I Don’t Have Amnesia, But Who Am I , Really? (Repost)

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Children get a lot of things from their mothers!   

On of my daughters became proficient at putting her little hand on her hip and cocking her little head to the side whenever she became indignant.  She was only two-and-a-half. 

Hmmm….I wonder where she got that? 

Upon retrieving one of my five children from the nursery at church, the attendant motioned for me to come inside.   

“Look!” she chuckled. 

There was my toddler, standing over a loudly crying child. With her little pointer-finger extended and waggling slightly just in front of her mouth, she chided the child with a soft,  “No-no-no-no-no-no-no.” 

That sounded familiar. That’s one of the ways I corrected her. 

This past weekend, my dental assistant school covered the section on infection control.  One of the points made was that babies are born without bacteria in their mouths.  The populations of germs are actually passed along to the child from their mother or primary caregiver.    Oh how we love those little babies!  Kissee, kissee!   

Mothers impart many things, both good and bad.   

Recently I dreamed about a grandmother I never knew.  She was my bio-mother’s, mother.  Evidentially, she was the victim of a “backwoods” abortion and her life just leaked away as she bled inwardly. She died when my bio-mom was just thirteen. How very sad. 

Worse yet, my bio-mother’s father made her step into the shoes of her mother and act life a wife to him. It sickens me to think of it, and I have to speculate at all the things I do not know about the woman who bore me, or about her own mother.

To this day, I don’t really know much about any of my relatives – on either my mother’s or father’s side.  All I have are disjointed stories of sadness. 

Memories of my own biological mother are a blur. I know that she taught me to hem curtains when I was six.  I loved playing dress-up in her high-heels with the peep-toe. She set a fine example of how to keep things tidy. I do remember traveling by bus to downtown Oakland on a shopping trip, because she always got all dressed up for that. 

Hugs, hymns, kid’s poems, encouragement, songs, and stories read out loud were in abundance in my first few years of life.  Then things went sour.    My biological mother began to suffer from some sort of Kinetic disorder, as the doctors finally deemed it, and it took its toll on all of us! 

Round and round and round we’d go.  Where we’d wake up, none of us could know!  

Buried hurts mess with one’s mind. Recently, I sat down to write and was able to log sixteen different places in which I lived before I was fourteen. Who was I?  Did I belong anywhere…to anyone? 

From an early age when siblings and I were not staying with strangers, or strange relatives, I’d pretty much wake up without a parent in the house.  Well, my mother was there, but she was generally in bed, thrashing around, rolling from side to side plagued by muscle spasms that wouldn’t allow her much peace.  Her moaning still haunts me. 

Bare fridge and cupboards were not uncommon.  Things were always broken, and the laundry had to be done several blocks away at a Laundromat.  Of course, that was left to me as well.  I collected and turned in old bottles to get money to do the wash. 

We had no sheets or blankets for our beds, so we slept with old coats.  New shoes were rare and wore out rapidly as walking to school nearly three miles uphill and back down ground away at them. After the soles wore out, we were expected to find cardboard, step on it, draw around our feet, make cut-outs and shove them into the shoe to help protect our feet.   

I know I don’t have amnesia, but childhood memories are very dim – some non-existent.  Between the ages of seven and thirteen, my main memory of my bio-mom was of her incapacitation, with much of her life lived  in a basic a shut-down mode from the meds that rendered her muscles still. 

She wasn’t generally coherent enough to actually take care of children, therefore it was up to me to see that 2 younger siblings and a baby were fed and watched over. I made sure they made it to school, but, I often wasn’t able to attend because the baby had no one to watch him. It really hurt, because I loved, loved, loved school.  My bio-father worked two jobs, so he was rarely around to help.

The day arrived when my bio-father picked up much of the household stuff and left, taking the rest of the kids with him.  I came home from school to find them gone.  Eventually, my sister ran away from him and started on her own road to hell. 

Without income or a place to stay, my bio-mother had some heart-rending decisions to make.   She needed care and I needed to be in school. 

It wasn’t the first time I had to call a motel “home”, and we stayed in one until money ran out.  That was when she approached a friend about taking me in.    

I can’t even begin to imagine the anguish, heartache and disappointment that ensued. All but a few small possessions gone, along with her other children and husband, she now had to face this. 

So, one mother out of the picture for me, and another stepped in. 

Without family or friends, trying to redefine myself and my place was arduous, at best.  The home of someone else – once again.  While I was not overtly trying to be difficult, I am certain that my early teenage reactions and behavior were problematic. Sadness cut at my core, but I didn’t want anyone to know. I’d go into the closet and cry into the dirty laundry until nothing more would come out. 

An aunt once told me that we were lucky that anyone wanted us!  I didn’t want to be “lucky” any more and fought fiercely to maintain independence. I’m still a little quirky in that regard.

Slowly settling over me, a new image of what a mother should be helped to change my gloomy self-image.  To this day, I am glad she never gave up on me.

Yes, I have a biological mother, but SHE is my mother. I take after her in so many ways, it’s hard to count.  She taught me about sharing God’s love with others, feeding the poor, about giving and tough love. She taught me about The One who made us all for a purpose. She didn’t compromise and always gave it to me straight! 

Once when SHE took me shopping for a formal event, the clerk remarked how much we looked alike.  We really don’t, but I’m sure it was our mannerisms more than anything else.  Later, when I married, the photographer positioned us facing each other while SHE “fixed” my veil.  He said he could tell I was her daughter.   We just laughed.

It took me a long time to feel worthy of her love.  I never felt right about calling her MOTHER.  After all, SHE had her own children and she was THEIR mother.

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Because of HER,  I eventually found my own identity.  Her’s was wrapped up in Almighty God, and when I received God’s approval, my heart became convinced of who I am.  Healing flowed, and I was able to turn around a lifetime of identity-theft.  Now I make the investment in others that SHE made for me. 

Hazel Moon…you are MY Mother and I love you!  Thank you for NEVER giving up!

Your Daughter, Nancy

This post has been linked with Joan Davis Sharing His Beauty
And also linked with Tell Me A True Story

Little Orphan Nanny

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Since my childhood was somewhat disjointed, I don’t have a lot of fond memories of family, traditions or feelings of belonging.  Memories of good times are few.
I can’t really even say that I was raised.  It was more that I was allowed to grow up, but the nurturing part was sadly neglected.  My mother’s illness waxed and waned, and my father often worked more than one job to keep up with over-burdening medical costs. 
Wanderers, that’s what we were.   My sister, two brothers and I spent our childhoods trekking from home to home.  Various relatives and strangers scattered throughout California and Nebraska reluctantly welcomed us. 

Even so, often, the task of caring for the three younger children fell to me. Although there wasn’t much difference in our ages, the two youngest especially, treated me as “Mother”. 

Of course, a few positive memories peek through the curtain of my soul every now and then.  God, church, the Bible and songs, had all been introduced to me, and there were times where church attendance was fairly regular. Those times built up my heart for the unpleasant ones.  I loved being at church.  It felt like “home.”
For the most part, I was not truly raised as a Christian.  Our family’s circumstances and a lack of extended family support left us more isolated than not.
I felt like Little Orphan Nanny waiting for Daddy Morebucks to save me.  With cardboard in my shoes, and no coat or sweater to protect from the cold, my ability to hope and to trust was greatly hindered.  Of course, hindsight revealed Satan’s plot to keep me from a true, Fatherly relationship with my Creator.
God’s absolute ability to keep all of us throughout our lives is amazing to me!  A certain drive to please God burned deep within my gut.  Nearly as strong, was the constraint to stay in school!
Around age fourteen, a certain situation lined up which threatened to leave me without home, school, or anyone to watch over me. Just when I didn’t know how I was going to go on all by myself, God put a surrogate family in my life for the better part of my teen years. He helped me to see the qualities of a real man and a real father.
I am forever grateful to Daddy-Bob Moon for his steadiness, his love for his family, his work ethic, his banjo music, his faithfulness to God and so much more.  My heart took it all in! 
Because of this, in my early adult years, my directives were even more sure.  I wanted my children to have a solid spiritual foundation and I began painstakingly searching out God’s promises and spiritual principles for myself.  An  important spiritual principle was more easily remembered if I put it into song form.  As a result, I wrote many songs for my kids, but they helped me too!
Discovering that God was a Father to the fatherless, I allowed myself to allow Him to substitute for all that hadn’t been right for me as a child.  Little by little, our relationship grew until I became quite confident. 

Out of that confidence, I penned the words to this little ditty! While I’m sure I have shared this before, I know I hadn’t shared the reason it came into existence. I call it my “nyah-nyah-on-the-devil” song, Imagine it being sung in the voice of a smug, little girl, skipping as she sings!

I am His joy and pride!

I am my Father’s glory,
I barge right into the Throne Room,
I run right up to His side!
I try to be just like Him
In all I do or say
I’m spoiled and I know it,
But He loves me anyway!

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 Oh…I am His Little “I am” I am!

Runnin’ around the Throne.
In the Name of my Big Brother, Jesus
I make all Heaven my home.
I am His little “I am”, I am!
Some say I look just like Him.
I am His little “I am”, I am!
I am, ‘cause He lives within
Oh, I am, ‘cause He lives within!
Happy Father’s Day Father God!
Happy Father’s Day to my Daddy-Bob!
Thank you both!  I love you dearly!
This post is Linked with Charlotte’s Spiritual Sundays

Also shared with Michelle’s Hear it on Sunday

This post is shared at: Tell Me a Story

at: http://letmetelluastory.blogspot.com/     

Snot, Shoe Laces, Homework and a Bike (repost)

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My 10-yr old granddaughter kept snuffing and sniffing, then coughed.  The gurgling in her throat and the mucus rumbling with each breath began to eat at me while we were driving!  I had just picked her up from school, and we had a bit of a drive before we were home. 
Handing her a few tissues, I said a couple of things in a nice way to try to get her attention.  Silence!  She continued to gurgle, and then cough.  My admonishment to cover her mouth went unheeded as she was distracted by the sights outside the vehicle!
Finally, a bit exasperated, I huffed out, “Hannah!  Blow your nose instead of snuffing all that nasty stuff back up inside.  You need to get it out!”
“Why?” she whined.  “It will only come back!”
Her eyes rolled back in her head as I proceeded to explain.  Okay, that didn’t work.    I asked her if her stuffy nose didn’t make her uncomfortable.   She didn’t think so.  My eyebrows knit together, I asked her about the runny stuff creeping down her face.  She informed me she just wiped it on her sleeve.   Yuk!
I know her mother trained her better, why then all this lack of attention to what would be better behavior and a better outcome?  Suddenly, a big ACHOO!
Oh No!   A huge rope of thick, white and green slime strung from her nose to her hands, hanging all over her spread-out fingers like silly string! 
“Help, help! “, she cried.
“I’m driving!  Use the tissue!” I chided.
“I can’t,” she squalled!
Looking for a safe place to exit, I told her to hold still!  I sure didn’t want that junk all over my seat!   How did one little nose hold so much anyway?
Armed with a handful of baby wipes, I exited the car and came around to her side.  I had her get out so I could inspect where she had been sitting.  The dental field had transformed me into a bit of an infection control freak!  The seat, the dashboard, her pants, all underwent a thorough wiping with antibacterial wipes.
Hannah seemed unphased and was skipping all over the front of an orchard while I worked.  I noticed her shoes were untied.
“Hannah – tie your shoes, please”, I called.
“It doesn’t matter, they don’t stay tied anyway!”  she sang out, occupied with more important things. 
“Check out this bug”, was her further reply.
“Hannah, watch out!  You could trip!” I said, and, as I started toward her, the inevitable happened.  
“Owwwwwww”, she moaned, trying to pick herself up from the dirt.
When I asked her why she didn’t tie her shoes, I realized that she had never really mastered the task well.  Besides, she informed me that it was just too much trouble to care when tucking them in would do.  Besides, all the other kids tucked theirs in too – didn’t I know?   It was no BIG deal!   I tied them for her anyway. 
No stitches, no cut lips or broken teeth on my watch!  I’m sure my blood pressure rose a few points!  Back into the car ten, minutes later we were on our way again.
Safe at home, I fixed Hannah a snack while she worked on homework. I set her plate down and noticed that her usually impeccable handwriting was exceptionally sloppy as she hurried through her lesson.
“What – is – this?” I slowly steamed.
“My homework”, was the salty reply
“I mean, it’s really kind of sloppy, you know.  Why are you hurrying through it?” was my query.
“Teacher doesn’t care…”  Hannah snipped.
“Well I DO!  You can do better work than this!” I said and the fight was on! 
It brought back memories of me sitting by the side of one of my children, when they were younger, coaching them along and asking, “How else can you say this?”
The hissy fits ensued!  Although, my popularity in those days was in question, that child, in particular, thanks me now! 
Snapping back to the present, and Hannah’s complaints, I heard,
“Why do I have to redo this?  Teacher doesn’t care!” Hannah whimpered.
“You should care!    Doing it correctly will pay off later.  A good job will be your reward,” was my attempt at resolving the issue.  How could I make her understand?
A pouty mouth was evidence that she didn’t agree but she obeyed and began making things right.  At least she was still teachable and willing to obey.
Then, out of the blue, Hannah stopped cold!   She sighed, a big one and her little face started to beam.
“Huh!  Grandma……Papa and I were talking the other day.  He said that if I didn’t take care of the small things, I wouldn’t be able to handle the big things later.”
Did she actually say that?   Was that little brain, in fact, engaged?    I about fell off my chair!
We talked about what Proverbs said about the slothful guy who said there was a lion in the street and used that as an excuse not to go to work.  
Then conversation led to her bike.  She still didn’t know how to ride it, and tried to blame it on her mother.  While, in part, she did need an adult’s assistance, Hannah had merely dismissed trying because she couldn’t do it right away without a fall – so she gave up!   Lazy, lazy, lazy!
That flippant reasoning was certainly not limited to Hannah!  Our culture has fostered a slothful laziness with the expectancy of entitlement to things without doing that which might be hard.
Practice does make perfect.  Certainly it takes time and energy – even some sweat equity!  My daughter who became a Dental Hygienist recently is the one who unceasingly thanks me for training her properly, and not letting her get away with anything.
I used to have a magnet on the fridge that read, “Responsibility:  Knowing and doing that which is expected of me without higher authority.” 
Carrying that further, it is no wonder people don’t know how to hear from God, let alone how to be led by God!  Being led by God is all learned behavior.  He expects us to do our part without Him always chiding or coddling!
Flesh will always be flesh.  It is not born again, so must be trained, and brought into submission.  Our minds are not redeemed yet either. It is dangerous for us to allow our minds to just roam!  That is why God has instructed us to RENEW our minds. Obviously, WE can’t keep them under control!
I hate hearing that God brought calamity in someone’s life in order to bring them closer to Him.    
Personally, I’d rather practice now before the storm comes. 
Preparation of any type, is tedious, but at least I won’t moan and groan and give up easily! 
 I’ll be prepared and ready to ride it out with an expected, victorious outcome! 
This post has been linked with Joan Davis Sharing His Beauty
Also shared at:  “Tell Me a True Story” http://letmetelluastory.blogspot.com/

With Love There is No Time Or Space (repost)

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With Love there is no time or space
Because I don’t often see your face
That doesn’t mean I love you less
I think you know that…
A tree has leaves in spring, you know
Soon they fade, then off they go
That doesn’t mean its not a tree
I think you know that…

                                 Genuine love is a matter of heart

Commitment dear does not depart
We are bonded by devotion sweet
I think you know that…
God’s Love defies all time and space
Shortcomings are erased by Grace
It means a life that is fuller yet
I know you know that…
With Love there is no time or space
And because I don’t often see your face
It doesn’t mean I love you less
I think you know that…

This post has been shared at¨ Tell Me a True Story