Friday, January 2, 2015

The Aftermath


Yesterday I left off with the fire. I have told that story many times. However, what I have never told till recently was what Paul Harvey used to say is, "the rest of the story". You see, my family had a secret. A secret my older sister and I tried desperately to share once, while seeking help. Unfortunately, our story was not believed and we continued to suffer. Now that my children are all grown up and on their own with children of their own I feel the time is here to tell the truth.  My siblings and I have each had to deal with our families when it came to this secret. We have handled it in different ways over the years. I respect each siblings way of handling this truth with their respective families/

For me, I told the story of the fire and went directly to the orphanage we were put in. There is a piece that I kept hidden from my own children, mainly out of safety for them. I allowed them to think that both of my parents died in the fire that night. It was easier to omit a critical detail. It was easier to sweep it under the rug so to speak. The memories were just too painful. The shame was enormous! I lived with that shame for way too many years. Shame is NOT from God. Shame is from Satan who wants to seek out and destroy. I will no longer carry that shame with me. I was just a child.

So, my next memory from after the fire is by sitting on this big bed with my big sister and brother. My baby sister was elsewhere. My dad was on the bed with us. He did not die in the fire, because he was not there. After a fight with my mother, he took off that night. Supposedly he was found at a motel with a man. I bet you thought I was going to say a woman but no, it was a man. One of many men over the years, but I won't get a head of myself.

We sat on the bed with my dad and it was then that he told us our mother had died in the fire. One of the things that was amazing was how everyone kept the secret of our mother's death from us. We were in the hospital for almost a week, recovering from the fire. When asked where our mother was we were lied to. So after the fire we sat on this bed in an upstairs of a strangers home telling us our mother had died. I looked over at my older sister and she was balling her eyes out. This memory is as fresh today as it was over 50 years ago. I remember thinking, why am I not crying? What is wrong with me? That day has defined many things about me all these years later. I tried desperately to squeeze out tears where none would come. Why didn't I cry? I can tell you one thing, I was afraid to cry. For years, fear has been a constant companion. I would not cry for the loss of my mother until I faced the loss of our own daughter. So much grief.

While I was growing up, even in high school people knew I didn't have a mother. Usually a girlfriend would ask me, "don't you miss your Mom?" No, I would reply, what would I do with a mother if I had one? I can cook, I can clean, I can iron clothes, what would I need one for?" That is the honest truth. I had no clue what I had missed all those years. The first memory of my life is the night of the fire and I was 5 years old. Back then, I had no clue what I would have done with a mother if I had had one. It wasn't until I held my precious daughter in my arms for the first time did I even think about my loss. When I held my daughter I wondered for the first time if I was half as loved as I felt for my own daughter.

It would take many years to understand the vital role a mother plays for her children. I did know growing up that my one and only goal was to be a mother some day. To give children something I never had. I asked God many many times to let me live long enough to allow my children to remember me. That lack of memory is a tough thing to swallow.

My very wise husband once said that family secrets will destroy a family. You will know the truth and the truth will set you free! To that I say amen.

Enough for one day. Next time I will share the story of the orphanage and how we got there. If you are interested come join me.

In Christ Alone,



Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

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