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r l h n

when you left us the days became  less bright

the deficit your death created is irreparable 

who could have ever been ready for you to go


i love you

donna marie


knit together

My sisters mean everything to me. We grew up in a close knit family and I am so very grateful for this. Even though my father was an alcoholic and my parents divorced when I was seven, the four of us sisters have always been close. My youngest sister, Sonya and I would make our room an entire town for our barbies. We would play barbies for hours and not even realize how long we were there. It makes me smile just thinking about it. I remember how my oldest sister, Johnna had this hysterical way to entertain me when I was young. She had three distinct characters she would pretend to be. She would close her eyes and do this thing that made her look like she was having a seizure. Upon opening her eyes, she would be Sylvia, Maryann, or Granny. Omgosh she was freaking hilarious!! Anytime I wanted her to “be someone else” she would go into her performance for me. Something I truly appreciated from my second oldest sister, Rhonda was how she seemed to understand my quirkiness. After the years at the “lord’s farm”, I was lost in myself and she knew how to reach out to me. I was amazed at how this spunky, no nonsense woman could hit the target when she talked to me. When she was sick and couldn’t sleep she would text to see if I was awake and we would talk at 2:00 am to help pass her time. I miss those times. For those of you who don’t know, I lost my sister Rhonda to pancreatic cancer in May of this year. Honestly, the pain is just as fresh as when she passed. I didn’t know my heart could hurt this much. One thing I’ve realized is that the pain is so much because we love her so much. It didn’t matter that growing up we bickered and argued as most siblings do; we are sisters and we love each other. That’s the way it is. We’ve all been through alot, but one thing is sure; my sisters and I will be there for each other.

Stranger in My Life

I don’t know what I’ve been thinking all this time; but it hit today as I was drying off from my shower. I am a stranger in my own life. Since I got away from “the farm”, I have not felt comfortable anywhere; not least of all my own skin. I am the odd man out wherever I go. My mind disallows me to fit in anywhere. I am not comfortable with who I am and I don’t know if I ever will be. I realize that I was already an anxiety ridden person when things began at the farm. The years there took took an impressionable young woman who had a trusting nature and turned her into a cynical person who finds it difficult to trust anyone. I truly loved my life before the farm. Did I have issues then? Of course I did; but I believe with all my heart that they were manageable issues. After years of seeking help for this disaster of a life, I have come to think that there is no help for me. Every now and then I talk with one of the survivors of the farm and they truly are the only ones who get it. Who know that they didn’t just abuse us, they re-wired us. The constant torment over many years with seclusion from the world can do quite a bit of harm to someone. I used to be so sure of what I believed. Now….I’m confused. I have a deep fear in me that doesn’t allow me to believe like I used to. My mind equates believing with pain because of the things done to me. I know logically that that sentiment is not true; but getting that to play out in my life I have found to be impossible. Completely impossible.

4 out of 5

Yesterday, I watched as my nephew married the love of his life. He is my sister Rhonda’s oldest son. Rhonda is my sister who I lost in May of this year from pancreatic cancer. As all of our family gathered to witness this beautiful occasion, the whispers of grief hung in the air. I had never witnessed such happiness and pain at the same time. When my brother-in-law placed the framed photo of my sister on the seat next to him, it was all too clear that someone was missing. I miss my sister every day, but times like these make me keenly aware of her absence. Because I have five grown children that are scattered all over the United States, it’s rare to gather them all together. At the wedding, I got four out of five! I missed not having my second son, but I was very grateful to have four of my kids here. I could feel the swell in my chest as I looked at the picture I took of them. I don’t think they realize the importance of seeing each other regularly like I do. Rhonda’s passing has made me more aware of the brevity of life. Sometimes I wonder why it always takes a tragedy in order to see things more clearly. I don’t know.


Even though my biological father was an alcoholic, I feel I can say I had a good childhood. I am grateful for the memories of growing up with three sisters. With my mom included in the census, it was five females to my one stepdad. He certainly walked in to a home oozing  with hormones!! He was a police officer and tried to rule our home with an iron fist!! He used to always say, “This is not a democracy it’s a dictatorship.” We would laugh when he said it and respond with, “No way!!”

Sometimes when it rained hard, my stepdad would gather me and my younger sister and head to the city park. When we were little, it was huge. The most fun for me was the insanely tall metal slide. When that thing was wet, we’d fly down and land in a mud puddle.

So…….. were we really tight on money always?? Yes. Did we fight and argue with one another? Yes. Could my stepdad have been less strict? Maybe. Maybe not. One thing I knew was that my stepdad stayed and always took care of us. I think all of these things add up to a family and for that I am most obliged. 🙂

Dark Night of the Soul

This is a poem written by Oswald Chambers during a particularly difficult time in his life. He called that period, “The dark night of the soul.”

My soul is night

My heart is steel

I cannot see

I cannot feel

For light, for life

I must appeal

In simple faith

To Jesus



often i think about the one i am not

she’s carefree and magical

she even twirls alot

no cares upon her back

her mind is free from dread

there’s nothing that she lacks

she’s not caught up in her head

sometimes i wish i was her

donna marie