Most kids grow up hearing ghost stories and things about evil and rarely ever see the evil that lives and breathes right alongside them, daily.
Sometimes it isn’t what we cannot see that scares us, but what we actually do see.
Blue always looked forward to Halloween events and the whole idea of dressing up and pretending to be something she wasn’t in real life and perhaps someone she wished herself to be. She always got to choose a costume out that she wanted and her mother would sew or make it. Her mother was the best seamstress she had ever known. She could literally make anything she saw or had a pattern for. She self taught herself too. No fancy school was needed because she must of been born with the gift naturally. Blue loved the things her mother would make and sew together for her. She never stopped to think how lucky she really was to have such a gifted mother. I guess when your young and naïve you seldom see the beauty in things that you have, or you just don’t realize the luck you have.
Well, this year at Halloween Blue wanted to be Cinderella. She needed a mask and was kind of scared to ask her mother for one. She never wanted her mother to feel that she was ungrateful for anything and perhaps asking for a store-bought mask, it might make her mother think that way. She had been in the department store with her grandmother and aunt last week and she spied a Cinderella mask for dressing up. Blue had brown hair and knew that to pull off Cinderella she would need the appropriate color of hair and this mask had that. She was hesitant to ask for it, but she really needed it to complete her costume this year.
Blue gathered up her courage and went to ask her mother for the Cinderella mask from Roses. As she approached her unsuspecting mother she noticed her mother was watching the Price Is Right tv show and she cleared her throat to get her mother’s attention. Her mother looked her way and before she really thought it out, she blurted out, “Can you get me a Cinderella mask, they have one at Roses?” Her mother said, “If it is not too costly I will go get it after work today.” Wow, that was easier than Blue had imagined. her mother did not even question her. She did ask, however, what color of princess dress did she want to have with it? Blue said, “Well, blue color, of course.”
Her mother brought the mask home as soon as she came home from work. She said for Blue not to damage it or tear it up because she would not receive a replacement if she did. Blue was so excited she went into her room and opened the box and tried on the mask. “Perfect fit”, she said. She could just imagine how she would look come Halloween night all dressed up in her costume and she smiled such a big smile, it was almost as wide as the Eerie Canal. What a wonderful time it will be she thought to herself.
Blue was so excited she went to school the next day bragging, about her mask. Several of the kids said they too, were going as Cinderella. Blue actually felt like she was special since she had the same thing others wanted too. When she was doing classwork it was really hard for her to focus on the work since all she could think of was the Cinderella in her head, the one she was going to be for Halloween, she could not wait.
Proud as she was, of her costume for this year’s Halloween, that could not take away the darkness she sometimes felt inside. Halloween was good and all, but she knew exactly what a monster was, personally. She felt the horror, down deep, inside her soul. She lived with a monster every day. Hee took her safe place, surrounded it with evil and made sure she felt isolated and alone. He was someone whom she needed to be able to trust, but he only gave her a lack of trust.
Her own father was her personal monster. He preyed on her innocents and he took her as a hostage to his desires of sinful lust. He was the biggest monster she knew. He would always be the thing she feared the most. Instead of running, it would be many years of torture she would endure. When she became an adult she would no longer trust people, especially those who said they truly loved her. Because of her father, she would doubt that she could ever be much. Because of him, she forever knew “Boo” …
Often when we reflect on the days so long ago, we remember with a sense of fondness…
This was how Blue remembered. She remembered the talks, the smells, the taste, and the precious moments, she had with her grandmother. What Blue remembered was something she would keep with her for all time.
Today was a very humid day and Blue has dressed accordingly. She had her one-piece romper on. It had spaghetti straps that tied at the joining and it was striped like the zebra that came off of a cartoon she had seen. All the colors were really bright and bold, not at all matching Blue’s character. Blue was shyer and reserved. That, however, did not stop her mom from buying her the most daring outfits ever. This romper was a short romper. It was kind of neat. She enjoyed it, she did not have to worry about her butt crack showing as she bent down to do something. This was really important to her. Funny but true. She did not want anyone looking at her butt crack. It is funny what some view as important while others think nothing more about it.
Today Blue was heading to the garden with her grandmother. She loved going to the garden and thought it was just the best time, ever. Usually, in the garden, she would help her grandmother pick weeds and such. Sometimes if the vegetables were ripe enough she would get to pick and eat them. Just enough though, as to have enough for others. Her favorite food was the little round tomatoes. Her grandmother called them “Tommie Toes”. They were round and small, just the right size for her to stuff into her mouth. Her next favorite was the corn on the cob. Her grandmother always had lots of stalks of corn. She was to help her grandmother shuck the corn and then freeze some and then there was plenty for an evening snack. Fresh butter that her grandmother churned was a perfect condiment to the wonderful fresh corn.
Blue loved helping her grandmother and there was always something that needed to be done. Especially when there were green beans. Blue helped de-string the green beans and pop them into three pieces, each. This would be a long task seeing as they need three pieces from one bean. Usually, Blue pulled strings off and broke them into three parts but today she wanted to wash the beans in cold water. She was not as fast as her grandmother. her grandmother often employed the help of her sister as well. Those two could work way faster than Blue. Blue’s grandmother still enjoyed her help, however. Blue never really liked green beans but would eat her grandmother’s because her grandmother would fix them with potatoes and bacon fat. The taste was out of this world.
Blue’s grandmother dressed appropriate, for heading out into the thick garden. She wore knee socks over her polyester pants and wore a smock top that had snaps for closures. This must have been because it was easy to take on and off and cooler than a regular blouse. Also, that was her grandmother’s way of dress at home. Blue thought her grandmother was the wisest person in the world and whatever was good for her was always good for Blue. So today she wore knee socks too. This was to ensure that spider or snake would not crawl up her legs. Also, it helped keep ticks from latching on. Blue’s grandmother always battled snakes, she would kill the bad ones and display their carcass on a bush in the yard to ward off other snakes from entering the yard. She killed them with her shovel and appeared so brave. Blue was enamored by her grandmother.
Every summer, there were always lessons out in the garden at her grandmother’s and every time Blue learned something that she would keep inside her head for the rest of her life. The garden was wondrous with it’s ability to grow life from seeds, and it usually was full of stuff she enjoyed eating. Blue was always the shortest thing in the garden but that did nit stop her from following in her grandmother’s footsteps. She enjoyed everything, even the dirt on her feet to the spider webs in her hair.
For Blue, time spent with her grandmother was crucial to her sanity. Nothing could make her feel so excited or so loved.
Ah, the end of the school year! Most kids are looking forward to it, but not Blue. End of the school year meant having to be stuck at home. Home, a place she feared to be alone, with her father, all summer…
School ending always meant testing and for three days now she had to take tests that were to show if she was ready to go to the next school grade or if she had learnt all that was taught. Each year at the end of the school year, it always was the same and each year, Blue did a good enough job to pass onto the next grade. This was a good thing because if she had to repeat the same grade again her parents would be angry. Testing days were the most boring and mundane things, as you can imagine. Sitting at your desk for hours and hours, only getting a few short breaks to go use the restroom or get a sip of water, and about thirty minutes for a lunch break. No talking was allowed during testing and you almost felt like you was in a prison. Each teacher stared you down from your head to your feet, watching and waiting as if they were detectives trying to see someone cheat on those tests. It was intense to say the least.
Blue was eagerly waiting for the last school bell to ring, and signal the start of the summer break. As the bell rang, she watched kids with their arms full of things leave and disperse from the school halls. The noise was loud and deafening. The chatter was a mix of happiness, fair wells, and excitement. Often that day was a happy time, but Blue had mixed emotions. She really welcomed the start of the summer break because that meant she would be free to play outside or spend time at her grandmother’s, more than during school days, and she wanted that. Sadly though, that was not all she thought about. She also knew that she would have to stay at her sister’s and then in the evening while waiting for her mother to get off from work, her father would pick her up and take her home. This would give opportunity and confrontations that she did not want, from her father.
With a mix of emotions, she still managed to smile, knowing she would have time to spend in her favorite place, the woods just outside her house. Those woods brought her so many new adventures, so many things to see and do. She really loved having that time, even if she could not stay there day and night. In the woods she felt happy. She had no reason to hide there, no reason to cry, there. The woods were a part of her life she still thinks of with fond memories. Nothing else was as special as her time there. She used that wonderful imagination she had and made a world for herself that was as special as she wanted to feel.
Ah, summer break!Into the woods she would go, to feel safe and happy.
Blue was adopted. She knew the family that adopted her was her biological relatives. Her Aunt adopted her and she was being raised alongside her (cousins) a brother and sister. She had no idea of her birth mom or that she had a biological sister. This would take until she was an adult to find out.
Blue was the middle-aged child in the family dynamics. She was freckled faced and blue eyed. She was petite in stature and had light brown hair. She had a birthmark on her left side of her neck, it ran under her chin and onto her chin just a dab. She often felt self-conscious of it and would hide it with turtle neck shirts and collared shirts. She was somewhat a tomboy but loved getting dolled up and made pretty, too.
Blue was shy and often she felt awkward at talking to others. She was rather popular and outgoing at school but not around adults. She sometimes had many questions but remained silent. She would much rather talk to the birds and creatures, then any human. Reserved and guarded she would sometimes carry on conversations with an adult, but usually, she just listened with a curious ear.
Blue was great at singing solos and in her school choir. She felt that singing was one of her gifts in life and often sang in her church choir, as well as her schools choir. Sometimes she would sing for the congregation during Sunday services. This brought her much peace and made her feel accomplished and appreciated. She always said, she was better at singing than talking.
Often, Blue would go out of her way to make someone feel good and she often would extend a conversation to the kids at school whom others would make fun of. Blue was caring and thoughtful to those whom she saw being mistreated or ostracized. This was just because blue carried empathy for others. She knew all the feelings of being left out, sad and hurt…
Blue’s father that had adopted her was not a good dad. He would look at Blue like something other than a daughter. He would come to be the reason Blue distrusts people and has a hard time believing what they say. No one in Blue’s life hurt her as bad as her dad. Her mother was someone Blue loved dearly, but in time her mother would find it hard to have a good relationship with Blue. Her mother had many demons of her own and often sheltered or tried to control Blue to the point that Blue never felt safe. Her mother knew about her dad’s issue and gave a blind eye to them. This would hurt Blue tremendously and ultimately ruin their relationship.
Blue never felt safe at home. She felt a prisoner in her own family’s house. She was not allowed to go outside and play often times, because her mother was afraid someone would kidnap her. She would often go spend the night with a friend and see how a normal family acted. Blue had a hard time understanding all that would go on in her home. Blue never gave up hope for a better life, a better kind of healthy love, and a life that would bring her blessings and a family of her own.
Please follow along in the stories of Blue.
To be continued…
One does not what one will do until they find themselves in a particular situation.
Easter, ah, the time when eggs get dyed, candy is given, and there is a big meal for the family…
Easter was one of the best holidays for Blue. She would get a new dress, a pair of new shoes, along with a new purse. Her mother would go all out for that holiday. At least during her younger years until her teenage years, this sort of ritual happened. She usually enjoyed all the relentless preparations for Sunday Easter service at her church. Every Easter you would see kids dressed up in their new clothes and things. It was part of the celebration of Easter when Christ rose from the dead and rose again. On this holiday, the church congregation would participate in the Last Supper. It was for those who were the age of accountability, meaning the ones who were old enough to be saved, know right from wrong, and so forth..
The Sunday service usually started with a sunrise sermon, which was always early on Easter Sunday, like around 7 a.m. The church people would gather outside and light candles while admiring the sunrise. This would be because it was in remembrance of Christ rising from the grave after being crucified. After that, they would go into the church and have an Easter message from the preacher about Easter, and followed by the Last Supper, or meeting around the altar, partaking of bread and juice. Those symbolized Christ’s body and his blood. A hard concept for a young person. Blue often visualized that kind of thing in her head. It not only made her squeamish but sad for all Christ went through.
After Sunday services, and as they headed home, Blue’s family would come together at her house. it seemed to be the family place where they shared holiday meals. Blue’s belly often growled because of the wonderful smells coming from the kitchen. It was probably the best food she had ever eaten. Usually, there was a big ham, potato salad, deviled eggs, slaw, sweet potatoes, and corn, followed with green bean casserole and so much more. Blue often snuck bites from things that were placed on the table, before anyone took notice. It was always delicious. One thing Blue knew, her family sure could cook. One day Blue knew she too would cook great.
After the meal, there was a period of just sitting and having conversations and checking out all the goodies given to her by the “Easter Bunny”, and then the great Easter egg hunt. it was fun finding all the colored Easter Eggs but Blue often wondered why this silly tradition even existed. What was the purpose for it all? Blue knew that Easter really was not about all that hubbub, but about Christ’s love and sacrifice for us. Blue never forgot what happened to Christ and she always tried to be thankful. Often, the Easter Bible Story was read, and she visualized the moments that led to it all.
Despite all the things that happened in her home, Blue still knew how much she had to be thankful for. She always prayed to be a good person and always tried to enjoy the good moments when she could. Not every day was bad for her, but sometimes all she had was the joy the good times gave her, that is why she remembered.
Remembering on the good things can push back the not so good times. Sometimes, that is all we have.
Blue never really understood why she was hurting someone’s feelings if she asked questions about where she came from and things of that nature. It just seemed natural that she would want to know the people who brought her into the world and gave her up for adoption. She was pretty sure if the tables were turned they would want to know too.
Never did it occur to her that the family who adopted her would wish to keep the information surrounding her adoption a secret. She was wanting to know who she walked like, who she talked like, whose eyes she inherited and so forth. Never did it cross her mind that that would be taken as a slight against the adopted family. She loved them and merely wanted to know simple things. She had always ben very inquisitive but mainly kept her questions to herself because she was always told, “Kids should be seen and not heard”, ugh. She never agreed with that, not one bit. After al it was her life she was inquiring about and she deserved her questions answered.
Her adopted family did not se things the same as her, though. They really got aggravated and angry or dismissive when she approached them, any of them. One way or the other she would get her answers and she knew just how to go about getting that done. She would sneak around the house where she knew her mother kept private things, or things of value. She would have to wait till she had time alone at her home or a time when left alone. She hidden her mother put things away and she knew exactly where she would go looking. She also knew if she ever got caught , there would be hell to pay. Not to mention, the opportunity might not come again.
So to plan her scavenging, she needed to know about what everyone in the household would be doing in the following days ahead. She wanted to do things sooner, rather than later, if she could. Anticipation was getting the best of her. She would take some glances of things while she pretended to do her chores, such as dusting. This would be the perfect coverup for her snooping. She was really betting that there was so much she would be able to find, especially in her mother’s chest of drawers. That would be her first place to look.
Why was it that the family thought she had no right to know anything about those who gave her life? She really just could not get that they kept the things most important to her, in their own minds. It was rightfully hers to know. Did they not believe that she could hurt to? That she had feelings that really mattered? Of course it was looking like they did not care to share. But that would al be taken care of son enough, doing it her way. Blue was determined, and she really could hurt too.
It had rained all dang day and Blue could not stand it. She had always hated days where it rained. This was because she could not go outside. If she couldn’t go outside, she could not imagine. If Blue wouldn’t use her imagination she felt sad. Blue had always been good at imagining. For as long as she could remember, the world she imagined in her head was and had been better than the real world. Today, it seemed like a lost cause.
As Blue got into doing her homework she found herself getting bored. The same old stuff every evening for homework. First, she did her spelling words and then read the chapters in her history book, followed with her answer and questions given by her teachers. She really thought most of this was just busy work. She wished she had something else to do besides homework but sadly, no. So Blue took her time this evening going all her assignments. She heard her mom and dad arguing and tried to eavesdrop in on what they were upset about. Usually, her dad would do a lot of shouting, slamming of cabinet doors, and stomping. Her mom usually was trying to explain or calm him down. This could sometimes last got minutes but mostly lasted for the rest of the evening. Her dad would low up then leave, and return later on and pick up where he left off at.
Usually, if the arguing was in the evening, supper was delayed and no one really ate together. That is if they came to eat. If her dad was angry her mom would leave the food out for him. This would be difficult because her mom would not eat and she and her brother would have to figure out what to fo., on their own. It created such a cloud of disdain that because of it, us kids would not even leave our rooms to get food. This made the nighttime hard, usually, Blue would do hungry she couldn’t sleep.
Well, this evening would be that way. Tonight Blue would go to bed without any supper. Not to mention, sadness at the fact her parents were so mad at each other. She never did catch ear of what it was they were arguing about. Probably something to do with the church. Who knows. Often her dad was mad and wouldn’t like her mom going to evening church services, but despite his feelings, her mom would still try to go. Blue kind of admired her mom’s tenacity. Although, mostly Blue did not understand her dad’s fight against her mom going. Blue just wished it would stop.
Blue found herself in this yucky day, yucky weather, hungry, and bored, and sad. So what did Blue do but lie in bed using her imagination? She found herself talking to God. With thunder and lightning from outside Blue’s room lit up with each strike of lightning which led Blue to use that in her talk with God. Blue asked God to answer her with thunder or a flash of lightning. Lightning stood for yes. Thunder stood for a no.
Now Blue was not sure if she would actually get God to go along with it but she was ready to try. After all, she had lots of questions. Some questions were about her parents. She would ask things like, ” Do they love me?”, or”Will they ever divorce?”. Blue just needed to know things. It was in her nature. Surely Hod understood it all. At least she hoped he would.
Blue always tried to get God’s answers that a way. All of her childhood she would seek his answers through a time of storms. She never really knew though if God liked it. Something’s she never asked of him. The one thing she did was, ”Can I be loved?”, God would answer her, but they never were answered the same. Somewhere in between her wants and needs she just needed to be loved. To Blue it was simple, either you did or you did not.
”Oh , if life were that simple! ”,she often thought.
The time line for this story was the teenage years of Blue, she was around 15 and still unaware of most things in her life around then. Un-expectantly, she had a visit from someone she did not recognize.
Blue was alone this particular day, as she was most days while school was out and her parents had to work. Her brother was visiting a friend. She had the whole house to herself. Times like this was very nice for her. She could walk around the house freely and enjoy playing her music as loud as she wished. Music had been her constant companion since she first discovered it. There was several different genres that she enjoyed. Frankly, almost anything out on the radio was her favorite. She knew the words to almost everything and had no qualms about singing them out loud.
Today Blue was going to organize the bathroom closet. Why? Because she wanted to , and especially since she was not made to. She enjoyed pretending that her parents house was hers and that she was in charge. Part of that imagination led her to change things up a bit. She loved changing the layout of things, because she got bored real easy. She was constantly trying to win her mother’s approval to and since organizing the bathroom closet was something she enjoyed, she was also hoping for “brownie points” from her mother, in doing it.
She turned up her music so loud she guessed the neighbors could hear it. She really did not care, music was on, the sun was shinning and she was going to play around with organizing a bathroom closet that was in diar need of being done. She went to the front door, made sure it was locked, checked the back door to, she did not want anyone coming in on her while she was at the back of the house. So, she set forth to organize that bathroom closet.
She proceeded to take out things one by one until all the shelfs in the closet were empty. Next she went into work mode by folding and sorting the towels and the wash cloths that lay in the floor. She thought she would sort them by their colors and switch things up a bit by placing a wash cloth and a towel of likeness together. She proceeded to fold the wash cloth up in the towel and set them on the shelfs, one by one. She just knew that her mother was going to love this. No more searching for a washcloth to match a towel. She thought it was rather “genius” of herself.
This went on for the next hour and when the bathroom closet was finished, she took a long look at it and was very pleased. She also could not wait till her mother saw how nice and convenient things were now in that closet. Sometimes, while she was doing little things like this she felt proud of herself and felt that she was going to make herself invaluable to her parents.
She really did not know that she should have been valuable even if she never helped out around the house. All kids should be valuable to their parents regardless of what they do or what they don’t do.
The next thing she decided to do was to get her some soup to eat because she was getting hungry. Tomato soup was her go to soup and her favorite to eat. Especially when she ate it with saltines crackers. She knew her mother would not like it anyway, if she ate something else. She turned off her music and turned on her tv. There was a show called, Bonanza”, and it was one of her favorites. Back in those days, there was not much to watch on tv and you had a pick of about three channels to watch. Kids watched cartoons on weekends and sometimes afternoons after school. No much variety but the shows had a lot more depth then. Morals were shown on almost every channel and there wasn’t any real bad to watch programs. Blue loved being able to watch movies. Her mother watched soap operas and she liked them to, but movies were her favorite.
As she was heating her soup up in a pot he heard what sounded to be a knock on the front door. She was thinking to herself that her mind was playing tricks on her. Then suddenly as if a second later, there came another knock. She went to the front windows and peered through the curtains. A car she did not recognize was out in the driveway. There was a person whom she could not really get a good look at, standing outside the front door. Blue knew her mother forbade her to open the door for anyone while her parents were not there. She also knew that she would be in big trouble if she did. Her curiosity was getting thee best of her She figured she would call her mother at her work and get further instruction on what to do. She headed to the phone when she heard the person outside say, “I am your aunt”, and she was in shock. Blue was thinking to herself on who this really was, while dialing her mother’s work number. Her mother got on the ohone and she told her that a lady who said she was her aunt was standing out front of her house. Her mother told her to go ahead and open the door and that her aunt Jean was there, she was guessing.
Blue hung up from talking to her mother, and went to the front door to open it. There in front of her stood a woman. The woman was a little taller than her, with greyish black hair. This woman was very thin, looked to be about 80 pounds. She was dressed in a fake fur coat. Immediately this woman, Blue’s aunt, gave her a big hug and said, “You must be Blue?” Blue said, “yes and who are you?” The woman replied she was her mother’s sister from Washington. Blue invited her in and told her that Blue’s mother was coming home and would arrive shortly. As she sat there she found herself staring at the woman she barely recognized. It was an awkward quietness. Blue did not know how to strike a conversation with her.
The awkward silence could have been cut by a knife it was so thick. Blue offered her aunt a drink or something and that started a conversation. Blue’s aunt asked her if she knew who she was at first. Blue said she did not recognize her at all. Then her aunt proceeded to tell Blue that she had leukemia and had lost so much weight. She said she was wanting to come and visit her sister and her family before she could no longer travel. She also said she was very sick, She informed Blue that she was 74 pounds, and that she was probably dying. Wow, that was a lot for Blue to take in at once. Blue was very sad for her aunt and could not wrap her head around this thing called Leukemia. She did not know exactly what that was.
It was hard looking at the face of someone who was potentially dying. Someone who was her aunt and she never even knew her. She was puzzled as to why she did not know all this already, and why she had not grown to know her. This was a lot to take in and Blue had so many questions she wanted to ask, but she knew she better not. Her mother made it very clear on the phone to say very little to her aunt and to mind her own business. Then Blue saw her mother coming in the door and Blue figured she would learn more about her aunt. Blue was wrong though, as soon as her mother got there she sent Blue to her room, and whatever was spoken in the living room, Blue could not ease drop on because it was like they were whispering. This was puzzling.
It was not very long after being sent to her room, that Blue heard the car start-up and then saw her aunt leaving. It was not very long, especially for someone who came from Washington state to visit. What really hurt was that her aunt was dying and she never even knew her or got to say goodbye. Blue knew that something was not right with the whole thing. It was not normal to have family come visit and them not be offered a place to stay or some time spent with the family they came to see. What in the world?
Some things like that day, stayed forever in Blue’s mind. She did not understand those types of situations. They happened more often than not.