Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Born into LOVE

remember those that.." loved us into being".

Psalm 139

 A quote from Mr. Rogers in a remake of his life in a 2019 movie, starring Tom Hanks. I have not seen it yet, but an interview with the actor included a scene with this statement by Rogers. There I sat, stunned by the thought that my parents wanted me. My father was so disappointed by me not being a BOY. I heard this in his voice, over and over, as he so admired all the nephews. My name was to be "Lance". My mother endured many arguments with her mother in law and my dad over circumcision or not. Dad was vehement about it. No one was going to call him "unclean", nor would his son be. He would NOT be cut. Mom confided in me, at age 35, that she was so stressed, she considered ending her life over it. I know now of my father's deep prejudice of the Jewish people and this was also in his strong feelings about it. So my mother, not the mothering type, has four girls, in hopes of having a boy for my father.

  I went to my old photos and found two pictures. and I looked at them closely. I had not really seen them. Here was my father proudly holds up his firstborn daughter. Out of his own life of brokenness, addiction, family neglect, and being at his father's side during a fatal logging accident, my father kept on living. My mother's own upbringing in a southern Idaho religious cult, after sexual abuse by the founder and eventual exile by her own family, met my father and was willing to start a family. What follows my birth is more trauma for my whole family. Drinking leads to domestic violence, child abuse, and neglect.

Therefore, I have spent most of my adult life on a psychological roller coaster. In therapy since college. Literally in a bi-polar adult lifestyle, emotionally up and down, now understood as both genetic and caused by childhood trauma creating my PTSD. There was little room in my mind to establish much self-esteem. At my core was the belief I was not good enough for my dad.  My journey has been about finding my "wholeness" and my true Father. I was baptized and confirmed while taking religious studies at the university. My dad, when asked, came to my baptism, the only family member to do so. I so wanted Him to accept me. I can now see the relationship with my own father and my concept of my Creator was the same. If I was not good enough to be loved it was better to not believe in a Holy Father at all for I would never be worthy. So I explored other practices, Zen, Buddhism, Taoism, and more. Looking for a way of life I could be proud of myself for living.

It is now clear to me, in these photos, that my parents loved me into being. With every bit of heart, mind, soul, and strength they left their pasts behind and went on with life and I am here as living proof of this hope for their futures. Just as God loved us all into being and sent his Son, Jesus to show us how to be fully human, to love, with all of our traumas and weaknesses. My parents both chose to go on with living, to pursue some normalcy, happiness, and hope for the best. I was taught how to be a survivor, to endure another day. Because of this endurance, my mother would hold a factory job for 11 years with weekly rotating shifts. The only job that paid a woman union-wage so a single mother could raise four children and stay off welfare. We had to look on a calendar to find out if our mother was home, sleeping or working. We were called " latch key'' kids. My father barely kept a job after mom divorced him twice and injured himself falling two stories off a scaffold at work after showing up hungover. He even survived a suicide attempt at 55, to become sober for the first time during the last two years of his life. He had been drinking since his week-long binge, after watching his father die in his arms, nearly cut in half from a logging accident on the Oregon coast. He was 17.

My father taught me loyalty to family, tradition, Norwegian pride, the pride of one's craft, and the gift of gab. He was also a very affectionate man. My mother taught me commitment, respect, and gentleness to all living things, and not to fear independence.

 My parents' lives have given me faith in God. I can see God's grace. We CAN love, bring joy, give, and receive forgiveness. Carl "Windy" [story teller}and Alberta "Bert", thank you for being my parents, your firstborn "Judy Lynn".

                                                                             Joy and blessings.

from my dear friend, Lindsay

1 comment:

DixieBelle said...

I have thought so much about what you shared with me on our very first visit....Want what you have.If we could be taught that at a young age think of all the extra love we would have to share in our lifetime.Knowing without a doubt that you are loved into being would alleviate so much sorrow,pain,insecurity and just waste of time.I'm so happy to have you in my world.