I had a house with a sunroof in my bedroom and the first relaxed night in there, my husband and I were in the midst of making love on our king sized waterbed and suddenly there was a lightening strike and then nothing. All at once, the rain came pouring down right on top of us. We jumped out of that bed and my husband was running around trying to pull the sunroof closed. We have never laughed so much in our entire life
Well my precious, precious daughter. You started this ball rolling for me and I am forever grateful. I love you so much more than you will ever know. Once I became acclimated to motherhood, I found I always felt such sadness for anyone’s first child. The first child has the really awkward job of helping mom give up all her natural selfishness, in order to become a good mother, and that journey can take some years I tell you. Let’s face it, I knew absolutely nothing about that, or about being a mom, the importance of having, let alone, laying a good foundation, the fragility of a child’s heart, or how very much I could ever need God. I was completely oblivious!!!!!!! In the beginning I was great at being a surface mom. A surface mom, knows how to make it appear that she has it all figured out nice and neat, but she actually has no clue!!! As a surface mom, I was so organized. I kept an immaculate home, It’s always like that in the beginning of course, but you learn quick that you cannot step out of that organized world for even a day because it throws everything off. So, I cooked, I baked, I held a full time job, I was on committees for church and school, and still, you could eat off of my floor. Friends and Family used to talk about how I had it all. God forbid anyone should catch me off guard. Sometimes when I took my bath or was down doing laundry I cried. I cried because I knew I had no clue about any of it, and it terrified me. I cried because for the first time in my entire life someone gave me an absolutely beautiful, absolutely perfect gift. When I held you in my arms the very first time we were alone together, I cried. You were so beautiful and so perfect that I wanted to keep you that way. I was sure I didn’t deserved you, and already I would give my life for you. Most every parent soon has a mental list of all the things that they want to do or give to their child. It usually begins, and sometimes ends, with all of the things you did not like, or get, when you were growing up. So, the search begins. You read every child care book there is and talk to every friend because you only want the latest and most relevant information for your child. You look around and notice that families before you actually didn’t know much more than you did right now, so you saw their information as useless. I came away realizing much later in life, that in the beginning I gave you every material thing I never had, but that I was unable to give you any of the things I had not yet reconciled with in my own life, heart, soul or mind. I had absolutely no understanding of any of this, certainly not how to become reconciled with it. I went to priests, therapists, no one who met me could see what I saw. They only saw the facade that had become my shield. I did not know how to release it and they had no idea how to dig for it. What I know now, is that in spite of me, and all my mistakes, and no one understanding any of this, Jesus stepped in behind the scenes. He knew what you needed and He made sure you got that in Steve, and your children. It was through those relationships that you have really grown. You have just blossomed. I think you are an amazing wife and mother. I adore Steve for loving you so much and for persevering in all he does. I couldn’t love him more than I do right now. I am so proud of how you stepped out of the box and went back to school. You did so well and I am so proud. It is a joy to look at Allyson and Christopher, (Dominic and Gabe) and see that the roots of our tree, have been healing and are now bearing a better grade of fruit. What a blessing for any mother. Crazy in love with you my number #1 daughte
I am missing you. Always. It is not a sad missing at all, but rather it is a very deep missing, I am loving you. All of you. You in Him, Him in you, and you in you. I don’t know you and yet I feel as if I know everything that is honest within you. I was reading Luke 24:32 “And they said one to another, did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” Oh the stirring in my heart
We lived on Delsea Dr. in Vineland, NJ until I was six. At that time it was pretty much countrified. Every street was lined with beautiful dogwood trees, some of which were pink, but most of which were white. Our rented abode was a rather large white house perched on a little hill. It had this awesome covered porch that extended across the entire front of the house, where we used to play during the day, and later congregate on hot summer nights. The adults often refreshed themselves, with glass after glass of Gallo Port wine, while the kids cooled off with a pitcher of flavored Kool Aide. If we were really lucky, the wine could be our ally, and my parents would let us walk down to the gas station and each one could buy a Coke. For as long as I can remember we have always had an open door policy at our house. People came and went and sometimes they stayed for days, weeks, months, and some for years.. Such was the case with my Uncle Randy. To almost everyone who knew him he was a loveable, teddy bear of a guy. He was probably about 5’8″ and weighed in at a minimum of 300 lbs. He lived with us while in the Air Force, and later while going to college. He played the Ukulele, had a Washtub Band, and they used to practice at our house before going out on Friday Nights. As we roasted marshmallows in the fireplace, they could be heard leading us in songs such as “Does Your Chewing Gum Lose its Flavor On The Bedpost Overnight?”, “There was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly”, “The Ballad of Davy Crockett”, “Sixteen Tons”, “Red Sails in the Sunset”, and many other favorites of the 50’s. It was a treat we looked forward to. Randy was also our babysitter when the rest of the adults in the house went out. He was like a big kid in some ways who loved playing pranks, and telling jokes.
Around this time, my father was working in engineering for RCA. During World War II and for some time beyond, RCA formed several new divisions gaining a Government contract working for the Defense department. This is the department my father worked in, and something about the secretive work he was doing made him uncomfortable enough to seek employment elsewhere. He began selling Life Insurance for Mutual of Omaha.
While we lived in the house on Delsea Dr., there was this devil of a boy named Butchy. He was at least two years older than I was ,and he had this great big evil looking dog that he used to tease me with. The minute I stepped out my back door, he would bring out this barking monster and chase after me. I learned to climb trees when I was just six.
My father, bless his heart, was a professional man who was totally in the dark when it came to fixing things, or being any kind of handyman at all. My parents purchased a swing gym for us to play on. It had a slide, two swings with rings that allowed you to stand and swing, as well as sit and swing, and a swinging seesaw. For a short while Butchy seemed to change. He would call and ask me to come out and play on the swings. He would bring me candy and be nice to me. Of course I would go out and play with him. I loved candy. He had not changed at all unless it was for the worse. If he wasn’t knocking me off the seesaw, scaring me up a tree requiring stitches, then he was trying to push me off the steps of the bus as I was getting on for school. One day this meant Butchy was fooling around on the steps and the bus driver did not see me behind him and closed the door of the bus and caught my right foot in the door and dragged me about fifteen feet before anyone realized anything was wrong. I had immediately gone into shock. That time I was a mess and had bruises and blood everywhere, and yes there were stitches once again. I could not w2ait for him to fall off the face of the earth. I prayed at night that he would move away.
My memories may well be scattered, perhaps even tainted, by the dirty little shards of pain, caused by the years of neglect and abuse. My memories are fluid, which provides a nice assist when it comes to the covering up, and lying to myself and others just to feel better. I must have misplaced the meaning of love somewhere between listening to my parents nightly alcohol fueled fights, seeing the shadows on the wall through depths of darkness that warned me evil was coming into my room, and the ridicule I met in school and on the playground. It was easy for me to find even my most outrageous lies believable when others couldn’t, because my reality was such a shattered one, that the lies made it almost seem bearable… to me. I have a sister named Dona, who is eighteen months younger, and somehow she was able to choose a different route to staying sane. She just blocked out years of her life and has practically no childhood memories whatsoever. Some might say she was the lucky one, in a way, because without the memories she could just push on with life. Without the memories there was no need for lies. Me, on the other hand, I learned to lie even before I learned to spell.
I also had six brothers. Chris died at the dentist office from a possible reaction to the gas they gave him, when he was only eighteen years old. I was ten when he died. Tony was shot to death on a busy Chicago street, during daylight hours, while on the way home to his second wife, who was pregnant with his third child. Another brother, Michael, ran away from home at fourteen and became a drug addict. He came out of the closet long before it was fashionable and died from Aids when he was just 39 years old. Andy ran away at thirteen and again at seventeen. Twenty years later he got out of the Navy and just walked away from the family completely, even changing his name. We cannot find him and he has never looked back. Like Tony, Bob had his issues with alcohol. Don dedicated his life to God and helping the homeless but he was not without his curse either. He died from Bone Cancer when he was only 43.
Now, it’s just me and Dona that are left. The ghosts of our childhood have all fallen away and what we are left with now, are fragmented, often disturbing memories and the weight of a lifetime of psychological trauma.
He was such a good looking man. Those crystal blue eyes that twinkled when he spoke; framed by long, curly, pitch black lashes. He completed the look with his gangster hat and black horn rimmed glasses, which only added their own dramatic effect. She was completely mesmerized. He was a college graduate. He had an easy, vibrant smile, and a dimple that spoke volumes to the beautiful and very wealthy, young socialite. He stood out in a crowd, and she loved the way he dressed to perfection, and the self assurance that she saw in him.
She was not the only one who was falling hard. He had planned on a life in the priesthood and was looking forward to joining the Jesuits the following Fall. Suddenly, he found himself second guessing his life long dream. Before him stood a vision of loveliness that took root in his mind and heart. She was only sixteen but she seemed far more sophisticated and mature than his younger sister, and they were the same age. She had the lithe body of a dancer. Her skin was olive in tone, and her hair was several shades of natural blonde blending together in a shimmering sort of way. She had the most piercing, cat eyes he had ever seen, and there was a vulnerability about her, that he longed to protect. The total package gave her a mysterious, and oh so glamorous look that he could not resist.
Before the year was out these beautiful people exchanged vows of forever love, signified by a simple platinum wedding band bought at Woolworth’s. My mother was determined she was not becoming Catholic just to marry my father. She had to believe, so they married in the Church Rectory and she continued studying. I loved that in her. Thus began the lifelong passionate love affair of my parents, Bob and Bobbe Wright. When I say passionate I do mean passionate in every sense of the word.
My earliest childhood memory is the only time I can recall my mother ever holding me. I had been put down for a nap in my crib and awoke to the sound of blood curdling screams that seemed to be coming from somewhere off in the distance. I had no way of knowing that those screams were actually coming from me, and served to wake me from a nightmare. As she pressed my tiny head to her chest, she reached down to retrieve my blanket, and then she wrapped it around me while she made her way downstairs to the little love seat that leaned against the wall in the front hall. Once there, she melodiously cooed aaa ah aaa over and over. The soft scent from her shampoo calmed me, and the vibrations of her voice reverberated in the most soothing feeling I had ever known. I closed my eyes feeling safe and warm, drifting off to sleep, and never ever wanting it to end.