my Sarah’s birthday

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Sarah’s birthday party, French Gulch, 1980. Today’s my darling Sarah’s birthday. Though she came unplanned and at a very confusing time in my young adult life (42 years ago), we were destined to be mother and daughter. I love her to infinity. Her love, wisdom and integrity challenge me to be a better person. More than any of my children, she’s taught me to listen.

Sarah’s father was/is a man of integrity. I was in a relationship with him for 3 years before Steve. During a long season of deep depression, I walked away from him—I was lost. I couldn’t fix what was broken inside me to make anything work.

In Steve’s letter he referred to Sarah as the daughter he “hated,” because she was of a “different father.” I wish I’d seen it back then. Ignorance blinds.

Shortly after we moved from French Gulch to Sacramento to join the Greens in their newly founded “Free Love Ministries,” AKA ACMTC, Jim, Lila (Deborah) and Steve insisted I give Sarah up. “It’s god’s will; we’ve got to obey god.”

The Greens had rules regarding “outside influences.” Steve said to Rick, Sarah’s dad, “she’s not your daughter any more, she’s mine,” denying him all visiting and parental rights. Rick took legal action to see his daughter, and I was coerced to let her go, because “Rick’s influence was of the world.”

One may assume Sarah was the lucky one, that she was spared the damaging effect of the Greens and Steve, and spared being married off at a young age to keep her put, to keep her under submission, as both my daughter Rebekah and the Green’s daughter Sarah were. But a daughter harshly cast off and divided from her mother is an awful thing. We don’t divorce children.

I vividly recall my last day with her, the day before her dad came to get her. When I picked her up from school that day, I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. Sitting in the back seat with Nate and Lilly, she stared out the window looking at nothing.

I didn’t understand why god was like this. It felt so wrong.

That evening Sarah made herself a bed on the floor right next to me, and I lay awake most of the night quietly crying and touching her golden head.

But the next day Rick came and got her and she was gone.