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I mentioned, in an earlier blog, that I am spending a lot of time remembering my childhood.  There are a number of reasons for it:  It is a part of what I am today; I am looking for connections between that horrific period and the kind of person I am, to determine if I deserved it (does anyone deserve the “hand they’re dealt”?); and, the ultimate answer to the question “why?” 


My father was a horrible son-of-a-bitch (pardon my language).  It seemed he hated the world and everything in it, so when anything got in his way, he beat it.  What usually got in his way was his wife and kids.  I don’t know if he wanted a wife, but he, certainly, didn’t want kids.  I remember, when I must have been about three and a half years old, he was drunk and, in a rage (over something, probably, insignificant) and he picked up a 4″ x 4″ and struck me in the head with it.  That wasn’t enough, before I could turn to see if he was going to do it again, he did it again (much like a baseball player would swing for a homerun)!  He had, already, beaten me and the rest of my body was in terrible pain, but the pain caused by those blows to my skull, as you can imagine, surpassed any other.  My parents couldn’t take me to a hospital, of course, because my father would have been arrested.  He wouldn’t allow that!  He was extremely controlling of everything in his world, including my mother, who wanted to help me.

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I was left to heal, pretty much, on my own.  I’m still putting the pieces together (remembering), but that might have been the time my mother laid me somewhere (in my bed?) as if she was placing me in a coffin.  She had written me off as dead or dying and had no way to get help for me… there was no way around the devil, himself.  After what seemed, to me, like maybe days, I moved an arm or leg and gave her hope I could survive. 


It was a very slow and painful recovery process.  When I was about 95% healed, he was agitated about something (like he couldn’t find his car keys) and directed an angry comment at me.  I had nothing to do with the cause of his anger (except existing, maybe), but replied, “Are you going to hurt me again?  Because, if you are, I want to get a helmet.”  He and my mother both knew why I said that.  My mother touched my head and I snapped, “Don’t touch that!  It still hurts!”  I saw, in my father’s eyes, the despair that he had actually picked up a piece of lumber and hit a child with it, but, I think it, quickly, gave way to recognizing that, at the time, it felt good to him and (in his mind) necessary.  They both wondered where I heard the word “helmet”. 

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While I was explaining to my mother why I needed a helmet and while my father looked for his keys (or whatever), I said “…When I saw God, He was not happy!!”  Both their mouths dropped open and my father collected himself enough to say, “You saw God?”  I shuttered at the thought of telling a man, who had no worries or cares about God existing, that there was a God, but I also recognized the fear he (suddenly) had that there might be One.  So, I said, “yes”.  They asked me to explain exactly what happened, what I saw, what God said.  I told them, in whatever words were available to an almost-four year old (however, smart) child.  I told them that I was in such terrible pain that I couldn’t stand it anymore… then, everything “went gone”.  Gone?  “Like in a [dark] closet.”.  When they asked where I had heard the word “helmet”, I said “Um, God, I guess.”      


My father’s fear of God wore off all too quickly, but it may have left a mark.  About a year later, my mother sat me down and said she wanted to ask me something.  I think she was fearing for all our lives and didn’t know what to do.  (No matter what she tried to do, he made it clear — I assume — that he would “get to” her and us.)  I guess she had nothing to lose by asking an almost-five year old.  She said I seemed to have wisdom beyond my years, so she was posing the question “What does someone do when they are filled with such fear, despair, and hopelessness, and there’s no where to turn, nothing she can do – there doesn’t seem to be any solution?”


I thought, briefly, and then said, “Well, can I tell you what God said?”  She, probably, skipped a breath and gripped her chair, but said “yes”.  I said, “Well, I’ve seen God five times now”… forgetting, in the moment, that that was my secret ~~oops!~~ …”and, the last time, I was in such pain.  I mean, I hurt sooo bad, I didn’t want to come back.  I didn’t want to hurt anymore, but there seems to be no stop here.  God was making me come back, though.  So, I looked at Him and I said, ‘Why can’t you stop it?  And why do I have to go back?’  He said, ‘[my name], the stars will not fall from the sky.”


That said to me that no matter what I was feeling, or feared, no matter what I suffered, no matter how hopeless some things seem,,God had a plan and he would accomplish it, there would be peace on Earth and no suffering.  It left me with No Doubt.  

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