Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I found a box of clay...

I was rummaging around in my garage yesterday looking for a suitcase or a suitable container to transport the clothing of our oldest foster daughter who was leaving our care for independent living. When foster children are moved it is not acceptable to put their clothing and belongings into plastic trash bags as it implies the stigma that their property is on the same level as trash. When moved with a suitcase it is more dignified.

Any way as I was rummaging around, I ran into a large box of artist quality modeling clay that I recognized as the clay that we had purchased for our daughter Misty when she first came to live with us five years ago.

I began to reminisce about our time with her despite a self imposed rule not to do so in an attempt to dull feelings of loss, as usual though it only takes that one trigger and off I went down memory lane.

I recalled that here was the box of clay that was meant to represent Misty’s new awakening or rebirth into a world of unbridled opportunity, to do exactly as she wished instead of everything wished of her. This box along with a large artist’s easel, paints, brushes, and whole room put aside as her art studio were the result of her mere suggestion that she always wished for the tools to express herself in her art. We were her new caretakers so it was our obligation to provide her with every opportunity.

I remembered that as the time passed, the clay was not used and the months slid into years. The box of clay began to take on another persona more to the negative instead of its original purpose of setting her free. The box became a reminder of Misty’s inability of original thought or creative thinking robbed from her by the lack of hope during an abusive childhood. This box of clay became both the symbol of the faint hope of one day sculpting something from her soul while also representing waste and unrealized dreams.

It hit me then in the close summer heat of my garage while obtaining that suitcase for one child preparing to leave just what that box actually represented… As nothing was done with the potential of the clay within the box it seemed that the potential we saw in Misty sat as the clay had sat unused and unrealized. It felt at that moment that five years of teaching, caring and loving were contained in that cold uncaring lump of clay and once again I cried…

Time will tell with Misty and hopefully some day soon she will come to know that her potential is limitless, her story inspiring, her person unique and her spirit deserving of true love.

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