Thinking About My Life

In my family, I was the ‘sick’ one.  Spent a lot of time in bed.  At almost 91, I’m still trying to overcome the fear and loneliness of being different.

It doesn’t help that from the moment of my birth I was a disappointment to my parents.  I was the first grandchild and everyone wanted a boy.  My brother, who arrived eleven months later,  got all the attention and admiration from our extended family.  I took it for granted I was definitely inferior and didn’t deserve more than what I got.

It also didn’t help that my mother was only seventeen when I was born.  She quit school and went to work after her father and brother died of pneumonia. She, her mother and her sister had to live with relatives.  She married my dad when she was sixteen and became pregnant shortly afterward.  She missed a great deal of her childhood.  Except for my brother, Buddy, Mother never liked children.  Nor animals.

It didn’t help either that I was never hugged, kissed nor told that I was pretty or good.  Neither Mother nor Dad were demonstrative.  They didn’t play with us or read to us.   Mother was busy having babies and doing housework and Dad was engaged with starting a new construction company with his dad.  Mother noticed me only to punish or criticize.  Dad didn’t seem to notice I was even there  But my parents took good care of us physically and they were not abusive.  Mother attended all the school performances.  She took good care of me when I was sick.  I just accepted that she loved me.

But I didn’t feel completely safe.  I seemed to realize there were areas of my life where my mother couldn’t, or wouldn’t, save me.

This feeling may be explained by something that happened a few short months after my birth.  Mother sent me out of state to live with my maternal grandmother until after the birth of my brother.  Then shortly after his birth, I was sent to live with an aunt while she had major surgery and recovered.  I don’t remember those times, of course, but the experience of being tossed from one stranger (to me) to another, must have done nothing to make me feel secure.  Then when I was settled permanently at home, Mother was busy with my baby brother.

My saving grace was that my maternal grandmother, Bertie May Smith, and Mother’s sister (my aunt), Ching, genuinely cared about me and made me feel special when I was with them.

A New Beginning

It’s long since my last post and I must learn all over again how to construct a web page.  I apologize and hope readers will be patient with me.  This seems like a good time to start a new site because I’ve lost the thread of continuity I thought I previously had and I definitely feel like a newbie.

As the years go by, I have lost the ambition or the desire to write and that saddens me because writing was once my life.  But so often the words I want or need elude me and it’s hard to make my true meaning known.  Also, I don’t have the stamina or the patience I used to have.  I hope this will be a place where I can take up writing again while sharing experiences with other folks.