Letter to Mom

Hi mom,

Been thinking a lot about you lately. And because I’m much older now, I have a better understanding of the sacrifices you made for me; the hours you poured into making my pretty dresses, cooking my favourite meals, and buying my first accordion. When you bought me a brand new one several years later, I never realized the real price you paid. How you hated that job. But for three long years, you worked scrubbing and cleaning that dreary hotel to pay for my brand new Pearl White, 120 Base accordion. And by often reminding me of that, you must have thought I was a selfish, ungrateful brat.

The truth is I appreciated everything you did for me; I just didn’t know how to say it. It seems I was dumb-struck when it came to communicating my feelings. And when I tried, you judged and criticized me and we’d end up fighting and I’d run to my room bawling and slamming the door shut. So to keep from being hurt, I stuffed my feelings deep inside. And you have to admit, that you didn’t know how to communicate either. But I don’t blame you considering the horrible, abusive childhood you had. It’s a wonder you even survived let alone become a nurturing mother when all you ever received was abuse.

Though my communication skills seemed to be paralyzed, my intuitive brain told me, even at a very young age, that you couldn’t help your sudden outbursts of anger and rage. That you couldn’t stop the tears; the screaming and yelling at me. Something was broken inside you and I was determined to fix it.

You and I both know how that turned out. I ended up more broken than you were; hating myself for being such a failure; punishing myself for fighting against you so hard, feeling guilty that I was not everything you wanted me to be. I just got so tangled up in your pain and sadness that I got lost and angry and bitter and confused. And yes, I blamed you. I blamed you for not getting help. I blamed you for using me as your scapegoat. I blamed you for turning me against daddy. I was so blinded by your suffering and my determination to protect you that I blamed him for everything that was wrong at home. Between the two of us, he didn’t stand a chance, so he became distant and no help to anyone.

Still, you taught me many good things. Every time I hung clothes on the line I remembered to hang the towels together and the underwear, and sheets and pillowcases because you said it looked neater. I remember you teaching me to clean the windows with vinegar and newspaper to keep the windows from streaking, and taking down the blinds and soaking them in the bathtub for easier cleaning. And remember suggesting that, when I can’t iron them right away, to sprinkle the clothes, roll them up in a towel and put them in the refrigerator? Well, one time I left them in there so long they got mildewed and I had to wash them again!

And you encouraged me to draw and paint by supplying me with paper and charcoal pencils and number paints. You encouraged me to learn to play the accordion, organ and piano, which I did. And since you couldn’t afford lessons for me, I taught myself. But you taught me how to sing. You had the most beautiful voice in the world!  My favourite part of the day was sitting beside you at the sewing machine and hearing you sing. I believe the angels listened in awe too.

And you taught me about Jesus and living a truthful, honest life and staying out of trouble. You taught me to pray and read my Bible. You taught me to respect my elders. But when it came to boys and dating, you forgot to teach me to relax. I was so bashful about eating in front of a guy that I’d rather starve than let him know I was hungry. But they knew to keep their wandering hands to themselves!

Oh, and before I forget, when you saw how much I loved to roller-skate you made sure I had a pair of skates. I didn’t care that they weren’t brand new. They fit and they rolled and that’s all that mattered to me. I have to confess something, though. I snuck my little skating skirt in my skate case and changed into it in the dressing room at the roller rink. Sorry. But you were so strict about some things!

So, mom, even though our relationship was never what we both longed for, I’ve always loved you, it just wasn’t the way you wanted me to love you. But I couldn’t fill the holes in your soul. I couldn’t be the loving mom and dad you deserved as a child. I couldn’t be the supportive husband, the perfect child; everything you needed to make you whole. I just wish you could have understood that and not leaned on me so hard and expected me to make up for everyone else’s failures.

Though it took a long time for my recovery from such a hurtful and confusing relationship, I forgive you and I forgive myself. Many times I wished God had given me a different family, one that wasn’t so messed up. More than anything I wish you and me were more loving and understanding toward one another. I especially wish I hadn’t lashed out so angrily at you and I can’t think of one good excuse why I did. I can only say, with tears streaming down my face, I am so very sorry.

I miss you so much, mom. I wish I could hear your laughter, your silly jokes, and your happy whistle. I wish we could go out for breakfast and then do a little shopping like we used to do each week. I wish I could eat one more of your delicious meals and your homemade bread and sticky buns. I wish I could see your face, your busy hands, your peppy walk just one more time.

It doesn’t seem fair, does it mom that we were both victims of your abusive childhood. That we both became painfully and emotionally handicapped. But I got my strength and determination from you. Though our wings were broken, we flew as high as we could and never gave up.

So, I’ll close by saying, thank you, mom, for doing your best to raise me right in spite of the many boulders across the path. Thank you for being faithful, honest and true. Thank you for the only love you knew how to give. I guess, without my realizing it, God thought it was enough because He’s been supplying the rest.

Good-bye, mom. I’ll see you in heaven one day.

Your loving daughter,
Sandi

 

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Our Fur Babies

We rescued Bella from the Animal Shelter over a year ago. One dog has always been enough for us to handle at a time. But, this summer, when we rescued hubby’s sister after being abandoned for three days without food or water or electricity, we couldn’t resist rescuing the puppy as well.

She was light as a feather. Skin pulled over bones. More dead than alive. How could anyone be so cruel? There were other dogs, too. Thirteen in all. But we could only rescue this little one. We called Animal Control for the others.

It was love at first sight for Bella and Pepper. The two are inseparable as if they know they share a common bond of being abandoned and left to die. We love them both and are so glad we made room for them in our hearts and home.

Paw Prints

Bella Rae

Bella Rae

We’ve never owned a dog like her before

And it’s a wee bit nerve-wracking

Okay it’s a whole bunch nerve-wracking

She’s feisty

Sassy

Strong-willed

Like me

But she’s a dog

And I’m the boss

She’s supposed to listen

When I tell her no

To get in her bed

To pee and poop outside

To stop jumping on the furniture

And charging through the house

And bouncing around like a kangaroo

To stop biting

And scratching

And licking

That constant licking of herself

Like a cat

Lick

Lick

Lick

And she snores

And she farts

And she eats like a pig

  We’re old people

We like things calm and quiet

We like a clean smelling house

Pee-stained-free carpet

And slobber-less tile floors

At least she’s potty trained now

I thought

Till this morning

When she peed and pooped in the living room

And threw up in my bedroom

 I wanted to wring her little neck

Take her back to the pound

And bring home a droopy-eyed over-the-hill bloodhound

But I cleaned up the mess instead

Because I love her

Because she brings more joy than chaos

Because she has left paw prints on my heart

Forever

~ Sandi

Stay-at-Home Mom Career

While other girls were dreaming of their Senior Prom, finishing school, and going to college, I was dreaming of having a baby.

After I got married, of course. I’m from the old one-room school with outside toilets; light years before premarital sex became acceptable.

Actually, I wasn’t even thinking about how babies were made. I just knew I wanted one.

Call it maternal instinct. Call it insanity. I just wanted a baby.

To hold in my arms.

To love.

To protect.

To fight to the death for.

Finally, my dream came true. I was twenty. Although the marriage didn’t last, my love and devotion for my son did.

Four years as a single mom and no child support was tough. I worked. I scrimped. I barely made ends meet.

I cried a lot.

Worried a lot.

Slammed doors a lot.

But I never stopped loving and caring for my son.

He was the reason for me to keep going.

Then one evening, at the least of romantic places . . . a service station, I met my Knight in Bermuda shorts, wire-rim glasses, and yellow button down shirt.

It was not love at first sight.

Nor was it love at second sight.

But as time went on, I fell in love with the gentle giant and married him. How could any mother not love the man who loves her child as she loves him.

Although I continued working to supplement our income, my heart was ever longing to be a stay-at-home mom.

Several long years of misery in the working field, I convinced my husband that we wouldn’t starve to death if I quit my job to stay home where I belong.

As with anything, unless you’re super rich, there were sacrifices. We couldn’t afford designer clothes and trade cars every year. We didn’t go on cruises or travel the world. Sometimes a simple trip to the beach was out of our budget.

But the trade-off and the investment we made in our son was worth all the luxuries in the world.

This morning, nearly five decades later, I sat reminiscing about my life. Suddenly, I felt a twinge of regret that I hadn’t done this and hadn’t achieved that and asked myself, why?

Then I remembered.

I smiled.

My stay-at-home mom career was worth all the PhD’s in the world!

To see what my son is up to today, visit freedom4her | RAWimpact Police Training Project

freedom4her | About Us

My Friend, Gill

Like a giant he stood in the small, dimly lit Sanctuary, quietly adjusting to his strange surroundings.

I liked him right off —- ponytail, earrings and all.

Each word of his charming accent painted picturesque scenes and ancient villages of Italy.

His smile was warm and friendly, but his eyes were shadowed with loneliness and grief.

He had just served ten years in prison and struggles to fit into a harsh, unforgiving society. A society that slams the door in his face everywhere he turns. A society that clutches the keys to his bleak and lonely cell in which he lives.

He longs for his family, but their hearts are frozen. Their hateful words, like a vengeful sword, pierce his bleeding heart.

I wish they could hear him laugh. Listen to his heart. Feel his anguish.

But, like a sneering warden, they dangle the keys of judgement in his face; never letting him forget his twisted, tormented past.

From the day we met Gill, he became a huge part of our family. We loved him, encouraged him, and helped him in every way we could. My son was his pastor, mentor, oft time provider, and unconditional friend.

Sadly, it wasn’t enough.

Like a dog returning to its vomit, Gill returned to child pornography; hours and hours of internet child pornography. When that was not fulfilling enough, he became involved with a minor.

Her dad called the police.

When the police arrived at Gill’s house, they broke down the door to find him slumped unresponsive in a chair.

While the world was busy with their every day lives that warm sunny day four and a half years ago, Gill ended his.

Pedophiles are a dog’s bone in prison. And Gill promised himself he would never go back there.

Many people would say that the ten years our family invested in Gill were a waste. That he didn’t deserve love and understanding. That he was a worthless piece of trash.

But for God’s grace, we would all be a “Gill,” forever lost in the darkness of evil.

While many people recover from a broken home, sexual abuse, and abandonment, Gill never did. In spite of all our efforts, he chose a path that ultimately cost him his life.

Would we do it again? Yes. Gill was worth it to us. He was worth it to God. I only regret that he wasn’t worth it to himself.

Pornography is Satan’s supreme promise to pleasure beyond measure.

He leaves out the astronomical cost of your soul.

What is your life worth to you?

God’s Gift

PreciousBabies are a joy; God’s gift to the world. Yet, so many today are abused, abandoned, and tossed away like trash. In the midst of selfishness, poverty and greed, a baby’s cry goes unheard; a child’s anguish unseen.

As the value of human life goes down the price of a child’s innocent body goes up through child exploitation and human trafficking.

And it’s all around us.

Although we can’t rescue every hurting child in the world, we can love and protect the ones God has put in our lives. Our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren need love and encouragement. They need our time and attention. They need to know that when they mess up we still love them and will always be there for them.

We need to treat the children in our lives as if they are the most precious treasures on earth . . . because they are!

Photo Re-Touched . . . Alien Grave

This is another photo posted by Colin. It wasn’t difficult for me to see the creatures lurking within these funny-shaped mushrooms. And they’re not cute . . . They’re aliens. And they’re dead. I don’t think they’ll be posing a threat to anyone.

Original photograph is by:  A Tramp in the Woods – WordPress.com.

Thanks for stopping by!

Photo Re-Touched . . . Flower

 

My life would be totally boring if I couldn’t create. There’s only so much rollerblading and skateboarding a granny can do in one day. And cleaning house got old a long time ago. I still do laundry though, when we run out of clean stuff. And wash the dishes when the dishwasher is full. But sitting at my computer is where you’ll find me the biggest part of the day . . . and night.

 Colin, A Tramp in the Woods – WordPress.com posted this lovely flower a while back and I just couldn’t resist setting this little captive free . . . Now Fizz has another playmate.

Thanks, Colin!

Thanks to you for stopping by!

Re-Touched Photo

At first glance, I saw an alien. As I got to working with the photo however, something entirely different emerged . . .Lady PrayingEverything was right there: her long, graceful neck, floppy hat, collar and flowing scarf. All she needed was a face. Of course I had to do a little warping. Then I added some shading, highlights, and texture. And wallah!  We have a lovely lady praying.

Photo is compliments of: A Tramp in the Woods | A nature diary from the Forest of Dean.

Thanks Colin!

And thanks to you for stopping by.