My Journey to finding me …. Little Sparks that shine within the darkness ( part 3)

Nov.27, 2013 6:43 am

Well… it’s here , the first official snow day! My kids have been waiting since Sept for this momentous day! This is the day where I go into their rooms, and say ” Hey guys its a SNOW DAY” , and they do this really cute little teenager moan, roll over and ask me in the sweetest tone ” Can You turn My Light back Off?”

AHHH these are the moments ! haha

Our snow days were quite different! We made them the best days ever! No snow day went to waste!  When my parents first moved to Blue Point I was only a year old. There weren’t many families living there. My dad had to clear trees just to build our house. It was as rich in forests as it was  the beautiful lake Huron! It truly was the best place a kid could grow up  . Especially kids like us , who were wild and free, running half naked, no shoes, climbing trees!

sometimes, I  close My eyes and  feel the wind on My face, the sunshine tickling My eyelids , warming my whole body. I’ll get butterflies in my stomach when this happens. It feels like at that exact moment and time the past and future come together as one, and there I stand in its presence as I was and as I am . I can feel the cold clay on my feet as I’m walking down the path to the water.  It’s amazing to me how a place becomes so much a part of you! . . That one tree you always sat under, the one bush you made your fort in , the field you’d walk through to get to the old abandoned cabin.

Blue Point rock was’nt just a rock! it was like our Mascot hahah ya a rock! .. You would have to walk along the beach shore for what seemed forever when I was eight but really was just down the way.. It wasn’t the distance it was the walk there, so many rocks that you had to climb over , slip on , and the conversations you had with your friends along the way . We felt like we were the world, that this was the only place worth being, that we owned this land! Blue point rock was this huge massive, well rock  that all the kids in the neighborhood would climb and spray paint their names on. It was like a passage!

Every time I feel lost , its the first place I think about going back to. When nothing in my life makes sense , unsure of who I am , perhaps you’d find me there. The one place that holds all my history, all my secrets, It knows exactly who I am and maybe If I walk down that clay path and feel it on my bare feet, and I walk along the shore till I reach blue point rock, climb and sit upon it , maybe the essence of who I am will flow from it and move through me, awakening all those parts I have forgotten, like an old lullaby that gently rocks you back and forth, soothing your aches and worries like a mothers heart beat to a crying baby. Could it be the one cure to a lost broken soul? Maybe I’ll go back there one day and take that walk, run my fingers over my name, and remember all that has been lost.

Even though my brother and I were born with ” disabilities”  I’m literally making the finger quotes here, because you can say disabilities but I’m sorry thats just a word someone made up because they cant define the differences any other way. We didn’t let it  hold us back from doing anything any other kid could or would do  Ok correction the one thing I couldn’t do was tie him to a rope and hoist him up into a tree… but he would crawl out of his chair and sit under the tree as I climbed further and further into its canopy , and we would talk about everything and anything . Thinking back now , these are the mixed blessings in my life. We may have struggled in so many ways , but when I climbed that tree, felt the wind on my face, the sunshine warming my heart, it was breathing strength into my soul. And all that my brother couldn’t touch I would touch extra, so I could give back to him.

I will never forget propping a pillow on my BMX bike , I would put his legs through the handle bars, and his back against the pillow, balancing him on the bar. I’d bike with him all over the place, through the bush trails , to all our friends houses, he went every where we did. I was as excited as he was when he got his first motorized wheel chair .. HORSE POWER??? AWESOME!!! .. I would gather all my dads ties, tie them together , throw on my roller skates, ya it was the 80’s! I would take my homemade tie rope ( thanks dad) and fasten it onto the back bar of his chair and he’d pull me all round blue point… I was so cool! hahah! .This is how we grew up, not like today where fear and worry plague us on a daily basis.

My parents gave us the best childhood they possibly could , and with all the pain and sadness we endured over the years there are so many amazing moments and memories that happened under that roof  , Our little house, snuggled in the bush. These were the blessings that made us strong and gave us a chance in life.

Starting school is always difficult for any child, but I will never forget my very first day of Jk.  Holding my moms hand so tight , looking around the room at the other kids. I didn’t want to stay. The teacher picked me up and my mom walked away, Like every mother has to do on their child’s first day! I think the only reason I remember this is because I kicked her and I felt really bad for doing it , but I honestly didn’t want to stay. I wanted to go back to my home, where everything looked the same, none of these people were there, and didn’t smell like this. There are three things I remember about JK……. Not wanting to be there, kicking my teacher and her asking me to show my back brace to another mother. See I was the very first kid in that school to sport plastic!

In grade one I remember being so nervous to start . This was totally my sisters fault. They both had the same grade one teacher, remember they are seven and nine years older than me , and I’d like to say this without being disrespectful , but the woman was old!  They teased me about it and told me she smelled Old. Here I am starting grade one , and I don’t even know what ” OLD” smells like..

Im nervous and its all because I feared that when she walked past my desk I would give in to the temptation and take a little sniff! …Come on .. I was in grade one!

Well I’ll tell you , she didn’t smell old!

She was a great teacher bless her soul.   I would like to say to her ” Thank You ” , thank you for telling me I did a really good job on my Math sheet! that was such a special day for me .. Those words felt so good, like being handed an ice cream cone, getting a little taste before your dog jumps up and snatches it.. so thank you for that little bit of sugar! You were my Glinda The “Good witch of the North”.  You gave me a spark to hold on to when I was being removed from my classroom in Grade two to receive extra help from the “Wicked Witch of the West”.

I’m not going to use her name, because even though her words haunt me, and she’s the reason I’d cry  every night knowing I had to do it all over again the next day. She is also the Reason Why I am so understanding and nurturing as a mother and a friend !

She would center me out every chance she got . Telling me I was stupid, that I would never grow up to be anything . That I looked like a boy, and she would spank us when we got things wrong. She had been a nun before , and I remember this confused me more then ever because her tone and words didn’t match my vision of a nun. My parents really should have filled me in! I remember just shaking, thinking to myself , don’t look at her , don’t make eye contact, just sit here and do your work.  I would ask God ” Please don’t let her ask me anything , Nothing , just please God , just one time, I’ll be so good. This was the beginning of  my self doubt.

Just before I started going to resource and visiting her Witches Lair, I was still the bubbly full of life whopping 40 pound fire cracker! I loved singing and I would put on concerts in my bedroom all the time . One time I was singing my heart out to Teddy Ruxpin, standing on top of my dresser and I had this awesome Idea that I was going to take it one step further! I was going to claim my star!

The next day I went into My principals office and asked him If I could get up on stage and sing a song at the next assembly! He was a little surprised but had a huge smile on his face and  I walked out of there feeling like a super star! I went home and practiced over and over, I told my mom and dad That I was putting on a show at the school! . My mom told me I had to practice in front of them , I had to get out my jitters! I think she just wanted to make sure my act had no weird moves or things she may be questioned about later ! …So I did, I showed them my moves and they approved . The next assembly I sat there all nervous…  looking around…. ” Ok this is it , Im going to do this , ughh I don’t feel so good, maybe I wont, no I can’t” …. then there it was , My principal announcing that ” today we have a special treat” ohh my god , he means me , I’m the special treat! … So I stood up , swallowed my stomach and walked up to the front, climbed the stairs and took my place on stage… with no music, no back up singers and no previous concert experience, I opened my mouth and began to sing …

” eyes of blue, five foot two”

oochie boochie

woochie woo ,

Has anybody seen my..

I say has anybody seeeeeeenn my girl!?”

then ..

I said ” Thats it, and bowed…

Everyone clapped .. and I could breathe again… My sister was in grade eight and she was probably thinking oh my god what the hell is she doing! The funniest thing  about it , is that the assembly had NOTHING to do with any type of entertainment !

He came into my classroom as we were getting ready to go for recess, and he put his hand on my shoulder and said ” you did a beautiful job Cara” and my tummy filled with butterflies and it felt so good. I slid my arm through my peach knitted sweater and went out to play. I remember that sweater, the color, the feeling of putting it on, everything about that moment felt so good!

I want to say “Thank You” to my principal,” Thank you” for being what a principal should be . “Thank you for hearing a little girls wish to sing for everyone, and “Thank You” for giving her a stage! And My God “Thank You” for telling her she she did a beautiful job!  You gave her another memory , another little spark to hold on to in her times of darkness. And I did, I held on to it so tight. Like when I was chosen to read a Scripture at church and I was so nervous, but I got up there and I read it , I stuttered on a few words, and I was so embarrassed . What hurt the most was over hearing my teacher and the wicked witch talking about how I screwed up and how embarrassing it was.. They must not have seen me standing there! … It was his words that I held on to when I was being told I was stupid because I couldn’t remember what some character in a story was doing on page 23.

Thank god for a gentle breeze on a hot summer day,

thank god for a warm fire on cold winters day,

Thank god for the first bloom in spring,

All these mixed blessings in my life , these individual links, created a chain that I held on to as my life took such crazy twist and turns.  I would hold onto these tiny sparks with all my might, try and squeeze out every bit of light,  for my life as I knew it was about to be changed forever….

to be continued ………..

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To be continued

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My Journey to finding me .. another piece … ( part 2)

Nov, 26.2013 3:02 am

There is something that calms me in the middle of the night that no other time of day can do .

As I sit here by my fire and draw in its warmth, I feel so lucky to be a witness to the easiness of the early morning hours, before all the rush and chaos . It’s as if “possibility and opportunity”  live within these hours.  Where I feel hope that it could be a really good day!  My wood stove not only brings me warmth, it brings me back to my childhood. There is a certain kind of warmth that you feel deep in  your soul  that’s not measured in degrees. It’s a memory, a love, a link to your past, a part of you and who you will forever be.

Back when I was a little girl, we had a lot more snow and it was  always so deep , watching my Dad shoveling the driveway through the kitchen window. Hands pressed against the glass, watching him clear a path for us , he looked so big to me , like he was this super hero that could do anything, would do anything to take care of us. I would sit there in awe of him and  the smell of wood burning  , feeling its warmth through my whole  tiny little body, these are all the things that made up the word “Home” to me.  Somethings are etched into your mind forever. These memories flood my mind so often its hard to put them into an exact time line .

I will never forget my parents telling me that brother and I were going to the hospital for a while . I was so happy, because they said together! This meant that I wasn’t going to have to leave him all alone.  Funny how I remember that but I don’t remember walking around all crooked. It wasn’t until I watched a home movie and seen myself walking around with one shoulder a lot lower then the other. I didn’t feel  different from any one else, I felt special actually!  I felt that God had a special plan for me . That I was meant to do great things!

My brother and I were admitted to the Toronto Children’s Hospital , we were both scheduled to have major back surgery. I wonder if they got a ” two for one ” deal!  I will never forget the smell , and the cold floor on my feet as I climbed down out of my bed , and climbed up into my brothers. Time after time the Nurses would come in and bring me back to my own bed, but I was a persistent little shit , and No one was going to tell me I couldn’t curl up next to the one person in my life that gave me comfort and I had sworn to protect. They eventually gave up and let us sleep together.

There we were laying in the same hospital bed, all snuggled together like two baby mice.  We went back to our old games , playing statue , singing ” Don’t cry dear family”.  This  time we made a new game up! ..  We would hide under the “Blanket of white”, and pretend we were pirates on a ship, sailing far from this world. We were free! Free from everything and everyone and what was to come , We were free for a while ! ..  I didn’t understand the magnitude of our surgeries I was only seven, but I did understand one thing, and this is why I was determined to have my brother go first. I remember asking them to take him , please take him first, he needs to go first!!! .. This wasn’t because I was scared to have surgery , I mean I probably was, but it wasn’t the reason . The reason I was so adamant that he went first was because that meant he could go home first, and I wouldn’t have to leave him behind. That to me would be harder than any pain I was about to endure,  Just please let him go first , don’t make me leave him behind again!

The only other thing I remember , were the lights on the ceiling going by as they wheeled my bed down the hall to the operating room. I can still close my eyes and see them.

Well, God must have heard my prayers that day, because My brother and I went home together in separate ambulances , but nonetheless together! We spent the next 6 months in hospital beds, and you know,  the mind has a way of protecting you , we block out things that maybe we just can’t handle , . Our minds way of turning out the lights! I remember laying there beside him, My mom would put us by the window so we could see outside, I remember being terribly itchy and crying because I couldn’t reach that antagonizing itchy spot through my cast . I believe my mind put a blanket over the rest. I can’t imagine now being a mother of three ,what my parents went through. Having two children in casts on hospital beds , especially at our ages. By the Grace of God I swear! This only made our unbreakable bond grow stronger… For there we lay, confined in plaster or what ever they make casts out of ,  to a bed for six months… It would be this unbreakable , untouchable bond that would hold us together. For if we thought this was horrible, it was only preparing us for what was to come…..

When I look back on all the crazy things we all went through, not just my brother and I but My parents and my older sisters. I can only imagine what it was like from their perspective, and if told through their eyes would be as equally beautiful and painful. Part of this journey that I am on to finding “ME” again is going through not only the good memories but the ones that till this day still haunt me in my sleep. But I promise you for every difficult one there are twice as many beautiful! I ask you to read with a kind and compassionate heart for this is probably one of the hardest things for me to talk about.

Waking to the sounds of my mothers scream, her horrifying crying and screaming, I  immediately  sat up in my bed, confused and terrified . She was screaming for my dad. I looked around me and there was blood everywhere. I was soaked in blood. I can’t express to you the fear and confusion that was going through me , its like waking up inside your own nightmare! Was it my blood?  Was I bleeding? My mother was holding my bother in her arms screaming and crying, asking me what had happened.. How could I know I was sleeping! I was speechless, someone wake me up, Mom I’m having another night terror, wake me up mom, MOM WAKE ME UP!!! .. But I was awake and Living in my very own nightmare. The blood that covered my Pajamas was my brothers. And I believe that hadn’t my mother walked in the room he would have died laying right beside me. My brother is paralyzed from the waist down, and had to wear diapers. Our Toy poodle had picked up the scent of Urine and chewed through his diaper.

My father came running into the room, my mother was still screaming at the top of her lungs, and freaking right out I remember him smacking her across the face to bring her back . They rushed him off to the hospital and I just sat there, confused, fear stricken my brothers blood all around me. How could I have not heard the dog moving around? How could I have not woken up? The pain that was beginning to fill my heart was so heavy, like a million pounds of concrete was pored inside of it . It was the realization that I hadn’t protected him, I failed him, He was laying there bleeding to death, and I was there sleeping dreaming of things little girls dream of . I have never forgiven myself for this .

My older sisters were left to deal with the aftermath of this horrific scene, I can’t imagine the pain in their hearts, and having to pick up the pieces after my parents ran off to save my brothers life. Their strength and courage is beyond my understanding, not only was it their little brother as well , but there I was covered in his blood. My one sister ran me a bath and ever so sweetly helped me clean up. I never thanked her. But I have never forgotten what she did, what they both did.  I don’t remember much after that , I know I didn’t want to talk at all . And I remember the first time I had seen him in the hospital after it happened . He was in isolation, he was in this really weird plastic tent. My heart was breaking a thousand times over , how could I have let this happen to him, I was right beside him and I couldn’t save him … Maybe I wasn’t special, maybe God didn’t have a Grand plan for me ..

If I had only woken up! … this was the beginning of many many nightmares where my brother would be sitting in the sand at the lake and a big huge wave would come and take him away, and I could see him trying to stay above the water, I would try so hard to swim to him, try to save him, but I could never reach him, I would wake up screaming and crying, and till this day these dreams haunt me . The only thing that has changed since then is having three kids of my own, and If anything so horrifying happened I could never blame one of my children, and would feel so empathetic towards them , I would tell them it is NOT their fault, that it was just a very terrible thing that happened. ( no one in my family blamed me but myself) I would hold them in my arms and tell them it’s going to be all right, Mommy loves you ! So I tell myself now , its all right, it’s not your fault, its just something so tragic that happened to your brother to your parents, sisters and to you . You cannot change the past , but you can ask your Higher power to give you the strength to endure it !

And although this is one the most haunting memories of My childhood, it wasn’t the last one that would test my endurance, my strength, faith and will to live on….

Stick with me , we have to go through the Ugly to find the Beauty!

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to be continued……

My Journey to Finding Me .. ( Part 1)

Lately I have been trying to make sense of my life, like millions of other people, I’m  searching for truth, reason, a little peace of mind! I started on this journey  reaching out to others, sharing their stories and there is one thing I am beginning to see and truly feel to my core! People are amazing and so inspirational. Every single one of us has a story and all the answers are within the pages, the mess, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I realized that before I could find my own true answers, my journey had to take me inward … If I was ever going to find myself I  would have to go back to where it all began.

I grew up in a little village  on the lake surrounded by Bush! My childhood consisted of pretending I was a mermaid on my own island or  an Indian running through the forest. Making my teepee, ready to defend my territory from invaders at any moment. With my hand made booby traps and ropes, just incase they needed to be tied to a tree! Of corse this all ended when our parents let out their distinctive ” Get your ass Home” Calls .  My one friend had a cow bell, One friends dad had this certain whistle and my mom had the good old fashion frog horn.. At least thats what I called it ! It makes me laugh now to think back and picture all of us standing still in the bush, listening to see which one of us had to leave first !

I was a free spirit from the day I was born. A mind of my own, and a mouth full of words I had only heard but didn’t understand, but I knew they sure made my Dad feel  better!  I was born  different from my friends . God shorted me eight ribs on my left side, and made my spine look more like a snake then a straight stick!… But I didn’t feel different ! I remember my dad always helping me go to the bathroom when I was very little , he would place his hand on my side to keep it from bulging out as I bravely pushed out my moms homemade cooking. This was when I realized “wow look what I can do”!  I knew if I took in some air and pushed,  my whole side would stick out like a big balloon!  I seen this as an opportunity to make some quick cash! I became the freak show of Blue Point! ” Hey you wanna see something cool”? Show me your lute! With a pocket full of change and 10 packs of jaw breakers , I thought to myself, ” Yep this is a good day”!

My younger Brother was born Two years after me . God really shorted him! When he was born the Doctors said he only could stay for twelve hours and my parents would have to say good-bye! Well he must have really liked it here because he is thirty-six years old now! After he made it past the first twelve hours, then  twenty-four hours, my parents decide “okay he’s a fighter and we need to help him in any way we can”! I think he was a fighter before he even got here! He was born with Spina Bifida , His back an open wound and God gave him broken legs! I don’t remember my brother being born I was only two years old. What I do remember is playing with him on the living room floor and how he would scoot around instead of crawl or walk. It never bothered me, I just scooted too! I was happy to have a playmate. My sisters were a lot older then me, seven and Nine years older! Now that I think about it , I could be a ” tequillaOOps” baby!

God may have shorted each of us in slightly different ways, but together we were a force to be reckoned with! Our infinite bond grew stronger and stronger every single day ! I became so protective over my little brother and Him over me! We were inseparable . Until the day they took him  away .My mom told me he was going to stay at the hospital  for a while ,well, my moms idea of awhile was weeks and weeks , my idea of awhile was five minutes! My bed felt  so empty, we had shared a room since I could remember , there was no one to play ” statues with”  a game we made up where you freeze your pose and then the other person has to guess what you are. There was no one to sing my made up songs to especially the really sad one that would always make us cry

” Don’t cry dear family,, I will see you in your dreams

I have to go where love finds me ,

this is not where I’m supposed to be! ”

This always made him cry, so when I was feeling extra sweet and wanted to make him laugh, I’d change the last line to  ” In a big apple tree” …

To this day I don’t know why I made that song up or why I felt the need to sing it every night before we went to sleep!

But there I was in my bed all alone, and  looking back now , I believe this is when the Night terrors began and everyone in my house started to have restless nights! I would wake up screaming , curled up in a ball in the corner of my room, shivering and just filled with terror! My mom would come in and settle me back down, try and tell me it would be all right , but nothing was all right. Part of me was missing , and that part of me was sleeping in a hospital bed in some place that seemed so far away .

When  my parents took me to visit him, I was so excited and I just couldn’t wait to see him,  jumping up into his bed, laying beside him, looking at all the candy he had got, and the food they had brought for him to eat. And the popsicles oh my god the popsicles I was jealous ! I was so happy to have my little brother back . I wanted to stay there forever by his side , because without him I wasn’t whole but with him everything was okay. We played and had fun, talked and laughed . He would say a funny Knock Knock joke, it was always the same one

” knock, knock, Who’s there? Orange! “Orange Who?”Knock knock , you know the one !  It didn’t matter how many times he told it , those familiar words and  sound of his voice comforted me like a nice warm blanket  and I was so happy to hear him say orange like twenty times !  The world was perfect and nothing could hurt us! Until I heard the Words ” Cara its time to go”.  What? Go where? Its time to go home! . I was excited for a minute until my heart broke into a thousand pieces as I realized that they meant time for ME to go home Not my little brother .

I can tell you this , the feelings that rushed through me still haunt me to this very day.  As I sit here writing this ,  I’m shaking and my eyes  are filled with tears! “I have to leave him” ? . I was in the elevator going down, and it literally felt like my heart had made it to the first floor before the rest of my body! I couldn’t understand why they would take me there, tease me like that , hurt me like that , then rip him away from me all over again. He’s all alone, noone is there with him, who will play statue with him? who will sing him ” don’t cry dear family?  This was the beginning of many times , where I had to walk away from my little brother and leave him behind!

to be continued….

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