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Buddy is a curious dog who has a tendency to become a little over zealous. This morning while Buddy was out in the yard he encountered a skunk. Curious Buddy kept checking out the intruder until he was sprayed. Well my son happened to be there when the dog got let into the house. Needless to say the dog rubbed against him a bit when he came into the house.
Later in the morning my son and I had an appointment where we both needed to go. Well we proceeded to our appointment as planned because we could not be late. When we got there the ladies at the front desk were talking about a smell like burnt rubber. I figured that the smell was there before we walked in. So, we did not say anything because we really needed this appointment to work in our favor.
Long story short, eventually the fire department was called and everybody got evacuated while they checked the building. When we were let back into the building the fire fighters tell my son that he needs to wait outside.
My son proceeds to tell them the story about the dog, but they assume the worst. Eventually our appointment is finished and I head to the car.
When I reach the vehicle I ask my son what was going on. He tells me that the firemen thought that he had gone to the rest room and gotten high.
The reality of this story is that the dog Buddy was in the bath tub at my friend’s house so that we could not use the rest room while we were there. So as soon as we got to our appointment we both headed to the rest room. The smell must have gotten to the ladies at the front desk as soon as my son walked in the door. Seriously, I do not understand why everyone in our society has to assume the worst.

During the time of the creation of Drummer Man my husband’s band was experiencing a lull do to the lack of a drummer. No one who tried to fill in would quite create the sound that our good friend and drummer had. In addition to the loss of our drummer, we felt as if we had lost our friend. The times were depressing to say the least.
Mark came up with the first line and I kept adding to it. Eventually we came up with the chorus together.
Soon, I hope to attach a copy of the song in video format so that everyone can enjoy it, as well as appreciate it as a ballad.
Wish me luck. Now I just have to find a guitarist to play for me.

Today marks a new day for me and my family. I have been praying for my oldest son to find a job and today he started a new job.

I will continue praying for his success due to some past events that cause barriers for him. However, I am optimistic about the future for my son. On another note I continue to pray for my youngest son as he is trying to get his GED. I feel that this barrier will soon be overcome for him as well.

Next I am praying for my oldest daughter to get her car fixed as this has caused me to become exhausted. Between her work schedule and my car needing fixed too I am not sure how much more of this I can take. Not to mention my oldest son needs a mode of transportation in order to remain successful in his endeavors. The burden will most assuredly be cast upon me as it has in the past. I am only one person here people, I can not be all things to all people. Prayers for strength.

Next I am at a place where I need to be a strong rock for my youngest daughter as she deals with the pain of growing up. Adding the needs of my second daughter whose pains are pretty big right now as well. All of this and I am trying to finish school. EEkk!!! Lord Help Me! Truly though I would covet the prayers of my readers. Thank you for your prayers all.

Hello all, it has been a few days since my last post. I have been busy working on my senior project for Antioch Midwest.

This is part of my vision as I hold out for hope. Eventually, I wish to help found an organization geared toward helping children of lesser means to succeed through free arts trainings. The project as I see it will encompass virtually every facet of arts training. The arts are a vital part of a healthy growing intellect and will prove an effective agent in diverting unwanted behaviors before they have a chance to take root. As a student at Antioch Midwest I focused a lot of attention on research for this type of non profit. There are many possibilities available which could afford such an opportunity.
I hope to help forge the frontier of getting this non profit started. Until then lets just say I will be holding out for hope.

Elaine

In the beginning I remember feeling that there was an uncertainty to life. My little child self recognized the sense of brokenness in my mother’s heart, or the apprehension in my sister’s deep felt love for the family. Deep underneath all of her emotions, all of mother’s emotions and the occasional tear that was shed save for the pain of loving her children more than life itself. My mother loved her children, every one. She did not care that two of her son’s grew up to be mentally ill, or that through their mental illness came with the heart ache of facing the facts that they might be somehow akin to a certain type of confusion related to feelings of the sexual desires. Yes momma loved her children no matter what.

For me the love she had for us did not always ring clear. During those years when the confusion of adolescence and the constant fear of being molested attached themselves firmly to me like a glove to a hand. I sought out ways to seem invisible. Yet I knew in my heart there was no place to hide.  My two mentally ill brothers were not diagnosed yet and at many times we thought they were very normal. But there were those moments.  Moments when, one of them would decide to suddenly become extremely angry for no apparent reason. They might put their fist through a wall or grab a cue stick and chase the other one with it threatening to beat them over the head with it. Yes it was hard to understand how anyone could love my brothers when they were acting like that.

My attention became wrapped around the fact that no matter what there was this tremendous pain in my heart that ached to have a normal family life. I began to look for ways to find a little relief. My youngest brother offered me my first beer when I was 14. At first I said no because momma did try to raise us right. She tried to keep all of us in church until the year that dad said my brothers did not have to go. However, that did not exclude us girls from going. I was confused about his decision, but I knew that my mother would not relent with us girls so I continued to go. This did not stop me from checking out what beer had to offer.

Eventually, I gave in to the temptation and tasted my first beer. I did not really enjoy the flavor but I wanted it for some reason. At first the buzz factor came quickly, so I did not have to worry about asking for a beer. People knew I would not ask for many more and they liked the effect that it had on me. When we were drinking together somehow my brothers became cool. It was when we were in the house, that I had to be concerned. We had a small cottage behind our house and my brothers used it for an escape when really it was me who needed to escape from them. I tried this once right before the cottage got turned into an apartment. However, this escape was short lived due to the fact that my brother was getting married soon and the cottage needed remodeled.

Even as I look back at the time of the cottage and parties I am not clearly sure of when all these events took place. I believe that when we first moved into the house on Sunset, I was totally optimistic about a future becoming better. After all this was the first house my parents had owned since about 1964. Here we were a decade later and mom and dad were buying a house, So, when mom and dad almost split up the summer we moved to Sunset I figured we might need something to change.

The morning of my fifteenth birthday, my mother decides it is time for us to pack up and move to Virginia Beach, with my sister. My brother offered to drive us there. The station wagon was large enough for the trip especially with a car carrier on top. The trip started out alright I guess. However, along about Chillicothe or some place near there we started having a problem with the engine. My brother decided to try and baby the car until we could get to Virginia Beach and then he could get it fixed from there. Along about Zanesville, we had to stop. The car was taking so much water that we were not making any progress. We ended up sleeping in the car that night in the parking lot of an old factory. Let me just say that vinyl seats and halter tops with daisy dukes do not get along on a hot summer night. We left the windows almost completely rolled up because we did not know anything about this part of town. So needless to say the comfort level left a lot to be desired.

The next morning we got up and walked up the street to the Laundromat. There were not any cell phones yet so we needed to find a pay phone. I think we ended up eating peanuts from the vending machine for breakfast. I am sure my sister and I had to use the bathroom to clean up too. Well I think that particular time mom tried to call dad was not home. So we ended up walking back up to the car and trying to devise a new plan. Well it was not long before we realized there was no new plan. So a couple of hours later we all walked back up to the Laundromat once again. Mom used the phone and my brother got a gallon of water. No dad yet.

Faze three; try making our way back to Springfield. My brother put water in the radiator and we started out for Springfield. We had not gotten very far when we realized this was not working very well. We stopped at a farm house to get some more water. The farm house was somehow related to Bob Evans Farms. I do not remember the whole story behind that. Anyhow, the people there were helpful and got us some more water. I think mom even tried to call dad again but he still did not answer. We put the water in the radiator and made it as far as the next town. This time we had to get a hold of dad. We parked out in the far side of a restaurant parking lot. The heat was beating down on us and we had not even gotten the chance to cool down from the day before.

Faze four; mom decides once again to try and contact dad. I think she may have gotten a hold of her sister and she finally got dad to answer. Meanwhile we sat in the hot car with no food no money and the sweltering heat bearing down on us. Mom finally made contact with dad and the next wait would begin. After at least two or three hours my dad finally appears. I am relieved that help has finally arrived. Then after some deliberation he and my brother decide the head gaskets are blown on his car and he probably has a cracked head on the vehicle. Finally, we all gather our belongings attach the car carrier to the Buick Wildcat and we are finally on our way. As I recall the conversation never got too heated over the incident. This was unusual for mom and dad. Maybe they wanted to work things out, or maybe dad knew that if we had made it to Virginia Beach he would probably never see my sisters and I again. Perhaps if only for a moment things can start to feel a bit normal.

Well the quiet was short lived, as one of my brothers decided to help me experience my first real party. A friend of his was having a birthday party for his sister and I got invited. Let me just say that tequila sunrise does not mix well with beer or wine. I was so sick that night that I had to spend the night at the house we were at. My brother’s friend, the one who threw the party for his sister, was not a gentleman. He came in the bathroom while I was in there getting sick and tried a few things with me that he should not have, let me just say that. Well the next day was the family reunion and we needed to get home quick. My friend’s grandmother made me some tea and dry toast and then we left.

My mother was not happy with us but she did not want to ruin the family reunion so she said a couple of words and then realized how sick I was feeling and asked me if I had learned my lesson. I told her yes and the subject was dropped. I remember feeling sick that whole next day; so that family reunion was not one of my favorite ones. I believe I was able to eat a small amount of food but not like at most family reunions where I piled my plate with a little bit of every type of food imaginable. Mom had a very large family and these events were always potluck.

The year before this family reunion my dad’s side of the family became three people smaller. Now life as we all knew it was about to change forever. Grandma had breast cancer, and though she believed firmly that God would heal her she lost her battle in 1974. My aunt also lost a battle just a couple of weeks before grandma. My aunt had congestive heart failure brought on by kidney disease.

No one knew how serious her problems were because due to her complications she had mental illness.

Now when she went to the hospital they codified her and told her everything would be alright. Instead of running tests to make sure that she was alright they chalked the fact that she said she could not breath off as being part of her mental illness. I became frustrated and told them she was having trouble breathing. My cousin her daughter did not know how to act. My aunt most certainly was not alright. Then there was Grandpa, who we can only imagine died of a broken heart. He died 41/2 months after the two of them. Now my Grandparents were the heart and soul and life blood of the family. They provided a safe haven for my cousins when they got placed in the children’s home. They held all of the family dinners. Grandma played piano and organ for her church and my cousin and I and her mom would go often. The fact that Grandma played piano so beautifully never really occurred to me until I tried to learn. The best I could do was to sit down and plug away at the tunes until I figured out a way to memorize the keys. Grandma played effortlessly. She was amazing.

I remember the year just before Grandma got real sick I went to church with her and she got up and sang with the choir. I was flabbergasted. All these years she was always there for the benefit of the choir it seemed and there she was singing in the choir. Wow! Was there anything my grandmother could not do? I remember feeling a since of awe that she could do all the things she did, almost to the point of feeling like she was immortal. However, all of that was about to change. Just about a year later grandma got so sick with her cancer that she became bed ridden. The whole family took turns taking care of her. I remember feeling so inadequate. I helped her in whatever ways I could but she most certainly was not going to make it. Now suddenly the strong rock of our family was about to die. To say grandma was a pillar of strength would be to put it mildly. Grandma with her one foot and an iron will. She became crippled after an automobile accident that occurred when she was young. She and grandpa were on their way back from a family function and grandpa fell asleep at the wheel. By the time they found them gangue-green had set in and the foot had to be amputated.

All of this talk of my grandparents takes me back to the first part of my story. My grandparents were there for me as well as for my cousins. Though I am not certain that they ever really knew how much their love meant to me. I loved my grandparents more than life itself; even with the fact that grandpa had a drinking problem and grandma went to church almost to excess. This theme carried through to my adult years when I too fell in love with an alcoholic but went to church myself.

Mark, was the love of my life, or at least he was supposed to be. I remember the sense of apprehension that I felt when the time came to tell my father that Mark was of a different race than I.

Daddy was not a happy camper to say the least. He tried to talk me out of my relationship saying that we would be too culturally different. When I eventually told him we were getting married he must have disowned me. My father would not talk to me for nearly twenty years after that. Mark and I only lasted seven years. My desire to have a Christian marriage and his desire to drink and do drugs took its toll on our relationship and we got dissolution in 1987.  I was totally devastated.

I looked for ways to make up for the loss of my one true love. I went through such a long period of depression that I did not realize what I was doing when I told a friend I would marry him. My oldest child was 5 at that time and she kept telling me she wanted a new daddy. Mark had all but deserted her and she was feeling lonely. I had known Gary for the whole time that I had known Mark, so I felt like we knew each other. I was still numb from Mark leaving but I figured this would pass and Gary and I would be able to pick up where Mark and I left off.

 

In addition/Holding Out For Hope.