Born Blue by Han Nolan (A book Review)

Sorry about overloading the blogosphere with posts from ME but I haven’t been able to get on for a while and I’m OCD so I feel like I can’t put these books away until I blog about them!  lol  I really need professional help, I know!

Born Blue

Published by:  Harcourt Inc.

I purchased this book at St. Louis’s largest book fair just the other day.  I usually don’t get around to reading new books for a very long time because I have a list of books I need to finish in my lifetime.  HOWEVER, I’ve spent the last 2 days in the hot sun, at a baseball field, just waiting for news that a good friends son was chosen for the minor leagues.  I needed a quick read.  At first, I didn’t notice that this was a young adult genre book.  Apparently, this is the genre for me because I’m LOVING the stray YA books I’ve chosen!  I can tell you too that Han Nolan is going to be one of my new favorite writers  🙂  Can you tell that this was a favorite?

From the back cover:

“She has no last name.  She has no real home.  But she has a dream…

Janie… Leshaya… whatever she’s called… she’s a survivor.  Rescued from the brink of death, this child of a heroin addict has seen it all:  revolving foster homes, physical abuse, and unwanted pregnancy.  Now her childhood is coming to an end, and she is determined to make a life for herself by doing the only thing that makes her feel whole… singing.

Can this girl, born to a life of hardship, find the strength and courage to break away from her past and become the legend that she is meant to be?”

I guess I’d have to say that this book resonates with me so much because The lead character feels NOTHING and has something diagnosed as “Attachment Disorder”, which basically means she’s got no conscience.  I recognized my stepdaughter throughout this book.  This was a personal journey to me.  I have a hard time understanding people who can’t FEEL and this took me deep into the mind of an abused child and explained WHY this happens.  It made me sad, and so mad at times that I wanted to reach in and shake this girl.  It’s written in “first person” and in a language better known as “wigga” – basically a white girl who wants to be black.  At first, being the white girl that I am, it was hard for me to understand the language but I quickly caught on.  lol

I finished this one in a day and a half and I want to know more about what happened to Leshaya…  it’s THAT good.

Ana’s Story (A Journey of Hope) by Jenna Bush: A Book Review

Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope

Ana’s Story

A Journey of Hope

By Jenna Bush

Based on her work with Unicef

Harper Collins Publisher

I love buying books where a portion of the proceeds go to help a charitable organization!  I especially like it when that charitable organization is Unicef.  I’ve been helping to raise money for Unicef since I was a very little girl.  In Catholic school, we used to go around collecting money in little milk cartons.  We’d then send that money into Unicef so that they could help to feed the poor and hungry in third world countries.

Here’s the description from the book:

“She’s 17. She’s been abused.  She has a child.  And she’s HIV positive. She is Ana, and this is her story.  It begins the day she is born infected with HIV, transmitted from her young mother.  Now, she barely remembers her mama, who died when Ana was only 3.  From then on, Ana’s childhood becomes a blur of faint memories and secrets – secrets about her illness and about the abuse she endures.

Ana’s journey is a long one.  Shuffled from home to home, she rarely finds safety or love.  And then she meets a boy.  Berto is one of the only people Ana trusts with all her secrets.  That trust puts Ana on a path to breaking the silence that has harmed her and leads her to new beginnings, new sorrows, and new hope.

Jenna Bush has written a powerful narrative nonfiction account of a girl who struggles to break free from a vicious cycle of abuse, poverty, and illness.  Based on Jenna’s work with UNICEF and inspired by the framework of one girls life, it is also the story of many children around the world who are marginalized and excluded from basic care, support, and education.  Resources at the back of the book share how you can make a difference to children in need and how you can protect yourself and others”

I didn’t realize I was buying a book written for teens!  lol  BUT I’m glad I did.  Yes, it was a little simple but simple is good.  I read this one in 2 bath tub sessions:-)  What I LOVED about Ana’s Story was that it flowed easily and it was written well.  I found myself wanting to know more about Ana at the end of the book.  It ends kind of abruptly but Ana’s story had to end somewhere.  It was a TRUE story and she’s still alive.  I wonder how Ana is doing now?

This book reminded me of Half The SKY by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.  I absolutely LOVE the idea of helping to empower and educate girls and women in poorer countries.  It’s my dream to be able to go to Latin America or India and help in the schools.  Or do ANYTHING that brings hope.  Jenna Bush impressed me with her compassion and her willingness to “get her hands dirty” by helping Aids patients through her work with UNICEF.  As mentioned in the description, Jenna gives websites and even phone numbers for numerous charitable organizations.  She also gives suggestions for what a teenager or an adult can do to help raise money to help several organizations.  She gives ideas for what students can do to protect themselves against the spread of Aids/HIV and ideas on how to stop bullying.

I think this one will be on Julia’s reading list soon 😉

That’s what I said!

We come into this world unknown
But know that we are not alone
They try and knock us down
But change is coming, it’s our time now

Hey… everybody loses it,
Everybody wants to throw it all away sometimes
And hey… yeah I know what you’re going through
Don’t let it get the best of you, you’ll make it out alive
Ohh

People like us we’ve gotta stick together
Keep your head up, nothing lasts forever
Here’s to the damned, to the lost and forgotten
It’s hard to get high when you’re living on the bottom

Oh woah oh oh woah oh
We are all misfits living in a world on fire
Oh woah oh oh woah oh
Sing it for the people like us, the people like us

Hey, this is not a funeral
It’s a revolution, after all your tears have turned to rage
Just wait, everything will be okay
Even when you’re feeling like it’s going down in flames
Ohh

People like us we’ve gotta stick together
Keep your head up nothing lasts forever
Here’s to the damned, to the lost and forgotten
It’s hard to get high when you’re living on the bottom

Oh woah oh oh woah oh
We are all misfits living in a world on fire
Oh woah oh oh woah oh
Sing it for the people like us, the people like us

Oh woah oh oh woah oh
You’ve just gotta turn it up loud when the flames get higher
Oh woah oh oh woah oh
Sing it for the people like us, the people like us

They can’t do nothing to you, they can’t do nothing to me
This is the life that we choose, this is the life that we bleed
So throw your fists in the air, come out, come out if you dare
Tonight we’re gonna change forever

Everybody loses it, everybody wants to throw it all away sometimes
Ohh

People like us we’ve gotta stick together
Keep your head up nothing lasts forever
Here’s to the damned, to the lost and forgotten
It’s hard to get high when you’re living on the bottom

Oh woah oh oh woah oh
We are all misfits living in a world on fire
Oh woah oh oh woah oh
Sing it for the people like us, the people like us

Oh woah oh oh woah oh
You’ve just got to turn it up loud when the flames get higher
Oh woah oh oh woah oh
Sing it for the people like us, the people like us

Oh woah oh oh woah oh
This one goes out to ALL my fellow misfits! lol Crank it up and DANCE. Celebrate life… it’s too short to be sad 🙂 Remember YOU are loved, very much!

People Like us by Kelly Clarkson

We’re all misfits living in a world on fire
Oh woah oh oh woah oh
Sing it for the people like us, the people like us

Oh woah oh oh woah oh
You’ve just got to turn it up loud when the flames get higher
Oh woah oh oh woah oh
Sing it for the people like us, the people like us

The Awakening By Sonny Carroll

I’ve said before, time and time again, there are no accidents.  One of my very best friends called this morning while I was struggling to write my story and purge my body of all these negative feelings and memories.  She wanted me to read “The Awakening” and really look at what it said.  It’s so very fitting and it amazes me that so many other people feel this way. I’m having this kind of awakening.  Right now.  Thank you Beth, for just knowing…

The Awakening
by Sonny Carroll

The Awakening
Sonny Carroll

There comes a time in your life when you finally get it … When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out “ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on.” And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world from a new perspective.

……….This is your awakening.

You realize that it is time to stop hoping and waiting for something or someone to change, or for happiness safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact that there aren’t always fairytale endings (or beginnings for that matter) and that any guarantee of “happily ever after” must begin with you. Then a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

So you begin making your way through the “reality of today” rather than holding out for the “promise of tomorrow.” You realize that much of who you are and the way you navigate through life is, in great part, a result of all the social conditioning you’ve received over the course of a lifetime. And you begin to sift through all the nonsense you were taught about :

– how you should look and how much you should weigh,
– what you should wear and where you should shop,
– where you should live or what type of car you should drive,
– who you should sleep with and how you should behave,
– who you should marry and why you should stay,
– the importance of bearing children or what you owe your family,

Slowly you begin to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin re-assessing and re-defining who you are and what you really believe in. And you begin to discard the doctrines you have outgrown, or should never have practiced to begin with.

You accept the fact that you are not perfect ,and that not everyone will love appreciate or approve of who or what you are… and that’s OK… they are entitled to their own views and opinions. And, you come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 5 or a “perfect 10″…. Or a perfect human being for that matter… and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head or agonizing over how you compare. And, you take a long look at yourself in the mirror and you make a promise to give yourself the same unconditional love and support you give so freely to others. Then a sense of confidence is born of self-approval.

And, you stop maneuvering through life merely as a “consumer” hungry for your next fix, a new dress, another pair of shoes or looks of approval and admiration from family, friends or even strangers who pass by. Then you discover that it is truly in “giving” that we receive, and that the joy and abundance you seek grows out of the giving. And you recognize the importance of “creating” and “contributing” rather than “obtaining” and “accumulating.”

And you give thanks for the simple things you’ve been blessed with, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about – a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, the freedom of choice and the opportunity to pursue your own dreams.

And you begin to love and to care for yourself. You stop engaging in self-destructive behaviors, including participating in dysfunctional relationships. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and exercising. And because you’ve learned that fatigue drains the spirit and creates doubt and fear, you give yourself permission to rest. And just as food is fuel for the body, laughter is fuel for the spirit and so you make it a point to create time for play.

Then you learn about love and relationships – how to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving, and when to walk away. And you allow only the hands of a lover who truly loves and respects you to glorify you with his touch. You learn that people don’t always say what they mean or mean what they say, intentionally or unintentionally, and that not everyone will always come through… and interestingly enough, it’s not always about you. So, you stop lashing out and pointing fingers or looking to place blame for the things that were done to you or weren’t done for you. And you learn to keep your Ego in check and to acknowledge and redirect the destructive emotions it spawns – anger, jealousy and resentment.

You learn how to say “I was wrong” and to forgive people for their own human frailties. You learn to build bridges instead of walls and about the healing power of love as it is expressed through a kind word, a warm smile or a friendly gesture. And, at the same time, you eliminate any relationships that are hurtful or fail to uplift and edify you. You stop working so hard at smoothing things over and setting your needs aside. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK and that it is your right to want or expect certain things. And you learn the importance of communicating your needs with confidence and grace. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that eventually martyrs are burned at the stake. Then you learn to distinguish between guilt, and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to Say NO. You learn that you don’t know all the answers, it’s not your job to save the world and that sometimes you just need to Let Go.

Moreover, you learn to look at people as they really are and not as you would want them to be, and you are careful not to project your neediness or insecurities onto a relationship. You learn that you will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or important because of the man on your arm or the child that bears your name. You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love and relationships, and that that not everyone can always love you the way you would want them to. So you stop appraising your worth by the measure of love you are given. And suddenly you realize that it’s wrong to demand that someone live their life or sacrifice their dreams just to serve your needs, ease your insecurities, or meet “your” standards and expectations. You learn that the only love worth giving and receiving is the love that is given freely without conditions or limitations. And you learn what it means to love. So you stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn that “alone” does not mean “lonely” and you begin to discover the joy of spending time “with yourself” and “on yourself.” Then you discover the greatest and most fulfilling love you will ever know – Self Love. And so it comes to pass that, through understanding, your heart heals; and now all new things are possible.

Moving along, you begin to avoid Toxic people and conversations. And you stop wasting time and energy rehashing your situation with family and friends. You learn that talk doesn’t change things and that unrequited wishes can only serve to keep you trapped in the past. So you stop lamenting over what could or should have been and you make a decision to leave the past behind. Then you begin to invest your time and energy to affect positive change. You take a personal inventory of all your strengths and weaknesses and the areas you need to improve in order to move ahead, you set your goals and map out a plan of action to see things through.

You learn that life isn’t always fair and you don’t always get what you think you deserve, and you stop personalizing every loss or disappointment. You learn to accept that sometimes bad things happen to good people and that these things are not an act of God… but merely a random act of fate.

And you stop looking for guarantees, because you’ve learned that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected and that whatever happens, you’ll learn to deal with it. And you learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time – FEAR itself.  So you learn to step right into and through your fears, because to give into fear is to give away the right to live life on your terms. You learn that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophesy and you learn to go after what you want and not to squander your life living under a cloud of indecision or feelings of impending doom.

Then, YOU LEARN ABOUT MONEY… the personal power and independence it brings and the options it creates. And you recognize the necessity to create your own personal wealth. Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never ever settle for less than your heart’s desire. And a sense of power is born of self-reliance. And you live with honor and integrity because you know that these principles are not the outdated ideals of a by-gone era but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build your life. And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting and to stay open to every wonderful opportunity and exciting possibility. Then you hang a wind chime outside your window to remind yourself what beauty there is in Simplicity.

Finally, with courage in your heart and with God by your side you take a stand, you TAKE a deep breath and you begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.

A word about the Power of Prayer: In some of my darkest, most painful and frightening hours, I have prayed, not for the answers to my prayers or for material things, but for my “God” to help me find the strength, confidence and courage to persevere; to face each day and to do what I must do.

Remember this:- You are an expression of the almighty. The spirit of God resides within you and moves through you. Open your heart, speak to that spirit and it will heal and empower you.
My “God” has never failed me.

Copyright © 2001 Sonny Carroll. All Rights Reserved
Reprinted here with permission

A Prologue to Love by Taylor Caldwell, a mirror into my mother’s soul…

“It is not possible for us to know each other EXCEPT as we manifest ourselves in distorted shadows to the eyes of others.  We do NOT even know ourselves; therefore, why should we judge a neighbor?  Who knows what pain is behind virtue and what fear behind vice?  No one, in short, knows what makes a man, and ONLY God knows his thoughts, his joys, his bitternesses, his agony, the injustices he commits… God is too inscrutable for our little understanding.  After sad meditation it comes to me that all that lives, whether good or in error, mournful or joyous, obscure or of gilded reputation, painful or happy, is only a prologue to love beyond the grave, where all is understood and almost all forgiven”

Seneca

How powerful these words are to me.  Seneca’s words echo in my mind, reminding me a my own mother and how it seems that she doesn’t love or feel.  What brought her to this cold place she calls her world?  I don’t know.

Even more powerful that my mother gave me this book and asked me to see the similarities between myself and the main character, Caroline Ames.  Caroline is very damaged and uncaring about anyone or anything besides her money.  She can’t even feel for her own children.  Through the entire book, which took me 2 months to get through, I was SO hurt that my mother sees me this way.  Damaged, yes I am.  Uncaring, SO far from it!  In the end, I need to recognize that my mother MUST see herself and labels me for everything in the world that she hates about herself.  So very sad.

Product Details

A Prologue to Love

By:  Taylor Caldwell

Overview

In A Prologue To Love Taylor Caldwell has written a profoundly moving novel of a woman, rich beyond imagining, whose inability to give or accept love, whose fear of poverty and hostility towards the world brings in its wake tragedy and unhappiness for almost all whose lives she touches.
Caroline Ames was detested by the father she worshipped. An unscrupulous businessman, John Ames denied Caroline not only of his love, but instilled in her a horror of poverty and a faith in the power of money which was to make her the richest woman in the world – and one of the loneliest.
Miss Caldwell writes of three generations of the Ames family with great insight and compassion. Set in and around Boston during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, she has evoked the period of the great American fortunes through the intricate pattern of a family’s destiny. And she has peopled her novel with characters of unusual depth – all of whom come under the shadow of the strange recluse, Caroline Ames, and the power of her millions.
Perhaps Miss Caldwell’s most impressive achievement in A Prologue To Love is her ability to evoke the reader’s sympathy for Caroline – why it was that she so desperately needed to amass so much money at the expense of family love and community respect, and how, in the end, she comes to realize that her father’s teachings were so wrong.
It is an inspiring story of the power of love and faith in overcoming evil.
My thoughts about the book and NOT my mother?  This book spoke to me because of my own family.  However, the theme will speak to anyone.  Don’t judge someone by outside appearances…  you don’t know what lies behind the hurt and the pain.  In the end, you understand that your entire life is a Prologue to God’s Love.  This is one of my ALL time favorites and I’m proud to recommend it to anyone.
The book was written in the early 1960’s and I believe that it’s message stands the test of time.

On being a strong woman…

Happy March the 8th! International Women’s Day!.

I became aware of International Women’s Day only this morning, on Evelina’s blog.

I’ve got to admit, at least at MY house, every day is Women’s day!  lol  We’ve always joked that my husband is a “king” in our “Queendom”.  Of COURSE I’m the Queen and we’ve had 4 little princesses.  Most of them grew up to be queens in their own “dom’s” .  Seriously, can you imagine 1 man floating in a sea of estrogen?  As women, we understand that when females live in close confines with other females, we all start “cycling” together.  NOT fun at all.  Lots of tears, lots of rage, lots of EMOTION.  I’m really not sure how any of us are still living!  lol  You’d think at least ONE of us should be dead.  I was probably the worst but not by much.  My girls were BAD little bags of hormones too.  You know the saying, right?  “The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree”.  Nope.  It sure does not.  lol

Evelina’s blog got me thinking.  I’ve always been sort of a feminist.  I was born the only girl with 2 brothers and an EXTREMELY Chauvinistic father.  My mother despised feminists.  She believed a woman’s place was in the home and behind her man.  Even as a small girl, I walked around my house angry that I didn’t have the rights that my brothers or my dad did.

I remember one time, when my brother broke his leg, my dad AND mom told me that I had to wash his feet.  You know how your toes hang out of the cast?  They get really nasty and grimy.  My brother was EXACTLY, to the day and hour, 1 year younger than me and was perfectly capable of figuring out how to wash his own nasty feet.  Of course I protested but I was told that I’m a girl and I needed to learn to take care of a man!  Okay, I’m fuming even now, as I type this.  I loved my brother.  He was my best friend.  BUT….  because I was forced to do this for him, and because he laughed all the way through me trying to wash his nasty feet, AND because he was kind of immobile, I took one of his toes and bent it backwards until he begged mom and dad not to ever make me do it again.  lmbo  GOOD times, good times!  Okay, now I’m showing my twisted and warped mind.  If that was the ONLY incident, it wouldn’t have been so bad but every day was a day my mother and I would serve the men in our house.  My dad’s meals had to be put on the table when he walked through the door (and he NEVER walked through the door at the same time ANY day).  My dad’s meals were steak dinners while my mother and I ate economical meals.  My brothers also ate steak because they were “growing boys” and needed to develop muscle.  My dad tells me now that it was my mother’s idea to feed us differently and that he felt we should ALL eat steak.  If my dad was thirsty and his glass was out of reach, he’d call me or my mom in from another room to bring him his glass because he was too lazy to get out of his recliner.  When he’d get home from work, many times I’d have to rub his feet or scratch his back.  I’d also have to rub my brothers feet (both brothers) and make their beds and do their laundry.  I was taught to do all the chores around the house (mop the floors NOT with a mop but on my knees, do the dishes and we didn’t have a dish washer, empty the trash, rake the yard, vacuum, dust all rooms and clean all 3 bathrooms) but my brothers were not because they would one day grow up to marry women who would be responsible for those chores.  My dad had been a military man and he learned to expect his clothes pressed, even his underwear and handkerchiefs.  I had to do this.  He demanded that when he got out of bed, his bed would be made and it wasn’t done right unless he could “bounce a dime”  off the bed covering.  He learned this in the navy and he expected the women to do this for him.  Ummm….  I’m pretty sure the military doesn’t have women coming in to do these things for their male soldiers???  Anyway, you get the picture.  I was a bitter, bitter child.  You see, I was my father’s daughter.  VERY strong and as opinionated as he was about the role of a woman, I was JUST as opinionated about the role I would NOT play once I got out of that house.

I did what I could do to protest my family’s twisted beliefs about women.  I absolutely knew that I’d grow up and change the way I allowed men to treat me.  As a child of the 80’s, I believed women could have it all.  I could have children and I didn’t need a man.  I didn’t believe marriage was important and neither were father’s.  I had my girls and I believed that as long as they had ME, that was all they needed.  I’ve always been tough and demanded that I be respected by a man, but didn’t necessarily GIVE respect.  Okay, almost never did I give respect.  In other words, I took it to the extreme in my attempt to right the wrong of the way I was raised.

What I have learned in the nearly half century that I’ve walked on this earth?  I’ve learned that I was just as wrong as my parents were.  My daughters DID need their fathers.  As good as I was, I would never be able to play BOTH roles, mother and father.  I learned that women CAN’T really have it all and if I have to work all the time to support my daughter’s, who would be actually RAISING and guiding them?  I’ve learned that women who choose to stay home and raise their children are the one’s who deserve respect.  I worked out of necessity because SOMEONE had to support my children and their fathers were NOT.  Back then, I felt like I deserved kudos because I was able to do that.  As a result of me working all the time, my oldest daughter was forced to take care of her younger sisters after school and during the summer months when there was no school.  She was 9 years older than my middle daughter and 14 years older than my youngest so I felt she was old enough.  Other babysitters raised my children as well.  When I talked to my girls, I always told them “you are NOT statistics”.  I felt I needed to drill this into their heads because 2 of them were illegitimate the one who WASN’T illegitimate, was a child of divorce.  They ALL have different fathers.  Most kids born the way they were born are children who are welfare recipients.  WE were not.  As long as I was able to work and provide, we would NEVER be on government assistance.  My girls had material possessions, nice clothes, a TV in their rooms, music, nice bikes, etc…  They had nicer things than many children did who HAD fathers.  I thought this was important.

What was important, in reality, was that they had a family.  A mother AND father.  If I had to go back and do it over again, I would have stayed married.  I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to have those kids out of wedlock just to prove something to society.  I always told my girls that they weren’t accidents.  They really weren’t.  Aside from my oldest daughter, who really wasn’t planned, I took NO precautions to prevent any of them and neither did their fathers.  I always told them that God had a reason for each and every one of them to be on this earth.  I still believe that, however, NOW I know that God will make good out of our bad decisions and he never intended us to be irresponsible with another little life.

I’m not so much of a feminist now.  I know that respect goes both ways and women play MANY roles.  Men should too and I’ll never change my views on that.  I believe that women have HAD to play many roles because so much of the time, men don’t step up to the plate and do what THEY’RE supposed to do.  Thankfully though, my girls haven’t taken things to the extreme the way I did and they try to treat the men in their lives with respect.  I guess they learned from my mistakes and they were able to recognize that what I did wasn’t what THEY should do.  NONE of them have had illegitimate children and equally important, none of them have felt the need to be married at a young age.  They’re independent women who know that there’s a time and a place for marriage and children.  They’re not in a hurry to start a family.  For THAT, I’m so thankful.  My stepdaughter is married and she’s only 21.  She’s lived with me full time since she was 9 years old.  I believe her ideals were formed before she came to me.  Ahhh well…  so far, and I hope forever, she and her husband are happy.

What are your thoughts on feminism and the role that you feel a woman should play?  Just curious.  There are really no right and wrong opinions and answers 🙂

Forgiving my father and praying for a speedy recovery…

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This is my dad. He’s 70 years old now. Despite everything that happened when I was young, I have forgiven him.  He told me that he will go to his grave, forever being sorry for what he’s done to us kids.  He believed my mother when she’d call him home from work, screaming at him that she couldn’t handle these kids and that they needed to be punished.  As I mentioned before in THIS post, Mom did this, feeling justified because she wanted him to wear himself out beating us so that he wouldn’t have the energy to hurt her.  I blame my mother for most of what happened to us because she never took drugs and never drank alcohol.  He did.  Not that that’s an excuse but she was in control of her own mind.  He always told us that “the devil in the bottle” controlled his mind.  She’d lie to him and tell him that my brother, now deceased, and I did horrible things.  Most of the time, we didn’t know what she was talking about because we were locked in our room and COULDN’T do the things she accused us of.  My baby brother would usually be the guilty party but Mom DID have natural love for him and never wanted Dad to hurt him.  In her mind, it was okay to have dad hurt J and I because we were 3 and 4 years older than Keith and she felt we could handle the blows from this huge man, who was our father.  When Mom looked at us, she saw the face of my father and she couldn’t love us.  Keith looks like her and was always a beautiful child.  She would do her best to protect him.

MUCH time has past and through many rocky years, I’ve always known my dad loved me.  He was the only one to ever show affection, pride and natural love.  He did this in his down time when he would be trying hard not to drink and do drugs.  He stopped MOST drugs and cut out ALL alcohol when my brother was killed.  It crushed Dad and he has never been the same.  He loved my brother so much and didn’t realize how he was hurting us both until the day J died.  He’s shown open and anguishing grief.  Mom, if she ever grieved, didn’t show it.  It looked as if she were going to the funeral of a stranger.  I have forgiven my dad because he allowed us to see his human side.

He’ll never be perfect and I don’t expect him to be.  I love him through his faults and his triumphs.  That’s the way it should be.  It’s not to say that I don’t still have nightmares and don’t have to work through the events of my past.  I do.  BUT, it helps because I have at least one parent who admits wrong doing and I know he’d take it all back if he could.

Right now, I’m on my way to get him to bring him to the hospital for surgery tomorrow.  His aortic valve is closing and he’s in very bad shape.  He needs open heart surgery but the Veteran’s Hospital needs to put him on a waiting list to receive the surgery where they won’t have to break his rib cage.  Apparently, they can do open heart surgery by going through the groin like they do with angioplastic surgery now.  Who knew?

Anyway, I’m afraid to lose this man.  Besides my younger brother, he’s the only link to my past and the only one who truly knows me.  It’s so scary to lose your parents.  I wouldn’t even want to lose mom.  It makes me sick thinking about it.  It’s a whole new world knowing that there aren’t parents left anymore and WE become the adults.

I know he may sound like a monster to many of you but I’m asking that you’ll keep him in your prayers anyway.  Despite all, he’s still my daddy.

I’ll be gone for 4 days, waiting with my stepmother at the VA hospital 3 hours away.  Oddly enough, I can’t get internet connection inside the hospital.  I won’t be able to follow all of you and know what’s going on with you after I leave the hotel room tomorrow morning.  Just know that you’re all in my thoughts and prayers and I’m thinking of you!

(((hugs)))