Saturday, October 27, 2007

Where I Come From

I come from cornbread, beans and taters. Nearly every night. Throw in some meat ocassionally but not always.

I come from a trailer beside a cornfield and then later a house in "town" which was still the country, it just meant we had neighbors. Looking back, this was not a good move.

I come from doing chores every day for my Grandma. I got off the bus, got her mail, washed her dishes and swept her porch. Then I would sit and visit with her a little while. As I was leaving she would tell me to get a quarter out of the jar. We were both blessed by our set-up. She was not a very loving or demonstrative woman but I loved her anyway. I don't think I would "get" my Dad as much if I hadn't spent so much time with my Grandma, his mom. Even though there were lots of hugs, there wasn't much regard for children or childish things. Farm people really appreciate good hard work and not much else. Hard work is its own reward.

I come from a home filled with the hurt and bitterness of divorce. My mom has not healed from divorcing my dad even to this day. Our family was forever set on a different path with that decision. God blesses us anyway when we allow it.

I come from a home with a step-parent who loved us more than his own children. He is a very challenging man, but my sister and I do not question that he loved us like we were his own. He is also 20 years older than my mom which brings along whole other set of issues.

I come from a Dad who saw us only on Sundays between church services that he did not attend. Some of these Sundays were wonderful, but most of the time we could tell he would rather be doing other things. Sometimes he did those other things, like gun trading, and left us waiting in the car. Nothing like fighting with your sisters for a couple of hours in the van. I think these hours of nothingness fostered my love of reading.

I come from hours upon hours of playing alone in the country with my bike and my dogs. Sometimes my sister and I played together too, but mostly we played apart. I love nature and as a child I really believed the best things in the world were found in the woods or by a river, creek or pond. I still believe that but now I get to add the ocean as well.

I come from imperfect people who made lots of mistakes. I spent my whole life wishing those around me had been more perfect. I hated God for a long time because I grew up smart and poor which is a bad combination. I resented the opportunities that people I went to school with had. It was hard to watch them take it all for granted. Now I appreciate exactly the gift God gave me of being self-sufficient. I am proud to be a survivor. I appreciate imperfection. (It's a good thing too.) I love my imperfect people.

I come from anger. Lots of combustible people spending too much time too close together. I have a lifetime of unhealthy anger management. I will spend a lifetime trying to change that about myself. My kids will grow up with it as well, but they know it is wrong and that Mom is trying to change.

I come from a Heavenly Father with a plan for my life. I think that plan may center on writing. It has always been a consistent thing in my life. All of my plans as a kid centered around it on one form or another. I planned to pursue journalism before a handsome man swept me off my feet and gave me a gorgeous family.

I now come from the kind of family I always wanted. God is good.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I always feel so guilty about my selfishness in those years. The only excuse I can come up with is that I never really understood the pain you must have been going through. As an adult, I always look back on the way I treated people and wish I could apologize, and just let them know how miserable a person I was, and evidently just had to spread it around. Believe me, it has caused many a sleepless night. So, just know, that I am sorry, and I wish I had been a better friend.