Saturday, February 5, 2011
Unlock Your Own Mind..and Enjoy
1970 I'm lying in bed, on a school night, and I can still hear kids playing outside. The time has changed, so it's still daylight at 9pm. I am seven years old.
2004 I am in the Greenboro High School Gym listening to my son Joshua give the speech of his life. His Valedictorian speech. And I amazed at where this young man came from. The one who is speaking with such confidence. The one everyone is standing up and cheering for.
2000 I'm watching Zach smack his first hit off of a tee. His skinny little legs are going as fast as they can go. His helmet is so heavy on his little head. I'm wondering as he runs, how he holds his head up.
1996 I'm at Twin Oaks Elem School in Leesburg Georgia watching Joshua play his snare drums in a band concert. Who would have thought Joshua would have ever liked the drums.
1972 My PaPa Josh has passed away. My new Barbie Head I got for Christmas just that morning, is on my dresser. In the dark it looks like a person. I cannot sleep. It scares me. I get up and put it in my closet floor so I won't be scared anymore. Of ghosts.
1998 I am barbecuing ribs in the oven. The house is permeated with that wonderful smell. Zachary who is barely three, says as he walks in the door, "I want summa what I smell, I'm hongy". Since 1998, anytime our house smells especially full, of good cooking food, that will be repeated.
1982 The Group Alabama is performing in Albany. The biggest country music group of my time. The tickets go on sale that Saturday morning. I got called into work. My mother, stood outside in a mile long line, in the wind sleeting rain and cold, to get my tickets. She could not even feel her feet when it was over. I tell my boys all the time, what mothers do for their children. They still have no idea.
2008 My mother calls me from the hospital in Albany Georgia. The doctors say stints will not work. My daddy must have heart bypass surgery. My mother is crying. She never cries. I hold it together until I hang up the phone. Then my body is wracked with pain and tears. The surgery will not be for another week. But I leave immediately for home. I have to, need to, see my daddy. I am so scared.
1978 Me and my MaMa are in a used/trade bookstore. I am teaching her all about the Archie Comics and she is teaching me about Mark Twain and Huckleberry Finn.
1985 My mother is in the hospital for surgery. I am sitting with her. You cannot have your nails painted before surgery. They must be able to press your nails and see color. Blood. The surgery is over. And my southern Alabama mother asks me to paint her toenails for her. She has already done her fingernails. And her "lips" are on. She obviously cannot reach her toes. And you know, "your toes are the ugliest part of your body, if you are going to expose them, they must be painted". Or so I was told, all of my life.
2002 Zachary is playing Tiny Mites football. I'm watching Coach Joey Edwards hold their attention like no other adult could. And I wonder, where he gets that magic from?
1988 Joshua is two. My back door leading to our deck is open. I am in the kitchen, he is going back and forth. I turn around at his cry, and he is bleeding. He has tripped over the hose that was drug up on the deck to water the hanging baskets. It's only his nose that got busted. There is so much blood, it appears to be his whole body.
1976 My cool Aunt Amanda takes me to an Andy Gibb concert in Columbus Georgia. First concert ever. I had the time of my life!
1990 I wake up to a smoke filled house. My ex has drank himself to sleep and the supper he started on the stove is trying to burn our house down. I drop to the floor, I am choking. I drag Joshua out of the bed, and push him out the bedroom window. I am behind him. Smoke is billowing out of the windows now. My ex is still asleep in his chair on the deck. Josh and I stand in our bed clothes. In the yard. While I pray we will still have a home.
1979 I am in the 10th grade, and my father has found out that I had been cutting classes. There is a knock on the door of my history class. The door opens and it is my father. Telling me to come on. I stand to walk, he tells me, in front of all of my classmates, to stop. Go back and get all of my things. I may not be coming back. I did, of course, go back. But it was a "Come to Jesus" like no other.
1980 Our family vacation is in February. We are in Gatlinburg Tn. It is snowing and it is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. We are riding in a glass tram taking us across the mountain to a beautiful restaurant. With live entertainment. Between the snow and the Swiss dancers, it was the most magical vacation of my life.
1990 Santa brought Joshua a guitar. He has discovered CMT. For three months he stands in front of our television and he plays that guitar. For three months, at four years old, he is country music.
1998 Zachary is three years old and has discovered he can fly. Off of our front porch on Hwy 65. We sit in the emergency room for 3 hours to find out he has a sprained ankle.
1971 I am riding a neighbors bike. A bike unfamiliar to me. It has hand brakes. And suddenly, I am flying down the hill behind our apartment. It's a summer night, people are grilling out at the foot of the hill. I cannot figure out how to stop the bike. The people in the lawn chairs begin to scatter as they exclaim "She's not going to stop!". I slam into the brick building. They help me back up the hill. Where my parents are having a company party, as I come in with blood from head to toe.
1974 My mother had to work late. Karen Pelham was babysitting me and my sister. I beg to ride bikes with her sister Diane. The roads are those kind with the huge rocks poking up. I lose my balance and fall. The rocks jab into my kneecap. I literally have 2 holes in my knee. My summer would be spent swapping out bandages and applying Vitamin E oil. The oil my mother swears would prevent scarring. It is the worst scar on my body. She still abides, it could have looked so much worse.
2006 We are in my living room exchanging vows. Me, for the last time in my life. Both of my boys are giving me away to the man they have been calling their Daddy for years. Zachary, my child of few emotions, is crying. It was a beautiful day.
1987 I am reading the Dr. Seuss book, Hop on Pop to Joshua. He is barely one year old. He likes the letter P. Every word in the book that starts with the letter "P" sends him into a gale of giggles. The most beautiful baby giggles you have ever heard in your life.
1999 I have forgotten what my new boyfriend has said, I absolutely must do. I am already almost to work. I cannot be late. I call my best friend, Donna Hall. Tell her my problem. She does not have a key. But she can climb in my bedroom window from the back porch. And she does. Climb in through my bedroom window. She saved my life. Best friends make the world go round'.
And then it's over. My family comes rolling back in the house. The noise begins. And the memory door closes. Until another time. When peace and quiet take hold. Silence is welcomed back. And my mind finds comfort in what used to be.