Friday, April 20, 2018

You Can Go Home Again...But You Can't Always Stay There

Everything happens for a reason. There are no coincidences.

When I look back, I see that's true. When I was ten years old, my parents decided to sell the farm and move. I didn't want to leave. I was sure it would mean giving up the horses, and it did--for a while, anyway. My dad had designed and built my mom's dream house--right down to the chandelier in the dining room and the terrazzo floors. It was 1963--the date is still inscribed in the sidewalk leading from the driveway to the front door.




We lived there six years. In that time, Dad built a barn for the horses and he and Mom took in twins, a boy and a girl, nine months old. I was twelve when they came along and quite happy as an only child. Mom did all the baby stuff like diapers and bathing--so the problems didn't start until she and Dad decided to buy a small neighborhood grocery store in south St. Louis. That was in 1969. The twins were four years old. Dad thought the house, the kids and the store would be too much for Mom. He was working full-time, so a Mr. Mom scenario wasn't an option. Their solution? Sell the house, move into something smaller. I protested. I didn't want to move again. I was out of school by that time, and I could do the housework. Surely they could afford a babysitter.

Nope. The house was sold, we moved, and I lost my horse again. To make matters worse, guess who got stuck with the twins? I'd rather have the horse.

I know that sounds harsh, but I was just fifteen and didn't really like kids. I still don't, to be perfectly honest. I love Collin, but he's mine. I've loved him from the minute I realized I was pregnant. I just don't enjoy children who aren't mine. I doubt I'm the only woman who feels that way...though I might be part of a minority who will admit it.

About twenty years ago, Mom and I got to revisit the house. Collin got to see it for the first time.What a shock! Structurally, it was still the same, but there was now a wood-burning stove in the family room and shelves full of canned goods--in the dining room. The couple who owned it had let their daughter paint her bedroom--it was awful. But when I walked into my old bedroom, I only saw how it looked when it was mine--all white furniture, twin beds, bookcase, dresser, and a big armchair in the corner. It brought back memories....

But much as I wanted to, I couldn't get it back. I couldn't go back. 

When I thought about it, I realized that the best thing in my life might not have happened, had we not moved all those years ago. In less than three years, we'd be moving again. Kids throwing rocks in the street outside our place got out of hand, and I was hit. I got, for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, a bruised brain and seizures. For a while, I lost the use of my left arm and leg.

Anybody still wondering why I don't like kids?

Then my dog was shot. We didn't know it at first. I let her out to do her business, never had to keep her on a chain or in a fenced area. She could find her way home no matter how far she might roam. There was never any sign of a wound--no blood, nothing, until months later, when she began to limp. At first, it didn't seem a big deal. Then she started having trouble getting around at all. We took her to the vet. He did some x-rays, and we were all surprised to find a bullet in her leg. It was a freak thing--her bone had started to grow abnormally, pressing on her lungs, making it more and more difficult to breathe. She had to be put to sleep.

With everything else I'd been through, this was the final blow. I sunk into a deep depression and was hospitalized for three months. Mom and Dad, thinking I needed a major change, moved while I was in the hospital. When I was released, I came home to a whole new home.

There is a point to this. I'm getting there, I promise.

Had that move not happened, I might not have met some of the people who are still my friends, after all these years. I would not have been in the right place at the right time.

Collin might not have been born.

Chance? I don't think so.


12 comments:

  1. Norma! That was an excellent read. Holy cupcakes, Wonder Woman are YOU. Seriously. Thank you for sharing this and writing it so well. I am sorry you had to go through it but I get what you're saying. You wouldn't be you now and lemme tell you.... You rock. I'm thankful to have you as a friend and again, really, really well written.

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    1. Everything that happens to us, good and bad, shapes who we become. Every event is a stepping stone.

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    2. Little stones, big stones, medium stones.

      It all shapes, agreed.

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  2. All things happen for a reason, as they say.

    Someone out there might still be around, might still remember shooting a dog. The coward.

    I don't think I'd want to go back to my childhood home. Things wouldn't be the same.

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    1. Oh, I know who shot Scamp. He shot her because she bit him. She was protecting me. He waited, shot her from a distance. I didn't see him do it, but someone else did.

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  3. I agree. Everything happens for a reason. Oh, and all your current friends were kids once.♥๐Ÿ˜ŽHard to believe, huh?

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  4. Have enjoyed catching up Norma, oh my you can tell who the writer is here. If only you got paid for musing on life.. maybe you can? I absolutely understand the not liking kids so much, two of my best friends are the same, it certainly doesn't make me love them any less ๐Ÿ˜€

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    1. I thought about that, Grace. These days, it seems I'm better at this than I am at novels.

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  5. OH MY GOODNESS !
    What a story what a life. I remember the part about your dog I didn't know that your Dad built your Mum the house of her dreams. That was so sweet and wonderful. Do you ever see the twins again ?
    I drove by the last home my Mum lived in. Very tiny but always neat and pretty. The neighborhood was in transition and not the good kind. She could plant a stick and it would bloom. Her cactus garden was fabulous.
    Then I saw it years later. The brick wall was knocked down, chain link fence was ripped apart, two olive trees were torn apart, the screen door was hanging on one hinge, one window was cracked and a very long chain was just laying there. I assume it was from a Pitbull dog who was tied up. It was a drug house.
    Thank you Mexican cartel who come across the border with the illegals. They destroyed my Mums home. I am happy she never saw this horrid mess.
    Never never never go home again !

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I haven't seen the twins since Mom's funeral--it'll be twenty years in October.

      You should write a post about your own experiences, Gayle. I think you have something to say that would be relatable for a lot of people.

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    2. You are so nice to say that. But I am a mess and brain does not work.
      I think you have so much more to say. I have been lucky to read about your life and every once in a while I remember your story about getting the check (book)out of the blue that saved you all. I tear up everytime I think of that.
      If I wrote about anything I would like to write about my brothers amazing life.

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