After dealing with some challenges, I am happy to report that this summer has been amazing. While this blog was created to raise awareness about family court injustice, and to offer my case as an example of how failures in the court system can hurt families and children…it is about so much more. This blog has followed me through quite a journey… and I have come to believe that improving the state of a broken family court system is not only about addressing what is happening on a systemic level but also includes restoring individual lives, and families (on an personal level or as members of a community).
So on a personal note…
I was talking to a friend tonight, and she brought to my attention the power in hope – that our ability to remain positive, and to envision a better outcome in times of strife is a strength.
I do alot of work raising awareness about abuse and injustice, and now want to take a moment to acknowledge some things that have inspired hope in me.
I went to the gas station and this mother was growing frustrated with her child, who was very active and touching all the low shelves in reach. The mother’s voice was getting loud, and she looked very overwhelmed. Clearly something happened in her day before she came to that store.
The cashier came from behind the counter, and asked the mother if she could give her child a treat. She said “yes” and he mixed up a bright red cherry slushie. The child happily slurped on his slushie, and calmed down. The mother continued shopping, stopped for a moment to pat her child’s head, and went on her way.
When I was alone in the store with the cashier he told me something to the effect of “I could really see that she was stressin’, and I wanted to do something to help… I didn’t know what I could do because I’m not all that great with kids but I know alot come in the store to get those slushies. And I thought that would make him happy.” It was amazing to see how that small act of kindness changed the atmosphere in the store, and for the mother, gave her a minute’s reprieve to continue shopping. The lesson in this – alot of things may be out of our control but we do have possibility in that one moment to make a difference, we can use what we do have control over to effect a positive change.
Another event that has really inspired me is spending some extra time with my kiddos this summer. Even though my custody situation is not 100% where I want it to be – again going back to “the moment” idea – I have learned that taking the moments I do have, and being creative with my time and talents goes a long way. My kids and I have found ways to communicate, and to affirm our bond when we are apart. My daughter and I swap books back and forth because we share a love of reading. And my son and I share a mutual love for art, in our projects we find each other. This too is bonding. Despite what we have been through, my children and I share an extremely close, and loving relationship.
And finally, I do have to acknowledge that I could not have gone through this process of growth and healing alone. I am so thankful for my support network – my friends, family, my church.. the professionals I work with, and in turn, I offer my support and prayer to other parents. No one should go through this experience alone or feeling alone.
So I post this candle to remind of the strength in hope.
~ Emily Court