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Jun 24, 2007

Crossroads

You will notice a few links in my blog now to various merchant sites. I feel like I have sold out, but not necessarily. I am just trying to see if the affiliate program actually works. And, money, as we all know, is a necessary evil, much like the little patch of forest on the long, lonesome highways, miles between rest stops, when you really, really have to go. "There! There! Pull over there, I don't care about the barbed wire fence, I'll climb over it...just hurry, dammit!" Let's hope I don't turn around and find a giant leaf of poison ivy tickling my backside.

I'm at one of those points in my life, God, there seems to have been so many, where I'm not quite sure what is going to happen. Things can go this way or they can go that way. One of the hardest things right now that I am learning is that my family, meaning the people that I grew up with, that I called family, no longer exists.

I pretty much knew that would happen when my father passed. He was, after all, the glue that held us together. My mother, God love her, was the wedge that kept us apart. I don't know why the hell she did it, to be honest, but she did. My oldest brother owns the land where I grew up. It was willed to him by my father, after he was tortured unrelentingly by my mother and sister. He once showed me the piece of land he wanted to me to have, and let's just say it had great meaning and love attached to it. It was where the gate to the old hay barn used to sit, and about an acre surrounding it.

I remember once, when he was in the hospital, going through 'sundowner's,' a condition where older people become disoriented at night, as he raged on about machines chopping up little animals, and the horrible things he saw in the x-ray department, (you don't want to know) he suddenly became Daddy again. My daddy. He said, clear as a bell, "You know, Deb, you could probably break the will."

It's not about money. It's not about you got this and I didn't. Its about not being able to go 'home', because I no longer have a home to go home to. They have torn down the house where I grew up. Yes, it was falling apart, but no one was living there, and a house not lived in, doesn't hold up well. It grieves. When I left, I thought I would never return. But age and life changes all of that. My ex-husband and my kids hated going to 'Mama's' home, as they called it, because my Mother was so mean, there was no one around but older people, and "Mama, there's nothing to do..!"

Now, not to sound like a complete ass, my brother and his wife did work hard helping Daddy out. And they were there through my mother's illness, which was enough to drive all of them bat shit. I know this, and I appreciate that. But, so did I before I left. So did we all, while we stayed. I think everyone assumed, as the youngest, I was the one who would stay home and take care of Mother and Daddy. But the old wild hair got hold of me, and wouldn't let go. I did manage to help Daddy out a little, though, I'm still not sure as to who helped whom. Those three years were the some of the most beautiful and agonizing times of my life. But I cherish them. And always will. But, here I've strayed from my original rant.

It bugs me that I have to ask my brother's permission to walk on the land I grew up on. The land where I played and dreamed, where terror stalked me like a shadow, where my childhood still exists, plays out, over and over again. And the house, the house my father built, painted every year, that held all that laughter, and terror, and insanity is gone. It hurt someone too much for their eyes to gaze on it day after day. Because of all the memories.

The giant hay barn where I played, my castle, my fort, my mansion, my whatever I wanted it to be, is gone. It has been replaced by an open tin roof shed, much more convenient, much smaller, and looks much nicer. But that ole hay barn, the children that played there, the battles fought, and the animals it housed, gone now, forever. Strange things happened in that old barn, but those secrets are gone as well.

Perhaps many of you feel the same as me. I guess it is a rare thing indeed for people to have what we called the old home place still in the family these days. Those days are gone. Even for old stump jumpers such as me. I have my son, and together we have a family. He hears from his father maybe once a month or so. And, we take in strays from time to time, and seem to make do somehow. But a part of me screams inside to be able to reach out and claim the past, to own that little bit of me that grew up wild and ragged, to be able to touch it, hold it, if only for a little while.

Not one of my immediate family members made it to my son's funeral. They will say they didn't know him well, or that they were not close. But isn't it just a simple little thing called respect? Isn't this a time for a family to come together? I know I must let this go, somehow, someway, but it hurts. To have brothers and sisters, blood kin, and know they could care less, when you have, is a hard thing to realize and accept. God grant me the grace to do so, and the humility to understand there's a million more out there, just like me.

12 comments:

Orhan Kahn said...

You haven't sold out, you're simply evolving.

Sorry to read no immidiate family showed up to your sons funeral. I will keep my opinion on the matter to myself, lets just say I'm not impressed by their actions!

Glad to see you can turn to something like God in vunreable times such as these.

Anne said...

You really can't ever go home, can you? And if you did, it wouldn't be the same anyway. I try not to think about it too much, but it bothers me sometimes too. But it's not a total loss. The past doesn't just disappear leaving nothing -- it leaves a future.
Hugs.

Babzy said...

Deb, if you haven't already done so, how about writing all your childhood memories in detail? Include any photos of those times. That way you'll have your memories with you and you won't feel like they've disappeared with the house and barn.

You say you can't go home because there is no home to go to. Yes there is and it's the home you have now with your son. If and when he moves out you will still be connected, as you are with Travis, through memories and love.

Think like a turtle or snail. Wherever you go you will be in your home.

It would be very easy to be bitter about your family not going to your son's funeral. I don't know if I could forgive them. Hope you can or it could eat you up.

Take care of yourself.

Mary said...

I've been to many a funeral where I didn't know the person whose funeral it was but was there to support someone who did. It's one of the most important times to come out and show support for a friend or family member. Shame on them.

I share some of the same feelings with you. When my father died I realized he really did hold us all together. It's never been the same and my mother left the house. Last weekend when I was in my old hometown I sorta wanted to drive by the old house but decided against it. Didn't want to be disappointed. I leave it all in my memories.

dawn said...

Deb,
I'm sorry your family are a bunch of shits, yes I said that. There is no excuse for the way they have treated you. It sucks that people can be so selfish in this world. You are better and stronger than any of them. I know I'mm saying this for all our bloggers that we are family to an extent . Who else would put up with all our rants. Anyhoo I luv ya

Gardener Greg said...

Hugs to you from another disfunctional family. What is up with these people these days? Just do the best you can and try to keep going.

Hugs,
Greg

SJ said...

My parents, siblings, and I lived in a house from when I was born till I was 24...then we moved to a place hardly a kilometer away... I never go back there. Many good memories but some very bad ones too. Anyway other ppl live there now.

just me said...

orphan kahn, it seems lately if it wasn't for God, I wouldn't be here. God, and my oldest son.

just me said...

Anne, no home is never the same, once you leave. I do have the three years I spent with my dad, and that helps a lot.

Babzy, sometime I will write down all the good and the bad. I do now in bits and pieces. Some of it I can't even believe. lol

Mary, Dawn, Greg, I appreciate your comments, but the awful thing is I know them, I know how they are, and that's why its taken me this long to realize it. I knew they wouldn't be there, or even make the effort. I excuse my oldest sister from this as she was too ill to travel. She had lymphoma, supposedly in remission, but she never really recovered from the treatment.

just me said...

SJ, there was times when I was growing up and my dad would talk about moving, and I would think, Oh, God, please!! I wonder if my life would have been different? Well, hell, yeah!

singleton said...

"a house not lived in, doesn't hold up well. It grieves."
How prophetic and true....Souls are the same.... Bask in the joy of your son, your new family, your friends, your child's memory.....You are beautiful and strong...and so much more than "dust in the wind"....wishing you peace where you can find it, and love, lots of love....

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

A drop in the sea, dust in the wind? Never. Not if you have left your mark, and you have, sweet lady. It's good nothing lasts forever - who could survive forever in the childhoods we were trapped in? Take the few good memories, cherish them, and discard the rest.. it's the best we can do. x