Day 129: How to Love

Me and my nano

How to Love

There wasn’t any reason to hide, at least not at first.  But I crawled inside my tiny closet anyhow, me and my red plastic piggybank.  Inside the squared-space that was layered in frilly dresses and the smell of cedar sticks, I would hold tight to my piggy and pretend.

At first I could imagine Father was back; and not just once or twice, but all the time.  In my thoughts he’d hold me tight, bounce me up and down on his knee; and  then he’d stand up, grab hold of my hands, and twirl me so fast I’d fly up off my feet.  And we’d laugh, giggle so hard the tears would pearl at the corner of our matching oval eyes, his with the amber light, mine with the deep ebony.

Inside the dark of the cramped space, I’d travel back to my silver-haired nana’s adobe-style house, the one with the red-clay roof tiles and the white stucco face, that sat on a steep hill on Washington Street, a one mile hike up from the barking sea lions basking on the rocks at Fisherman’s Warf in Monterey.  I’d breathe in and remember a time before, a time before I understood how homes, and heads, and hearts could break.

There in my memories, my petite nana scooped me up effortlessly and dotted me in tangerine-orange kisses, while my smiling Aunt Rose Marie squished and rearranged my cheeks.  And stout Nano, after leaning over and flashing his bald spot, winked and pulled on my earlobe, offering out a kindly, “We love you, Little Sam.”

Father was there, too, moving in his own cautious way, inching forward and offering everyone his one-arm embrace.  I’d tried to make him different in pretending, make him hug me tight and kiss my cheeks, but the truth always had a way of winning out.

I’d see us all napkin-bibbed at our seafood feast, so that it seemed with the salty air we were all fisherman sailing the ocean waves.  As we cracked open crab legs and peeled tiger-shrimp, Nano stitched together grand fisherman tales in an Italian accent as thick and refreshing as homespun ice-cream. Afterwards, with bellies filled, we all helped with the dishes, me with my very own floral dishtowel, and my wide smile still swathed in pizza sauce.

Nano took his leave soon, snuck out to the back porch with a big platter of scraps.  Two minutes later, when Nano reentered the house with a lick-cleaned plate, looking more satisfied than he let on, he muttered, “Damn cats.  I hate cats,” and then held onto his belly, gave me a wink, and chuckled.

Sometime after seven, when all the plates were stacked neatly back in cupboards, the plastic tablecloth wiped clean, and the eight-track tape of Italian music drifting through the room, we gathered round the table for a game of penny poker.  Holding the cards proved somewhat cumbersome, but somehow I managed to win every single hand, and in doing so compiled a stack of pennies:  ten-high and ten-long.

“One hundred pennies; look how great you did,” Aunt Rose Marie would laugh.

I smiled with eyes of pride, and then reached down and yanked at my stockings. It was possible, I found out, to stack the pennies the height of my mug of hot chocolate before they tumbled down.  Nana leaned over and braced herself against the edge of the table, saying softly to my father, “You need to bring her more often.  We miss her.  And we miss you.”  Then she looked over at me.  “We have a surprise.”

My dark-haired aunt came forward carrying a plastic piggybank loaded with coins.  Though it was only a smidgen bigger than the palm of my little hand, I was amazed.  For the next several minutes everyone watched, as I cradled the plastic piggy.

“Now you save that.  It’s not to open.  Put it in a special spot.”  Nana turned from me, pulled down her silver-framed glasses, and eyed her son.  “You’ll bring her again soon, won’t you?”

Father nodded and stood up to retrieve my small wool coat from the back of my chair. “Yes,  I’ll bring her soon,” he answered, as I slid into my coat, holding my piggy tighter.

Mother would arrive long after supper, all done up—the fair Audrey Hepburn—her curves hugged by a linen suit of strawberry-milkshake. “Hello, Beautiful,” she would say, fussing over my blue-silk hair ribbons.  I would gaze up at Mother, then, with my deep brown eyes and tug on my braid.  I savored the word beautiful much like I did Nana’s hard taffy candies which left my tongue all purple and sweet.

 

Nana and Nano

Day 107: The Union of Word

I am sensitive to others’ journeys. The word Mother creates different experiences for each individual.  This is for everyone who has a mother. For all of us. As we are each joined through one word.

The Union of Word

Mother

The sacred word

The echoed sound

Varied in frequency

Same in source

Vibrates through the universe

Each pronouncement distinct and filled

Each carrying a singular story

Shared by all

The connecting link

The threshold to breath

Travelers though the same land

Of hills and valleys

Of unquenched thirst

Stories wrapped

In colors of blue

Opened in turn

With sound exact

All equal, all one

Seen through eyes of the heart

Shared through lips and tongue

Everything balanced

No key to unlock the reason or why

The hand that was held

Or missing or lost

Engraved you

Etched perfect beauty

Children of song

All gathered

With whispers sweet

Or silent empty

Hand in hand

We are together

The tears

Same as smile

In union loved

In union embraced

In union of the one

Echoed sound

Adored

 

Sam Craft

Mother’s Day 2012

 

Happy Mother’s Day to my mother who birthed and etched me into the beauty I am today.

 

Hundredth Day: Behind the Door

I’m crying, listening to the song This Time by August Rain, (below), over and over.

Since I was a little girl, in answer to prayer, I was told I was going to be experiencing a lot of trials in life but this would be in preparation to assist others. In February this angelic promise became reality. And I knew that all the pains I held were for a reason. There is no way to put this into words, only tears. If you could see my face, you would know. My eyes would tell you. Today is day 100 of my journey blogging. I have made friends and contacts around the world. Everyone has been supportive and kind. Everyone so beautiful. You have no idea what your presence means to me. I am healing with every set of eyes that hears my truth. Healing knowing, I’m at last walking in my calling. Walking in unity. I am no longer watching life from the sidelines.

This morning, as I wept, I spent some time in reflection, examining Your words. (Traits, 10 Traits, and 116 Reasons) I am gifting myself with feeling happy and celebrating…I am embracing my gift of my words and embracing the gift of your words. Here is a selection of what I am celebrating:

Your website is a huge comfort to me.

Can relate to most of it so well. It’s as if you had been spying on me from inside my mind!

Thank you for expressing words that I have not been able to and for helping me put words to things I have experienced, but didn’t know how to say.

I can’t get over how dead-on each aspect of this is. I feel printing it and handing out to every person in my life.

(Crying harder now!)

Wow. You have totally nailed this as far as my teenage aspie daughter..This was wonderful! I just laughed and laughed in self-recognition.

Oh my goodness. I can relate to so many of these, it’s as if everything is finally slotting into place…I’m just seeing the world through completely new eyes now.

This is amazing! You have written the most precise description of female aspies I have ever read (and I have read quite a lot about this!

I can find myself in all of your points, especially points 5,6 and 7. It’s almost scary how close your description fits me!

So many years spent lost and alone.

Oh. My. Goodness. When I read this it feels like you have had a secret camera filming me since the moment of my birth. Scary.

Thank you so much for this post. I’m going to use to help my partner and family get a better idea of “me”..I knew of a lot of them threw my daughters way of looking at the world,brought a big smile to my face,cant wait to show her

I thought I was alone in not being able to relate to what I look like!!!

Reading your post today was a confirmation for me that once again “I am not crazy” and neither are the rest of us.

So true…. Every damn word…. Beautifully written, thank you for this. I will share this with everyone who just doesn’t understand me.

This did help me understand more about my 27 year old daughter with aspergers.

This is pure brilliance…my daughters world makes so much more sense after reading this.

What you wrote was insightful. I always knew I was different.

I wanted you to know that finding and reading your blog and sharing the information with my husband has made my transition from misdiagnosed, hard to deal with, “crazy” person to a person who is actually like other people with explainable quirks and issues much, much easier!! And even though you are practically telling my life story her, I’m starting my own blog to shout out!

Wow, this describes my 11 yr old Aspie daughter perfectly, and I am grateful I can print this to show her.OMG!! I could almost go yea, uh huh, that’s me too! to every one of your items! Scary! I’m glad I’m not completely alone in this world!

All I can say is…. * * * * * wow * * * * * I feel sure that I’ve found the missing component of so much of who I am, who I’ve been, and what has greatly affected the at times harrowing journey I’ve taken…Today I don’t feel alone at all. Today I feel embraced.

Anyway the piece you wrote is brilliant I love it and so identify, I often feel isolated and alone and not accepted and I’m always looking for people I can connect with and who understand.

All of the moments when I felt as if only me and the person in my head understood life, became so much clearer.

I was crying by the time I got to number 4…This blog is the most spot on description of life as I know it that I have read so far.

There isn’t one single thing, not one, that you wrote that i can say “no, that’s not me”. It is ALL me, all of it. and it’s terrifying and a huge relief at the same time.

(Crying: Think Diane Keaton’s Crying scene  without the French Music)

After reading your blog, I became totally obsessed with the possibility that I may be Asperger. I spent the entire day reading your posts, comments from readers, and googled other blogs on this subject. Then I chewed my husband’s ears off asking “so do you think?”

And when I finished reading your post above, it felt like finding a key I’ve looked 33 years for. Your post is almost verbatim my experience…I’m astonished.

And when I finished reading your post above, it felt like finding a key I’ve looked 33 years for. Your post is almost verbatim my experience.

This is me me me me me all over! Spooky how you seem to know my head inside out.

I think because of you I have finally discovered what has been so different about me my whole life. Thank you so much for giving me what might be my answer, I have no words to express the gratitude I have in my heart!

This article so closely describes my life that it made me cry – somebody out there really understands what it is like to be me, and I am not the only one of my kind.

Finding you is the first day of my life.

We are as one.

source unknown

Behind The Door

There was a time of many tears

Encompassing a thousand years

To even glimpse a sense of joy

Seemed to me an endless void

Where emptiness entrenched a whole

Leaving still this shallow mold

Of whom I was supposed to be

Of all the hopes drained out of me

I searched for answers day and night

I prayed, I cried, I begged for light

Still nothing ticked that I could hear

And all I am near disappeared

What did remain, I did not know

But I continued, even so

I stood and watched from way down low

That part of soul that yearned to grow

Broken, shattered, touched inside

Broken, shattered, no place to hide

Decades passed, and still I tried

To cease the pain that bled me dry

No place to go, no one to ask

No way to understand my past

I lived it all, the shadows gray

Returning to the yesterdays

Every smell, the sound, the face

Could bring me back, to fearful place

And there was more, than one or two

Like the years, a thousand grew

The spots they shadowed up the sun

Siphoning away the fun

From pain to pain, I hopped my path

Never learning how to laugh

Swirls of black and blue and red

Stories that could not be said

Time he came, he watched, he left

Taking with him all the best

And where I looked, through windowpane

Spinning world passed by again

The rise, the fall, the nothingness

The dreaming more to not exist

Until in faith one seed appeared

And sprouted strong within the tears

To something more than I could see

From something bright and bold and free

This surfaced strong, a light to shine

A part no longer left behind

Seed rose with each and every word

I shared and screamed, I scratched and blurred

And in this way, the mirror I shook

So I could take another look

Of what was done, and what was not

Of what was lost, and what was sought

Of all the little treasures blind

Of all the nothings left behind

I walked, I trekked, I even flew

Passing by the girl I knew

The way in which she smiled deep

The way in which she made me weep

The precious one, heart pure as dew

I held her hand and one made two

And thus in words I found a trail

To wave one last goodbye to fail

The steps she made were never wrong

Her heart was always ever strong

Her wishes still she carried true

And in this way I grew anew

In strength the mourning broke and quaked

And love was lastly made awake

To forgive what was, to nod and rise

To finally claim the golden prize

Of seeing where I’d been and gone

Remembering the soft with strong

And now when chance I cross and glance

Another bled by circumstance

In truth, I choose to sit and be

To hold the hand and place the key

To understand that all that came

The hurt, the loss, engulfing shame

Is nothing more than moving brook

A song, a dance, a storybook

For what we are is so much more

Than what is locked behind the door

Samantha Craft 2012

Artist Unknown

T

Day 83: Blister Sister (Part Two)

 

Blister Sister (Part Two)

Ben stood up straight, his ears crimson, his voice hoarse. “Damn it! How dare you say that in front of a child! What are you thinking?  Are you an idiot? What the hell is wrong with you?”

Now, although I was completely mortified and feeling the strong urge, despite my stomach cramping, to crawl under the hospital bed and never come out, I have to say, Ben impressed me.  Not in the way a parent impresses you by throwing you a birthday party and inviting all of your friends over to stay the night, nor in the way a child feels proud when a parent attends the school’s career day and knocks the socks or your classmates.  No, it wasn’t the type of impressive behavior that summons thoughts of coolness and grandiosity.  Ben’s behavior more so brought images of a fearsome bear standing on her hind legs with claws erected to protect her cub.  It was a scary image, quite terrifying actually—though none could deny that somewhere deep inside the man who was set upon a blind-rampage, huffing and puffing away at every hospital staff member within his path, that there was at least somewhere hidden a jewel of compassion.

It didn’t take long for Ben to pack up my things, usher Mother and me out of the building, and drive thirty miles across the state to another hospital.  Sadly for Ben, by then hospital visiting hours had past and the nurses insisted Ben and Mother leave.  And thus I was made to stay in a strange place, miles from home, without a soul I knew, replaying in my head all the horrific ways my death might play out…

This story can be found in the book Everyday Aspergers

 

© Everyday Aspergers, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. https://aspergersgirls.wordpress.com

Day 82: Blister Sister (Part One)

Blister Sister: Part One

On a Monday just past four in the afternoon, Mother, dressed in her secondhand dress and faux-leather heels, drove a little faster than normal—which was still relatively slow.  I was seated in the front seat of Ben’s battered sedan.  Every few minutes a piercing pain drove up my left side causing me to let out a muffled moan, which gave Mother a reason to pat her hand on my shoulder and offer out a sympathetic smile.

This was an unusual ride, given the fact I was headed for the hospital, and Mother’s live in lover, Ben, who was habitually attached to the front seat, was dutifully sulking in the back.  I was so accustomed to seeing Ben’s broad back hunched over in the front that upon spotting him there, behind me, sprawled out in excess of half the seat with his socked feet propped up on Mother’s weather-beaten briefcase, I swore to myself I was dreaming.  But if I was dreaming I thought, then surely when I had shut my eyes and then peered out again, Ben would have vanished…

This story can be found in the book Everyday Aspergers

 

© Everyday Aspergers, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. https://aspergersgirls.wordpress.com