Friday, January 02, 2009

Keep the Facts, even if it hurts

As I have perused historical sites, I find many pieces of a broken puzzle called my own history. I thought I was the oldest from my birth father and now I find that there "might have been one older one."

I'm not interested in any familial links, save for one....

I have a significant battle wound from my early life. Only one person may have known how it came about, but she was lost to a bottle a long time ago. Her story changed from year to year. The other relatives have similar fates and barely remembered that there was a "me" to remember, much less the story of how I got scarred.

This is my plea, if you read this and you have a terrible secret about how a person came to be, either physically, emotionally, or spiritually, keep the Facts straight, even if it hurts. When the time comes, they'll need the truth, not some conjured-up story that makes neither sense nor makes up for their loss.

Just the facts is all they'll need, trust me. I'm so far removed from the hurt, all I really want to know is how I ended up in an ambulance on my stomach in 1969. I want to know what the story to my battle is. When people ask how it happened, I want to speak with pride about how I survived whatever happened, not "I don't know what happened" with a blank stare.

Keep their story straight if you're the one who knows. Even if it's your own relative, or if it's a friend and you shouldn't really know, keep the facts there for them to digest later. But make sure they get the facts. It sure beats not knowing. It sure beats the hell out of getting angry knowing that some people knew, but their own battle with their own inner demons led them down a path where brain cells got destroyed. All I needed was for them to remember, no explaining, no interpreting, just tell me what happened.

If you have a secret, make sure you remember, make sure you tell, make sure you close the circle.

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A closet full of good intentions

A dear old friend had a house full of cupboards, closets, trunks, bags--all full of "useless" stuff. She had about 50 coffee cups, literally pounds of styrofoam containers, and enough food to feed a family through a rough winter, even though she lived alone.

She may have had a rough side, a sharp side, but we never saw it. And then just recently, someone said of her dearly departed friend, "every time I helped her, she paid me back two or three times what I gave her."

And now, the full cupboards, the stuffed closets, all of the extra stuff, it makes sense now. She had a wealth of gifts to give, if only you would make the offer.

Hers was a house-full of good intentions.

Thanks Lena, I got the lesson if very few else did.