Monday, November 29, 2010

Putting Things In The Past


Dear Readers.

Funny writing "readers" as I suppose there are only a handful of you that have followed along. When the idea of this blog surfaced in my mind, I had the notion of helping other young mothers struggling in dead end relationships for the sake of their child. I have enjoyed the years of open communication with my daughter and she amazes me every day with her creativity, her ideas and her sense of herself. I find that rereading my letters to her and then retyping them into this blog stirs up so many feelings which in turn weigh on me for weeks after wards. I was 19 years old and unwed when I became pregnant with MJ . I was so unsure of myself and it shows in the choices I made to continue to reunite with her father. I had such a low self esteem that I did not know how to break away and stay away from her father for good. I see it so very clear now and when I read my letters I have such a strong sense of guilt and anger that rushes over me that I feel it might be best to fast forward into the next chapter of our lives. I truly want to step away from those memories of her father and start up where our lives take a turn of events. In my day to day life I rarely have a thought of her father, but since starting this blog, I find myself digging up those awful feelings towards him and the sense of guilt for not providing MJ with a healthy father figure. I was so set on making our family work 'someday' that I short changed so many todays.
In the next few days I will do a fast forward of events leading up to me finally sitting on a front porch and telling her father that neither of us was living up to our full potentials together and that I was leaving him for good. And I did, I left him for good. Wow, now that felt good to type.
Let me do that again.... I did, I left him for good!
I now have a smile on my face.
So I hope that you are each good with a change in the story. I will fill you in on the events of 1994 to 1998. At that point I will retype letters MJ and I exchanged from that point on. When MJ signed up for the military on her 17th birthday, and then left for basic training we wrote back and fourth so often that it will take days to get through those! So the next couple of posts will be a summary of events and pictures over the years.
I hope you will continue reading along and let us know if these letters touch home with you in any way.
Now Stay Tuned,

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Disney Downsides

November, 1993

Dear MaryJanes,

I had stashed away what money I could so that we could be included in our extended families trip to Disney World. My sister and brother, along with their kids and your grandmother were all traveling together. We drove a used motor home that my mother had purchased in hopes of driving her self on various travels in the future. This was the first trip it had taken since it was purchased. What was suppose to be a fairy tale trip for you was altered by the expenses needed for repair and fuel for the motor home. The fuel alone consumed over $700.00 of my funds. Your father did not contribute to this travel and so any money that was spent, was from my skimping and saving. I barely had enough to cover our campsite, meals and little entertainment. I can not tell you how sick I felt not to be able to let you do all of the rides and games that a child should do on their once in a life time Disney visit.
My sister saw my anguish, and did a few extra special things for you. She had her own family to see to and I know she was irritated with your father for not helping us out. She kept quite about it and helped make the trip fun with suggestions of free entertainment ideas.
Having enough fuel money for the return trip home weighed on my mind through out each day. I had figured out what money I would need for the return trip home, and tucked it away.

I journal this down as a way to let it go. I do not know that I will ever let you read this letter, but I needed to vent my frustrations somewhere.
I don't think you were aware of just how much my heart was hurting to see you go with less than what I had dreamed for you. I hope the nights around the campfire and just being with family over shadowed the missed out purchases that I would have normally made for you. I hope you that you had a fun trip despite all of that.
Your father had told me that he had no interest in a trip to Disney World and wasn't even going to join us. I needed him to drive the motor home and so insuring him that it would not cost him a cent, he agreed to go. Would it really have killed him to tuck a little extra money in his wallet to give you a special trip? Apparently so, as he never offered.
Why on earth did I ever agree to go back to him?

Now Dream Of Far Away Places.
Love, Galoshes

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A New Home

Image by: buckscountyframes

September, 1992

Dear MaryJanes,

Ten years ago your father and I were married. After all this time we now have a house to call our own. It is an old farm house with 40 acres and a long, narrow barn with a couple of horse stalls. We can bring your pony home and I will look for a horse, maybe a lamb or a goat and of coarse we will start right away for a search for a big puppy.

There is work to be done, and some fixing to do, but it is ours.
Since we live way out in the country, I found you a little mini bike so that you ride it around the land and to the closet house down the road, I see they have a girl about your age.
Your father did the ground work and came up with 2 house options and asked me to pick the one I liked best. He swears he will work hard, stop drinking and become an active role in our little family. He seems to have really worked hard to pull this all together and I think he is sincere in his efforts.
We came up with a solution for your small bedroom by building a cute bunk bed with a desk area for you below. This was one of the very first undertakings in making this old house suitable to our needs. There was a compromise in locations for the house so that it was between your fathers job and mine. You have started a new school and have a very nice teacher. I hope you make friends and adjust to this move. You seem excited to be back as a family and I hope that your father stays true to his word.
I found a good deal on some new paint and you said you would like to help pick out colors and paint. We will have to tackle remodeling the kitchen, the laundry room and the bathroom. First I want to go to the barn and get the stalls ready for your pony. I am glad there is a fenced in area for her to roam. I noticed that there are berries growing along the back side of the barn, we will have to gather them next spring. I will plan for a big garden and hanging my clothes out on a line to dry. Spring will be wonderful!

This feels good to be making a place for us to live as a family. I pray that God will watch over us and help your father make the needed adjustments that he has agreed to.

Now saddle up your pony and run with the wind.
Love, Galoshes

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Image by: sixthandmain

Dear Galoshes,

A small round plastic toy with a string that pulls it up and down when pressure is applied. My father is that string applying pressure and you are that small plastic toy that drags me along with you. Always trying to break away, just to be yanked back in again.

I wish I could cut that string, burn it, then bury it far far away. We could go anywhere, be anything we wanted to be, the two of us. We would be so much happier without him. You want so desperately for him not to make the mistakes your own father did, for me to have a father unlike yourself, but he just isn't that person. He will NEVER BE that person. But it will be a long, bumpy, road before you realize this.

He is an addict. Alcohol is his drug of choice. Even at times when he is alone with me, responsible for keeping me safe, I find myself caring for him in a drunken stupor. I find it funny that someone who thinks of himself so highly and belittles others so easily puts himself in a position that a child has to care for him, for he is too drunk to do it himself.

Run, please, run and do not look back.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Where Is This Heading?

Image by: sixthandmain

June 1992

Dear MaryJanes,

He makes promises and I want so to believe that he is sincere. Your father says he misses us and that he is ready to do what ever it takes to get us back together. The sensible part of me says that this is a trap. The sentimental part of me wants to believe this is the truth.
I am not easily lured as I make my list of demands.
No Smoking.
No drinking.
We buy a house.
We live between your job and mine.
You take an active role in your daughter's life.
We do more as a family.
You say goodbye to your youth and grow up.

I tell him to think on my list of demands and sleep on it. I am serious and will not be easily talked into reuniting with him.
He "says" he will do what ever I want, what ever it takes, he will do it.

My sister and brother in law plead with me to come to my senses. All I have ever wanted in my life is to get married, have children, own a home in the country with a couple of big dogs and be happy with just that. A simple life.

I will see what the week brings. For now at least he says he misses us and that makes me feel good.

Now let me figure this all out.
Love, Galoshes

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Setting Boundaries

September 1992

Dear MaryJanes,

Considering you are only 9 years old, you seem to have a grasp on who you are and what you want in life. You are mature for your age and this is a good and a bad thing all rolled up into one little ball. I don't want you to miss out on being a kid, yet I want you to learn to be accountable for your actions.
You have earned many freedoms and continue to earn more as you prove to be very responsible. Rarely, do you give me any reason to use a harsh tone.
I have been strict with you. I hope that when you are grown you can look back and know that I am strict now so that you learn the rules I set in place for you and in turn earn freedoms. Some times parents find it easier to give in to the wants and wishes of their children. They let them get away with more than they ought to. I think that it might be easier to show you the rules and boundaries and then you learn good habits. Time will tell I suppose. For now, I go with the thought of, "here are my rules, follow them, be rewarded with making choices on your own = happy mom!"
So far it works. Make sure when you are older you tell me how it worked for you.
P.S. After you get married and have your own child, you get to make up the rules.

Now Go Outside And Play!
Love, Galoshes

Saturday, November 13, 2010

There's You & There's Me

June, 1992

Dear MaryJanes,

I love it when we take a drive and turn the music up loud. We sing along to the songs we know and it's interesting to find out what songs you enjoy. You are better than me when it comes to knowing all of the words to the songs. I hum in between the parts that I don't know.
Somethings to note about you so that you can read this letter someday and say, "Oh yeah, I remember that."
1: You like to switch up your hair styles regularly. { I like to keep mine long and straight }
2: You like to debate, and hold your own when it comes to most topics. { I stumble on my own words}
3: You are good in math and don't care for history. { I am poor at math and like history }
4: You don't like to stick out in a crowd, you prefer to observe. { I tend to be opinionated, and tend to stick out }
5: You are serious. { I am silly }
6: You like to go shopping. { I dread it }
7: You have expensive taste. { I like a bargain }
8: You are somewhat shy and get upset with me when I try to encourage you to venture out. { I venture }
9: You find boys annoying and immature for the most part. { I point out the boys that I think are nice }
10: You want to move to a big city when you grow up. { I will always live in the country }

So there you have it, and through all of our differences, we can still jump in the car, flip on the radio and sing at the top of our lungs...........I love that!

Now Sing Loud and Clear!
Love, Galoshes

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Mother's Fears

Image By: Raceytay

December, 1991

Dear MaryJanes,

On a hot summer day, when you were just 2 years old, we were standing outside of my folks house, when out of the blue you said, "it had pizza on it". This made no sense as we weren't talking about anything at that moment. Then your eyes rolled back into your head and you looked very flush. I assumed this was all related to the heat of the sun and humility. Two years later when you were four, I was putting your hair into braids, your eyes once again rolled back and then you slide down my leg onto the floor. At that point you passed out for a brief second. You had been standing in direct sunlight and it was a hot day so I dismissed this as heat and sun related. But on this occasion I noted was that your left arm twitched a couple of times. This scared me, but because my side of the family has sun sensitivity issues, I was fairly sure that all related. At the age of six, same scenario, It was a hot summer day, and you passed out and once again your left arm twitched a couple of times. I took you to see your doctor. He could not see anything out of the ordinary and agreed that the heat probably played a roll in these episodes.
It wasn't until a night that I let you sleep with me, that I found out the reason for those events.
You don't normally sleep in bed with me, but it was a cold night and I made the suggestion that it would be cozy to have you sleep in my bed. We got your Pj's an and we headed for bed. Very late in the night, about 3 am, I was woken by your sudden movements. I was sure you must be having a bad dream. I try to wake you, and tell you it was OK. But you kept shaking. Something was wrong. I lift you up into my arms and you are jerking. I carry you into the dinning room and grab the phone. The phone has issues and isn't always reliable as it has a short in the cord. I grab the phone book to search for the emergency room number. You continue to shake your whole left side. I dial the number and the phone cord shorts out, I try again, and again. I am trying to hold you and tell you it will be ok and I can't get the stupid phone to work. I scream for MarySue but she is a sound sleeper and doesn't hear me. I scream again. Finally the I hear ringing on the line, and a voice. I tell them I need an ambulance quickly. They assure me one will be on the way and I hang up. Your shaking slows and you talk to me. I tell you it will be ok and that we are getting help. I adjust and move you and notice your left arm and leg aren't moving with the rest of you. You are groggy, but awake. I ask you to move your left arm, nothing. I ask you to move your left leg, once again nothing. "Can you move your left hand fingers MaryJanes?" I ask. Why is your left side paralyzed? MarySue makes it upstairs and I tell her what has happened. I tell her a ambulance is on it's way...where is it? I call my sister, but Roy {my brother in law} answers. He tells me that she is out of town. I tell him I am sorry for waking him and explain what has happened. I wish my sister was home, I really need her. It takes forever for the ambulance to arrive. I ask MS to call the farm where I was to go and do morning chores, "tell them I won't be in" I instruct her. I then ask her to call your father and tell him that I am taking you into the emergency room. Nearly a half hour later the ambulance arrives. I now know why it took so long, one of the crew is a customer at the veterinary clinic where I work. She has 3 dogs, none of which move too fast a mirror to their owner! I am angry, as I suspect she feed and let them outside before arriving. I bite my tongue, but I am so angry and upset for their delay. I ask the woman why you are not able to move your left side. She said I will have to wait and ask the doctor. My mind wanders to the thought of you in a wheel chair.

This fear does not compare to anything that I have ever experienced. I have had my share of fear in my life, yet I could combine all of my lives scary happenings into one ball and this would far exceed any fear that I have ever lived through.
Once at the hospital your left side regains movement. Roy walks into the room and I feel better with family there. It was sweet of him to meet us there. I feel myself relax with him there. The doctor tells me you have had a seizure. The lose of the left side was due to the stress that your body had gone through. Almost like your body was in shock. They want you to remain there for awhile to observe you. Your father walks in the door, and I tell him what has happened. I can see that he was worried about you. And I am angry with him. We should have been living together as a family and leaned on each other for support through this whole night. He should have been there to dial the phone while I comforted you. I don't waste too much time thinking about this as you are my concern and I just want to know what to expect from all of this. The doctor tells me to make an appointment with a neurologist.

I would give anything to change what might be going on inside of your brain to cause this. My mind scans my pregnancy for any clues, I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't do drug, but I was sick the whole 10 months. Stress, I was in allot of stress, did that do this? Was it because your father drank and did some drugs? I need to know if I am to blame. I need some where to go with all of my questions. I call that day and get an appointment set up. They will do an EEG on you.
After this is done we wait, I bite my nails and have a million thoughts going through my mind.
The doctor calls us in. He asks me if you are a bright child. I tell him yes, that you tested in the gifted and talented at your kindergarten screening...."why" I ask. He said, "your daughter has benign childhood epilepsy." He shows me the print out of your brain waves and tells me that he sees certain patterns and spikes which help to identify the syndrome. "She will outgrow it." Those are the words that I covet!

Image By: Irenesuchocki

He tells me that the wiring in your brain some times is miss directed and for some reason, children that have this are usually very intelligent. So there is a bright side to this bad news and the best news is that you will out grow this. I am so thankful for that. The doctor wants to start you on a very low dose of epilepsy medicine. He also wants to do a few follow up EEG tests in the future. He tells me that this should not interfere with your life, and that you may never have another seizure again. That's what I am hoping for because there is nothing worse than a mother seeing her child in pain or distress and not being able to fix it. I know that we are one of the lucky ones and that many people don't get to hear the words,
{temporary}when used with epilepsy. I feel truly grateful. I love you more than my own life and want nothing but the best for you.

Now Rest Your Worries.
Love, Galoshes

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Making Plans

Imagine By: buckscountyframes

November, 1991

Dear MaryJanes,

My sister found an ad offering a small rental house on the lake. She gave them a call and spoke with the owner. She had surprised me when I saw her that afternoon by letting me know that if I wanted to rent it, the woman has approved us via Kim's phone call. A little house on the lake for you and I.
It's funny how things happen some times. As it turns out, that day I received a call from my sweet cousin, Marysue. She didn't sound her usual happy self and with a little prodding, I understood why. It seems that her boyfriend has shown a dark side to her. I had wondered why she seemed to have dropped off the face of the earth for a time. She tells me that he was separating her from her family, a tell tale trait of a controlling, abusive man. {he is from a culture where men put and keep their women in their place!}Funny that in truth she is a spunky, feisty chic which wouldn't take guff from anyone, or so I thought. As it turns out, the straw that broke the camels back is that, he tried to push her out of a moving car as he felt she was sassing him. My blood boiled and she knew by my tone that I would have gotten in my car and drove there and beat the living day lights out of him! { I would have too}
She begged me to not call him, and asked my advise. She said she needed to get away from him.
I told her to pack a few things, jump in her car, and come live with you and I in our little house on the lake. "It is a two bedroom" I told her, and I want MJ's to have her own bedroom, but the basement is very nice and we can fix it up cute for you!" I asked her not to tell him where she was going, or give him a phone number there. It took me a while to convince her, but in the end I told her she had no choice, that we needed each other to get us through this phase of life.
She agreed and would be on her way.
I am excited about this chapter in our lives. MS and I can share rent and she said she would help me watch over you and that she and I could go out dancing!
Things are going to be just fine.

Now Nestle Into Your Cozy Bed.

Love, Galoshes

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fitting In

Photo By: mfayrephotography

August, 1991


When I was growing up my parents made the choice to keep my sister, brother and I each in the same school district for the entire K - 12. To me, this had it's ups and downs. For my brother, it was the perfect choice as he loved being involved in school activities and made friends easily. He was a football and track star through out his school years and has kept in touch with his peers after graduating. For my sister, I suppose it made no difference as she just did the time and got out as quickly as she could, which for her was age 17, at which time she moved out of the house the same day as graduation. I recall that we once went to look at a big, old farm house with a barn and I wanted so badly for them to buy it and to move there. It must have been further away from my sister's then boyfriend, now husband, as she was very upset that I was in favor of moving.She gave me that,

In the end, my parents stuck to their agreement and kept us in the same house with the same school system. For me, I would have loved to have moved and reinvented myself. I never did fit into any of the clicks and though I was younger than most of my classmates, I felt so much older and mature than they were. I dreaded going to school and felt that it was a waste of my time when I could be working and earning money at a job with that time that I was enduring classroom time.
So with this I hope that you will adjust to the choice that you will be starting this upcoming school year in a new school. It is my hopes that you are able to easily make friends and find your way to fit into a new group of peers.
The reason for this you might wonder? I called your father today to tell him that since he did not bother to call us once or come to visit us all summer that he must be adapting well on his own and so it should come to no surprise that we would not be returning home for the upcoming school year.
I have found a new sense of being on my own and with the support and love of my sister and brother in law, we will continue to reside here. You and I,
MaryJanes, we will make this our new home and take each day as it comes. I will love you enough for two people and maybe more.

Now study hard.
Love, Galoshes