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Monday, June 23, 2014

A Grief Ago

Perhaps it is a little morbid, but I drove down the country road where the young friend of our family met his death, on a motorcycle late Saturday night. I am very sad about this. I have endured many losses since December, but none like this one. It breaks my heart to hear my son cry on the phone with me, though when he was little, he always felt okay about crying with me.

I went through my photos last night, a shoebox of them, and realized I really needed to label these, and had some tears over the events of the last 23 years or so--I was such a young, sweet woman when I came to Santa Cruz and got pregnant. My face had not even lost a lot of its girlishness--I looked like a teenager. Yet I had already survived rape and that face was of a young woman who would wander, lost, for more than twenty years until she went to graduate school at the age of 42. So many times, I could have died at the hands of violence in those years. I wonder if my spinal break comes from that time, as that area of my spine certainly received trauma. I see pictures of myself in sad, gray clothes, a gray sweater of sweatshirt-like material that I wore for many years, the clothes of a prisoner. My mind was my own prison cell.

I am here now in a better life, but sometimes I still am that young woman. It is hard to be rejected by someone you love partially because you are 55, stopped dying your hair, let the gray come in and WOW--I look my age! I don't mind being 55--it seems so young, in so many ways. What I do feel is that this young woman who felt she had nowhere to go, nothing and no people she could rely on, still lives in me and it is from the font of her despair that I sometimes choose my life circumstances, however unconsciously. Certainly the last few years featured a home that never had room for me, with a cardboard box for my possessions that I tried to make pretty by drawing on it, even as I felt angry and sad over being treated like that--I never really felt it was a place that could ever be a home for me at all. There was no place for me there, and never would have been.

The little house I almost own in full is very humble, but it is mine, and as soon as it is paid off, I can breathe easier and fix it better to my liking (for this week, the decorating involves just scraping the peeling paint in the bathroom). I can reassure that young, lost woman that I have a place for her to at least write and work and think, even get a night off from childrearing once in a while.

I don't know where all this is going...probably just grief-meanderings. I get scattered when I grieve.

Thank you for llstening. I plan to scan some of those photos each week and post them, as well as the stories behind them all.