It’s American Heart Month. When I was young, this didn’t mean too much to me because my parents were busy keeping me from overexerting myself or something the doctor told me not to do. Why? Because I was born with a congenital heart defect.
There was a time in my life when I wanted more than anything to get married and have kids. At least three, just like my parents had, but with a boy in there somewhere. After getting bullied most of my school years, I always wanted a brother who would defend me.
Holding the handmade ornaments from my daughter, with their crayon colorings, brilliantly arranged as a little girl of five to say Santa was arriving, made me nostalgic for those beautiful days of handcrafted gifts with special bows made by her small hands.
She told me all the things I needed to know and hear. A dying man needed to know he’d be remembered.
Reading through your diaries – back during those nasty divorce years – I remember dealing with my own issues as a young teenager; never realizing how you suffered as well… especially missing mum.
What’s the hardest thing about downsizing? Parting with the things we keep for both practical and sentimental reasons. Let’s face it, some things are REALLY hard to part with! My old cell phone, for instance, has no use whatsoever, except that it stores the text messages that my sister Ferne and I shared daily for the 3 years before she died. The memories stored there are priceless to me but meaningless to anyone else.
The other day, I was driving down a main thoroughfare in my town, and I saw a billboard that read: “The Roles are Reversed.” It showed two pictures of the same family.
Life appeared less complicated when we were young. Our days of imaginary play have become years of reality.
What happened to me on the top floor of my elementary school so many years ago actually feels as if occurred just yesterday. To be ridiculed like that hurts you to the core, and there are so many feelings surrounding that hurt: shame, sadness, guilt, anger. You want it to stop, to end, you want to have a normal brother, you want his “sickness” to go away.
A miniature face was all you could see peeping out of the blanket – two navy-blue eyes, translucent white skin and a tiny pair of pursed red lips. Mother and child seemed other-worldly; like a mirage, flickering on and off.