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   I have always been the youngest everywhere I went, I am the youngest of five. So still in my head I am thirty when I just turned fifty-five years old. Where has all the time gone? I am a very private person, it's hard to share any of my story because I never want to hurt anyone. But I know its times to share some even if I do it without sharing my name. It's still my story.

 My mother was a very hard worker, she never shied away from work. As she grew up during the depression. She was the only girl with four other brothers. She had to learn to stand on her own. I believe my mom always did the best she could with what she had and what she learned. she had no choices but, to work hard, my mom would be part of the working poor. Just enough and sometimes not enough.

My mom wasn't treated well by her brothers, one of them would abuse her in secret, those were things you didn't talk about during that time in history. You learned to stuff secrets in the closet. Her dad came back from War pretty messed up. My Nonna tried really hard to hold everything together, sometimes you just didn't talk, you just learned to endure. I tried asking my mom about her life and what she would tell me was horrible I knew it was even worse than she would say. Some of her pain went with her when she went home to be with the Lord.

My mom was hardheaded like her mom, A trait you learn when you have to take care of yourself. She would marry young. He was such a good-looking man that his eyes wandered while she would be home taking care of four children. Thirteen years would go by, and my mom would have another child but wasn't with her husband. I would be that oopsy child. My older sisters would take care of me. I was like a babydoll that they could playhouse with.

But the love that I remember the most was that of my Nonna. I knew she loved me; I knew I wasn't a burden to her or an embarrassment to her. She treated me special.  My birth was my Nonna's blessing. There was no shame attached to her love for me, when she looked into my eyes, to my Nonna I was love and to my mom I was heartache. She saw me as a failed relationship and a story that she would have rather kept secret. I don't fault her for that, as we all have our stories.

My pain that I carried came out in how I treated my brothers and sisters. I was thirteen years younger than they were. I always sense they didn't like me,.So I would act out towards them. I may not have known the whole story yet but, I did know I was different. Maybe they blamed me? Whatever it was I always felt unloved until my Nonna would walk into the room.

We shared a house, there were two sides to the house and my mom and brothers and sisters lived on one side and my Nonna and I lived on the other. My Nonna made me feel special. My Nonna would feed me and wash my feet every night before I went to bed. She told me I was what kept her going. Her kindness filled my heart. She was something really special to me. You know when you walk into a room and at that moment you knew you were wanted and love would fill the air? that is how my Nonna made me feel, she said she felt the same way about me. My mom tried to give me away, I understand that as an adult, but, as a child I could sense that, and it made me feel unwanted. When I was in the arms of my Nonna I knew what home felt like and what love was. She told me I was special. I was here for a purpose. The purpose may have been to comfort her, I am okay with that. She kept me so my mom could go to work and provide for my brothers and sister.

On Saturday my Nonna would take me to the catholic church. We would go early so my Nonna could pray the rosary. Then On Sunday we went to a church that the pastor was black, and his wife was white. I liked that church and I tried really hard to be good because the pastor told me, we were birds of a feather that flocked together. I found out later this was a "spiritual church" where the people wanted to serve Jesus and wanted to live their lives knowing Jesus lived in their hearts. I remember when I was little, I went to visit a little girl that lived down our road. She was really sick; I would tell her about school. One day I found out she died and left me her yellow banana bike. I can't remember her name today, but her mom told me she wanted me to have her bike. Maybe she knew something like the pastor about me, that we flocked together.

When my brother and sisters grew up and left my mom's house to start families of their own. My mom sold her house and bought a new one so my Nonna and me could move in with her. It was really nice, I still lived on the side of the house where Nonna lived. but I did get to see my mom more often. I think I was being prepared for a sad day. My Nonna was rushed to the hospital when I was around ten years old. When she was in the hospital, she died of a stroke. My little ten-year-old mind was confused because who was going to love me like my Nonna? Who was going to take care of me, who would tuck me into bed and wash my feet? Who was going to tell me I was special? I didn't understand Why she was taken from me. I had to move into my mom's side of the house and one of my sisters moved into the part of the house that my Nonna and I lived before she went away from me.

I was left alone a lot after my Nonna died. My mom had to work. Nobody was around to take care of me. I began playing down the street with the big boys, they kept teasing me and then asking me to do stuff to them. I didn't want to at first but, they would tell me I was cute and that they really like me. I was so much wanted to be loved so I did what they asked me to do. It didn't feel like Nonna's kind of love. I would learn that it wasn't Nonna's love as they tossed me aside. I hid this secret for a long time. I was so ashamed, I just wanted love and my Nonna back. I had a girlfriend that I started hanging out with her and her family. They let me stay there a lot. I think I was there more than at home after my Nonna died.

My life would never be the same. My mom got a new boyfriend. I DIDNT like him at all. I am also sure he probably didn't like me either but, we were stuck with each other. As he became my new babysitter. I did like that I got to go on the road with him sometimes.

It's funny how one chain of events changes the course of your life. One moment brings another moment that you weren't expecting. You have to live with the new normal and sometimes you don't like the new normal but, your forced to except them. I would spend the rest of my life trying to find that love that my Nonna gave to me freely until I met Jesus. I became a Christian and found the love in him that I had been searching for since the death of my Nonna. I wish I could say, it's been perfect, and I have done everything right, but like most of us I get weary and fall away only to come back and see he has never left his spot. I know I am only passing through and one day I will see my Nonna again and feel her love as we both are wrapped into the arms of the only true love. I will never again have to search I would have found it.


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Thank you for sharing your story !!! Just remember God will always love you 💙


Your story encouraged me that, as a Nonna, I can make a difference in my grandchildren’s lives. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

Rebecca Zilliox

I want to tell you how proud I am of you, sharing our stories is sometimes hard. We care so much about what others will say or telling the truth which could hurt someone. But, telling our stories heals our souls!! I am so proud of you and love you always


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