Cardboard Castles

The other day I purged my reading list; people that I follow on WordPress. I hesitated at one by a Texas, desert dweller, Old Jules. I hadn’t read it in a while. However, I decided to keep it and I’m glad I did.

I read his post,  The Nightmares of Acceptance.

He had once said that he did not write about his childhood. And that he never would.

Well, he did.

And I related.  Not in the way, that he was telling my story, or my mother’s story. I related to the dysfunction of family, and surviving a life, that’s a maze of seeming misfortune.

My mother was different too. Contrary to Jules mom, she had one marriage and created a small empire. She was married at fourteen. She had five children and a ninth grade education. She stayed with my father who was filled with vice, seeking a power, that gnawed at his guts. I’m guessing, residual of his youthful, empty stomach.  He obtained a  worldly power that men admire and women want to stand next to.

By the time I was six, I was a neurotic mess.

This does not imply that my parents didn’t do their best. What was their story? What demons did they go to war with every day?

We all have a story.

One summer, I had my granddaughter read the book,  The Glass Castle. I thought it would give her some insight into her mother’s life.

She’s twenty and today she’s living her own story.

At almost sixty, I have the privledge of looking back, like Jules. Life rests easy right now. But I remember when every day was like waking up to a one thousand piece jig saw puzzle; board shapes freshly dumped on the table. The daunting task  of forming the borders and matching all of the pretty colors, laid ahead. I was always trying to force a shape that wouldn’t fit. And only after years of relentless attempts, did it finally show a complete and vivid scene, no longer fragmented and scattered.

My mother held things together. We were permanent. There wasn’t going to be a divorce. We weren’t going to move. My mother died in the same place she was born.

I myself, wanted out. There’s more than one kind of poverty that leads to hunger and I was starving.

I ran looking for a place to BE.

I built my cardboard castles from coast to coast.

Now country to country.

But I never would have arrived at this point had I not accepted. I had to accept who I am, who my mother was, and who my daughter is.

And it occurred, in that order. As long as I focused on my mother, I couldn’t see my life clearly.

I’ve known women who have clung to their mother hate. Never realizing that they have to recover from her life to recover from theirs.

Jules said that his sisters have never recuperated from their lives, with their mother.

Is that because “The son doesn’t need to learn to shine, but the daughter does.”

So shine on daughter -shine. Shine like the star that you are.

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