TWO YEARS AGO:
Raylan called Delta and got me the the last seat on the red-eye plane from Hawaii to Utah. Elle was safe with my brother and sister-in-law, Mom and Dad. The six hour flight seemed like an eternity. I stared out the window into the pitch black night replaying Elle's words over and over in my head "Mom, promise I'll never have to go over there again! Promise me he can't hurt me!" I promised instantly, but the truth was I had no idea how to make it a long term reality.
When I walked through the airport doors. I saw Elle jump out of the car; run over to me with a smile and gave a long, tight hug. "Thanks for coming home Mom!" When we pulled back, I put her face in my hands and said "I Love You! You're safe!" I will never forget her face staring back at me, a combination of sadness, hurt, fear and anger.
TWO WEEKS AGO:
Elle invited me to join her therapy session for a "few minutes" to talk about Raylan and my suggestion to invite Grandma and Grandpa Georgia to lunch in Phoenix. A few minutes turned into 45.
Elle had come a long way since the day I walked off that plane, but she still was holding on to the anger. Not all consuming like two years ago, but a chunk of her soul was dedicated to it.
She wanted the lunch and she didn't want the lunch. Elle was afraid that they would be fighting the entire time because she needed them to see Dick as she saw him. I said "You've already told them in great detail. You can't get them to change how they reacted. It's done, You've done an amazing job in getting past all the crap from what happened, but you're still carrying around this anger. It's hurting you not them! It's taking energy that could be used to enjoy all the good things in your life. It's been two years, I guarantee they just want to get to know you, not try and fix things."
When the lunch was over, she didn't have to say a word it was written all over her face; happiness! A huge part of the anger had been released.
TWO DAYS AGO:
At Dick's house, I watched Elle transform over the four hours we stayed there. Little by little, piece by piece we packed, the anger just drifted out of her like a slow and steady wind.
Elle walked down the stairs to the landing, me sitting down below on the couch. Her face; Big smile and complete sense of peace. "Mom I'm not angry anymore, just disappointed and hopeful. Disappointed this happened, disappointed that things haven't changed with him. But, his recent messages, letting me go over to the house, gave me hope that he's working to make things different."