So I am in my chair with a glass of white wine and I am covered with my Biederlack blanket that I have had since I was 15 years old and for a complete 20 minutes I felt so content and so thankful to be at this spot in my life right now. I was admiring my blanket and smelling it because I like how it smells and feels against my skin, when I realized that the material possessions in my life that I treasure are very few and far. I don't really hold onto things and I don't get sentimental about material items. As I was looking at this blanket though and thinking about how much comfort this blanket has brought me over the years I started to think about other things that I value. I have 3 material items in my life that have any sentimental value to me and they are all pretty silly.
The first item is a book. It is Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. My mother got me this book in 1990 as a Christmas present. I was 10 years old. She wrote in the book for me for Christmas. My mother was an avid reader and books were very important to her, I remember how excited I was to get this book and how proud of myself I was when I finished the entire thing. My mother would often lay on the couch in the evenings reading and I would curl up behind her knees and read with her. I was the only one of her three children who took to reading when we were young, maybe it was because of the closeness I was able to have with my mother when I was reading. She would let me lay in her bed when I was reading on Friday nights and she was out partying, I always enjoyed this... she would then wake me up during the wee hours when she got home and take me upstairs. When my mother died on December 28, 1994, I traced over the writing in the book with pen because it had already started to rub away since it was initially written in pencil and I didn't want to lose her writing forever. My shaky 14 year old hand made it look sloppy, but it is still there and I still have this book. I re-read it a few years ago, it still holds the magic it had when I was 10.
The second item I have that has some sentiment to me is this Biederlack blanket, it is absolutely hideous, but I have had it since I was 15 years old. My sister and her then boyfriend Ben bought me this blanket as a Christmas present also. The few years after my mother died and my sister moved into the family house to care for my brother and I were tough. She was only 17, I was 14, and my brother was 11. My Grandfather didn't much care about the bastard children of his only child, so we were essentially on our own with him making an appearance whenever Child Protective Services were called or we were trying to kill one another, which happened more than you can possibly imagine. There were many tears, many fights, and many painful memories to be had and made during those years but they helped to shape me as an adult and I am a better person because of these struggles. This blanket brought me so much comfort then, because it was mine and it couldn't be taken away from me like so much that already had. It was bought for me and I had just went through so many traumatic transitions, that this blanket truly became my security blanket. I would curl up on this crappy love-seat that we had that was covered in holes and dirt, and I would read all night covered in my blanket on most nights. The stories and the blanket helped me to escape the reality that I was forced to live during the day. I still use this blanket, and it still brings me comfort to be under it. (Photo taken last night)
The last item is this really stupid and really ugly ceramic horse. My mother bought me this for Christmas at some point also, though I don't know which year. I think I was probably about 12 when she got me that (I'm basing that on where we were living when I remember opening it and being disappointed because I thought I was too old for it). It is the ugliest, gaudiest, most little-girl thing you will ever see and I still have it. I don't have a picture of it for you because it was buried away in a storage box last night and I was not going to go digging for it but for a long time I displayed it and I probably will again when I go through the boxes I have in my closet. I don't know why I kept that thing, it is ugly and I have never really liked it but as the material items that my mother left behind became more scarce I felt like I had to hold on to something. My sister is notorious for her "spring cleaning" habits and throwing everything away, so she pretty much dumped everything in the trash the day after my mother died. I guess it was her way of coping.
It has been 17 years since my mother died and most days I don't think about her, but last night I found myself thinking about her and how much like her I am. She would have been 50 right now. When I was 13 and 14 years old I was so embarrassed by her and the way she acted. She was only 33 when she died, that is 2 years older than I am right now and it is funny to me because I see so much of her within me. It has been a very long time since she has had any influence over my decisions and choices and our adult lives are nothing alike. She struggled most of her adult life and I have had a very posh adult life with no struggle. The company of misfits we usually had at our house on most weekends and all holidays, much resembles the company of misfits I keep close to me (meant with endearing love). We often had hitch-hikers in our house and stragglers that my mom would pick up on the streets. She always thought these people were interesting, so she would pick them up, bring them back to our house to talk and smoke some weed, feed them, and have them help out around the house or something. Maybe it was because she could relate to the hard times that they had fallen on. There was more than one time that we found ourselves living in a car, or "camping" at the crick in a tent.
Some of the things I saw her go through at the hands of people who said they loved her left a permanent mark on my psyche. Seeing what was done to her by men who were insecure cowards taught me to never settle in relationships, be willing and able to protect myself, and to never get too close because it can be ripped away from you in a second. One day you will be away on a church trip with your friends thinking life is grand and great, the next you will find yourself on a kitchen floor trying to cut yourself because you don't know how to express the pain your 14 year old self is feeling because her life had just been ripped away from her. I am a lucky girl, I have always had a great support system within my friends though and I learned to laugh. I learned to laugh a lot. Laughing is my coping mechanism for things now because I have learned there really is not much else you can do in certain circumstances. So just keep laughing (with tears interspersed in there too, I am a really ugly cryer) and more than likely things will work themselves out. It won't be overnight, but time heals all wounds. I have learned to never take things too seriously and more importantly never take myself too seriously. Life is just a game, what matters is not that you win, but that you have fun while you are playing.
As for that 14 year old girl? Well she turned out mostly ok. She gets a little too wild sometimes, trusts too easily sometimes, and makes bad life decisions sometimes... but all in all I hear she is doing quite well.
Have a nice day guys, it might be your last... you wouldn't want your last day to be you being a piss filled asshole. :)