moved up north about 3 years ago, and I’ve only seen her a handful of times. she’s made some big changes in her life, which have not only made her a different person, but have given us more common ground. of course I may have changed a bit, too. ( I hope for the better)

so, when j moved back north, her second daughter stayed here, shacked up with a bad guy. he abuses her, he’s been in and out of jail-both for the abuse, and due to his illegal means of making money. daughter and bad guy quickly had a child. bad guy’s family doesn’t like daughter, because they would like to see him not only straighten his life out, but tie himself to someone of his own race.

the first time daughter called home, they came to get her. she stayed with her parents for a few months, before disappearing in the night. for almost a year they didn’t hear from her, didn’t know how she or the baby were doing, didn’t know if he had killed her like he had so often threatened to do.

then, while on the run from the police, he was arrested for something else. he was sent away for close to a year, so she went home to her family. he was released a “changed man” and went to live up north to be with her. soon after, they were on the run again.

a few months go by, she gets tired of the abuse, she calls mama. here they come, j and her husband, to get this girl again. she stayed with them for a few more months before disappearing in the night again.

then, this past november, she called again. this time stuart and mandi got involved. they went to pick her up, and bad guy came after them. mandi had the baby-almost 3 by then-and he tried to snatch her away. stuart was worried he would be forced to hurt bad guy to protect his wife. luckily the sheriff arrived before it got any more violent.

this arrest, however, resulted in charges being filed, for which daughter had to appear in court. this meant that j had to bring her back down here in early december. for one or another reason, it was carried over and they had to come back nearer christmas. once again, it was carried over and daughter had to come back to appear on the 14th.

this time, though, j chose to fly on skybus. they arrived sunday morning. they were bunking at mama’s until this morning.

here’s where it goes south. sunday night, bad guy’s mama comes and picks up daughter and not-so much baby. they never come back, so j went to court, hoping daughter would be there. no such luck. so she and I ended up hanging out for the afternoon; this is when I realized that she’s a different person than she used to be.

we had great conversation.  we talked about the junk we do for our kids, and wondered why we continue to do it.  she mentioned that every time daughter leaves, she tells herself ‘this is it.  I’m done, I can’t do this again’.  but then another teary, pleading phone call, and what’s a mama to do?  we can’t seem to find that line, you know, the one between enough and enough…

so anyway, this morning, she flew out by herself, still having not heard anything from daughter. if not for past history, and taking into consideration that fact that daughter is extremely self absorbed, everyone would be concerned that something has happened to her. but knowing that she’s done this before-both times she left in the night, she took only what she and the baby were wearing-there’s much more anger and confusion than fright.