Empty Memories

Not even the scrapbook recalls the love ….. turmoil of emotional child abuse


emotional abuse 2In the quiet evening, your mind strays to younger days. Nestled in the love seat, you think about the lonely life that has lead you down the paths of disillusion. There in the confusion, disconnection is a way of life. Heart wrenching, love was in limited supply; not much to go around and rationed like a commodity. It was not associated with warmth but instead, related to the flowers or gardens.

You would sit in your room and play by yourself. Looking out the window, your mother is in her polka dotted blouse, dark slacks, and her garden gloves. She loves her tomatoes and corn on the cob. You just watched …. sitting inside. She never knew the love you desired or saw devotion because it was all about money – how much dad could bring home. You were too young to understand but you knew that love wasn’t suppose look like that. Looking back, you never heard, “I love you”, as you went off to school or while saying your prayers at my bedside.

Animosity seemed to rule the roost. You listened to your friends as they shared their stories on the way to school. They went out over the weekend and as you knocked on their door, you knew they would not be home.

You would have given anything for your parents to include you in their plans. But to throw a ball or enroll you in a curriculum outside of the classroom wasn’t going to happen. Sadly, you would come home and play while most of your friends played at the beach. Softball was the sport.

Yes, it’s sad as those from broken homes look back. You swore you would never do that to your own children. Now those days are long gone too and all that’s left are voids. Not even the scrapbook recalls the love ….. just tarnished empty pages. The snapshots are faded memories you just as soon forget.

For now, life is all but over; the mid-drift spreads and the hair turns gray. Thoughts are all that’s left, like trash to be thrown away. And here you sit as life goes on.

 


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Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. (Psalm 127:3)

Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. (Colossians 3:21)

Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart. (Proverbs 11:29)

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

 

child abuse ribbon


 

Editor’s Notes:

Signs of Emotional Child Abuse:

 

  • Not showing affection.
  • Ignoring the child’s presence and obvious needs.
  • Ignoring the child when he or she is in need of comfort.
  • Not calling the child by his or her name.
  • Making the child feel unwanted, perhaps by stating or implying that life would be easier without the child. For example, a parent may tell a child, “I wish you were never born.”
  • Ridiculing or belittling the child, such as saying, “You are stupid.”
  • Threatening the child with harsh punishment or even death.
  • Continuous verbal abuse.
  • Comparing the child to siblings or peers.
  • Blaming the child for family problems.

 

Ignoring children’s needs, putting them in unsupervised, dangerous situations, or making a child feel worthless or stupid is child abuse. The result is serious emotional harm. But there is help available!

Parental Alienation Awareness Organization: http://www.paawareness.com

Prevent Child Abuse America: 1-800-CHILDREN or preventchildabuse.org
http://www.preventchildabuse.org/images/docs/emotionalchildabuse.pdf

 

emotional abuse

 

 

Wandering Back…

God, somehow, has helped me find my way back to the lemonade stands.


Wandering back 2

My eyes aren’t 20/20 anymore and hearing isn’t what it should be either. But wandering back, winters were winter and summers were hot as haities. I reminisce those times with you.

Leaving doors unlocked and restful nights, are now things of the past. We would open the windows and listen to the locusts after a spring shower. As the hot summer’s heat sweltered, we slept by the fans trying to relax. Yes, life was good back then.

We sold lemonade (and no permits needed) and made lots of money…or so we thought. Mowing yards was an occupational hazard as poison ivy spread like wildfire. Sea nettles dried on the docks as the sun evaporated the life out of them. As I remember, I never thought I’d live so long.

sea nettlelemonade

Those were awesome times to be a kid; always creating ways to entertain ourselves. We’d play all day until dinner time. Dad would say grace and mom repeated, “Put your napkin in your lap !” – “elbows off the table!” Oh some of the things we wish we could forget! Mom really loved me but she reminded me of boot camp reveille. 0600, “Hurry up you’ll miss the bus!” Homework started at 19:30 and bed was at 21:00. Reflecting, I wonder if it was really worth it. I guess parents plant seeds with hopes some will root. They did the best they could under the circumstances…

Associated with five wars now, I’ve lost some friends from high school and a neighbors son’s never made it home. Looking back, my path wasn’t so bad. I guess mom tried hard to protect me because of the hell she saw. I’ve stumbled some but haven’t we all?? But God, somehow, has helped me find my way back to the lemonade stands and my first love.

Our gracious Father is my insurance to a better life. He has granted me the ability to share, through blogs and my books, with those who choose to follow His Holy word. Anointed, I am, through all the turmoil and my fair share of skirmishes…


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All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. (Isaiah 54:13)

Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children— (Deuteronomy 4:9)

…even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. (1 Corinthians 10:33)


Wandering back

On the Ledge

For amidst the darkness of death, there will be hope and peace…..


 

Singing to Your glory, we praise Your name

On the ledge

if for only just a short time here on earth.

Though departed, our hearts remain forever yours. The memories sustain as pain fills in the voids. God calls his followers, one by one, and we will ascend to be with Him. Tears flow as we gather in praise. Our love pours out; we know where you are…

Remains are “dust to dust” on earth but the spirit rises to do God’s work. Sins are no more and misgivings uncounted. You now look at the present – where do you turn? Boxing up legacies, the past life is in the attic; holding on to keepsakes as though you might return. Letting go is not an option.

Our souls are witness to the every heartache we endure. My God, where are you? Scurrying back to church, you are comforted by the congregation, praying for His work. But the sermon leaves little to be desired as you realize it was warmer in your car. Invited to lunch, you decline. Searching for a sign, you know it won’t be in a restaurant. Meandering home, the check engine light comes on. Okay Lord, what’s going on?

Limping into the garage, you put the car in park and hang up your coat on the hall tree. The quiet is deafening but you feel a peace. This is your sanctuary. The three of you laughed, cried, loved and will forevermore carry on the memories. God, though, will never alter his plans for you. Plans do change but there’s still a purpose of which you serve, even amidst the immense pain.

Laying down for a nap, you begin to pray. You automatically reach for your significant other but a pillow is all that remains. You drift off to sleep seeking that which only He can deliver.

By early next morning, unaware of the time, you awaken by a cardinal sitting on the window ledge. He is pecking on the glass; your prayers are heard! Only a cardinal could bring the message of hope; for behind the curtains were the glasses you couldn’t find. And all the while, you thought your spouse misplaced them…..glasses

 

 


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Bible:  Psalm 116:15     Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

Bible:  James 1:12   “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”

“Life is very interesting. In the end, some of your greatest pains become your greatest strengths.” ~ Drew Barrymore

The cardinal is symbolic of the living blood of Christ. Both cardinals and blood have long been symbols of everlasting vitality.  “By His blood we are freed from sin to serve the living God, to glorify Him, and to enjoy Him forever.”  It is symbolic of life, hope and restoration. They come to remind us, that though circumstances might look bleak, dark and despairing, there is always “hope”.


 

 

Keepsakes

..my heart is still loyal to my childhood home


KeepsakeIt’s a rainy 4th. I watch the world majestically turn, at a little table for two, on Main Street. The air is filled with festivities as patriotism runs deep. Some bump into others accidentally, smile, and reply “excuse me”. A little town nestled in the foothills of the Ozarks howls with history. Watching the rain as the sun brightens, it reminds me of summer showers where I grew up; the things you never forget as a kid, in your own hometown, while your wishes and dreams evolve into color. But, the rain makes me wander off, as I’m darn glad I am dry and not stuck out in the middle of a lake, somewhere.

Like the shrouds that chime against a sailboat mast, steadfast, your spirit recalls. The sounds are imbedded in your spirit, like a Christmas carol on the tip of your tongue. I’d open a window and listen, as the boats tossed and turned, in the middle of the night. I tried to sleep but I couldn’t. My dreams were clouded, overcast, as I worried about things that little kids shouldn’t.

While experiencing the pouring rain, I watch, as it washes down the tiny streets and my mind is full of wonder. Where will I be in fifty years? Will I make it, as the competition is fierce?

Looking at lunch, the flies have beat me to it!  I must stop and enjoy the moment, but, my heart is still loyal to my childhood home. I think about you and where you lived. I wonder if you’re still in contact with your closest, oldest friend. Did you marry straight out of school and start a family, or, did you push off to another world, where miles and war were about the same? I can’t help but wonder if you’re okay, complacent with the dreams you had when you were little. I hope so. God knows, you deserve it!

To those who’ve lost in life, my deepest sympathy. God has a purpose for everyone – living or not – we both serve Him. Counting my blessings, I’ll add one more… ‘cause in my happiness, I now have you.

Sitting here, watching it rain……

 

Castaways

There we were, side by side, rowing off to another world.


You asked me once, how much do I really love you? The answer was easy, if I could only explain. I think about all the love songs I knew in my younger days. The dances in the dark, on the warm Friday nights, and the hugs I felt as we danced real slow, long into the night. The crowd thinned; you held me tight while sparks flew like the Fourth of July. But your mom came and picked you up and I didn’t even get a kiss good bye…….

The next day, I met you on the beach. We went out on my yacht. You sat next to me on the center seat grabbing an oar and I, the other. We were side by side, rowing off to another world. I got my kiss I missed the night before. We smiled as you laid your head on my shoulder. In the middle of the great big ocean, we’d find an island, and would live there forever.

deserted island
When night fell, we named the stars and snuggled under a blanket until it was time to go. Your dad, you know, was waiting by the door until you came home. Oh, the memories we would share as we grew old… the dreams of young love and promises to hold onto forever. We said “good night” and you took a phone to bed to see if I would call. The memories abound!

Now, those dreams have grown and reality is claiming the years. We sit and watch the sunsets from the porch and reminisce about childhood. Our children now live in their own busy world; there is no time to stop and share in the sunsets. We smile and laugh, remembering, while we hold hands and sip our wine; rocking under those stars above – pretending, all the while, we were out on the ocean; castaways, searching for our island where we fell in love. Hmmm…. when we are young!

Yard Sale

…..the value on the memories was priceless…..


The day after, my best friend came over to see if they could help. Bewildered and helpless, not knowing where to start, we sat on the edge of the bed holding each other. Sobbing, we remembered all the good times.

This was going to be very hard; everything around me reminded me of him.  My world seemed like it was collapsing; I had no idea what I was going to do with all the things that meant so much to us. All those memories – the keepsakes of places we shared, birthday gifts and cards, didn’t mean much anymore.

Friday, in the pouring rain, I knelt in the mud and kissed your casket, whispering, “goodbye for good”.  In pain, I left you for the last time. Trembling and wondering, like the rest, of what was normal, has now changed. The limousine ride gave little relief – soaking wet!  I needed to change and get out of these wet things.

Early Saturday morning, after sorting and boxing, I walked to the edge of the drive. I stuck a sign in the ground, “Yard Sale”. Yes. All our many years of th97SJR9YA (2)matrimony, and a week later had turned into a yard sale. Sadly, the value on the memories was priceless, even though the little tags said fifty cents and all items in the box were a quarter.

The next day I went to church. I thought I sinned – selling your stuff; but as I was comforted by the congregation singing. There was, somehow, a peace in His presence.

I returned to your grave, reverently praying. I thought about how much I’m going to miss you. For what it’s worth, I grossed $357.60 – not very much for all the love we shared together.

Now, on our anniversary, I am going out to dinner to commemorate your life. There will never be another you! With sadness, I look back at all our many years of love, now only resolved to not much more than a “Yard Sale”.

Taking the Helm

We wander away, sailing in the moonlight, dreaming our life away…..


Taking the HelmIn the summer moon, a refreshing breeze filters into a romantic evening.  Untying the dock lines, I push us off, as we drift out with the tide. I raise the sails and take the helm; listening to the bow breaking the waves from an approaching boat. A gentle spray catches in the wind and we are reminded that it’s still not summer.

Almost like being born again, our youthfulness is blessed as salt permeates the air. Like Christopher Columbus setting out to explore, we never see where God leads us.  I, for one, don’t care as long as you are here beside me.

The moon’s glow glistens over the ocean while we sail off into its direction. Heaven knows where we are headed, as God leads us out of temptation. We share our dreams as land drifts further away. Marooned, millions of miles from Earth, we forget we are on the ocean. The stars are so close we can reach out and touch them; make a wish before they fall!  The oceans now rest as gentle swells remind me more of Oklahoma. Our sails are luffing as the breeze settles over the sovereign seas; they, too, are waiting on the moon to shine.

I lean over and give you a kiss on your cheek. “Look”! A shooting star magically appears out of nowhere. God is blowing us a kiss as the breeze begins to stir again. A quarter moon is all we see – majestically tinted in a shade of amber. Tacking about, we must head back as reality waits on distant shores. How nice to enjoy a little slice of heaven as we watch the lights twinkle along the beach!

I thank our heavenly Father for our memorable night and the rolling hills of Oklahoma. It takes me back to the summer swells. We wander away, sailing in the moonlight; dreaming our life away; and praying God will watch over us.  Praying, I only ask for His will to be done while we remain ever cognizant of giving God the helm.