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  • Part of the reason I began my stories at Cowbird, was to leave a quick view of myself to my children and loved ones; to speak of things not normally discussed while together, but which have meaning and insight as to who we are.

    Most of the things I have written about are pleasant for me to remember. I smile wide or laugh out loud at the remembering of them. I think we all tend to choose to remember those types of things; veiling the hurts and the ugly with these stories of which we delight.

    I was raised, for most of my childhood, but not all, with a grandmother who psychologically abused and manipulated me and my sisters. I would tell people the stories of horror that I had experienced at the hands of a maniacal monster as a sort of revenge and lashing out; even though she was no longer with us. I wanted to get back at her.

    As you know, this revenge, these telling of stories about her, did nothing to help resolve the anger and hurt she had caused me and our family. So I stopped telling the recounts of her sickness...and tried to understand it instead.

    This is what I wish to tell my children about their great-grandmother: she was a lady of high fashion...she actually had a dressing table in her bedroom with glass bottles filled with perfumes, lotions, and colors. Her closet had hat boxes containing hats of felt or linen, decorated with feathers, sequins, and broaches. She had fur coats and floor length satin coats. She always dressed up, even for something as casual as a cook-out; she always looked impeccable. She had a great wit and charmed many people who visited. She was a teacher once, and she loved teaching me when I was young, before I started school.

    I don't think she ever learned how to love and how to be loved back; therefore she was very lonely and became bitter and resentful. She did not like to see people happy, because I don't think she ever had moments of happiness; and she probably thought that she could not be the only person like this, so she made sure there were others like her.

    I wish I could have seen through her veil of mean and unforgiving, to her real self, who was so hurt and lonely and so...small; so that I could have hugged her, and rocked her, and kissed her forehead and told her that she was not alone...and that she was loved. But I didn't.

    It is my goal to look past those veils that people throw over themselves; stop the snap judgments and really take time to see what is in front of me. To watch other people do so is something that I admire greatly in them, and I am very thankful for what they have shown me.
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