Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Circle Game

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

It has been over eight months since I've last posted.  I've thought about writing from time to time, but other than a bit of news I received late last summer, there hasn't been much to say with respect to the subject matter of this blog.

The news?  Given Danielle's story, it's not terribly surprising, though it was disappointing just the same.  I had learned that Danielle was pregnant and expecting her first child.  While that tidbit in and of itself was bad enough, the story got worse.  Although Danielle was living with the baby daddy, it turned out he was married to, and not divorced from, someone else.  He and his wife have at least one child that has significant medical problems and disabilities.

I think the situation is very, very sad, and quite concerning.  The photos I've seen of this fellow on social media lead me to believe that he has strong gang ties, which can only lead to a bad end for him and Danielle.  I'm not terribly surprised about this either, since I remember she once told me she was attracted to "bad boys."

The day Danielle turned 18, she withdrew from school.  The very next day, she traveled to another state so that she could be reunited with biological half-brother #2  That didn't work out, and she ended up moving back to our state to stay with half-brother #1.  Predictably, there were problems.  Finally, she ended up in another country, living with her maternal aunt.  There was strife there as well, so she ended up moving in with her baby daddy.

I briefly saw Danielle for lunch, with my folks, one afternoon in October.  She was visibly pregnant, due in January, and planned to stay here in the United States with half-brother #1 until she had her baby.  She didn't have much to say for herself.  She talked about how difficult it was to cook, given that she didn't really know how.  I couldn't resist gently teasing her, because FosterEema and I had tried to teach her, but as with everything, she had refused our guidance.

I didn't say as much as I wanted to say.  I held my tongue because Danielle is 20, and she's long past the age where I have any influence over her lifestyle choices.  Even if our relationship was good, I doubt she would want to hear my thoughts on her situation, which would have boiled down to, "finish your education, get a job, and make a quality plan for your child's life."

Lunch was awkward.  I gave Danielle a hug when we parted, and she patted my back in an odd way.  It felt like a hug from a stranger I had once known, but whatever connection we had once shared was gone.  I wished Danielle well, and told her to stay out of trouble.  That advice, I think, came far too late to be of any use.

Even if it had come on time, I am sure it would have been dismissed.

Shortly after our lunch date, I learned via the grapevine that Danielle had gotten into some sort of dispute with half-brother #1 and had left.  She visited FosterEema for a few days, who put her on a train.  I assume, but don't know for certain, that she left the country.  As for what exactly happened, I don't know.  Her social media account has been inactive for nearly two months.

The other day, just over a week after the event, I heard via the grapevine that Danielle had given birth to a low-birthweight baby boy.  Other than the baby's gender and weight, I have no details.  Given his size, I can only assume that his future, just like his mother, grandmother and great-grandmother before him, will not be easy.

The cycle repeats.