September 21, 2020 HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELIJAH
Photos of the two of you, and memories of our time together of – are FOREVER imprinted on our hearts forever.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELIJAH…
WE LOVE YOU AND YOUR SISTER
SO VERY MUCH
MORE THAN YOU
WILL EVER KNOW…. more than words can express!
The time is passing by, and as you grow, you will likely forget so many of the memories made in the Mitten State. However we will not ever forget and we will keep these treasured pictures, love letters and documents for you both to help you when your grown. Until that day, we hope you will learn, grow, and always give your very best. Be good for your parents and teachers, and always keep spreading your smiles, your kindness and follow your dreams, while remembering to stay humble, kind and grateful.
Dear Guillianna and Elijah:
Here it is the day Elijah was born, and it is a great day to hold close to our hearts. No amount of distance or time will ever change how we feel about our grandchildren. Somehow, I believe to the depth of my soul you both know exactly how loved you are and how deeply hurt we all are that we are not allowed to share in your lives. You are strong you are resilient you are able to adapt to what ever life challenges are brought before you. Keep believing in good, in truth, in love and never stop hoping for good things.
For now, sadly at your parents insistence, we cannot see you and are forbidden to send cards or gifts. No holidays, no return to school lunch love, or any of the things we did for so many years. I understand the void, the differences and the absence, and I am sorry for all you have had to endure. To instill upon children what has been yours to carry is more than sad. Yes, It is all so sad that you could not have your grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins from the Cornfield side of the family. Always know, I have been writing and thinking, missing you and Guillianna daily, as does everyone else that was able to share in your lives for 9 and 6 years. This site has been in existence for so many years. Who could have ever imagined that something designed to help mom through the deployments, and the time you spent in the Mitten State would end up being the imagery and documents that would provide so much of your childhood in a format for you two to keep into your adulthood. Hopeful it will be a tool for you to see how happy you two were. To actually have something that allows you to keep the good you felt, the love you knew, and the reality of your Mitten days. You will see your faces, and memories in the stories and photos during your time with Nana, Poppy and the rest of your Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Great Grandparents and your Mitten State family.
It is your special day, a day where we once celebrated you together, and had so many birthday party memories. I am sure you have experienced so much in recent months. Missing everyone here, then changes from one Army base to another… COVID has added additional changes for everyone, and new schools, , new friends, with all of life’s other events can be a lot on the plate of a child, however, you are the strongest, as you proved when you were born. So much laughter and fun in our memories; we are hopeful you are still happy and full of that humor you always had. When you were small, if Poppy asked you to get a specific micro drifter car, you’d reply, “on it Poppy” and race off returning with the exact car to race and play with him. Your little cousin Sebastian now loves Disney Cars, and while it was horrible that you had to leave all you things behind, one day when your grown, you will know that your littler cousins carried on your love for McQueen, Mack and all the characters.
How big you have grown. To think that happy Eli is nothing like the photos I post now, but instead you two are in the fourth and the sixth grade! CRAZY! I know you cannot possibly imagine the number of times we think of you both. Wishing you to be healthy happy and inquisitive. Growing and having a wonderful journey through these years. Now that Guillianna is in her middle school years, and Eli is tackling the very heart of his elementary school years, we are here, wishing for you to keep learning, keep the faith and knowledge of how loved you are strong. Never forget the joy, the love the happiness that you have been to everyone you meet. I want to say that all your friends here still think of you both. I see how they have grown and it gives us a perspective of your own advancements, in today’s unusual world. Always remember this, we are incredibly proud of your resilience, your accomplishments, and we hope you continue to work so hard at your education. Work to your dreams and goals, and we hope you will always know that everyone wants to see you succeed and be happy.
I remember lunch love, and dream starters, the love you felt and shared with us. It is unimaginable how it must have felt to have to deny the feelings you both had inside. The sorrow, the tremendous absence of everything you knew. For every immunization, every school year, we were there. You lost every friend every familiar thing, all your toys, your bikes, the routine of your every day life and all of the extended family you had loved, shared your lives with and depended upon for so long. You endured the loss of all of the missing of people who were there for your every step. I will always feel sad for what you must have had to endure as you were molded into individuals who were subjected to in an abrupt fashion – to learn “cut people out of their lives, like a kindergartner cuts out paper snowflakes” It seemingly is a life philosophy I am sure I cannot ever understand, but it is the obligatory challenge you were faced with in order for you to have the affection and love of your family and to build a family unit upon this type of philosophy. This was the premise or life skill set that was expected of you, chosen for you and in my previous experience it will not be without consequences. The type of emotional trauma, cutting or removing foundational people from an individual has a myriad of residual affects, depending on a number of variables, and we pray that knowing our love never stopped, and your memories were true and real, will help you one day. Our research, professionals have a plethora of information on issues of adult reactive attachment disorder, loss during childhood and abandonment issues. We learned a great deal bearing witness to this in the lives of others who have been subjected to similar kinds of loss and change.
I know you entered into your new journey, as little lives needing and yearning for approval and the love and acceptance any child needs from their parents. You are not responsible for the inability to see your great grandparents, grandparents and all the many people you were so deeply connected with. Never feel bad that you were not able to remain connected or have any contact, for that was not your choice. And all any of the people who have known and loved you in the Mitten simply wish for you to be happy and healthy as you grew.
Always work hard, always celebrate the good in life, the family you are allowed to know and share your lives with. Always choose happiness and help others when you have the opportunity. Helping others, giving of self, is not always appreciated by the recipient. Or it may go unnoticed, but it is a crucial part of humanity to give and do it with all the right intentions.
I have protected, in these pages, both the public and private journals, copies of information that may help you understand better the events that seem to have contributed or have altered your ability to share in the love of all of your family. Details of history, facts, documents, and proof of who we are, what was true, and how your impact upon all the people you have known here in the Mitten has improved the lives and filled the hearts of each of us. Your friends, cousins, Aunts, Uncles, and Great Grandparents, teachers, and coaches, all loved the chance to share in your Mitten State Journey. And you will one day have the opportunity to know just how missed you are. Just how loved you are, and just how important the days weeks, months and years spent were to each of us.
One day you will understand the entire story, and you will see that it was no ones intention to see you miss out on so much, but rather a very sad historical journey that brought you two to be alienated from a lifetime of close family members you were so very attached to.
Family and life long bonds – a truthful experience that will be so much more than relevant in your lives one day.
Long, long ago an innocent and very special girl lost all she knew. She was one of 12 children. She experienced in her first 8 years of life tremendous sorrow and loss. She had every single thing in her life change and everything she once knew was altered. It was clear to all who loved her, that the abandonment she experienced by her biological family resulted in a bitterness where she trusted no one. She suffered great loss, great disappointment, great sorrow, and she at age 8 was forever changed and this incredible trauma to the developing young girl at that time in her life and with her personality was so great that the coping mechanisms she used affected her relationships with others who loved and cared for her. Nothing could ever heal her heart as a child, and no one was ever able to prove themselves worthy of her trust. Sadly through the years those feelings transitioned into sorrow that has now not only spanned two continents, it has now has been transferred to affect another generation. Providing love, and all the things any child could ever need to grow, and learn was always hers. There was every effort made to keep her healthy and happy, yet, it was not ever enough. It was never satisfactory or trusted enough to repair or restore the ability to love her new family. The trauma of losing so many aspects of her own childhood was converted into a fallacy that she used to cope. An idea that she never had anyone, never had any help, never had any support, that she had to fend for herself. In order to heal, and build relationships, the emotional walls would have to come down, love would have to be allowed in, trust would need to be permitted. For this little girl, there were no options other than to seethe and loathe with distrust, and anger. The path chosen was one that allow moving place to place, not needing to forge relationships, but avoiding her own family until she eventually had her own. In those years of adulthood coping was easiest by building stories were told to justify the anger, the cutting of of those who had always helped her and love her. Manipulations of truth. Simple things, that when proven, or were at risk of being exposed, only showed the darkness that loomed inside her. She once told her husbands family she “wrapped her dads car around a tree”. She has had many creative stories that help her build upon the idea she has not ever needed anyone, that she has accomplished all of her goals on her own, and she has not ever been loved or helped. She created these stories to protect her own inability to attach. When reminded of her own teen antics and disregard for those who only ever loved her, she found a way to justify any and all of the choices she has made, and then justifies the actions to answer the question, “how could you?”. To think that someone has given this young girl all they had, loved her with all their being, and then cared for your children for nine and six years respectively and she will not let them see or have a relationship with any of the people who had supported her in every single aspect of her life with them? It is unthinkable, and it is so sad. The only recourse is to manipulate the facts and turn the tables but one day …. we all hope, and must believe that the truth will prevail and maybe just maybe this young woman, will see the value of her family she has shunned. One day know and recognize who parents are, and the many responsibilities they have, the hopes the dreams and yes she will also surely in life experience the heart ache parents endure. Through it all, she may see more clearly, and understand more sincerely the love that was and is always there. Until then we will always wonder as does every person who has ever shared in her life here in the Mitten, how could she turn her back upon her parents, her siblings, he grandparents, nieces and nephews? Who would ever think it possible if they loved her, if they were good people why would she banish them all ? Likely to survive. To begin anew. To have the ability to leave behind the very people who provided her any opportunity at all, who paved the way for her to meet, marry and begin a family. How do you raise children to respect their parents, when you yourself have shown none? Do you paint them evil, you justify the actions and pretend that all the steps taken were necessary? The events and documents showing all the details of this young girls childhood are preserved.
How do the little hearts and souls of children heal after they lose people they have lived with for years, who have held them, rocked them to sleep and taught them to eat, to crawl to walk. Taken them for vaccinations, well and sick visits, dental exams, nursed them through colds and shared laughter and fun beyond words. How do you heal the heart that was severed from everything a child knows, the toys, the friends, the school, the cousins, the aunts and uncles, the great grandparents and the life they knew for so very long?
I do not know the answers to this question with any certainty, for I was not ever able to heal a few of the hearts that experienced loss. Worst of all, I instead have watched as history has in a way been repeated again. To see a young woman whom was given our love, whom we love dearly, tear apart her own children’s hearts and remove from them their lives as they knew them, similar to things she lost .
New home, change of everything familiar. New beginning, and sadly to worsen the trauma, misinformation to justify the actions taken to build the family she dreamed of. May the history and accessibility to this information of the past be a tool to help piece together the events of the past. HOPE and our love letters, all of our hopes and our dreams remain unchanged. Hope for happiness for you both, and your family.
The story of our lives, are forever intertwined. The ending to the story of our lives is not yet written. It is a story with potential for great things for amazing outcomes and you both will hopefully get to benefit of answers to questions, clarity and transparency, as you heal, and embark on your adult journey. May you be happy for the rest of your lives by learning and searching for the best life you can dream of .
Happiness is what we always hope for our children and for all of their children too.
Happiness for each person is defined differently. As you look through the memories of your early years. It is love and laughter you will see.
You will see the truth and feel it in your hearts. We will hold those truths until we see each other again one day. For the relatives you have missed and whom have missed you so very much, that may be older, or miss the day when you are free or able financially to visit them. They will with out any doubt want for you to know how much joy you brought to all of us and for you to to never forget the smile on their faces when the saw you . Never forget how everyone helped you mom, her siblings and you both …. and were so grateful for the chance to share that time.
The constant moving and resilience you will have mastered as the result of being military kids will hopefully make you stronger and one day when you are parents, or grandparents you will fully understand the “JOY” I am writing of. The smiles in this photo to the left are real. They will be forgotten by you but inside of you both there are pieces of your Mitten State family’s heart. We all joined to ensure swimming lessons were a success, or trips to the Northern part of the Mitten were amazing. We played hockey and skated on dishes with Aunt KiKi, and Aunt Arri became interested in art and photography because of the BEAST that held the photo shoots so your mom would not miss a day of seeing you . Uncle Nick took Guillianna to learn to swim, and Aunt Allyssa and Aunt Alyx played for hours with you … When Elijah was born, the love continued and grew beyond any words I could ever write. His bond with Poppy was extra special and the Cars and Frozen skits that were played out… simply the best.
The love you remember – was real, and it was okay for you to love your family. Your journey has led you both in a different path, and we can only guess it was to be removed from all those memories so that your family can learn about each other, to grow together, and to do so without any emphasis on the people from the Mitten. Never for even a moment think we did not want to see you, for we do every wish that every single day. Do not think these family members and friends have abandoned you, for we have not. We all hope and wish for you to have the chance to visit, or simply to be granted the opportunity to feel the love of everyone who indeed loves you. To be sure, you need not ever imagine that you are in anyway at fault, responsible. Please never shut off your heart to love and trust, do not ever let the events you did not have control over dictate any negativity in your lives. By the time you have the opportunity to see these you may be grown. You will be able to see the joy the love and you may even be able to remember how it was for you –
In keeping our love letters for you both, it also is a pictoral journey into so many fun times, and so much laughter.
Holidays shared so many fun events.
As you go to college, or when you have children of your own, these letters of love be it from many years ago to your parents, or from us to you , will be yours to do with as you wish.
You may not ever see them, or want them, but one day you will at least know the depth of our dedication to you both, your mom and to helping her to reach the goals she set for herself.
For Poppy and I , the images validate the true feelings you had and the true experiences you had.
We have learned so much over the years about perception, and truths, how they can be altered and manipulated. That journey has instilled upon me the importance of these documents, the pieces of the puzzle that fill in the blanks.
Mistakes, misunderstandings, misconceptions and trauma and deceit have such an impact on the lives of each of us.
May you find peace and joy in your memories, may you make many new and wonderful memories and may you always feel loved.
Your futures are so bright and you have opportunities that await you both.
Our love is unconditional, and as we all grow older as our parents have, we will hope that you will remember Great Grandma Sharyn and Sally, Great Papa Alan and your Nana and Poppy. That you will one day connect again with your cousins and Aunts and Uncles. That you will feel for family and friends a bond and work toward building these bonds. One day your own parents will be grandparents, and we can only hope you will not ever keep your children from that special relationship between a child and its Nana/Poppy. May you keep the warmth and love you felt, and want it for your own children.
Elijah was born on the same day as a friend of Great Grandma Sally, this woman turned 105 years old on Sept 21, and she has so many life experiences. Her family was once torn apart in Germany during the holocaust. Yet she always continued on, looking for good, looking for positive. Wanting to connect with family. It is the one thing at 105 years old she says is the most important thing. FAMILY So – having survived World War I and World War II, Spanish Flu, Polio, and so many other historical events, even the Corona Pandemic in this day, she is able to tell everyone that “family is the one gift ” that has carried her through. I am hopeful you will always know that you have family and you do have love surrounding you forever from your parents, your relatives and friends . Once again we have been denied the opportunity to see you for your birthday Elijah, we are forbidden send you gifts, cards or connect, but for each and every day we are living, we will wish you both to have every happiness. To a child, and in this immediate time frame, no toy no cookies sent, or phone call can seem as though we have abandoned you. We have not! When you are grown the words we have written, the proof of what was versus what you may be told or may think will be self evident.
Guillianna and Eli, you have so many great adventures ahead. You went from Karate, gymnastics, cheer, soccer, to baseball, running, archery and other great things. New everything after leaving us and an entire new beginning again with another move. So proud of you both. New schools and all this during a time where the entire world is changing and adapting to a Pandemic.
May you both know that the happy seen in these photos is a part of you forever. Nothing can take the foundation you were given away. It may fade and even be forgotten sooner than later, but at the center of your development was the love of a Nana and Poppy that helped you and your family for a very long time. It was good and it is important that you know how good it was . Knowing you did not have dysfunction, or painful times as a child is important . Our love and time spent, It helped your mom, and it is a choice to live life with gratitude or a choice to live life in bitterness.
To see what was good in life, what was opportunity, to see the love, the dedication and the hard work, or to choose negativity, or create a rationale for breaking bonds. That is a choice and it was likely to help you make new bonds, create new memories that excluded others, and streamlined an attachment to develop.
Everyone in the Mitten was and remains hopeful for you to have a familial bond, they are sad that it meant detaching from all you had before.
People are not disposable. Parents are not disposable. Families are not disposable. Every person has a value in this world. Human life is not like a pair of shoes, when they are no longer of use or are not the style you want, you toss them aside and are done with them. A burger and fries you finish and are done with, but people, parents and siblings, they are human beings and no matter how different the views may be, no matter what skin color, what religion, what political beliefs exist, no matter what, people who have been parents, provided, cared for, and nurtured you – are not to be cut out of your lives. So regardless of how you grow up and how you may have been feeling. Understanding that we all have had help in life. We have all benefited from the people who care for us as we grow, We all have become adults at the hand of our parents, or grandparents, we all change and we all are products of the actions of our family. To think anyone made it through life on their own, is a fallacy. The most honest thing in life is , that people helping other people is what makes life. ‘No man is an island’ is an expression that is true. We thrive when we are afforded the opportunity to learn from those we love, and have people who help us. Teachers, friends, among them. OUR FAMILY HOWEVER IS not something to take for granted. They nurture you, from day one. It is a village of people . It begins from the moment you become a parent. The people who take you to the doctor, or keep you on track to do well in school, who provide you a home, who try to teach values and principles. The teach you but also watch as you discover who you are. The key is civility in a world that is in constant change, kindness, civility make a difference. May you always be surrounded by that.
Today is a celebration of Eli’s birth. In a few short months it will be Guillianna. Every day that passes I am hopeful that our daughter will amend her decisions, and will see that the relationship you had for so very long was indeed important. That her parents are in fact the parents she needed and loved. That we are worthy of her time, and her love. We dream that she will one day need and want to see all of her siblings and value the them. That she will be an Aunt to her all of her nieces and nephews.
We will always hope.
For now, I will close this love letter saying that No matter what life brings, we will always be grateful for our time in your lives. We are so grateful for all of our grandchildren and children. We always put forth the very best for our family and as we get older and face the obstacles life has – it is the love and laughter, the journey with our own kids, and the gratitude for all that our parents have done to afford us a wonderful life that makes us happy.
We love you both to the moon and back, forever and for always,
Nana and Poppy