Hello Monday -- A Sneak, a Peek into life and story

Hey friends!  Hope you had a great week. We've been busier than a one legged man in a butt kickin' contest!  Here we are at a party recently.  Love that man of mine!  It is funny though how all of my photos of the two of us these days are taken at arms length.  Good thing that is in vogue.

Here is a little sneak of one of my projects I just finished for the Elle's Studio Gallery coming up.  I'm pulling the winner for my blog today so make sure you name is in the hate on this post.

This week is looking like it will be staggeringly busy just like last week so we shall see how many times I get to visit with you all.  I keep thinking things will slow down but they never seem to.  I did want to get back to sharing my story though so here is another installment.

I know that there are life changing events in everyone's lives but sometimes I get to feeling like I've had more than my fair share.  On the other hand, the kinds of 'life changing' experiences I've had has, I believe, made me more useful to others in the long run.  And look, I have interesting stories to tell don't I!?

This particular event took place the summer I was seven years old.  My mother's only living sister, Dorothy, had come all the way across the big pond from Britain to visit our little home in the sticks of Florida.  It was the first, and only such visit she ever made that I am aware of.

Dorothy was a number of years younger than my mother, having been born to my grandmother and her second husband sometime after the divorce between herself and my grandfather.  My mother had three other siblings younger than herself that were full siblings so my guess is that Dorothy was at least 7 years younger than my mother.

For myself, I wasn't a big fan of Dorothy right off the top.  They gave her my bed and she wasn't very thankful for my sacrifice that I could discern.  She also wasn't very generous with the candy she'd packed in her valise and in the eyes of a seven year old, that is a definite black mark on a person's character.

During our visit, we'd planned to all make the trek to Orlando to introduce Dorothy to Walt Disney World.  At that point, maybe 3 days into the visit, I had no knowledge of there having been any tension at all.

We spent the whole day joyfully traipsing from one fabulous ride to another and having a generally wonderful time.  In the early evening, however, we made the decision to visit the Haunted Mansion.  Now, if you've been to the haunted house, you know that there is a point in the ride when you see yourself in a mirror and there are ghosts seated with you in the car.  This, of course, happened in our cars as well as everyone else's.

The trouble came when my mother looked into the mirror and the ghost she saw looked exactly like her own mother.  She began to scream the most piercing scream I can recall ever having heard.  I was not in the same car with her and didn't understand what was happening.  All I knew was that my mother was very very scared.  My auntie tried to reassure me but it was very distressing to me.

My father was unable to calm my mother at all.  Her mother was still living in England and so I am guessing that my mother believed her to have died and showed herself there in the Haunted Mansion.  We had no choice but to leave Disney World immediately and get into the two cars we'd brought and drive home as quickly as possible.  It was a 2 hour drive normally.  I don't know how fast we made it, but I'm guessing it was less than 2 hours.

I wasn't in the same car with my mother, but rode with my older brother and sister.  My father and aunt reported that my mother continued her screaming all the way home.  She had utterly lost all sense of reality and soundness of mind.

Once we reached home, my father called our pastor to come and retrieve us.  At sometime near midnight, they arrived at our home.  My mother was still quite out of her mind and burst out of her bedroom completely naked and ran into the arms of Pastor Mike.  I don't remember what happened next, but I do remember that I was utterly mortified.

We stayed with the Reeves family for about 2 weeks while my mother stayed in the mental hospital and my dad traveled often to see her.  My aunt Dorothy repaired to a hotel near the hospital but didn't end up seeing my mother again as her presence agitated my mother no end.  Mother had accused Dorothy of stealing her husband.  Dorothy did NOT want to see Mother after that.

We had one more dinner with Dorothy at The Kapok Tree Inn.  I recall it because it was a remarkable location to a child.  Dorothy was very angry with Mother for her behavior toward and her accusations.  What is interesting is that in hindsight, I begin to wonder if my mother was right about my aunt making moves on my father, or vice versa.  I'll not ever know I guess but my father has since proven himself to be a philanderer.

It was after that long stay in the mental hospital that my mother was officially diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia.  She was very heavily sedated during her stay and certainly didn't seem herself when she did finally return home.  The prescription was to take meds daily and being therapy.  She refused both.

That started the proverbial ball rolling toward the demise of a family.


  1. omg! thats an intense story! its amazing how we recall from our childhoods and how that translates in our adulthoods. while the story seems to have a sad start, you articulate it very well and that has to count for something... right? :)

  2. Wow! What a story.. that had to have been traumatizing to you as a child.

  3. The layout looks lovely! What a haunting memory, literally.

  4. Oh dear, that sounds very stressful. I'm never going to be able to look at the haunted house ride in the same light again - do you still go on it or does it have too many bad memories? x

  5. Your sneak looks fun - the little camera is adorable. Love the orange/yellow/aqua combo!

  6. Wow, you have had your share of terrifying and confusing experiences as a child.
    Love the camera on your sneak!

  7. Your sneak is exciting! To have endured all of these experiences at an age where you were to young to understand...I can only imagine my friend lots of love and prayers as you continue your journey.

  8. wow that is one scary story, so sorry that happened to you, it made you who you are, so try to see that in it. you are wonderful:)

  9. Great sneaks! So sorry for the trauma that you have endured. What doesn't kill us make us stronger, no? :) Here's to strong women! Enjoy your day U!

  10. Thank you for sharing, my birth father was an undifferentiated schizophrenic. Fortunately he was rarely in my life.

  11. Great sneak peek!!! I admire your honesty, thanks for sharing this story. I am a new follower of your blog, and I am sure to return!

  12. I am so sorry for all you endured. Maybe your blog will serve to be somewhat cathartic for you. Look forward to the full layout

  13. That experience must have been so terrifying, for your mom and you. I hope sharing it brings some peace.

    We used to go the Kapok Tree when we visited my grandparents in Florida, thanks for reminding me about it. It was definitely a remarkable place, I still remember it, 30 years later.


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