I played with the wonderful products over at The Lily Pad and had a ball. One of the fun things about a lot of digital kits is the bright, fully saturated colors. The yellow on this page just makes your heart sing, don't you think.
My Silhouette SD made quick work of cutting some of these great shapes out.
I added some of the die cut pieces from the Moment's collection goodies. They just fit so well on every little thing.
And I used the Dear Lizzy Stamps for the date, loving the tiny little hearts.
I wanted to just take a moment and say thanks to those you following along with my story. I admit it is hard to write, but at the same time, I am not ashamed or afraid. It is my story. It is what happened and so I must tell it. It means a lot to me that so many of you are 'listening'.
Today, I thought I'd share about another experience that profoundly affected my life.
When I was 3 years old, my little family was traveling along a road near our home in a Cadillac. I seem to recall the car was borrowed, but I'm not certain of that. At any rate, this was in 1975, the days before seat belts and car seats and the like. My father was at work, but the rest of us were on our way to who knows where.
As my father reports it, my mother had one of her episodes where she sort of 'went somewhere else in her mind'. Unfortunately, the car went with her and at full speed, my mother drove off the road and into a drainage ditch!
My sister was thrown through the windshield, I flew forward and hit the dashboard head first and my brother, by God's grace, only got a scratch. Mama was slammed into the steering wheel enough that she had a steering wheel shaped bruise.
The paramedics said my sister, Kim, was dead. She wasn't breathing at all. They rushed her to the hospital where a doctor began the procedure to put a tube in her neck. (I'm guessing it was trach???sp??) She suddenly began breathing just as the knife was inserted. Our family claimed it as a miracle. She had sustained some pretty significant injuries including broken jaws and broken limbs but was able to fully recover eventually. There were skin graphs and a hospital bed installed in our living room for some time but she pulled through.
I arrived at the hospital with my eyes rolling around my head. I'd hit my head so hard the nerves controlling the muscles in my eyes were severely damaged. I can't tell you what all they did to me, but I do remember being in the hospital and sticking my tongue out at the nurse when she came to give me a shot. I was NOT happy with the shots.
Eventually, my eyes calmed and there was talk of surgery but my parents opted not to have it done as it was quite experimental at that point in time. The result was that I had one eye that looked straight at my nose all the time and one that looked normal.
I went through lots and lots of therapies but the errant eye wouldn't cooperate and I was to be cross-eyed until the age of nine. By then, surgery had been perfected and I was able to get my eye corrected at least to look at. But it wasn't soon enough to keep me from the horrendous teasing of my school-mates.
My name in school was 'cross-eyed monkey'. It's a name that still makes me a bit ill to think of. I have a hard time saying it out loud to be honest. As a nearly forty year old woman, I am somewhat amazed at how incredibly damaging the taunts of youth can be.
My parents always gave me the old 'sticks and stones' adage but I knew from experience that such a saying was a useless collection of meaningless tripe. It was a lie and I knew it. Those names did hurt me. I would far rather have had a broken bone than to have been labeled defective by the people I most wanted to like me.
I spent 4 years in school in a small town growing the reputation of a defective, ugly, cross-eyed monkey that couldn't play a sport involving a ball if her life depended on it. My crossed eyes rendered me devoid of depth perception and as such, a terrible ball player. In the South, where sports are all important, no one wanted me on their team and that often meant no one wanted me as their friend.
I was a painfully lonely little girl. I used to cry on my walk home from the bus stop, even as other students literally threw stones at me and called me names. I would look at myself in the mirror and think, 'I'm not so ugly. Why do they think I am ugly?' I couldn't understand their cruelty. My daddy would tell me I was beautiful but I would just feel all the more confused.
At nine, I received the surgery that would straighten my eyes, but the students never did forget and I was 'cross-eyed monkey' until I moved away from the small town at fourteen years old.
Since I didn't have friends, I spent a lot of time day-dreaming. I loved to play with my doll, Cinammon and be her mommy. I would concoct all sorts of games with my dolls. Sometimes, I'd just sit in a patch of grass and stare at the clouds. My mama would often join me and we'd hunt for animal shapes in the sky. A child finds ways to compensate but I can tell you that no matter how much compensating you do, it doesn't erase the hurt.
Today, I look back at that lonely little girl and I feel sad for her. I'm so much stronger now, so much more confident but I do wonder what I'd have been like without the hard things in my early life. I do believe that having these kinds of 'trials' in my life has helped me to see just how much pain others suffer.
I know that my story is not unique by a long shot. Many people have suffered in these ways and many times worse. We truly are all in this together. And there is always hope and always someone out there who WILL truly love you. I can't wait to tell you the good parts, but in order to fully appreciate them, you'll have to wade through the rest of the muck with me.