Thursday, January 26, 2017

Each of us has a Story to Tell - A Bit Long

This week I watched a Japanese movie on Netflix called Sweet Bean.
If you haven't seen it and like foreign films, it is worth watching.
A quote from the movie:
"I believe that everything in this world has a story to tell.
We try to live our lives beyond reproach but sometimes we are
crushed by the ignorance of the world.
We are trying to tell you a story!"
This hit me right in my heart, as my word for this year is STORY.

I often don't tell my story.
You know I am a tea lady.
You know I love the outdoors, flowers, and gardens.

But you don't know and sometimes my own family doesn't know
because I don't often share the negative side of me or my story:
1. At two years old my mother, my unborn sister, and I were deserted by my father.
He didn't pay child support.   My grandfather took us into his home for awhile.
2. We were on welfare for several years until my mother was able 
to be trained to do office work.
3. We ate moldy food donated by government surplus.
4. At one time our refrigerator door fell off and we had to prop it up with a chair
until someone gave us another used refrigerator.
5. Our power was about to be turned off because we couldn't pay for the power
bill, but someone in our church paid the bill and said to pay it forward,
which we did.
6. A Christmas tree lot person gave me the best tree on the lot because they knew
I was paying with my babysitting money.
7. We were ridiculed because we didn't look poor when a family thought they
were visiting a poor family at Christmas to bring gifts.
My mother believed in keeping a spotless home and though we had few clothes (all
hand me downs) they were kept clean too.
8. We lived in a one bedroom tiny house and so my mom didn't have a bedroom.
9. When my mom got down, we stopped to have a cup of tea with pinkie's up.
10. My mom's family called her the "stupid one".
11. At the age of 12 I started buying my own clothes or making them
with my babysitting money.
12. We didn't have a television or a car, until at the age of 17 a family
in our church gave us an old car and taught my mother how to drive.
After that I was able to learn too.
Until then we walked, took public transportation, rode my bike and depended
on others to drive us.  The bike I bought at a junk store and spray painted.
13. At 40 years old I was finally able to get a college degree and
make a decent income, for this I am very proud.
So tell me your story, for now you know many of mine.
Today I feel like a privileged woman with a story to tell,
a story of growth, learning, and growing in the knowledge
that I was most loved by my family and friends.
For that I am a lucky lady.


Unknown said...

Although you may have come from humble beginnings you have become a role model. I love that your mother kept you clean and tidy and that being poor did not mean you had to wear ripped or soiled clothing. I am sure your mothers determination and strength was a part of what helped you become who you are today. Thank you for sharing such a personal story. You are a lucky lady and should be very proud.

Tracy said...

Oh, Marilyn... sending you the BIGGEST HUG right now! You are a shining light! They say adversity makes us strong... that goes for you, for sure! Surviving hurt and heartache at any age is a large part of life, isn't it. Thank you sooo much for sharing your story, for sharing YOU! :)) ((HUGS))

Jeanie said...

And this is the stuff that strong people, strong women are made of. Your mother had her standards, her dignity, despite the poverty and my hat is off to her.

I'll have to think about my story. When I read about you and those in similar situations who had to really struggle (Rick's family is certainly one) it almost makes me feel weird or guilty that I had kind of a Leave it to Beaver upbringing.

When I look at you (or Rick and his brothers) I am humbled in so very many ways. Your mother sounds like a most remarkable woman and I feel honored to have been allowed to hear her story and yours.

Lorrie said...

I love hearing people's stories. Thank you for sharing yours. What hardship in your early life, and what grace you exhibit now. I'm glad people in your church helped you out. How cruel and insensitive for someone to assume that you weren't poor enough for help because your home and clothes were clean.

Hugs to you today.

I grew up in a loving home. We didn't have lots of money, but there was lots of love and family. I never felt like I lacked anything.

Unknown said...

What a tribute to your mother. She sounds wonderful, especially since her own family didn't believe in her.

Adrienne said...

I loved reading your story. Thank you for sharing what has made you the wonderful, caring, strong lady you are today.

Rosemary said...

You have overcome many hardships, but your humble beginnings have made you the powerful loving women you are today. The love and strength of your mother is forever within you. Hidden amoong the sadness of this story, is a great love story.

Barbara said...

All I can say is WOW! All other words fail me. To much swirling around in my brain.

Angela McRae said...

Oh, Marilyn, I'm so glad I'm going back and playing "catch up" because I would hate to have missed this! I do seriously hope you have written (or are writing down) your rich life story for your family, especially the little guy and others too young to appreciate it right now. Wow. This definitely helps me appreciate even more all of your success in life and also shows the things that shaped and molded you into the woman you are today. I always marvel that some people would have folded under such trying circumstances, yet you did not. And your mother did not!

Oh, and one more thing: have you ever read Madeleine L'Engle's book "Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art"? It is my FAVORITE book about the writing life. She writes about "story" a lot, and she calls it "story," just like that, not "a" story or "the" story, just "story." If you haven't read it, I think you'd like it!