Sunday, August 30, 2015
NOT FITTING IN
When I decided to move here to Alan’s families’ farm, I had no idea what was expected of me. I knew that they needed my help at the packing house, so I started to work there. I was unaware of my medical condition, diabetes, but I knew something was wrong. By the time I got home in the evening, I could hardly walk up the stairs.
I started feeding the wild ducks every day at the pond. I enjoy watching them. Most of all, I love to watch the water sparkle from the sun. I would sit out by the pond and enjoy such moments.
Some of Alan’s family members could not understand why I was not in the house answering the telephone. This turned into a real problem. I had lived on my own for many years and did not feel I had to explain why I did or did not do certain things. It got to the point that if I came home for lunch, the phone would be ringing when I walked in the door. All day long when I was at work, the phone never stopped ringing with family calls. I would have to stop the packing machine in order to answer their calls, which would back up the table with too many apples, causing bruising.
The most insulting part of being on the farm is being expected to explain myself in some form every day. I would get upset with all of this, but I did not give up my time to enjoy nature. I loved watching the sparkling lake water when I was a little girl, and I still love it now.
Alan has not understood why I would want to spend time outside.
I have not fit in here with anyone in Alan’s family except his aunt.
I have finally accepted the fact that I am different from many people. I am not willing to give up what makes me happy, and I am thankful for the beauty of these moments!
As I was sitting by the pond watching wildlife recently, I realized what I had been doing all my life: I learned to protect myself; I could not trust anyone else to protect me. That’s something I can thank my father for teaching me. I haven’t done that great of a job in my life, but at least I did not expect anyone else to protect me!
I guess it is about time that I started understanding myself. It has taken way too long.
LESSONS FROM MY PARENTS
What my father taught me:
– Never, never start drinking, as it will never stop!
– Never, never allow myself to think anyone would protect me.
– Make sure no one ever abuses my child!
– Always tell the truth, or the punishment would be more severe.
My father always told my brother Todd the same things. Too bad that my father did not live by his own rules.
What my mother taught me:
– Never, never abandon my child.
What Ann taught me:
– Always be afraid.
– Always expect the worst.
– Never trust anyone or anything.
As I get older, and I hope, wiser, I realize how little my father knew me.
I do know, now, that I am different from most people…not better, just different.
The deep love that my co-author, Douglas, found in his life is something I never found in mine. But my love for my child is a love that I do know. I wish my parents had shown me that kind of love.
There have been many times since this memoir-writing journey began that I think of something my co-author has said to me about his beloved wife, Tina, and it makes me smile. He gets a glow when he speaks of her, and it is these moments that let me understand what that deep love is all about.
We are nearly done serializing in this blog the memoir Kidnapped Twice, by Mary E. Seaman and myself, which tells of a mature woman's partially successful effort to overcome the abuse she suffered as a child. It can be purchased in paperback or ebook formats from its publisher, Outskirts Press, and from online booksellers like amazon.com and bn.com.
Sunday, August 23, 2015
The month of April is a sad month for me. My grandmother died in April; my father’s birthday and my grandmother’s birthday both fall in April. Both are now dead.
Every April 9th, I have a small hope that my grandmother’s spirit will come to visit me again. She does not, but I feel especially close to her during this time.
I have started to remember different things that happened during those years. For a long time, as a child, when I awoke in the morning, I would not open my eyes, as my eyelids would be stuck together. I would cry for my grandmother, and she would bring warm water and medicine to swab my eyelids with until they could be opened.
The day my grandmother got her finger caught in a meat grinder, I was there. The day she fell off the stone wall, I was there. Coincidentally, my middle finger was the one that I had half taken off by the apple machinery, and her middle finger was the one of grandmother’s fingers made longer and useless by her meat grinder.
I truly miss both Aunt Jennie and Grandma as much today as when they passed away. I hope I get to see them again in heaven.
My grandmother’s flowers make me smile in April. I had dug them up and planted them here, and now they are breaking ground.
Wildlife is starting to nest in the floats that have shelters on them in the pond. I look forward every year to seeing the new chicks swimming in the pond. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to see their very first swim. When the chick won’t jump into the water, the mother duck will give it a push so that it gets in. Then she proudly swims all of the chicks over to me to show me her new family, which makes me smile.
It’s a beautiful Earth we live in, if people would just stop, look, and listen. It is, and always has been, fascinating to me.
“IF I COULD”
There is something I have kept to myself for many years. When my son and his future wife picked a date for their marriage, I had always loved a song called “If I Could,” which was a mother’s song to her child. I started practicing the song and wanted my fear of singing in front of people to lessen, so that I could do this for my son.
I was very nervous just practicing, but I wanted to get past the fear and do the best job on the song for my son that I could. When I felt I had the song ready for the bride-to-be to hear, I had her come to my house to listen to it. I sang the song for her. Her reaction was that the song had nothing to do with her, so she did not want me to sing it! I did not sing it, but I do want to write some of the words here so that my son can read them some day:
Lyrics by Celine Dion
If I could,
I’d protect you from the sadness in your eyes,
Give you courage in a world of compromise.
Yes, I would.
If I could,
I would teach you all the things I’ve never learned
And I’d help you cross the bridges that I’ve burned.
Yes, I would.
If I could,
I would try to shield your innocence from time,
But the part of life I gave you isn’t mine.
I’ve watched you grow
So I could let you go.
If I could,
I would help you make it through the hungry years,
But I know that I can never cry your tears,
But I would,
If I could.
If I live
In a time and place where you don’t want to be
You don’t have to walk along this road with me.
Won’t have to be your way.
If I knew,
I’d have tried to change the world I brought you to,
And there isn’t very much that I can do,
But I would,
If I could….
We are almost done serializing here the memoir Kidnapped Twice, by Mary E. Seaman and myself, published by Outskirts Press this year and available from OP and amazon.com and bn.com and other on-line booksellers in ebook and paperback formats. A mature woman continues to wrestle with the damage done to her as a child.