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[F&R] I keep my mom in a box.

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posted on Nov, 14 2011 @ 09:01 PM
(Based on a true story.)

Many years ago, there were two Army soldiers stationed in Germany, shortly after the Vietnam War. They had both fought in Vietnam, Korea, and took a duty station in Germany afterwards, and they were the best of friends. They started dating two sisters, German citizens, and after a total of nine years of active duty, they married the two sisters, moved them back to the good ol' USA, and after receiving honorable discharges, they started raising families, one in Virginia, one in Ohio. One of them was my father.

My mother and father conceived 3 children together of which I am the youngest, but I don't remember what she looked like, because she gave us up for adoption when I was three years old.

I'm told I spent the first three years of my life in a play pen, dining on my own feces and an occasional slice of baloney that my mother would throw to me, and that she had an affinity for Vodka and pills while my father was gone during the day with the job he took working on the railroad. I'm told I didn't learn to talk until I was five, and that my older brother and sister would translate what I wanted when I would point and grunt. I don't remember any of that. I don't remember my father and mother fighting constantly, and I don't remember the divorce, or her going out to bars and sleeping around on my father, leaving us kids alone at home, and I don't remember her ever being passed out on the couch. There's probably a lot I really wouldn't want to remember, or maybe they're just repressed memories.

My earliest memories go back to the introduction of my step-mother. She refused to let my brother or sister translate for me anymore. I went without, my brother sneaking me food, until I did learn to talk. When I would wet myself, she would put my wet underwear over my head, and make me wear them like that, scolding me for not using the potty. I'm told soon afterwards I became potty trained.

My step-mother was a very religious person, and still is, and back then we were carted to church twice on Sunday and once in the evening on Wednesday. We were not allowed to watch TV, as it was evil, and no radio either, as it would pollute our minds. Just books, mostly the bible, and I became an avid reader at an early age. I do remember building a transistor AM radio from parts I'd scavenged, having read how to build it from books I got from the library, and I'd listen to it at night under my covers with the speaker close to my ear, tuning the dial, and listening to what people really talked about in the outside world. It didn't seem evil to me at all. What seemed evil to me was how my step-mother found it one day, placed it on the counter at home, and we had to wait until our father got home from work to receive our punishment. Yes, my step-mother never spanked us, she left that to my father, and we feared his two inch wide leather belt, because any misbehavior was promptly reported when he walked through the door, and we got beat until we cried. The very first radio I ever made, carefully built using my dad's old soldering iron, went into the trash, and I got my beating afterwards. I cried more for that stupid radio that I would miss than from the pain inflicted by having my butt blistered for making it.

The years pushed onwards. There was an oil embargo going on with another country (70's), and we were poor, my dad getting laid-off for stretches, but since my grandfather had 28 acres, we would grow gardens for food, and cut firewood for heat. They tore out the oil burning furnaces, and converted to wood heat, and my brother and I became the ones to load the wood on the trailer to haul it out of the woods, toss it into the basement, and stack it. We did this for two houses, my grandfather's and my dad's. Getting wood to dad's would require also loading it into his old C-150 pickup, driving across town, and tossing it into a basement window to be stacked inside. During the summer months, when we were off school, all our time was spent in the woods, and we'd stack about 5 cords of wood in the back of each house for the winter. If the winter was harsh, and we ran low, we'd be out in the snow cutting more wood, and I can remember many times being near frostbit, fingers and toes numb, still working, like an automaton.

The work was not without it's rewards. My grandfather taught us boys all about the woods, what trees where which, how to sow seeds, plant, harvest, and grandmother taught us how to can and cook food, intentionally, by just telling us what she was doing. I look back now at all the knowledge he imparted before God rested his soul in '81, and I am thankful for it. I can fall a tree in any direction I want (I was asked last year to cut down a walnut tree on somebody's yard in the middle of the city, a thirty foot tall tree, on a postage stamp lot surrounded by neighbors. They had already contacted several tree cutting companies, and they refused to touch it. I told them I'd do it for my pick of the wood, as I also turn wooden bowls, and had a spot 40 feet by 15 feet in which to drop it, behind their garage. Any wrong move, and it'd land on a neighbors roof, over the road blocking traffic, crushing a fence, or on top their own house. With some careful calculations my grandfather had taught me, and a dual notch cut, the tree went exactly where I wanted. I explained what I was doing, and why, and they were fascinated that I knew that stuff. They were simply amazed when it actually landed in the spot I said it would), I can grow my own food, and I know how to preserve it. I know how to skin any animal, pluck a chicken, and prepare them for storage. He also taught me how to hunt, (I would go out into the woods with a .22 caliber rifle, with a scope I sighted in myself for 50 yards, and bring home 5 squirrels which I would skin, and grandmother would bake them in her special BBQ sauce for dinner), to run a table saw and do woodworking, as well as how to drive a tractor and plow a field.

The years pushed onward. After 13 years on the railroad, my father developed Multiple Sclerosis. He was one of the first Vietnam Veterans to get a full service-connected disability, after a few years of our family being really poor, because of the Agent Orange they sprayed as a defoliant of the jungles in Vietnam. He's helped several other Vietnam Vets he served with to prove their case as well since then, and now most of them are in their mid-seventies. I was sixteen when he got his first bona-fide disability check, and he hobbled to the car, while my step-mom drove us, and I rode in the back seat, but we went to the store and he bought me my very first computer, a Commodore 64, and it cost him $995.00 out of his disability check, but he did it anyway. I learned that machine inside and out, and even though it was pre-internet days, I was able to logon to Bulletin Board Systems, at 300 baud, and I taught myself how to program. I have had a computer ever since.

The simple fact of buying me my first computer made me forget all the suffering I'd been through. I had something that was my own. My buddies in high school and I, (one had a TRS-80, one had an Apple II) shared the programs we'd write in BASIC. My first paying job, at the age of sixteen, was teaching a "computer orientation" class at the local library, part time.

edit on 11/14/11 by Druid42 because: removed excess in the title.

edit on 11/14/11 by Druid42 because: baked should be bake.

posted on Nov, 14 2011 @ 09:06 PM
The years pushed onward. My siblings (especially my sister) began to ponder what ever happened to our biological mother. The internet was new, but not new enough to provide the information they needed to find out where she lived. My first wife, and my brother and sister went to visit her. I declined. I had way too many issues to deal with the person that signed away the rights to visit me and teach me about my maternal past. My biological mom gave away her rights as my parent. I did not want to meet the women the subjected me to the horrors of being raised in a strict Christian household.

I wasn't ready to deal with her at that moment in time, yet as the years pushed onward, I learned that she used to drive to the playground at the school I was attending, and watch me play from her car. She wasn't allowed contact, from her past mistakes, but that didn't prevent her from stalking us. She would stay her distance, and watch me play with my friends, the only contact she could have.

I asked my sister one day for mom's phone number, and I called her. After she said hello, and I said it was her son, (insert name here) she was silent for several moments, then said "Oh."

We talked for hours over the phone that night, and I told her all about myself, my kids, how they were doing in school, and in her thick German accent she laughed and listened as I conversed with her as an old friend. At the end of the conversation, I told her, "I love you mom." I could hear her tears over the phone.

I talked to her many times after that, her calling me for updates on how my kids were doing, my calling on occasion to see how she was doing. We became best of friends, and yet I never went to meet her in person. Phone calls were good enough for me. I was taking it slow.

Well, divorce hit, and my life got busy, and I moved. I re-married three years later, to a spot less than twenty minutes away from where my mom lived.

I thought I had all the time in the world to reconcile with my mother. I didn't.

I got a call one day, saying my mother had died, from my cousin, one of the offspring from my dad's Army buddy.

She had been living in an apartment complex not twenty minutes away, and I forgot to stay in touch with her. She died sitting on her couch in front of the TV, and sat there for five days before the neighbors reported a stench, and the manager went in and found her stinky corpse, and being the middle of summer she had melted into the sofa, her bodily fluids dripping onto the floor. My cousin helped us clear out her apartment, the smell of death is such a stench you would never want to smell, and no volume of air fresheners could relieve the weight of death in the air. My best friend from work helped, and I wound up doing most the work of clearing her apartment out, suffering both the shame of not knowing her, not visiting her, but yet I felt a small reprieve from going through all her artwork and kick-nacks. She wrote lot's of poetry, and I saved them as well. I visited my mother, after she had died, and the only connection I had then was from what she had left behind. I have birth certificates of her mother and father, genealogy to research, lots of paperwork capable of producing my maternal heritage, but I lost the opportunity to know who she REALLY was. She was cremated, because of her advanced decomposition.

I have her ashes in a box. I keep my mother in a box.

Someday, when I come to grips with it all, I will find turn her an urn befitting her. From a walnut tree I cut down a few years ago.


I have an excellent relationship with my dad and step-mom, and I call her mom. If you click on the Buzz link in my Sig, you'll be able to see my dad and hear my step-mom in the videos. We've continued on with tradition, but sometimes I do miss my Mother.


Ode to my Mother.

Mom, I love you, you've passed along,
but with your thoughts, I do move on.
I'm sorry I wasn't there for you,
and that you did what you had to do,
I know that loneliness kills,
and that you took too many pills,
and chose your path of suicide,
I can't blame you.
I wasn't there.
I miss you now, time raped from me,
to reconcile the way things should be,
I always meant to get in touch,
and lost myself in all the rush,
of living life, and raising kids,
I have three now, and you never got to meet them,
but I wish you did.

I know you died of loneliness,
and I feel at times your gentle kiss,
in my dreams.
I offer you, after many years,
my love, enjoined with tears,
to say I'm sorry.

Mom, I love you, you've passed along,
and please forgive me, I was wrong,
to take life in such short regard,
I know better now.

You gave your life to teach me that.
I love you Mother.


I keep my mom in her cremation box, it's rigid and strong, and her ashes are well protected.

When I come to grips with my mother, I will find a suitable resting place for her.

I'm not ashamed that my mom is in a box.

posted on Nov, 14 2011 @ 09:08 PM
Sometimes, the hardest beginnings, create the strongest souls.

posted on Nov, 14 2011 @ 09:15 PM

That was an emotional thing to write.

Nuff said.

posted on Nov, 14 2011 @ 09:22 PM

Originally posted by Alchemicflames
Sometimes, the hardest beginnings, create the strongest souls.

Dangit Jim, I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer.

posted on Nov, 14 2011 @ 09:26 PM
Well written

Life is a journey.........

Sorry, I am speechless.....snf

posted on Nov, 15 2011 @ 07:30 PM
Brings back some of my own memories of time too short to do what we should.

posted on Nov, 15 2011 @ 07:55 PM
And now...I truly "know" a small sliver.... of how you became an Old Soul.

Your Story is a Blessing on all who read it.

posted on Nov, 15 2011 @ 08:08 PM
You are a beautiful soul Druid,
you have overcome more than most.

posted on Nov, 15 2011 @ 09:20 PM

I thought I had all the time in the world

There ain't ever enough time.

edit on 11/15/2011 by Time4aChange because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 15 2011 @ 11:30 PM
Very emotional story..thank you..Peace,sugarcookie1 S&F

posted on Nov, 15 2011 @ 11:41 PM
Thank you for sharing
so much to say and yet i remain mute
must touch a raw nerve

posted on Nov, 16 2011 @ 08:34 AM
reply to post by Druid42

I liked your story. Stars and flags to you.

Keep writing. You have talent.

posted on Nov, 17 2011 @ 01:47 PM
Jerked the tears right out of me!! Great read..
Stars & Flags from me, for sure!!

posted on Nov, 18 2011 @ 08:40 AM
Yep. I love you.

posted on Jul, 10 2012 @ 11:43 AM
reply to post by Druid42

Very interesting read, Druid. That you were able to overcome your mother's obvious neglect of you and cast that aside says a lot about your character. I'm curious to know if you've ever been to Germany to visit her family, and perhaps learn about her particular past such as what happened to cause her so much pain and make her so self-destructive.

posted on Jul, 15 2012 @ 06:08 PM
reply to post by Druid42

I starred and flagged this thread some time ago, but did not know until recently what to say. But as you know, words are often simply inadequate... so I share this piece of my soul, which is also a piece of yours...

chains are made to be broken, as you already know

posted on Jul, 15 2012 @ 06:21 PM
Man Druid, I thought I had a tough start. I think what we survive gives us the opportunity to grow, and you must be a mighty oak my friend. Your pendulum must be swinging hard in the other direction making you an excellent parent. Many people would use a past like that as an excuse to be an awful human, but you obviously persevered.

Keep writing. Although admittedly I enjoy the fiction more. At least then I can tell myself it never happened.
be well

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