Sunday, August 28, 2011

Those Eyes, That Hair!

Mom was a pretty woman in many ways -- gorgeous wavy auburn hair which lightened as she grew older, beautiful green eyes, and petite for most of her life.  I'm nothing like her having taken after my dad's side of the family.  However, within that beauty was another persona that came to life at the strangest of times.

Here she is walking down Church Street in Nashville, TN, not long after I was born, likely spring 1946.  She is on the right carrying me, and with her is her sister.  I'm told a street photographer made this picture and didn't charge them anything for it!  The expression you see on mom's face is typical -- despite her beautiful features she didn't seem to always find a way to smile.

I mentioned earlier about her beautiful green eyes.  As soon as I was able to relate her eyes to behavior, I knew the signals.  If she was happy, those beautiful eyes sparkled like emeralds.  If she was angry, flashes of fire could be seen in the midst of the green.  That's when I learned to back away quickly and to run where I couldn't hear or see her.  When those eyes flashed, it meant something had happened that didn't please her and no manner of explaining or trying to make it up would work.  As a child, I often didn't know what triggered this sudden change in behavior.

This morning, preparing for church, I was brushing my hair and was reminded of the numerous times she would lay across the bed and hang her long auburn hair down for me to brush.  These are some of my most cherished moments with her because usually the entire experience ended without incident.  I came away feeling that I had done my best for once, that she loved me in that moment, and I was left with a warm and fuzzy glow.  That doesn't mean it lasted the rest of the day or the week, but in that moment I felt the woman with the beautiful eyes and the lovely hair truly loved me. 

We should remember that our actions and our words toward others truly have a deep and often scarring impact.  Internal scars are never seen, but they are there and they are painful.  My memories like this one keep those scars from surfacing and bringing pain.  I always try not to hurt others with words or actions because I know the pain that results and the longlasting impact.

A person might have to suffer even when it is unfair, but if he thinks of God and can stand the pain, God is pleased.  1 Peter 2:19 (NCV)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

What I Mean by "Righting"

I agree it is an odd usage for the word and not one we hear frequently.  And yet it seemed to fit a dual purpose.  It is my opinion that during my childhood and through a part of my adult life I was wronged by a parent.  Deep in my soul I feel a need to write that story out in order to find healing for myself and in the off chance of publishing my work.  More strongly, I feel that in writing my story I will also accomplish a righting of the wrongs that worked against me for so long.  It is a painful and slow process, and one I'm just beginning.  I don't know exactly how it will all work out but I firmly hope that in some way my writing might also help you.

As the verse of Scripture above, the Lord has plans for you and for me, "plans to prosper" us and "plans to give us a hope and a future."  Won't you come along with me?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What Kind of Childhood Did You Have?

I used to get so tired of that question being asked -- by teachers, pastors, counsellors, friends who didn't know me when I was a child.  The frustration came from not having the childhood everyone else seemed to have.  You know, the one with smiles, hugs, affirmations, quiet voices, harmony.   I did grow up in a Christian home, although as I tell my story that may seem a bit contradictory.  I'll bet there are some of you who grew up in a similar fashion.

Earliest memories are of living in a very small house with my mom, dad and an older brother who was 14 when I was born.  I must have been about three or so at the time.  For some reason, I was drawn to this older brother, and as I reflect back it may be that he was the calmer of the two people who seemed to be in charge of me -- my mom and this older brother.  My dad was in poor health from about the time I was two so he took little part in the day-to-day activities other than making a good faith effort to go to work and come home every day.

It's funny I now look back on this older brother as a sort of protector.  That isn't to say he wasn't the brunt of our mother's temper -- he was from time to time.  I wish I had known then what I know now about my mom because it would have made life so much easier growing up.  But then we aren't supposed to know everything when we're 3 or 4 or 30 or even 50, as you'll see as my story unfolds.

Mom, me and baby brother
And then mom began to get pregnant and have miscarriages one right after the other for a total of four between my older brother and me.  Then, when I was 8, my younger brother was born.  His arrival added to the tension already prevalent in our home, and things didn't get better.  It seemed every day held surprises for each of us. 

I hope you'll come back and read more later . . . maybe our stories will overlap.  Maybe they won't.  But I'd love to share mine with you just in case it should help.

Monday, August 15, 2011

30 Years!

I opened my eyes this morning and as I turned to see my husband lying beside me, I couldn't believe that it had been 30 years ago today that God brought us into this relationship called marriage.  Bob is the greatest gift God has given me in that 30 years, and I still treasure him as much or more today than I did on August 15, 1981.

Bob and I had traveled rocky roads in previous marriages.  We agreed to be married after dating and knowing each other for a rather brief period of four months.  You see we knew God was in the formula, and that with  Him in the formula we couldn't go wrong.  This isn't to say that life has always been easy because it hasn't.  We blended two families on weekends and during summers.  Job changes resulted in our moving from Tennessee to the Pacific Northwest where Bob found work and had family.  This meant leaving my family and friends of a lifetime in Tennessee.  However, as my story unfolds, I didn't find this too difficult as it meant another chance at living life to the fullest and in happiness.

Now that we've celebrated this day we're laughing and thinking, "What if?"  What if we make it another 20 years will the kids throw us a 50th anniversary celebration (mumblings were heard that we'd be 94 and 85 by then)?  Our 40-year old son called today to wish us a happy anniversary and ended the conversation with, "I'd better let you go so you can get started on that next 30!  Do you realize Bob will be 104 and you'll be . . .?"  I filled in the blank with 95, and he gasped!  Sad but true.

Life is filled with good memories like these and yet I need to purge some memories that weren't so good before I married Bob and God became a bigger force in my life.  Please stay tuned!

Sunday, August 14, 2011


As you can see, this blog is very much "under construction."  I want to write, and so here I will practice that craft.  I want to write about my life, and so here I will offer vignettes and memories of my life in hopes of someday publishing a book or collection of short stories.  It is not my intention to bore you or to tell the stories of others.  I sincerely want to tell my story.

My fascination with telling my story comes from a love of words -- spoken, printed, sung.  I'm the daughter of a printer and publisher, and I've been told that ink runs through my veins rather than blood.  It's my belief that the purpose of words is to allow us to share our stories and memories.  So, here in the next few weeks I hope to begin doing just that.

I hope you will enjoy what I write to share, and I truly hope that if you have comments, you will leave them here for me to read.  Let's even think about becoming friends along the way!
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