Ive lived a long life. I’ve stared death in the face and held his hand; I’ve begged for it, and pleaded for just I’ve one more day. I watched my parents die, and came to terms with my drug addicted mother and complicated father. I had an abortion to end my daughter’s suffering. I left a man I created a family with for a man who once was a big part of my family. I’ve held little hand, rocked little bodies, and carried them crying up and down the halls. MY greatest joy has been kissing little boo boos, and washing little butts. Smelling sweet, soft heads and holding sleeping babies. Ive raised animals and I’ve raised kids. I’ve parted with material things that were my whole world, and I came out with my head held high, knowing I made the right choice. I’ve loved men who broke me into; utterly destroyed me, and led me down dark paths. I’ve ended friendships and broken up marriages. I’ve drank, and praised, laughed and cried, loved and lost. Only to get back up the next day and do it all again. I’ve pulled myself out of bed just to fix cearal, when all I wanted to do was die. I’ve lied and stole and somethings people will never know. I’ve been the girl next door, and the harlequin down the hall.
When you look at me, you’ll see average height, a little overweight, pretty face with short blonde hair. Youll see 2 tattoos, and wonder if there are more. You’ll see a quick smile, and welcoming warm eyes. You’ll be welcomed with a warm hug or a pat on the back. You’ll be asked if your hungry or thirsty, tired or need to pee. Your needs will be met, and I will ask about your day. You may think to ask me about mine, but Ill come up with another question, because honestly, I care more than you do.You’ll learn I have 3 dogs, 8 fish, 1 pregnant cat, 3 sons and 1 daughter. Youll see my living room, a collage of pictures and various drawings, on walls of a color I didn’t pick out. You’ll wonder in the woods of my childhood and think how lucky I must have been, to grow up in this green hillside of love. You’ll hear stories of my kids, and if your lucky, Ill introduce you. You’ll quickly learn that Ill invite anymore into my life, but only the scared few into theirs. You’ll met my blended little family, and Ill talk of a sister and nieces who really aren’t. By the end of the day, I’ll know your life story and you will have scratched the surface of mine.
Did you pick up on the reference to my parents? Did you think to ask how I have a daughter, but only pictures of sons? Did you notice the wedding ring, but see two different men in my kitchen? Did you think to ask why no one sleeps downstairs? Or what my most prized materialistic possession was? What about the 3rd son, where is he?
I grew up in a very little town, in a white house with a porch swing, two big trees in the front yard. Where my imagination ran wild and so did I. I climbed trees and played on railroad tracks. I lived in creeks, and I kissed neighbor boys. I carried opossums home because I couldn’t let them die, and somehow I grew into a women who signed papers to end her daughters life. My house had 3 stories, with a haunted basement if ever there was one. It had a room for cats, and a bedroom for each stage of my life. I had beagles and mutts,kittens and pigeons. I was a girl scout. I learned to drive a mitsubitshi mirage in my back yard with a 10 year old in the passenger seat. I had my first kiss at my dining room table when I was 7. I lost the remainder of virginity in the upstairs red room when I was 17. I was beat up in the living room at 21. I found my drug addicted mother dead of an overdose on the couch when I was 19. My complicated father admitted to sexual feelings toward me when I was 20, in the same living room.
How, you may wonder, did this house seem so welcoming when on the inside its tore up and broken? With its outside white picket fence charm, how could it hold so many dark things? That house is where I lived and grew up, but my home was 20 miles away with an aunt and uncle who loved and protected me from the day I was born. They opened their home and hearts to me, and welcomed me in refuge whenever I may need it. They saved my life, and kept me clothed and fed. They loved me in times when I didn’t feel capable of love, and took the evil and hurt out of my life. They had the lush green hillside with the happiness and safehaven. The home of my children; with its barn and buldings, room to grow and run, to build dirt piles and have pools,to ride bikes and 4 wheelers. Dining rooms big enough for our whole family to eat in, with some spilling over to outside or the living room. This house, this beautifully built fortress, is where my animals live and my children were born. This was their first home, and safe haven. Its where they both took their first steps, it’s where they lay their heads at night knowing their grandparents loved them with all their hearts. Its where I ran to when I was falling apart, and where I took refuge in once they died. Its walls, strong as steel, with 2 porches. It’s a pot of chili in fall, and watermelon in the summer. It’s the better part of me, the part Im most proud of.
I’ve built a home with 2 different men. Both who I have loved and loved whole heartedly, in different ways, different contexts, different settings, at different times. One man pulled me up in my darkest state and gave me a reason to live, something to hold on to, an anchor in the storm. He built my confidence back up and tore down at the same time. He gave me life, and he helped me take away. We lost our dearest love together and gained two more. We laughed and we cried, moved and built, came together and fell apart. But he anchored me from the get go. He will forever my lighthouse in the storm. The steel to my ivory, and the foundation to my home. The other man, is a God send. He came to me, for me, at a time when I was most lonely. He rekindled the fire in me, and gave me the will, not reason, to get up each day. He makes me laugh and reintroduced me to love. He makes me feel whole and complete, and know we were meant to be. He is my safe spot to land, and hand to hold in the dark of night. If the first man is my anchor and lighthouse, then this man is my sea. Forever turning and changing, growing and evolving and learning new ways to love me.
The animals I mentioned. Do they belong to the safe haven or the dark beggnning. These animals, they are my childrens. They are part of my family and make us whole. There is a giant mastiff, who is scared of his own shadow. He loves and loves and knows nothing but love. He was bought in the midist of grief and heartache, along with the golden retriever/chow to bring closure and happiness to a very glum grieving me. They have protected me and my kids, and made me feel safe and secure. The other dog is mastiff/great pyrnees and the baby of my family. He is a lover and little rascal and he makes my children smile. The cat is a she devil who likes to climb roofs and who gives me the sweetest cuddles. The fish are the fish and serve their purpose.There were other animals of importance in my life. 5 cats who I loved like my own, 3 dogs whose death had a huge impact on my life, and 2 sugar gliders my boys nursed from babies.
The children, now you wonder. There are 4. 3 boys, and 1 little girl. The first came into my life with the first man, and they gave me a foundation to build on. He taught me how to love beyond myself, and love without boundaries to whole new level. Through him I started my most precious journey, what Id been destined for, to be a mother. He taught me selflessness, and taking joy in little things. He taught me heartbreak when he decided he wasn’t my own, and pride when I realized blood didn’t matter. He teaches me kindness each day and shows me the greatest part of his father and mother. Then came the girl. She was fierce and mighty and loved and wanted. She was prayed for and begged for and hoped for. She was diagnosed with many different things inutero and cried for as she was taken out of me. She is grieved for and missed daily, a life that never got a chance, a seed that never got to sprout. An angel whose footprints were too fine for this earth. The little boys, my love dolls, my reason for living are empathetic and mild, smart mouthed and quick witted, tall and strong, taken from his father. Fast and small, cunning and wild, blond hair and easy smile. Dirt and trucks, animals and earth. Pure love, and as many hugs as they will allow. They are a sprite and cool ranch doritos, phones and fortnite, love and happiness, and joy, green grass and rolling hills with a little potato soup thrown in for good measure. They are everyday, my greatest love, my reason for living, the best part of their father and me, they are the earth to my sea and light house. They have held my hand for 8 years but been my destiny for my whole life.
The things people don’t know? These are stories Ive never told. Drug deals as a naïve teenager, back seat date rapes, and ruins of my youth. Hitting an all time low on the bathroom floor of a bar. Feeling ill at ease about my own descions and questioning my choices. Stories of substance abuse, and figuring things out. Ruining relationships and sabotaging friendships. Wishing I was dead and taking handfuls of pills. Loving unconditionaly and losing my religion in backyards. These are stories Ill never tell, things Ill take to my grave. Times and black outs, embarrassement and euphoria, triumph and pain, heartache and loss. The dark side to my lush, green hills.
The point of this? To satisfy myself. To write it down in hopes it reasonates with someone. That it reaches someone. They feel it because they have a lighthouse and sea and land. They’ve had beagles and mutts, kittens and cats who like roofs, blackouts and abortions. So that they know they are not alone. Its ok to be a warm, caring, kind hearted, beautiful soul and have a dark side too. There are two sides to every coin, and before we can truly come to grips with our lives, we most flip both…