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.