Heart 0002 ~ Parker
Since launching my 1000 Hearts project a few weeks ago, I’ve found myself a bit stuck. My 0002 heart is as difficult to share as my first one. Both bring with them such strong feelings of love and sadness but for very different reasons.
My second heart is for my niece Parker. I haven’t seen Parker in a year and a half. I’m devastated by this because we were so close. Parker’s parents divorced a few years after we moved to Maine and many of us have some experience that divorce and families can get complicated. That is what has happened and I feel a bit caught in the crossfire. My Sweet P doesn’t want to see me or anyone of our side of her family. I have no idea how we got here and my heart is broken.
This sadness and shock lead me to see a therapist to try to understand how to cope with the loss. One day we were celebrating her 12th birthday and the next day she was just gone. The legal battle seemed to last forever and ended with split custody but that hasn’t meant a return to “normal” at all. And to force the visitation isn’t what anyone wants to do to children. Parker is now 14 and my nephew Beckett is 12. We were able to see Beckett at his football games this last fall and that made us all so happy but Parker stayed away. We try to send love and messages but it’s… complicated. Thankfully my Mom saw the kids for a visit a few weeks before she died. I find grace and hope in that but I still ache for the time lost.
And I ache from missing her. Somehow the loss of my Mom last September has heightened the loss of Parker.
I want to know how she is doing. I want to hear about boyfriends, the music she’s listening to, what her favorite fashions are. Parker and I used to make videos together. It was her idea to make them for, “future Aunt Jenna and future Parker” – isn’t that amazing – I never would have ever imagined that those videos would be so important. They show me how much we love each other. They give me hope that someday she might come back into my life. She lives 15 minutes away and I am blocked out of her life. I can’t communicate with her – she has me blocked on her phone and social media. You might not understand this at all. I get that – I don’t understand it either. I feel extremely vulnerable sharing this. I am communicating with her Mom and there is some progress but Parker still isn’t ready to see me. I hear that she liked the Christmas presents I dropped off so that is good.
My Mom said that every time I reached out to her Mom, I was being so brave. I actually feel like I’m begging. Please love me, please accept me. Please. Please. Please. I just want to hug you and wrap you up and take away all of your pain. That is all. How can that be unwanted?
But Mom was right, it is brave to continue to ask for love with almost no hope of receiving it in return. That is raw vulnerability but Parker is worth that. I will continue to try to reconcile, no matter how many times I am rejected or how many times I apologize for something I don’t have the faintest idea how to fix if I can’t communicate with her. I will not stop though, she is my niece and I love her. She’s amazing, clever, smart, creative, funny! She’s becoming a young woman and I’m missing it.
Parker is heart number 0002 of 1000 so that someday she might see this project and understand how important she is to me. These hearts and this project, inspired by my Mom, (her grandmother) who is heart number one are about connecting and sharing love. Hopefully my love is strong enough to one day overcome this sadness and rift but if not, I will always be here sending her love and until I can give her this heart, I will continue to work on it and stitch my love into the fabric and paint.
I love you Sweet P.
For anyone who understands this kind of loss, I send you my love. Be strong, be brave, and continue to find ways to communicate love. xO