An emotional day for me. It did get off to a good start with a bit of playtime on the computer. I found out about this. It sounds like something I would love to do-a weekend of workshops, meeting art friends. (plus yoga and dancing and shopping) What more could a girl ask for? Really.

We got a treadmill yesterday, something I have wanted for at least a year now. It actually didn't work...my hubby took it back and exchanged for a different one this morning. He assembled it while Olivia and I went to see my grandmother, Ida Belle Lily Esther Peters Gillispie. She is sick, "real bad off" as my aunts say. She knew me this time which was a blessing and when I wheeled her to the bathroom she pulled me close to her and just held me and said, "Tricia, I love you." Now I can count on my hands how many times she has hugged me and said those words. She was raised hard and poor and never knew love herself. Her own father would get drunk from the moonshine he would make and he would shoot at her mother and her siblings as they would run and hide from him in the cornfields. One day her oldest brother shot and killed her father after he had beaten their mother. Ida saw this happen. After he killed his father the brother (I think his name was Russell) ran and was actually killed himself that night. He was my grandmother's favorite brother. I know he had been gambling, cards, I think. So Ida Belle had a rough upbringing. All of the stories she tells me are like this. Sad, full of woe.

Most of the grandkids, and there are twentyeight of us, don't visit her, even now. I have forgiven her long ago. She was a mean grandmother to us small children. She whipped us daily with switches and told us "you'll burn in hell for that" when we did the slightest thing wrong. We weren't allowed to touch anything in the house or else we would get the switch...

My thinking and how I came to forgive her is---how could she give love when she had never been given any herself?

I was grateful when my mom and dad divorced when I was 11 and we moved away from the place I grew up. Only a few miles away but it was enough.

Ida Belle changed too. She has mellowed over time. Over the last eight years or so we have gotten pretty close. She is teaching me to embroider when her arthritis allows though I am not a very good student.

So hard to write about that time of my life...and I am not sure why all of that came spilling out but I will leave it. A part of me begs to push the delete button but I will leave it. It is a part of me and I accept it.

When I got back from the visit with Ida Belle I had a headache but I walked on the treadmill anyway and that felt so good. Scary too in a way because having the treadmill means having no excuses about losing weight. It is time to actually make it happen. I think I am ready.

Kelly played board games with Olivia tonight while I had an hour to myself. I played with transparencies I printed out. "Wednesday's Child." "Friday's Child." I started with a 5 x 7 piece of watercolor paper. I burned the edges of the transparency. Did some stitching. Pulled out some fabric scraps. I wish I had more time to play but exhaustion has just set in. Time for bed. Sweet dreams everyone. :)


ArtsyMama said...

Oh my, dear. What a day. What a story. I don't even know what to say.

On a lighter note, I hope you go to JustBe...I'll be teaching 3 classes! YAY! Hope to meet you:)

A bird in the hand said...

Dear Trisha, I heard echoes of my own story (I was happy when my parents divorce when I was 11. Too much violence.) We overcome, get stronger, we have to.

I'm so happy the quiltie you won reached you safely and that you like it so much.

Loretta said...

The story of your Ida Belle is so very sad. I don't know what to say either. I don't have sad stories in my life, although I was born on a Wednesday, and should be full of woe according to that strange poem. I love the picture of the girl on this post, and of the boy. I really like all your artwork. It strikes me. I'm glad I found your blog. It's made my day!