Biographical Non-Fiction posted June 27, 2010

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Not all who wander are lost -- J.R.R. Tolkien

My Scrapbook - Rebirth

by Sasha

Scrapbooking Without Glue Contest Winner 

 "Sasha, promise me you will write your story for others to read".
Looking back, I now realize she knew her time with me was nearing the end.  Her question was one I had grown tired of and my answer was always the same, "No, Mom, the truth is too ugly and is something I prefer to forget."
I can still remember her smile and those awesome, piercing, blue eyes staring at me as she sat forward and took hold of my hand.  "You have always lived your life like a leaf on the wind, floating from day to day with no real plan or purpose."  She paused just long enough to wipe a tear streaming down her cheek.  "Please, do it for me.  Write your story, put an end to the past, and start living your life."
My mother died in my arms two hours later.  Her head resting in my lap, I gently brushed that annoying wisp of silver-white hair from her forehead, kissed her cheek, and with tears in my eyes, I finally agreed.  "Okay, Mom, I promise."
She was right.  It was time to put the past to rest.  Over the next eighteen-months I worked twelve-hours-a-day writing "A Leaf on the Wind", my autobiography.
When my mother and I moved to Mazatlan, we brought all the family photographs, childhood drawings, birthday cards, and mementos that sat for years in a large wooden box gathering dust on the top shelf in her bedroom closet.  The contents of that box contained the only evidence I had of a family that had rejected me. 
A few weeks after my mother's death, I retrieved the box from the shelf and with trembling hands, opened it.  For a brief moment, I thought about putting together a photograph album or scrapbook.  However, looking at the pictures filled me with so much anger and rage, I quickly changed my mind.  I removed a few photographs of my mother, myself, and my grandparents, then resealed the box and placed it back on the shelf in the kitchen where it has remained, untouched for four years.
Raped by my father when I was seven-years-old, I spent every moment of the next fifty-five-years searching for justice and compassion from the people who knew the truth but chose to deny it by calling me a liar.  I realize now, that Sasha died when she was seven.  She stopped growing emotionally, becoming an empty shell floating from day to day with no purpose or meaning to her life.  Unable to feel or express love, she foolishly tried to fill the giant hole in her chest by seeking love and approval from the very people who turned a blind eye and stood by silently watching as she descended into a world of sadness, confusion, psychosis, numerous attempts at suicide, alcoholism, promiscuity, and drug addiction. As I said earlier, my box of memories still sits unopened, on the shelf in my kitchen.  Tell me, who in their right mind would want to keep a scrapbook of Hell?
I did finally
put together a scrapbook of my life, but it does not start with my birth on December 23, 1945.  It begins with my rebirth on May 30, 2006, the day my mother died. On page one is a pretty nifty facsimile of my new birth certificate, gold seal with a fake notary stamp and all.  On page two is a painting of my mother done from a photograph taken of her the day before she died.  Below it, I have written a poem.
You were my enemy when I needed a friend
You were my adversary when I needed support
You were my mother in name alone
I was the dandelion in your garden of roses but,
You saw me as the the thorn on the stem you refused to touch
I was the one flower you could never pick
You never said you loved me
Your silence spoke volumes
When I told you I loved you
You pretended not to hear
Surrounded by family
I was always alone
Although I knocked on the door
You refused to let me in
When you became ill, it broke my heart
I held your hand and wiped your brow
Unable to speak, your eyes said thank you
You were my enemy but became my friend
You were my adversary but became my rock
You were once just a name but became my mother
In the end, you made it all worthwhile
You took my hand in yours and told me you loved me
Hearing those words brought tears to my eyes
You laid your head in my lap
And with a smile on your face you left this world
Leaving me alone with a broken heart and so many regrets
I seldom give thought to those first sixty years
I think of you daily with smiles and occasional tears
I speak from my heart when I say you
were the best mother in those ph so special last three years

I find it inspiring to know that despite spending an entire lifetime as my archenemy, my mother became my best friend and is now my guardian angel.
My scrapbook continues to grow with each passing day.  I have filled it with dozens of paintings and stories of my life here in Mazatlan and the wonderful friends I have made in a country thousands of miles from the memories of a past I have chosen to forget. 

I may be blind in one eye, have a doctor who attributes my ailments to old age, fall down occasionally, and walk like a duck. But believe me when I tell you, I am, and always will be, a child at heart and am finally able to enjoy the beauty and joy that surrounds me every minute of every day. I am truly happy, what more could I possibly ask for?

Scrapbooking Without Glue
Contest Winner


Since moving to Mazatlan I truly believe I have been reborn. The life I live is filled with happiness, adventure, and beauty beyond adequate description. My home is my scrapbook. All my paintings are hung on the walls, my favorite writings are in a book on my coffee table. I wake each morning with a smile on my face eager to discover what life has in store for me today. The illustration I used for this is the painting I did of my mother from a photograph taken the day before she died.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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