Saturday, April 24, 2010
When I Was a Little Girl
I think my grandmother made this dress. Notice the rick-rack. I have always had trouble with my hair! I'm not sure, but I'm about 2 here, I think. It was taken in Tennessee. (Hohenwald--ever hear of it?? LOL) If nothing else, I look happy, despite everything.
My childhood was a little mixed up. When I was not even a year old, my mother went to stay for the next couple years in a TB hospital as she battled for her life. She ended up losing all but one lobe of one lung, but still managed to make it home and raise me. Since my dad was a long haul semi-truck driver, there really wasn't anyone to take care of me during the years she was in the hospital. So, my only living grandparents, Roy and Pauline, took me in, which was quite a job since they still had two tweens at home and worked full time. The good news for them was that they did desperately love me, and they had a lot of family close by.
My aunt ended up babysitting me quite a lot and I think my married Aunt Sue sometimes took me home with her to give them a break. My grandfather, who owned a logging business, took me with him to chop wood--he even carried my diapers and bottles with him! ( I survived probably by my own sick mother's prayers. She had lived with her in-laws for several years and also during the time my dad was in the military.) Everyone just did the best that they could and loved me just as I was.
Whatever our circumstances, all of that wadded up past comes with us when we grow up. I am independent and quite stubborn. There are stories galore from all sorts of people who came up against my strong will when I was small. Even my poor mother, still weak from her surgeries and getting over her illness, did not get a break from my willfulness when she first got me back. But what helped me most was my own mother's determination and strong will to live and endless prayers, as well as my own survival techniques I developed as someone so young without a solid home life. I was confused as to who my "mama and daddy" were because my grandparents had me call them mama and daddy. They really didn't expect my mother to live.
Anyway, this week as I am working on my core and finding the deep truths in my own writing, I think everyone needs to find time to dig out those truths buried in our pasts. I really love the When I Was Just a Kid interviews. What were you like as a child? How does that connect to the writer you are today? If anyone would like to do an interview on my When I Was Just a Kid blog, do leave a comment with your email for me to contact you. Even if you haven't published, it might help connect the dots for you as you discover your own writing voice.
Let's find the truths about our own writing together.