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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Why I Really Blog

When I was in high school and college I would get double prints of all my pictures.  I'd spend hours cutting out words and phrases from magazines to go with just the right photos.  It's almost laughable to think I could do that in my current life. Brian, on the other hand, is a huge proponent of capturing the memories of our children and our life through journaling.  He feels it's so important to pass on memories and lessons we've learned to our children.  In short, I thought blogging would be the best of both worlds. (Especially when I learned you could make them into book format after a time.)

Here's the long story: my birth mother died when I was 3 years old.  It was sudden. A blood clot in her arm that moved to her heart. At that time, my brother was 4 and my sister, 8.  None of my mother's family lived close by.  A couple of states over at the closest.  She had no siblings, so there was no connection with cousins or other young people who might have wanted to stay in touch. 

A year and a half later my father remarried the lady whom I call "mom" now.  I've never known her as "step-mom" and anyone who knew my family then who might refer to her as such, gets a very confused response from me and I have to think through who on earth they are talking about. When they married, she adopted all three of us and raised us as if she'd labored with each one.  

I've not written about my birth mother much for fear of hurting my mom now.  I don't want her to feel slighted or unappreciated in anyway.   But here is my reality:  I didn't know my mom and I wish I did.

I can count on one hand the times my father spoke of my birth mother while I was growing up. I can only guess it was either because it hurt too much or he thought that was a way to protect our new family unit.  

So, when we'd go visit my grandparents, for a week or two every summer in Arkansas, my grandmother would show us lots of pictures of my mom when she was young and tell stories (the same ones over and over, as grandparents tend to do.)  I liked hearing the stories, but still felt awkward.  I was young and there was so much I didn't understand.  I felt like they might as well have been talking about a great aunt or something.  I didn't hear stories about how she related to us.  About what kind of mom she was.  About how she felt about us.  About choices she made for us.  It seemed like they were telling stories of a stranger.  I guess what I mean is that there was no context and no support of the idea of this person in my every day life.

I told my Grandaddy the other day (this is my birth mother's father) that I never missed my mother more than after I had my own children.  I want to KNOW her.  I want to know if I was as smart as Sammie when I was 5.  (I can dream, can't I?)  I want to know if she nursed any of us.  Did she let any of us crawl in bed with her and Daddy when we were scared?  Who taught us how to ride a bike?  Did they always agree on how to parent us? Did we beg for a story every night or ask her to sing for us?  Could she sing at all?  Who were her girlfriends?  What did they do together?  What did she do when she was tired of changing our diapers?  (She had two in diapers at once, too.)  Did Daddy ever change diapers?  Did she ever need a break from us and then as soon as she got one wondered what we were doing? Well, the list goes on and on.

I suppose I could've asked Daddy these things at some point, too.  But, as I've said before, I didn't have the wisdom to ask. He died about 9 years ago. There's another long story as to why I didn't ever ask him the tough questions I did think of.  When I get the courage, I'll write about it.  The bottom line is that I didn't want to make him sad by remembering things lost.

I had an opportunity to go camping with a girlfriend of mine last year with no kids in tow. When I kissed Brian goodbye, I said, "If something happens to me, don't let them forget me."  

That's really why I blog.


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6 comments:

  1. Beautiful, my friend. And one day, I believe you'll know all the answers.

    I could say so many things, but here's just one. IF something were ever to happen, I have so much I could tell the kids. Stories for years to come. You're an incredible momma.

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  2. Don't worry. I'll make up some nice things to be able to tell your kids. And I'll show them pictures of Dolly Pardon and tell 'em it's you.

    So maybe you'd best just keep yourself healthy a little longer...and keep blogging, my friend.

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  3. Oh man, would I have some stories to tell, too! hee hee!

    Love ya!

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  4. Kristin, I believe this is my first time here (over from Cindy's). I wanted to tell you how much this post moved me and reinforced important reasons for blogging. I don't think my children will ever care much about what I've written, but I'm hoping my grandchildren will. You know, if you want to pursue finding more out about your birth mother, you mentioned her friends, and if you could find a couple of them, I think that would be a gold mine. Blessings on you. And my 15 year-old daughter is Kristin with an "i," too!

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  5. Oh, that was beautiful- made me cry. I can't imagine what that must be like for you- as Cindy commented, one day you will know all those things... Thanks for sharing.

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  6. This was so beautiful in a heart achy way. Thank you for sharing!

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