Of Heart Attacks, Youth Conferences and Weather Vanes …

The raw statement my mother launched at my brother during their heated argument shook me. That night I dreamed of my father. He had


Of Softball, Vacation, and East Carolina University

My brother also liked to play sports. He played on the school softball team.

At the outset of summer when the school year ended, his enthusiasm for playing softball extended to the desire to attend a camp at East Carolina State University. The camp lasted two weeks and several boys from his baseball team would be going.

On telling my mother he wanted to go,


Of My Brother, Old Williamsburg, and “TV Guides” …

The day my brother died was a hot July 3rd in 1976, approximately one month shy of the year and a half that had passed since when my father had died of a heart attack.

It would be our first and only trip as what remained of our family, me, my brother and our mother. We had never taken a trip with our father. It is hard as a farmer to go away. Land, crops and livestock need continuous tending.

My mother, brother and I


Of SUV’s, Omnipotence and Depression …

Something shifted inside me the day of the car accident, when the driver of the Jeep SUV slammed into the back of my SUV. Being hit from behind unearthed, exhumed all my fears of being caught off guard, being ambushed.

That’s what it felt like each time my mother criticized me and/or as a result of the anger and rage she experienced either in response to me and my actions of events out in the world, physically punished me.

As a child you believe that your


Of Rage, Addiction and Fears Made Manifest …

My mother was addicted to rage. I could not see that as a child. Only now at fifty-three, am I truly able to step back and grasp a sense of the fear that dwelled within her.

Nothing but intense, immutable and raw fear can provoke such undeniable and untenable rage as that which overtook my mother usurped any possibility of experiencing safety and grounding through life and in the world.

Too many times I saw that rage directed at me, felt the heat of its


Of Suffering, Deprivation, and Irish Twins …

It is often said that out of great suffering and deprivation comes not only bitterness and resentment, but at many times strength and resilience.

My mother was one of six children to whom my maternal grandmother gave birth and who survived. She delivered a total of


Of Grandmothers, Masks, and Psychic Abilities…

My mother’s mother, my maternal grandmother, told me she had been born within a veil. In other words, she was born with a caul, or mask formed by the amniotic fluid, covering her face.

Tradition in the southern United States,


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