A reader emailed me, asking about my bio on the left sidebar of my blog. "There you mention 5 kids, Rob, Noah, Tyler, Bryon and Angela. And yet, you never mention Rob or Bryon on your blog, why is that?"
Let me tell you about Rob and Bryon...
In 1990, when Noah was 3, and Tyler was not quite 2, their dad and I divorced. Wow, it's hard to believe it's been almost 20 years ago! Anyway, in 1993 I remarried, to the man who would later be Angela's dad. He came complete with 2 boys, Rob and Bryon. He had custody of his boys, so on the day of our wedding we had 4 boys ages, 6, 5, 4, 3, with EXACTLY 3 years from the oldest to youngest.
I'm not really at liberty to go into long details her without permission from the boys, but I raised them as my own for the year before we got married, until we divorced in 2001. When Rob was 15 (?) he went to live with his mom in IL. I think it's around that time that our marriage started to fall apart. When I moved out of the family home, taking Noah, Tyler and Angela with me, Bryon went from being the 2nd youngest of 5 kids, to an only child living with his dad. There have been very clear affects of this on him, at now 20 years old. Bryon was abandoned more than once in his life, and I was one of them, but I have to say it wasn't by choice.
When Angela's dad and I first split up, I asked that Bryon be able to spend the weekends with us. After all, he and Tyler had been raised like twins (being just 4 months apart and sharing a room for all those years.) to suddenly "unbrother" them was going to be damaging to everyone involved. Not everyone liked that idea of Bryon coming for the weekends, and in fact, he wasn't allowed ANY contact with us for quite some time. I made sure he was invited to all our family reunions, and other events. Really, we had none until he moved out on his own at 17. It wasn't until that time that I learned what he'd been told about why we left, and why he wasn't allowed to see his brothers. I was furious, and heartbroken. I cried many tears for the damage done to his heart by all us adults in his life, myself included. Bryon is 20 now, and trying to find his way in the world. I pray for him often. He comes around once in awhile. Fortunately Angela gets to see him quite often when she goes to her dads!
Rob and I had lost contact as well. This broke my heart, as Rob holds a very special place there. He was my oldest. When I was pregnant with Angela, and spent from week 16-35 on bedrest, Rob was the one to get his brothers ready for school in the morning. Getting breakfast ready for them, and bringing me any forms, etc. that I needed to sign for school. A few years ago, Rob's maternal grandmother passed away and he came up for the funeral. But he and his fiance at the time didn't have anywhere to stay, so they stayed here. What a blessing that was! God knew it had been driving me crazy that I never had the chance to tell Rob how much I loved him, or what had happened along the way. When they stayed I was able to do just that, and we were able to clear the air about many things from the past. I hear from Rob quite often, and he knows if he needs help with something he can call me. Rob is really struggling with life and relationships at the moment. Sadly, I see history repeating itself. I wish he lived closer. Being a 18 hour drive away, Angela gets to see him once a year at best, but she does get to talk to him on the phone. She adores her Robbie, and misses him a lot! He's the best big brother ever.
Here's a picture of Rob and Angela 2 years ago. I don't have anything "recent" of Angela with Bryon.