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“Dear Diary”



“Dear diary, it’s been a long time since I’ve written…”

It’s been months since I have posted anything on my blog space but it’s not that I’m not writing. The pile of napkins, receipts, and entries into my electronic notes will attest to the fact that my brain is still offloading so much that I need to write down before I forget it all.

Some of it would be considered just mere ramblings. Other notes, as everyone knows, turn out to be private or therapeutic. But it has been a long, difficult, and somewhat confusing year and apparently extremely “note-worthy.”

I’ve moved a few times, driven thousands of miles, grieved some big losses, and settled back into my hometown in Pennsylvania. I reside there by myself, work as a volunteer in our local hospital/clinic campus, attend the church I was raised, meet many new friends every day, and enjoy great food and fellowship wherever I go. Not to mention I have found many people that have known me or my family from decades ago – including a former babysitter. Encounters with these long-lost friends of the family have made me feel so welcome and loved it has been an amazing experience.

It’s a situation you would call bittersweet though. My family still resides in the South at the moment. That makes things tenuous, lonely, and let’s face it – it makes it difficult to cook dinners for one and freeze the rest! But it has been better for my health and as all my friends know, I clearly LOVE winter weather – right down to shoveling the snow!

In fact, as I write this, I’m visiting Alabama and missing a really nice snow storm up north. Everyone promises me though that there will be more snow to come and that I won’t miss out … They seem to grumble about it though, I’m not sure why…

As usual, my thoughts turn to the lessons I’ve been learning through all this uprooting. Some lessons are short and to the point, others – well I’m still tapping my fingers waiting for them to be resolved so I can move forward …

I’m hoping to get to write and post a few things this week but my neck pain is at the helm and we’ll just have to wing it as usual.

I have thought greatly on the loss of a friend over the last few months and also about turbulent family relationships and how to deal with them, survive them, and how to forgive and feel forgiven over some of the junk in life. You know, just the average daily thoughts because that’s where my life is at the moment.

My writings today are done with the sun streaming in through the windows, but I’m thinking of grey clouds and of driving back to the land of snow and cold … But both places make me smile, way down deep.

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Posted by on January 27, 2015 in Life, in general

 

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Abandoned, for a reason?

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I’m not sure this is how a writer should look, but I’m in the jammies and a robe, propped up with the pillows and my infamous wool socks… Oh, and please, let’s not forget the bifocals – at least the glasses fit the part!  Well, this is the way it is tonight because I just finished a movie that left me feeling a little desperate.  Desperate to dump on a page an unsettling piece of my childhood – all over again.  It’s better this time, though, as I see the words forming and the ideas taking shape…

All the way through this movie I felt the grumbling and churning of words and emotions that were begging to be spilled out on paper.  A confession of sorts, a purging of the angst over the childhood that didn’t go right.  It came to one word.

Abandoned.

Like a vapor, I was gone.  I was on the leading edge of being a teenager – just 13 – and my tender, young life was full of boys, dances, braces, and blue jeans.  That’s when it hit – the big change of address.  A move like none I’d ever heard of before that day – except in fiction.  A move out West.  This tiny, scrappy girl from a small town in Pennsylvania was moving to a place I had only heard of in books.  I really don’t know if I even knew where Arizona was, to be honest!  Somebody, give me a map!

Cowboy hats and pearl-buttoned shirts.  Houses made from stucco with clay-tile roofs.  Cactus and various poisonous wildlife.  I was excited and thought that it was really cool!  I know I was hoping that all my friends would be envious.  And what teenage girl doesn’t want to be envied?  Well, noticed at least?  Okay … maybe talked about?

Slam.  It was like someone closed a giant safe door on my childhood and home town and locked it away forever.  A place for me to remember, but never to really touch again.  Some wise person said “You can never go home again” and yes, it’s true.  Sometimes, unbearably true.

Stares came from all the kids at my new school because I was the new kid and you {Always. Stand. Out.}  So much for being envied…because if I was being talked about back home, how was I supposed to know?

You can make a career out of reinventing yourself at this new place to impress the “natives.”  It must be a defense mechanism.  But, eventually, the right people pick you out and gently allow you to enter their world.  For me, it was Carol, Muffy, Michelle and a few others with long-forgotten names.  Their faces will be forever etched in my mind though…

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Somewhere in our adulthood, we unearth it – our childhood. Everyone knows about this, right?  Not everyone sees their past as unfortunate…Some only remember glorious times and great parents.  Others can be overcome with regret and others even terror.  I remember feeling abandoned, alone, set apart, set adrift and somewhat forced to find my own way through the adolescent mess PLUS moving clear across the country.  I no longer had my 4 siblings, my long list of childhood friends, my Grandmothers, or my neighborhood full of sidewalks that took you everywhere you needed to go.  How else can I describe it other than {Night. And. Day}

Four years later, we made yet another move right after my high school graduation.  Another effortless transition?  No, but I won’t digress into some diatribe that makes you feel sorry for the kid who gets moved without any real support system.  Instead, here’s the redemptive part…

I soon married, really soon, like that Fall.  He was my high school sweetheart and newly inducted into the US Army.  In case you don’t know anyone in the military, let me just tell you… you move a lot.  Actually, his first duty station was in Korea and so we spent that first year apart except for 2 weeks of leave time.

Over the next 20 years we moved a few times, had 3 kids, bought a couple of houses…and you know what?  We did it well.  We were highly capable and knew how to prepare the boxes, the kids, and the mountains of paperwork.  No one could have adequately prepared me for this except for … Yes, my childhood.

God’s plan isn’t always clear.  It’s an adventure.  It’s a worthwhile (and continuous) lesson in patience.  Take a shy kid, from a small town, put her in a city, pour all sorts of adjustments onto her and then see what happens.  I’m not saying I didn’t spend a {TON} of energy on regret and anger over it all, but in the end, I can say with all certainty that every bit of it had {HUGE} value.  It’s still my life lesson… to learn my lessons from my life.  Or, if I’m feeling really confused, I pick out a few woeful souls from the scriptures and I can see redemption all over again.

I felt abandoned, for a reason.  And God never meant to leave me there.  Even today He means for someone to hear and understand those things about their childhood and how to have peace with it all.

I love my friends.  I have more than I can count and they live in a million different places.  And most days I’m connected to them, because they never forgot me.  It amazes me still, after 33 years, I can meet someone I haven’t seen since age 13 and with an almost audible WOOSH, that safe door opens and we all get a little thrill from looking back – together – at those 3 decades and we smile.  It’s a little slice of {HOME}.

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2013 in Life, in general

 

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