One Word is All It Takes


It is odd that just yesterday I was talking to my girlfriend about how the laws and courts can take an innocent person and turn them into gray, black and bruised all over. We sort of laughed over our conversation but there was a tiny part of me that knew something like what we were talking about could happen.

Al and my step-sister took me to court. She wanted to care for Al. I tell you from the day I received the court papers until the judge’s announcement I was a wreck. I prayed like crazy but there must have been a huge part of me that was not praying deeply and earnestly enough.

I knew that I was a good sister. I knew that I had done nothing but my very best for him, but knowing the law, strangers who knew nothing of Al and me could be twisted into believing the evil one.

Fortunately God was at work through my weakness. The judge threw our sister out of court and said she was nothing but a trouble maker and to leave us alone. Al was the center of attention and even though it has been a couple of years ago I can still see the movie clip perfectly.

Al screamed and cried. He kept telling the judge, “please don’t make me go a way from my sister. I love my sister.” I am sure God had a huge hand in our case, but the pain has remained all this time. Anytime Al hears our sister’s name his body tenses. It leaves a sour taste in my mouth when I mention her name.

Believe me that name is not brought up in this house, and yet for Al’s sake, when he begged me to get a hold of her and let her know he was so sick, she turned her back on him and me.

So the conversation with my girlfriend still leaves a small scar in my mind and heart today. A bit of fear can and is with me as I care for Al daily. What if he falls? Is anyone going to blame me? Are the laws going to get involved? Will I once again have to prove my worthiness?

My girlfriend bounced a way from that topic and went on with new subject matter. This morning I am watching Anderson Live. I was shocked when one of the guest was a wife who had been her husband’s caregiver. They had been married almost fifty years. She had to attend things throughout the day so was gone for about six hours total.

I don’t know his health conditions but she stated that he was fine when she left. When she returned home he was dead. When she called the authorities to report his death she was arrested for his death.

Her daughter was on the show and spoke about the fear and tears her Mother suffered. Seeing her own Mother in the orange garb and behind bars. Eventually the innocent prevailed and she was released. I didn’t catch how long she was behind bars. To me this isn’t nearly as important as the fact that this woman who loved her husband. Who would lay down her life for him. Who chose to care for him at home instead of sinking him in a nursing home, was accused of murder.

The facts were in the end that he just died. Sad, yes he died while she was gone, but we don’t know when our last breath will be taken. We can not even live like we are waiting for a last breath to be taken from a friend or loved one. We would all be crazy and fill up the nut houses and be overflowing.

I felt so bad for this wife. Her husband died, and she was tormented and accused. She suffered terribly and was so scared for her life. Finally now that she has been released she can begin to mourn for her mate and begin her healing process.

I couldn’t help but think back to the incident with our sister and the conversation of  my girlfriend last night. Life is never guaranteed, and God wants us to definitely on him for help and release and justice.woman arrested

Thoughts Reining Over Me


jesus_in_heaven.jpg

I was reading a blog of a friend of mine here at WP today and it stirred up something in me.

Here is the link of what I was reading;

http://iprodigaldaughter.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/the-big-i/comment-page-1/#comment-512

I get many comments on WP. Most of them are wonderful and heart-felt. I sometimes blush and can even get embarrassed although there is no one here beside me reading or watching me.

I was brought up to believe I am just a person.  I was to be a good girl, grow up, get married and have a nice life of my own. It was instilled in me as a child that I was to be seen and not heard.

My father left me in the cold car while he went in and saw my new step-mom. I couldn’t have been that good of girl, could I?

As long as I kept my nose clean I didn’t hear my name called too often at home while growing up. I do remember trying my hardest through my teen years to cook the best tasting supper, or iron for my mom with no wrinkles, or clean the house until it sparkled. I would do anything, just about, to get noticed.

I can’t remember ever getting a thanks, but I may have. I remember sort of staying to myself as a teen, but don’t most teenagers? I had a nice home, nice clothes. I was never kicked out of the house. My parents didn’t cuss or drink. No drugs could be found.

So what was wrong with me and my thinking? Why did I want more? Was I never satisfied with what I had?

Then I started writing for WordPress. I have now been writing here for a year and three months. Comments started coming in and they were good comments. People who didn’t know me were saying I was a nice person. I was a caring sister. I heard that I had a good outlook on life. Some even wished they lived closer to me so we could be friends in real life.

This isn’t what I was used to. I was never beat at home. I do know that I was violated at the age of two or three, but how could that affect my entire life?

Then I became closer and closer to God. I learned that God made me perfect in his eyes. I was taught that he loved me even though I made mistakes. He would never leave me, I didn’t have to be afraid.

This is nice to know but there are times that things happen in my life that I freak out. I don’t feel smart enough to be able to handle some situations. I then go to God and speak to him about what is eating at me.

Have you ever had a person make you feel like you have been convicted as a guilty person, when you knew inside that you were innocent? That if you made any mistakes it was not done intentionally? I have one of those instances facing me today.

It has ruined my day. I slept it a way for the biggest part. My stomach has churned and I felt sick all day. I was to receive a phone call but was told if it didn’t come through it would first thing in the morning.

All the things I was taught growing up have come and tackled me. It is like watching a big football game. The guy is on the bottom of the huge pile with the ball. No one wants him to gain any more distance.

I have prayed off and on all day to have God’s help to calm me down. But I have so little belief in myself today, that the prayers are not working. Now I am sweating it waiting for the call tomorrow morning.

I am ashamed of how I am reacting. Why can’t the wonderful comments that I am given today stick with me? Why must I remain hiding under the bed, believing what was ground into my head?

Maybe this is why I fight so hard for Al. I know I can do it. I know I can protect him and make him as comfortable as possible. But I look at myself as a nurse for others but a failure unto myself.

It is so stupid. So when I was reading this post of my friend, I realized that God loves me. I need to repeat that over and over. It is true. I am not a bad person. Now I need to not only believe it, I need to live like I am God’s child. He made me perfect in his eyes, not perfect in society’s eyes.

Daily Prompt; Say Your Name


http://dailypost.wordpress.com, DP, Daily Prompt

Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something? Are there any stories or associations attached to it? If you had the choice, would you rename yourself?

Photographers, show us  YOU.

For someone who was born without being wanted, my parents spent some time arguing about my name. My real name is Teresa Jane.

My Dad wanted a boy, at least that is what he told me through the years. He changed my nickname to Terry and spelled it like a boy.

My Mother who turned her back on me most of my life, wanted me named after her best girlfriend. I assume her name was Jane. She also thought that she had given birth to someone very special. So she named me Teresa.

Years later at the point I stand on this ground now, I am well-known as Terry. Still many ask me how do you spell it? Terrie, Terri? I always say the same thing. My Daddy wanted a boy so I got spelled like a boy.

Strange that he got his baby boy, and decided he was ashamed of him. He did everything to stay out of this baby boy’s life emotionally. I do know that my Dad was a good man. He had poor ways of being taught how to handle difficult decisions. He basically ignored problems and hoped they would disappear.

When I met my real Mother at 36, I had to wonder why the name she chose for me was such a big deal. She threw me out on the streets the first time I went to visit her. You will never believe the reason why either. I have your curiosity peaked, right? Alright, the truth shall be spoken.

I was almost 2,000 miles a way from my own home. I didn’t know my directions at all. It was Arizona heat.  She kicked me out and locked the doors behind me because I drank the last of her Crystal Light Lemonade.

Wow, talk about emotions. I was angry at her for causing me great fear in the dark streets at night. I was crushed that a Mother could do this to her own child. After all through all of our snail mail letters, she professed her undying love for me. During phone calls before we actually met face to face her words were always the same, I miss you and have always loved you so much Terry.

So, what is this? You toss me out on my rear end to fend for myself? I ended up flagging down a fire truck and in short story, I was returned back to my home safe and sound.

You would think that would have cured me with the I know my Mother loves me.

But it didn’t. It took four more trips so many miles  a way from home before I finally got it. Not all parents want to be parents. Some parents still live in the infant stages in their mind. My Mother saw me as that two-year old or younger.

When she saw me face to face and I was all grown up, something snapped inside of her. She later told me the guilt of  what she had done to Al and me was just too overwhelming.

Yes, I would have to agree. Passing my tiny body around to strange men so you can make some money is pretty sick old woman. What else did you to Al and me that I don’t know about? You sure do carry a huge amount of guilt.

So wow, she and Dad exchanged all those words about what to name me and here I sat with a real Mom who never wanted me, and a wonderful Step-Mom who cared about me the best that she could, since I was not her own.

Al’s name must have caused no problems. He is the seventh in line and now the last to carry his full name. A piece of cake, and yet he was shoved a way. You would think to honor him with a name carried through generations of family men, you would want to show this little boy off!

So what is in a name? For me, I take now the names my grandkids and kids call me. My good friends and their pet names. Because this is what matters today. Who I am, how I fit in to others lives. Who gives a hoot what my parents named me and Al, it didn’t matter at the time.

terry when she was little

#FWF Free Write Friday; M is for Mom


http://kellieelmore.comm-is-for-mom-2

Our mom was my brother and my step-mom. She was the glue that held the family together.

When she passed away in 2000, our little family slowly fell apart. Dad became lost in his own sorrows for a few years.

I never knew what to say or how to comfort and soon time separated us more and more.

It shouldn’t have been that way, but life has a funny way of helping us to either make or not through loss of parents.

I think my brother, Al suffered the most. His  suffering wasn’t done like ours by talking about her and memories. His was done internally. Somewhere inside of his head and heart he built a shell as hard as a walnut.

He became more distant from all of us. He buried himself in coca cola and things that he should have strayed away from. Pretty soon it was evident that our family had come unglued.

I didn’t realize it for a long time that a lot of my own personal problems were due to the lack of being able to go to Mom’s house and talk to her. I didn’t realize that I had counted on her that much in my life.

She and I were never close like chocolate and milk. We were more like apples and pears. I hadn’t seen that through the years that I was growing up. I had omitted to let her know how much she meant to me and how thankful I was that she took us two kids in under her wings.

That has to be tough for parents. I have never taken kids  in to raise as my own. I do know that I have children in my family that aren’t what people call blood related but I fell in love with them as if they were. I always include them when I speak of my grandkids. I don’t see them any other way.

But for a Mom or Dad to take this role on day after day after year I assume there has to be some big adjustment times for adult and child.

Today was a day from hell for my brother. Although his Parkinson’s has brought about some dementia with it and no matter how badly he hurts physically, he never forgets our Mom.

He was really sad today. The real truth is he misses her just as much now as he did years ago when she went to heaven. Mom’s birthday is three days after Mother’s Day and so to him it is a double whammy. I tried so hard to console him today but I know in my heart that he will have to work through this alone.

I know my heart feels the void and there are still many times I want to go to the phone and dial her number, but alas, I can not.

Mom, I never told you this too often. Most likely it was because I was a stubborn brat and didn’t want to admit I may be wrong. I love you Mom. I know I caused you grief. You had your hands full with a full-time job, a new husband, and two new kids. I want you to know how sorry I am.

I am so certain that you and Dad watch over Al and me even now. I hope that you both are proud of how I have cared for my baby brother. I hope you are both smiling down on us. I love you Dad and I miss you so much. I love you Mom and I am sending you hugs from this earth up to you. I will see you soon enough and then I will give you a real big hug. Happy Mother’s Day Mom. You certainly earned your title.

Love, Your Daughter

Terryme and brother

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

monarchfree-write-friday-kellie-elmore

Little Girl Grown


Yesterday I posted about guilt and God. I don’t know if it was the fact that I cried so much or just life, but I went to bed at 7:30 and woke up at 1:30 and then went back to sleep and slept until 8.

 

Was I that tired? Or was I running from life? I think I was just that tired.  This morning I have taken glances back over the past few years and looked at what I have done. This really has nothing to do with New Year‘s Ever resolutions. Nor does going to the class and walking today. I believe God knew that I needed saving and so he pushed me in the direction.

 

Can guilt make you depressed? I don’t know. My friend Viveka told me last evening that I am suffering from not having anyone to take care of right now. I think there is validation in this.

How does a child learn guilt? When I look back through my life I can see some points that may have helped mold me to who I am today. I can remember when my baby sister was born. I was ten years old. I didn’t realize at the youthful age that one person could get more attention than another. I do remember fighting for my highlight in my stepmother’s life.

It was the following summer that I was expected to be a mature young lady at 11 and start babysitting the little sister. I would care for her on school breaks. I was taught how to cook a complete meal, clean the house, and doing laundry and even ironing. But, does this bring guilt about?

At 13 I learned for the first time that I had a real mother out in the world. I don’t remember going into any mass depression, but I do remember thinking I was going to find her. I don’t think it was because I was so aloof from my step-mom, as much as it was curiosity, or was it?

From that point on, I was in the middle class of popularity in school. I worked part-time, sang in the choir and yet I do remember that I clung more to my dad. I thought of him as my hero. I was where he was. I learned that it was an ugly divorce between him and my real mom and that with the help of him, his parents, and the law, he had rescued Al and me from the big bad wolf.

I put my dad on a pedestal. I can remember mentally comparing him against mom. I had divided the two. She was the one who liked my baby sister more  than me. He was the hero of my life. Did this change me from an innocent person to one full of guilt? I still don’t know.

I can remember getting married and having children. The children almost became more significant than the marriage. Why? I have thought of this throughout my years. I believe it was because they were mine. No one could divide them or take them from me. I loved and cared for them like a mama bird cares for her young.

Divorce hurt more as far as my kids were concerned. The split, pain of words spoken and changes from a routine were very difficult. This is when I remember guilt beginning to start with a capital G. I felt guilt for the pain of what the kids suffered through it all. I felt guilt, that I was struggling in my own mind. I had found my real mom after all these years, and it wasn’t what I had dreamed of. There was only a surface connection between my mom and me.

It wasn’t strong like the yarn of a spider web that couldn’t be broken.The web was never formed. She loved the little girl she remembered, and not the grown woman. The depression that I was hurled into helped cause the divorce. No one understood what I was going through mentally, not even me.

I slid through the next few years by the seat of my pants. I did things that normally I would have put a way on the top shelf of my bedroom closet when I turned 18. It was like something had a hold of me. I needed to know that someone cared. I needed to feel loved. I didn’t cross the line of disaster, but I did make a lot of mistakes. I know that I still carry the guilt of this today, when I think about my own kids.

When my step- mom died years later, I was devastated. Yet there was a small part of me that I remember thinking, the guilt is now over. I don’t have to be ashamed of not being her real child. I am not sure today, that I ever let that guilt go totally. I don’t sit around and think about it. I do think of mom a lot, but not that part.

It was soon after that when I started caring for others. I began the career by working in nursing homes. I traveled pretty much throughout Indiana filling in for shortages for other nursing staff. After the price of gas started to skyrocket I looked for alternative ways to be a caregiver.

I didn’t plan on it, but I ended up beginning private care. I took care of elderly in their home. I became a part of the family. I went on outings with my patient and the family. I felt needed and cared about. I felt loved.

A husband and wife was one duo that I took care of for a few years. It so happened that I knew one of the grown children and had even visited in their home in my youth. I loved the entire family. They had a daughter named Anita, that I thought was the most awesome woman. We clicked right a way and I still keep in touch with her today.

The wife passed away first and then I came back and helped take care of the husband. At the latter stages of his life, I had become involved with the care of my own father. He had bone cancer. I was his primary caregiver for the next year.

Both dad and the husband died very close together, and then I went straight in to caring for my brother Al.al at millers Now he is in a nursing home and I have drifted off into some world I have never really experienced. It wasn’t like my divorce. It was deeper. The divorce ended. Al is still here but living else where. Is guilt what I am living? I do know that I hate myself for not being able to keep him home longer than I did. I always ask myself, could I have done it just a bit longer so he would not be in there so long?

I don’t know. Reading back on this blog posting, I can see that I have a deep desire to be needed and loved. Maybe being a caregiver is the way I was able to obtain that feeling. Now I am alone. I really think there is guilt mixed in with the loneliness. I think Viveka is right though. I am without someone to care about right now.

So does this stem from my childhood? I think so, very much. I don’t know how to change who I am, but I am going to at least get involved with something else besides being a caregiver for others. I am going to give it a good shot at caring about me too.

Flying skyrocket

 

Big Bad Wolf

god

Daily Prompt: Fight or Flight/ The Daily Post


This one is sort of hard for me, because first I had to look back at the last time I had the

Judge Joseph Bonaventure, by courtroom artist ...

fight or flight mood happen. As I was going back in memory lane, it came to me. It was about a year and a half ago.

I hesitated to write about this, because it was a sensitive topic, and the person involved still can trigger emotions in me yet today.

The topic is something that I rarely speak about out loud, as if it will curse me. You know what I mean. You start saying something negative about your car, and boom, it happens, what you talked about running so good, or having no problems, all of a sudden, it happens!

I have a wonderful brother, who by now you all know, but Al and I  also have a step-sister. A woman ten years younger than myself. I can remember a time when we were pretty close. It was the baby sister looking up to the big sister, wanting to be just like her, but things changed. Life changed, our father passed away. All three of us kids had the same father.

When dad passed a way, it was the worst time in my life, the worst tragedy that I have ever lived. It was worse than my divorce, or being more poor than I am now. There was a will, and that is when all hell broke loose.

Our father knew us well, he knew each of us and how we handled monies, and therefore, he made arrangements for each to have certain things at different times in our lives.

Dad was smart, I must say, he knew Al would always need extra help. Help with living arrangements, medical, and survival. Dad never knew that I took care of Al of course, but I guess that is hindsight, the real point here is that dad made sure Al would be alright if anything happened to him, dad.

Our sister wanted more than what she received, and so as a lot of people do, they attack  the weakest, which in this case was Al,  with his mentality. One day I went to the mail box, and there was that certain white, big envelope. The kind that sort of makes your stomach rumble as it doesn’t look like an ad or a bill.

I took it inside and opened it and learned that our sister was taking me to court to switch Al from my care to hers. I instantly got hot inside. I was too scared to cry, and I did not go immediately to God with my problem.

I sweated for the better part of these  two weeks before the court date. Al and I cried a lot, for fear of being separated from each other. I think I bit my nails down to the quick, and I lost some weight also.

One day a few days before the court date, a friend reminded me to go to the Lord with this. He was the miracle worker, he was the one that saw things for what they truly were, and he knew what was right from wrong.

I got on my knees and prayed. I can still remember it so well. Al got on his knees also, and we held hands, he cried and I prayed, and when we were finished, I felt so much calmer. I had come to a realm of new realization. I had nothing to fear. I knew that I was doing the best I could with Al’s care.

The day came, and my stomach started to churn. I sat in the front of the court room on my designated seat. Before, the judge walked in, I silently prayed again, for God to use my mouth to form the correct words. Please Lord, do not let me make a fool of myself from my nerves. Help me to look calm and confident.

The judge entered and the questions started coming at me. One, two, three, four, five, and finally it was over. I made my last statement, and my voice never quivered. As soon as I was finished, the judge looked back at my brother, who was sitting in the background, and he asked him to stand up. Al stood up and the judge asked him if he had anything he wanted to say.

My brother started crying very hard, and somewhere in between the cries and the silence of the room, the judge and I,  and all others involved heard my brother say,

Please don’t take me a way from my sister. I love living with her. I love her. We go places and she takes me out to eat and takes me to the Goodwill stores to buy coca-cola. I don’t want to live with the other sister.

I think when I looked or stared into the judges eyes as Al spoke, I could swear a saw one shiny tear fall from his eye. The judge coughed and cleared his throat, and looked back at me and said,

This case is a waste of my valuable time. There is nothing here to judge, as I can see Al is very well taken care of and is happy where he is living. Case is dismissed.

I said, I don’t know how many thank-you’s  to the judge, as he leaned from his pulpit and reached down and shook my hand. He said for me to continue the good job. I walked quickly over to Al, and he was still crying. With his mentality problems, he didn’t comprehend what was happening, so I just said,

Hey bud, you ready to go get something to eat and go home?

He looked at me and asked,

You mean home with you? and I said yes!

I got the biggest smile I have ever seen in my life taking care of him. He got it! He understood, we had won, and she had lost. He grabbed his hat and waved at the people in the courtroom, telling them goodbye, and we took off to go celebrate.

What a wonderful God we have walking beside us. Some of you can sit and say, I may have won without asking for God’s help, but really, why would I want to take such a big risk of losing and counting on my own nervous self? No way, I wanted God on my side as judge and jury.

Daily Prompt: Set It To Rights/ The Daily Post


Think of a time you let something slide, only for it to eat away at you later. Tell us how you’d fix it today.

 

My mother that raised me was my step-mother. She started raising me when I was five years old. I don’t remember too much about those years with her, although I remember many good times with my grandpa. My mom walked into a ready-made family when she married my dad, and I don’t remember anything bad about our relationship, until my sister was born. I am sure I was jealous, and I made her life harder, than it should have been.

I never went out of my way to bond with her. I only saw her paying more attention to my dad and that new baby. There were many times that we got a long fine, and there were plenty of times when I could have been a better daughter.

When I finally grew up, we were closer because I was not such a brat, but still, the bonding was never there. I remember a few times it was mom, that was there when I was in trouble, and mom that understood my tears.

As I got older and older, I realized how ungrateful I was to her, and it bugged me that she had reached out to me for so many years, and I had not reached back. After a few more years went by, I came to know God much better than I had in the past,and I made up my mind that I was going to confess to mom my feelings, and how it was never her fault for our relationship fall outs, that it was mine.

When I told her she cried, and told me she loved me as well as she could. This hurt me bad, but I had it coming. I had never given her a chance. For the next two years, I worked hard at our relationship. I spent many more moments with her. I shared my own life with her, and I opened up quite a bit.

I am  forever grateful to God for helping me see my errors, because he knew my future. He knew that in those two years that I made great efforts getting to know my mom, was going to be a life changing experience for me.

One day at the end of that two-year period, my mother fell ill suddenly. I got the phone call while I was at my job, and I left immediately, and arriving at the hospital, I could tell that something was seriously wrong. Things did not look good.

My mother knew or sensed it too somewhere in her mind, because when she saw me, even though she was acting out of character, she started patting me on the shoulder over and over. I felt at that moment, that precise moment, she was forgiving me and hugging me like a little girl. She was telling me that it was alright, that she loved me. Right there I was so thankful that I had let go of my pride and had reached out to her, because seven days later, she passed away.

I have never once regretted making the choice I did. God knows our life, and he knows our future. He knew that I would never be able to live with myself, if I didn’t make things right. God is amazing, and he is real. There are many times I could sit here and write about events that happened due to God being by my side, but this particular time, sticks out more than any other, when I put my childish pride and jealousy aside and grew up, and appreciated what I had before it was too late.

Blood Is Thicker Than Water, Or Is It?


Does blood-line really mean anything? Blood thicker than water? In my early teen years, I discovered that I had about 20% blood line family, and the rest were by marriage.

Being a kid still, I thought I was probably special, because I had something in my family that most didn’t, but this isn’t true, and I realized it the more I matured in life.

There are many families that divorce today. Families of the same-sex marry or live together, grandparents raising kids, kids raising themselves.

When I think back to my childhood, it was fairly normal for the most parts compared to other families I have come to know. I had a real dad raising me and a step-mother, doing the best she could with two instant kids added to her marriage.

My grandpa was the best. He was my stepmother’s father. He had big floppy ears, like the character, Dumbo. He wore farmer over hauls and white t-shirts. In his young adult life he installed heating furnaces in people’s homes. This was back when a house call could be made at any time day or night. Sometimes he got so busy, that he would ask my dad to help him. This was a part-time job for him. His main job and love in life was his farm. He was not my blood line, but I didn’t know it for years, and even when I did find out, it made him more special in my eyes, because I loved him, and I knew that he loved me also.

My dad’s sister, was a person that I saw on Friday nights at supper time. We all drove to dad’s moms house and ate supper with the families. When ever I heard her speak directly to me, the conversations always ended up being about when I was very young. She was a teenager herself, and had been given the responsibility of bathing me. I was always reminded of the time she got the water too hot, and when she took me out of the bath tub, she was shocked at how red my skin had turned. Other than this conversation, I never bonded too much with her. As an adult, when I heard her speak it was always the accomplishments that her own children were doing in their lives. This person, was my blood line.

My stepmother’s mother, my step-grandma, was a home maker. She was a farmer’s wife. She loved life, was a firm believer of God and always made me feel so loved. I went to her house almost daily, and sometimes more than once a day. Each time I walked in her house, she welcomed me like she had not seen me for years. She was a wonderful baker, as most grandma’s are. She had a huge garden, and canned and froze most of their foods. She helped grandpa raise, cows, hogs, and chickens, and they always ate the meat from their own animals. None of that chemical stuff you don’t always know that is in meats today. She was not my blood line, but I loved her with all of my heart.

My dad’s mother was my blood line. I remember one summer only, that she and I bonded somewhat. I was getting married, and she lived in the same city that I did most of my wedding shopping from. I ended up staying there for two weeks at that time. I spent most of my time sitting in front of the TV with her, while she watched her soap operas. There was no talking aloud while these were on, and she watched one after another most of the afternoon. I would find myself alone, taking walks in the neighborhood, or going shopping, or napping. Grandma was about grandma. Her whole world revolved around her. If she wasn’t the topic of the conversation, then there was no speaking. When we were small kids, and we would go visit, we had to play with our toys in another room, and we had to play quietly. This was my blood line.

After reading back over what I have written, I realize, without a doubt, that in my eyes, blood line isn’t thicker than water. It isn’t who was your natural mom and dad, grandma and grandpa. It was who loved you. Who made you feel special, who did the littlest things in life for you. It was the way I felt about each one, the bonding that is the glue of the family.

It doesn’t matter to me anymore who was this or that in my life. What matters to me is who I remember, who I still have the fondest memories of, who was there when I skinned a knee, or was sick with a cold, who comforted me.

I have lost all of my family now except my brother, and I have aunts still alive, and my step-grandma has been in a nursing home now for some time. She is the ripe age of 96. She lives in another state, so I do not get to see her anymore, but I will never forget her fresh-baked cherry pies, or her big home-made sugar cookies, or the times she asked me to go with her to Dairy Queen.

Blood line means nothing to me, and I have now given up the phrase that blood is thicker than water.