I miss you…

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March is a month of nostalgia for me.

It’s the birth month of my Mom. She said when her birthday came around she was foreshadowed by mine, two weeks earlier. Don’t you think it’s strange the things we remember?

I recently applied to Ontario, Canada for an original birth certificate. I never had one. I couldn’t remember the exact date of birth of neither of my parents. Weird, right? But I remembered the year and the story I’d told over the years of my ancestry on my mother’s side.

Four Curtin brothers came across from Ireland on a ship and married four Callaghan sisters! Two settled in Western Canada and two in the East–Ontario. What are the chances of that? It’s not a story you’d easily forget.

My mother was a beautiful woman who lived in a time when women stayed home and men went to war. And when some of the men came back, they brought the war zone with them. Unfortunately, I remember too much of that.

She was the one I counted on. She would listen to me and always told me I could do and be anything I wanted in life. She died in 2005. I’ve never returned to the town of my birth in Ontario since then.

I hope she’d be proud of the choices I’ve made. I know she understood when I took my heart from the frozen snow in Canada to the sun-filled days of Puerto Vallarta Mexico.

And I was blessed to feel her leaning over my shoulder as I wrote my memoir LOVE The Beat Goes On, she held my hand, every step of the way.

So today I honor her memory and share it with you.

I never told you enough how much I loved you. I miss you, Mom.

 

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Childhood Sexual Abuse?

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I have weird thoughts about my childhood.

I can only remember two events before the age of 11.

The first, I got caught playing doctor with a boy on the picnic table in the back yard of our house when I was 5 or 6. The second event, I was dancing ballet all by myself in my room listening to a song called Unchained Melody.

Oh, my love, my darling
I’ve hungered for your touch
A long, lonely time
Time goes by so slowly
And time can do so much
Are you still mine?
I need your love
I need your love
God speed your love to me

I remember playing that song over and over again. I think I was 8. How could I have understood a longing for love at that age?

I can’t stand the smell of beer. I don’t know why. I’ve never even had a sip. Sometimes I think I’m in denial over events in my childhood.

I had an Uncle who loved to have me sit on his lap (my sister told me this—I don’t remember). He was in the Navy. I do remember a corkboard of ribbons— hatbands, with the names of the ships he worked on, hanging like streamers on my bedroom wall. He gave them to me. I felt special.

The family used to whisper things about him. When I was an adult, his wife died and he re-married—his childhood sweetheart. She had two daughters. The marriage only lasted two years. My sister thinks he sexually molested her teenage daughters.

Sometimes I wonder if I was sexually abused in my early years and I’ve blocked the memories.

I’ve lived a long relatively happy life and if I was sexually molested, I don’t need to know.

 

 

More about my life

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome #RWISA Author Beem Weeks

RWISA TOUR (1) (1)

Beem Weeks

Wordless

 

“What’s that word say?”

“That’s an easy one, Daddy. Just sound it out.”

Levi Bacchus can’t read. 36 years old, and he’d never learned the meaning of a single sentence.

“I just ain’t cut out for this, Jamie Lynn.”

The girl’s countenance dropped in disagreement—just like her mother, that one.

“So, you’re a quitter now?” she bellowed, sounding too much like the woman who’d walked out of their lives two years earlier.

Levi took offense. “Mind your manners, Missy. I ain’t never been called no quitter.”

“Reading is something everybody should be able to do, is all I’m saying.”

“It’s easy for you,” Levi argued. “You’re just a kid, still in school. You have teachers telling you what to do and how to do it. I’m just too old for learning.”

The girl narrowed her gaze, jabbed a finger into the open book. “From the beginning,” she demanded.

His heaving huff meant he’d do it again—if only for her sake.

Words formed in his head before finding place on his tongue. Some came through in broken bits and pieces, while others arrived fully formed and ready for sound.

Jamie’s excitement in the matter is why he kept trying. Well, that and the fact he’d long desired the ability to pick up the morning paper and offer complaint or praise for the direction of the nation. All those people in the break room at the plant held their own opinions on everything from the president to the latest championship season enjoyed by the local high school football team.

“That’s good, Daddy,” Jamie said, patting her father on the arm. “That’s really good. You’ll be reading books before too long.”

A smile worked at the edges of his lips, refusing to go unnoticed.

“I’d like that, Sweet Pea.” That’s all he’d say of the matter. If it came to that, well then, he’d have accomplished something worth appreciating.

Levi harbored bigger notions than merely reading books. When a man can read, he can do or be anything he wants to be. His own father often said a man who can’t read is forever in bondage. How can a man truly be free if he cannot read the document spelling out the very rights bestowed upon him by simple virtue of birth? No sir; being illiterate no longer appealed to him.

Of his immediate family—father, mother, two older brothers—only Levi failed to attend college. Oh, he graduated from high school. Being a star quarterback will afford that sort of luxury. But when those coaches from the universities came calling, low test scores couldn’t open doors that promised more than a life spent in auto factories.

He’d seen a show on TV about a man who’d been sent to prison for five years for armed robbery. While there, this man learned to read, took a course on the law, and became a legal secretary upon his release. Eight years later, he’d earned a law degree and opened his very own practice.

Levi didn’t see himself arguing cases in a court of law—defending criminals most likely to be guilty just didn’t appeal to his sense of right and wrong. What he did see, however, is the need for a good and honest person to run the city he’d forever called home.

“Think I could be mayor?” he asked his daughter.

Jamie Lynn always grinned over such talk. “Everybody has to have a dream, Daddy.”

It’s what she always says.

Everything begins with a dream.

She gets that part of her from her mother.

“Once I can read without stopping to ask questions,” he mused, “maybe I’ll throw my hat into the ring, huh?”

“There’s nothing wrong with asking questions,” she answered, weaving wisdom between her words.

*     *     *

She’d been a girl scout, his daughter—daisies and brownies before that. It’s the other girls who bullied her out of the joy that sort of thing once offered. Straight A’s have a way of making others feel inferior, even threatened.

But Jamie Lynn isn’t the type to pine or fret. She chose to tutor—and not just her father, either. Kids come to the house needing to know this and that among mathematics or English or science. Her dream? To be a teacher one day.

And she’ll accomplish that much and more.

Her mother had that very same sense about her as well. She knew what she wanted in life, and cleared the path upon which she traveled.

High school sweethearts they’d been, Jamie Lynn’s mother and father. She’d been the pretty cheerleader, he’d been the All-American boy with a cannon for an arm. She went to college, he didn’t.

But she returned to him, joyfully accepting his proposal for a life together. Her degree carried her back to the high school from which they’d both graduated. This time, rather than student, she became teacher—American History.

Levi went to work building Cadillacs in the local plant. It paid well, offered medical benefits and paid vacation time. Life settled into routines.

Then came their little bundle. This didn’t sit well with the newly-minted history teacher. No sir. It’s as if Levi had intentionally sabotaged his own wife’s career in some fiendish plot to keep her home.

Words of love became “stupid” and “ignorant” and “illiterate ass.” She walked out one evening and never came back to the home they’d built together.

A former student, he’d heard—five years her junior. They’d ran off together, supposedly making a new home somewhere out west.

Levi didn’t challenge it. He received the house and the kid in exchange for his signature on those papers he couldn’t even read.

Jamie Lynn, she’s the light that shined in his darkness, showed him there’s still so much more living to be done. And learning to read, well, that just added to the adventure.

*     *     *

The night came when he read an entire chapter from one of Jamie Lynn’s old middle school books—straight through, unpunctuated by all those starts and stops and nervous questions. By the end of the month, Levi had managed the entire story—all 207 pages.

“We have to celebrate, Daddy,” she insisted.

It’d been the silly draw of embarrassment that twisted his head left and right, his voice saying, “No need to make a fuss, Sweet Pea.”

But fuss is only the beginning. “Dinner and a movie,” she ordered. “Then we’ll stop off at the mall and pick out a few books that you might like.”

There were stories he recalled from his boyhood; books other kids clutched under their arms and took for granted. Stories that stirred so much excitement in those young lives.

They’d belong to him now.

“You’re finally blooming, Daddy—just like a flower.”

And so was his daughter.

A teacher in the making.

 

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Beem Weeks

When I Was Your Age

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I have a hazy recollection of playing doctor with a boy when I was six. I think my mother caught us. Or maybe I made it up. I really don’t know. Most people can chronicle episodes from early childhood. I can’t. What I do remember is my first job. I was eleven. And I made .25 cents an hour. No I’m not THAT old! Well, maybe I am.

Every week my mother went to the hairdressers. My dad was a military man. We lived in Ottawa in a basement apartment and we were four kids. I think we were poor but we didn’t really know it. Either way every week my momma went to the beauty salon.

I remember her hairdresser so well mainly because she gave me my first job. I got to wash hair on Saturdays for .25 cents an hour. At the end of the day I would take the used towels, wash them out by hand and hang them outside on a clothesline. It’s not that washer/dryers didn’t exist… I’m sure they did. But we didn’t have one at the salon. Can you magine hanging and taking down frozen towels, in minus 10 degrees, in the brutal Ottawa winter?

Momma would tell me stories about her sisters who were born with their amazing Irish curly reddish hair. She was so jealous. So every couple of months she would get what was called a “permanent.” She would sit with chemicals in her hair and rollers that were supposed to make her hair curly for a month or two at a time. I don’t know if that even exists today. And then, weekly, her hairdresser who had the most beautiful Amber Rose blond pixie cut hair would put Momma’s straight/sometimes chemically induced curls,  in metal rollers, and sit her under a huge bubble hairdryer to set. I never ever saw my mother wash her own hair.

Over the years I went to the hairdressers only for a cut or colors–yes I’ve always been a fan of multi-colors. I’ll blame that on my passion for fashion. Beauty parlors were never my thing—until last year. I went from a spiky short cut that had been my trademark for twenty years and let my hair grow shoulder length. And now, going to see Miriam (aka MY hairdresser) every week has become my “thing.” And every time I go, I remember my mother. And my aunt who had those luxurious curls that my momma loved so much.

This morning I sent this photo to my sister.

Momma would have loved my curls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Poetry Collection by Lynda Filler

1 copy

THE LOVE FIX             http://goo.gl/XOtXaV

LOVE REHAB              http://goo.gl/A8yh0t

I (SPY) LOVE              https://goo.gl/myEgt6

 

THE LOVE FIX ,  LOVE REHAB and  I (SPY) LOVE

write of the essence of life, our yearning for connection with the one and the One. The poetry is contemporary without rules, guided by a searching heart. The words are at times gritty, always thought provoking and timeless. An intimate view of passion, cyber sex, obsession and death fill the pages. Black and White photographs tell their own story, complement the poetry–or not. I give you my naked heart.