I can scarcely think the words to write

Our lives go through monumental twists and turns, such that in the blink of an eye, everything we ever thought or felt can be turned upside down with a word. Everything we have ever known can be gone in an instant. Everything negative we have ever told ourselves can be evaporated with two or three kind sentences. We are beings meant for change. We are meant for the challenges of tomorrow and the sorrows of today. We are beings meant to change continually. If spoken it can be brought forth into this life. If thought it can be spoken. But what forms the spark to create the thought?

Life reinforces certain concepts just by going through the motions. A child raised in a Christian home will see verses, long after they left the comfort of the pew, that bring renewed vision and hope. Sometimes an explanation once so far out of reach, and yet there it is, in a tiny Book called the Bible they discarded so long ago. I’m not about to get preachy here, but for that person it may hold important significance at a time in their life when things seem at their worst. It can be a call to stand strong and endure or a reminder they are loved.

I had such an event happen today. These verses appeared to me through a very non-Christian way.

1 . Revelation Chapter 3 Verse 9

Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

2 . Revelation Chapter 2 Verse 9

I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

They hold a very personal meaning to me…and sometimes you never know where you find such inspiration.
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Well it’s over

For the last 20 years I have thought about you. Before bed each night, upon waking each morning, you were my first and last thought. It hurt that I could not show you how much I have loved you. I probably never will be able to, but at least I finally got to say goodbye. I sent you a letter today. Of course, you may not receive it. Perhaps you will ignore it. Perhaps you don’t receive mail there anymore. I don’t know.

I do know, I finally said most of the things I have wanted to say for the better part of a decade. I’m sure I missed some things. I’m sure I could have been more descriptive, but instead I opted for a single page. If you were going to read it, you wouldn’t read a book. You’re a busy man after all. You have a life and so do I.

While I am left with a sadness I can’t describe, perhaps the knowing that this is all no more and accepting it…which is more than acknowledging that it may be. I am also relieved. Even if you never read it, at least it was said. At least I had the courage to tell you exactly what I thought. We may never speak or meet again. I might die before you every decide to respond. It’s fine. I don’t need a response. I said it and I kept my promise to tell you at least some of the things that were about you. For this part of my life, I can now live in peace. Sadness, but a peaceful sadness that settles on you like dust when you rest too long.
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Still on lock down, but there is a light

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Our state will re-open May 4th.  I don’t know whether I should be elated as we may have work again or dismayed as the death tolls may rise.  The way the state is going about re-opening is the most insane thing ever.  I can’t get into details, but essentially they are staggering which places may open first.

Why?

Why is the barber more dangerous than a movie theater?

Why is church worse than parks?

None of this makes sense.  I have been giving out seeds, food, and everything else I can to help my friends and family.  We’ve made it through this far by the grace of God and the skin of our teeth.  Perhaps, we will make it till the 4th.

May the fourth be with you!

Little Children Do Not Know any Better

When I was small, my mother was a woman that didn’t really want to be a mother. I spent my days shuffling between Kindergarten, time with my agent and my "benefactors", the Christian nursery down the block from my house, and my grandmother’s home. As you can tell I didn’t have a normal up bringing even at such a tender age. My mother made it my responsibility to pay the bills. This put me in a very precarious situation often. My refuge was school and my Christian nursery.

Imagine someone yelling at a Kindergarten child because she didn’t make a 50 year old man "happy" and he refused to remain her benefactor. Worse still, after enough time passed without any "benefactors", I was left by the side of the road for not making income. It was a blessing truly to live among the wild animals though I was starving and nearly died of hypothermia as opposed to being forced to please others. I was found by an 18 year old young man that was accused of raping a 14 year old almost 6 weeks after I was abandoned. The sheriff was certain I had been raped due to certain "things" physically about me at that tiny age and because I was stark naked limp as a rag doll when he found me.

I remembered the fear in his voice as he lifted me from the mud. I remember him begging his friend to get the tarp they planned to bring home a deer on to wrap me with and keep me warm. He carried me to the cab of his truck and cranked the heat. He cried out, "Oh God, she’s so cold." I could hear his voice crack in pain. He pushed Mountain Dew between my teeth and prayed over me to God. As soon as the truck stopped he jumped out with me in his arms screaming, "Mamma,Mamma, you got to help her!" The first words out of his mother’s mouth were, "Oh God what have you done now?!"

Luckily, he had his friend with him to prove he did nothing wrong towards me. I testified on his behalf at the rape trial. He still got 18 months. After that I went to a good and decent foster home. My Christian Yeoman foster parents. I thank God for them and my Amish foster parents.
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Lord God Help Us All

Covid-19 is closer than ever. In my state, in my town, and now people are dying. My husband has been off work and I was recently hired, but then they put me on hold because of Covid-19. While our federal government HAS provided relief in the CARES ACT, my state has decided they will not adhere to the law and thus state I and many other like me do NOT get benefits. They even said my husband will lose his benefits soon in defiance of the CARES ACT.

No money.

No allowed to leave the home to look for work

Not allowed to buy "non-essentials."

No way to get help from the state.

They won’t even help with food aid!

What do they expect, we just sit starve, get thrown off our land, and die!

This is how revolutions start.
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Wuhan Flu or Covid-19 has us locked in

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So busy was I living life, that I didn’t give pause to the pandemic that has crossed an ocean to find me in my tiny little hamlet.  The disease is on our doorstep.  Local elders are dying from “pneumonia” because they were never tested for Covid-19.  Locals call it the Wuhan Flu, which isn’t inaccurate if you think of the history of naming these things.  Ebola, Spanish Flu, MERS…all named after their perceived origin.  It isn’t racist, it is traditional to do this naming thing in this way.  At any rate it is here.

I have been ill since early February.  The illness relented for a week and settled back down into my lungs.  I went to a Chinese buffet in January and our server had just returned from Hubiew.  She had a cold she said and visited her grandfather that had died.  Old people die all the time and January is cold season.  I thought absolutely nothing of it.  Less than two weeks later my entire family is ill.  When taken to the doctor, they refused to test and just say it’s what everyone has….whatever it is.  Why?  Because no one tested positive for the flu or RSV.

We suffered through the fevers and the feelings like your lungs were on fire.  The dry cough came and went for everyone but me.  The shortness of breath stays with me.  Again, I contacted my doctor again.  “Oh you must have a secondary infection, here’s some antibiotics.”  Thanks.  This is Day 3 and the shortness of breath has not improved.

I have been staying indoors for the most part since the beginning of this illness.  My husband recovered, got ill again, and is on the mend again.  Whatever this is, you can catch it again and again.  We plan to stay outdoors in the garden as much as possible as time marches on.  Perhaps the fresh air and sunshine will help.  God knows antibiotics are not.

I have taken to drinking tonic water twice a day and have seen an improvement in my general health.  I am not certain that is related to drinking it or not…but it is short lived.  Here’s hoping I see the year through and have enough energy to do what is needed to survive.

I’m going to care the shit out of you

Having spent a decade and a half helping someone that was paralyzed from the waist down regain their ability to walk and use the restroom, I expected to at least be allowed to rest once she gained some ability to walk. Some rest. Nothing grand, just okay kid, you can now do more of these things on your own. You can read your history book by yourself. You can do a math problem without me holding your hand. You don’t have to go to the Emergency room because you feel a slight pain in your hips.

Nope.

This person, that I dedicated my life to helping walk…that I drove thousands of miles to see specialists, that swore to GOD they wanted to be independent is now blaming me for everything.

I wouldn’t get up at 2 a.m. and drive her to the emergency room for vague pains in her back. I told her that the doctor will be called in the morning. Not good enough. She had a friend drive her and then her friend and her bad mouthed me for not getting up at 2 a.m. for nothing.

It was over the holiday, so no pharmacies were open so when they did open I went to pick up her script. They didn’t have it. Apparently, the doctor sent it to the wrong pharmacy. The doctor’s office was closed so I called and left a message with the answering service. The doctor didn’t get around to sending the script to the right pharmacy until 2 days later. Somehow it’s MY fault. She told her friends I LOST her medicine…I never lost a damn thing. Her doctor lost which pharmacy it was supposed to go to.

Oh, and the kicker…I tried to give her the script and at first she refused. Then she took the bottle and said she wouldn’t take it anyway…then ran to tell everyone how I was neglecting her and refusing to give her medicine. I literally have screen shots of what she said to me (I don’t need the meds and don’t want them) and screen shots of how she lied to everyone about me. Fucking bitch.

Obviously, this child is not ready for any independence. So I am going to care the shit out of her…until she hates it. I am going to make her go back into diapers since she refuses to take her medicine and pisses on everything. I am going to make her go back to physical therapy since that is what she needs according to the doctor for the pains. I am going to take er to the eye doctor and dentist and insist they fill every cavity she begged me not to have filled right now because she was afraid. I am going to take her to the Emergency Room every damn time she threatens suicide. I am going to care the shit out of her…and then when she is 18 and no longer my problem.

I will never talk to her again.
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Holidays aren’t for the faint of heart

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Between the rushing around trying to get gifts, wrapping secretly in the night, setting up the lighted tree and decorating with tinsel, there seems to be very little time to just breathe most holidays. It’s extra difficult this year since we are financially in a very bad spot. By this time, most years, I would be baking a mountain of goodies to pair with my homemade jam. I would still have a mountain of things to buy to add to the mountain of gifts to wrap. Just wrapping gifts takes 8 hours most years. I would have a duck or goose in the freezer for Christmas dinner. May be a ham if it was a poor year…especially if we slaughtered a pig. I would have divinity candies on my list of to-do’s, right next to sewing a new gift for that sweet little Zinnia I get to see every other week. I would be planning the annual holiday feast, complete with decorations, which alcohol, and of course who to invite. The invitations would have been mailed by now though.

This year is different…

I have been put into a position that I can’t do 1/10th of what I normally do for the holidays. I barely got a present for each child. Every child got one present from me…not the typical 5 or 6. Unfortunately, it was a necessity that I was able to make with what I had laying around. I got them all one outfit. It took a lot of work, but it’s nothing compared to most years. I was able to find a turkey for $10…that coupled with some canned green beans may be all I can find for our holiday meal. No baking. No candy. No duck or goose. Not even a ham. Just leftover Thanksgiving turkey. No party. No wrapping for hours. No invitations. It could always be worse, I suppose.

I do miss the chaos, but this year we can do nothing.

This year…after the passing of my mom and the emotional and financial fallout from that we can afford nothing. I don’t have it in me to even make more things for the kids. Our house is a house in mourning and now financial woes. It is a black December and a black Christmas for us all.
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In Loving Memory of My Mother…

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Today my sister posted a bit on her social media of “In Loving Memory of My Mother…” We had the same mother, but different fathers. Sometimes, when I read her posts, I wonder if we did even though I know factually, we both rented the same womb for nine months. I was earlier than my sister by eight years. My mother was twenty when she had me. My entire childhood from birth until six years was supervised by my grandmother (who adopted my mother unbeknownst to me). My mother often complained loudly how having me ruined her life and now she would never amount to anything. My grandmother tried hard to impress upon her that she could indeed support herself and me. Hell, she offered to buy her an inn that she could rent out and make a living from. She offered to pay for college. No, my mother would prefer to bemoan her situation and wallow in her pathetic self pity.

My mother was a parasitic louse on society. She worked exactly two jobs her entire life for a total of four years. I have worked more hours than my mother ever did. I have also lived longer than her by a few months and I’m not even forty.

From the age of twenty until twenty-six, my formative years you could say, she stayed at her mother’s home smoking cigarettes (with me being a severe asthmatic) and whining that she couldn’t go out to drink. Her mother insisted that she care for me, but she really didn’t. My grandmother cooked all the meals, took me to church, taught me to write my name and to sew. My grandmother sat me on her lap and fed me oyster stew from a bowl when I was ill. My grandmother paid for my doctor’s visits, medicines, clothing, pageant entries, preschool books, toys, art supplies, and anything else I dreamed of at such a tender age. My grandmother loved me so much, if I woke at two in the morning and whined for food, she got up and cooked me a small meal and made me tea. This woman was well into her seventies essentially raising a small child. To think, my mother wasn’t even her blood daughter. She was simply a small child she found abandoned.

When I turned six, my mother moved out of grandma’s house and into the projects. To be fair these were small town projects, but there was drugs, alcohol, violence, perverts, yelling, and chaos. My neighbor to one side was a single mother that had a husband whom she was divorcing which visited form time to time, just to smack her up in front of her two boys. I suppose this was his way of showing he still owned her to his sons.

My neighbor on the other side was a single mother to one teenage girl that had men come and visit for a day or two at a time. She regularly got such male callers and she had fancy clothes, shoes, and more. She even had a car that was brand new, but whenever welfare asked she said she was borrowing it from a friend. The paperwork said it belong to one of her male friends. I remember asking how come she wasn’t so poor and she said it was because she wasn’t stupid like most men and women stuck there. The environment was toxic to a small young female and impressed upon me heavily that women which were single were undoubtedly poor and or preying on men to survive in an immoral manner.

My mother was no exception. I saw her have orgies, drink until puking, and then be in the middle of a knife fight. I watched with tiny eyes from the banister of our stairs. She did it all in the open area…our living room. When I belly ached for food at midnight as usual, I was yelled at and told to go to bed. If I didn’t go immediately, I had things thrown at me. Why did I have to ruin everything she would ask me a small, timid, six year old that just had her entire life upended. Couldn’t I see that my Mommy needed time away from me? All I ever wondered was why. What was so bad about me?

I was at school all day. Didn’t she have time for herself then? One day I came home from school and put my backpack down. My teacher had given me a book to read with my mother. I was so excited. I wanted to read this book with her and I thought I had a reasonable shot at getting her to do it too, because at grandma’s house my mother would read to me sometimes. I chattered excitedly about it. Then I looked up with the book in my hands and I knew. My mother would not read with me today. She was drunk and couldn’t even sit up. I asked if she was okay and she told me to go away. Then she puked and passed out. I stood there alone. I was in Kindergarten. I thought she might be sick. I wanted to help her. I went over and shook her to wake her. I kept asking, “Are you okay Mommy?” My mother didn’t respond.

I was afraid. How could I help her because she was obviously bad sick. I ran to the neighbor that was beaten about once a month. She came in and started slapping my mother’s face. This upset me. She said she had to wake her up. She kept hollering, “Ginny, what did you take hun?” Then she said, “Ginny your baby girl is here. Who can I call?” My mom puked again. I started looking for the address book and told the neighbor. I knew it had names of people and their phone numbers. I told her to look for my aunt Carol. After a little back and forth, she started to panic because she didn’t know which Carol in the book was my aunt and I couldn’t remember her last name since she got married.

The neighbor ran out the door and down the street about five houses to our deaf neighbor Randy. He was young, handsome, and very helpful to the ladies in the projects. He was also single so every female with in a four block radius was trying to learn sign language. I had been taught some in pre-school because of my asthma so teachers could help me if I couldn’t breathe so Randy and I had a natural connection. Over the few months we knew each other he was delighted to show me more sign language so we could talk with one another. As soon as he came in I signed “mom sick”. He went over and checked on her while the other neighbor and I tried to call every Carol in the address book.

Randy took the phone and dialed a number at one point. Then he handed it to the neighbor. He didn’t sign or say anything he just grabbed it and called. When she answered it was the ambulance. Randy signed “can’t breathe” but the neighbor didn’t understand, so I translated. “He said mamma can’t breathe.” He was feeling her chest looking for it to move or for her heartbeat Then he signed “go fast”. I translated, “He says it’s going fast.” I didn’t realize how that sounded, so our female neighbor freaked out and said that my mother was going to die soon if they didn’t hurry.

Randy sat my mom up so she could breathe better. The ambulance was on the way, so we went back to getting through the Carols. Eventually, I started making the calls because my mom was getting worse. They kept trying to keep my mom alive and I just went down the list of numbers not knowing who I was calling because I couldn’t read. I eventually got ahold of my aunt Carol’s friend. She told me to write down and dial my aunt’s number. When I heard my aunt Carol’s voice I started pouring out all my sadness and worries about how my mommy was dying and the neighbors were trying everything. It was a relief to hear her voice.

Aunt Carol told me to put the neighbor on the phone and she described what was going on and then she put me on the phone with my aunt. “You stay right there baby, I’m coming to get ya.” She hung up. Two minutes later the ambulance drivers came in,secured my mother and wheeled her out. Then it was me, the neighbor, and Randy. The neighbor wanted me to go with her and aunt Carol told me to stay. I tried to explain. The neighbor wouldn’t listen to a six year old girl. I signed to Randy, “aunt come”. He made it clear, through writing, that he would watch me until my aunt came. The female neighbor was relieved and left quickly, but not before reminding me she is right next door and to scream if I needed anything. I guess she didn’t know that Randy and me were pals already.

We chatted in sign for about 15 minutes. He asked how was school. I said ok. I showed him my book and told him I wanted to read it. He pat my head and signed someday. I looked at the pictures while he sat looking out the living room window. My aunt came quickly. She knew Randy and thanked him for watching me. Then Randy left and my aunt bundled me up in my coat before putting me in the car. We were headed to the hospital. I had to stay in the car while my aunt looked in on my mother. My uncle Gary tried to make jokes to ease my anxiety, but it didn’t really work. He was really bad at jokes for even six year old kids. When aunt Carol came back, she was crying. There was a bit of confusion, but even though she tried to keep it quiet, I heard a word I didn’t understand. “She tried to commit suicide,” she said to my uncle. “What’s suicide?” I piped in from the back seat. When they both turned around, the look of horror on their faces told me more than they knew.

“You know what kiddo, that’s a grown up word. Why don’t we worry about what we’re gonna do tonight and leave those types of things aside for now?” My uncle Gary tried to dismiss my question. My aunt Carol was much swifter and knew that would never work on me. “Yeah, we were gonna take you out for ice cream. Do you want that?”

Ice cream…when didn’t I want that? Just like that, my question was forgotten.

For the rest of the school year, I lived with my aunt. It was awesome for me because I went to school with my cousin Lea. We were in the same class and now we lived in the same house with the same bedroom. I was thrilled and so was my cousin. I still saw my grandmother every weekend too. Grandma brought a grocery bag of food over every Friday when she came to pick me up, “to help with the cost of caring for me.” She bought me clothes about once a month. She even bought Lea an outfit when I got one. Although, I missed my mother very badly and asked after her often, I was happier because I was better cared for with my aunt Carol. She did read my book to me before the end of the week too.

Unfortunately, aunt Carol couldn’t save the day every time my mother did something stupid, which is why I still ended up abandoned in Newark NJ, the forest near the poconos, and various other places my mom dumped me. It’s also why I ended up in foster care numerous times.

So when I see my sister post an “In loving memory of my mother” with flowing love as if she were a saint of some sort…it hurts. It hurts because my mother never did any of that to her. It also hurts because I wish I had a loving memory of my mother…all I have are memories of her trying so hard to get away from em that she would rather be dead or that I be dead. There are no loving memories of such a selfish person and it hurts because I feel like I missed out on so much because of that.
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