Monday, August 4, 2014
It was the summer before my thirteenth birthday. I cringe at the memory. Inside my head I am embarrassed to even think about it. But today I am reminded.
It was 1968. Born to Be Wild was a hit that year. As were other great (not!) songs like 'Yummy, Yummy'. Chambers Brothers 'Time' was popular as well. People Get Ready was on that same LP. Wish I had understood that song then. Inagattadivita. ( Is that even a word?) was popular that year. And Christian Rock and Roll legand Larry Norman was with a band named People and sang 'I love you.'
I had finished my first year of public school. Finally after seven years of Catholic School my mother had relented and enrolled my in eighth grade. That summer having always been around the friends of my older brother and sister I found myself experiencing my first 'date' and then my first 'boyfriend'. It wasn’t really a 'date' because as I understand it now it was sick. He was 19. That was a one night carnival gig. I let him kiss him. (Yuck) Shortly after I found myself with his younger brother. A mere 17 year old. We rode around for aimless hours in his car. He removed the center console so I could sit by his side. Born to Be Wild was his favorite song. We went to bars. Yes. I was served beer in these bars. Yes. I was 12. I smoked about a pack of Marlboros a day. All the while I thought I was a good girl because I was a virgin and I was not using drugs.
I was well acquainted with the drug culture at that time. There was always someone around me sniffing glue, smoking pot or hash. LSD, mescaline, and speed were around. As well as heroine. I told myself I would be a 'good girl' because I did not want to hurt my mother. Honest...I thought I was good. I continued to date older guys for a while. It is a wonder I did not get into some really big trouble.
My father left when I was four. My mom worked six days a week. She loved me I am sure. If she were alive today I would not write this. I still would not want to hurt my mother.
All this is just a brief history to get to today. Today. Those years that the locusts have eaten have been redeemed. The curse has been broken and I am free from that ugly part of my past. Today I sat in the front row of church and cried as I watched my oldest grandchild
Katie has been raised in a intact family. Her parents love each other and they love her. My daughter has managed to work hours that allow her or my son in law to be home most of the time. Katie is bright and confident. She is also kind hearted and sweet spirited. She is not sheltered but she is protected. As I listen to her sing and play her guitar I wish that I had come into a relationship with Jesus early and spared myself these embarrassing memories. But I also consider the love of my Daddy God who reminds me "You have done some things right." My children never had to know the pain of divorce. They never had to fill a Daddy void because they had a Daddy to tell them they were good enough, smart enough and pretty enough. While far from perfect I am mother to three awesome women who love and serve God. Somehow in spite of me, God allowed me to be part of His plan for my family. The yesterdays are now redeemed by the todays. I no longer have to be ashamed. I am part of the story of Katie standing in front of the church and leading God's children into worship. Leading me into worship. Tears freely flowing. Knowing the love of my Daddy. Redeeming the years.