Monday, October 4, 2010

Momentous occasion

Recently, my two nieces (Elizabeth and Nichole) decided they want to be baptized. Matt, Audrey, and I went to my parents' church so we could see them go down the aisle. I'm so very proud of them!

The day was somewhat marred for me (and the rest of our family), since SIL decided to bring her boyfriend to church to witness the event. I thought it was a bad call on her part, since she and my brother aren't even divorced yet. In fact, I thought it was absolutely ludicrous.

Elizabeth and Nichole have had a rough, terrible year. Their mother has put them in three different schools in a years' time. They've been moved from their home with SIL and brother, and now they're living with SIL and her boyfriend in a trailer. They have to deal with SIL's boyfriend's kids (two boys) who are over every other weekend and several times during the week. They live at least an hour away from where they were born and raised, away from us, away from my parents, away from my brother.

Elizabeth and Nichole's lives are completely different compared to what they were a year ago. Noah, who has health and mental issues now, is not capable of taking care of them at this time by himself, so they stay with him and my parents when's it's his weekend to have them.

They go from house to house to house, from my parents to the other set of grandparents, back to where they call "home" now, all on a regular basis. It kills me to see them have to pack up and be shuttled to and fro all the time. It kills me when I hear that they beg not to go home to SIL's, that Nichole actually hung her head as she walked back into her mother's house recently.

So, in a way, I'm kind of surprised they've made this decision. SIL doesn't taken them to church, but my brother and parents do. And yesterday, I got to see them stand in front of church and declare their desire to be baptized. It was a wonderful thing to experience.

Later, we spent the day at my mom's house, and it was a great day. Matt played basketball with the girls, we all took Audrey for a walk, I had a nap (!), and it was just a peaceful day. Elizabeth read some books to Audrey.

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Reading Little Quack

And we played on Elizabeth's bed for a while, just reading and talking. These are some of my favorite moments.

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Me, Elizabeth, Audrey, Nichole, and of course, Charlie

I love spending time with my family, and it pains me that I only see my nieces once every two weeks now. When they were very little, I saw them every other day. In recent years, after we moved 30 minutes away, I still saw them once or twice a week. So this has been extremely painful for me.

I am removed from their lives. SIL was my best friend, and I would help her with the girls. I would pick them up for school when she couldn't, help them with their homework, and just play. Now, not so much. In fact, not at all, except on my brother's weekends. It's simply heartbreaking.

I'm so happy for them in the decisions they made this weekend, though. So very proud.


Brianna said...

This post is so filled with love - those girls are lucky to have you as their aunt :)

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