Day 230: Tornado


One midday, beneath the shade of a leaning cypress tree, after the late-spring sea fog had lifted, I stared out to the crashing waves with a grave impassivity.  In the past years, I’d grown deeply attached to the ocean side town. I believed in a sense we were one, the town and I, joined together in the same way the redwood trees unite their roots underground.

Aggrieved and spiraling with emotions like a blender on high-speed, I replayed Mother’s words, her promises; there would be new bedroom furniture and a private school, and a nice house.  I could wear a school uniform like Jane.

Mother had strolled into my room twenty-minutes earlier with a confident air and found me absorbed in my sticker collection book, categorizing each sticker by theme.  I was on the butterfly page. There were 33 butterflies—one more butterfly than fairies.  Mother had a faraway look, a deep and distant gaze that made me think she was traveling with the angels in the sky or the dolphins in the sea.  I knew innately from all my years with Mother that she was happy; and so I also knew she wasn’t going to tell me her boyfriend Ben was finally leaving; still, I held onto the hope, even though all the signs pointed in the opposite direction.


The rest is in the book 🙂


18 thoughts on “Day 230: Tornado

  1. Sometimes I think we all need to be born with a level inside us to keep us balanced when life puts our lives on “TILT!” I felt your pain Sam. Made me think of the day when I was 13 and my little brother was 11. Mom picked us up from school and Mom proceeded to tell us two youngest of her brood that she and Dad were finally getting a divorce (which was actually a blessing for everyone). In she same sentence she added, “I am sending you and your brother to live with Grandma” (who I had no positive recollection of) She lived on a miniscule Mediterranean which I had never been to.. Mom said it would just be for a few months until things were sorted. We left the no sooner than the words hit our ears. No goodbyes to friends… In an instant our lives were like walking into a story, spoken in a different language and attitude. Grandmother resented us being there and made certain her every emotion was shot through our young hearts like a bullet that lived on through every mean spirited ricochet. Thankfully, my Auntie M was there to become a surrogate Mother and give us her precious love and care, even though she had 3 children of her own. I will never forget her kindness in our time of need. Mom arrived after a few months and we stayed a little longer after that. We ended up being away from the States for several years, moving from place-to-place and eventually to another more populated island 8 hrs. away by ferry. They were some of my best, and worst years. On the new island, (which was huge and very cosmopolitan in comparison to the previous one) my little brother and I were for the most part, turned loose, without guidance or much support before and after our trip to the American school on an Air Force Base which was a 45 minute bus ride away. We would stay on base, unsupervised, until we caught the last bus home, usually around 7pm. It was a crazy life but we made it through (with some scars) but are stronger for having survived the rocky roads. As you are as well!! Funny how life has a way of leveling it all up.. eventually. There is much to be said for, “It’s all in the journey, and it’s all a journey,” ;)) Thanks for sharing yours with us. xx

    1. Truly enjoyed hearing about your journey. In some ways moving to the east coast from California was like going to a different country. The way they talked, dressed, and acted was foreign to me. And I was teased and picked on for my CA ways. I wish I’d had an Auntie M….I was very much alone. But, yes, it made me so much wiser and stronger. Wounded, yes, but stronger. What a wild ride we have been on and continue to partake in. So glad to have a lovely soul like you to share the experience with. I can totally see you and your brother there. What memories you must have. Love you much. xoxox

  2. Awww…I feel sad for this little girl, but what a fantastic piece of writing. I was with you and saw this whole story so very clearly. I know you have healed from all this. I know also that you know me well enough to know just where I LOL’d…hehe.
    Basna…you are such a naughty girl.
    I love you LOADS. Me, banana bread. xxx 🙂 hugsss

    1. I know when you laughed….imagine the detail I would have included…..measurement, names of boys….so mortified for years. lol. Never again leave notes on my desk. Love you banana bread. 🙂 Me, naughty….never. lol. 🙂

  3. Oh what a heart-breaking reflection Sam. VERY well written and touching to the soul. I can relate to this story a lot – slightly different but also the same in some senses. will have to tell you over our beach picnic! We grow – we heal – we learn … we love anyway …. Much Love sweet sea sister — thank you for being you — xo

    1. I do hope someday we can have that beach picnic. 🙂 Yes, “we grow, we heal, we learn, we love anyway” Most certainly! Tons of love back to you and best wishes with your appointment. 🙂

  4. it was heart breaking but Sam only you could weave humour in it…the description of adventure was just too funny and i thing we all have had a piece of that at some point…
    big hugs to that brave lil girl

    1. Thanks so much. I hadn’t recognized the weaving humor part until you pointed it out. Thanks for that. Brought a smile to my face. I hope you are doing better. Big hugs to you and yours. xoxoxo

  5. You outdid me! My notes with my bffs were found by two boys who blackmailed the three of us for money because we wrote “catty” comments about other people including the algebra teacher! We did get the notes back but I wonder who saw them! Our drawings were PG rated…

    I know this story and I know this little girl grew and learned and the experience and it became part of her but it hurts to read this part anyway. Such a beautifully written post!!

    1. blackmailed…. I would have given my last penny. lol. Catty comments…hehehehe…did I mention there were measurements and full detailed sketchings!!!! I’m glad you liked the post. And thank you for caring about the girl in the story. Means much. Keep doing the fantastic job with your son.

  6. It often amazes me how much I can identify with your thoughts and feelings and images. Mine were totally different, yet I understand. I feel the sadness and the betrayal you must have felt. It makes me want to cry, yet I know you won out in the end because…here you are!

  7. Hi, I just found your blog. I’m an aspie girl too. I need to ask was there previous posts regarding this story? You don’t say why you are so unhappy about moving. What’s wrong with him? Are these random journal entries or short stories?

    I’m curious to read your other posts about aspergers. Thank you

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