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So This Is What 50 Look Like

So this is what 50 looks like after wandering around this wicked world. I remember the birthdays that made me think back about how I wanted my life to turn out. I thought about what I wanted to do with my life. After 50 years I've done everything my narrow mind envisioned as a teenager. Peering through the window of my childhood, I had no wisdom about anything. I had much knowledge about the people and things I observed for those fifty years. Everything I saw needed answers I didn't have, but will and did end up in a poems or articles I write.

I meditated on past experiences. Recollecting how alone I was in life, I wondered about my future. I reflected on the misunderstandings I've always had with others and still have till this day. Through eyes of a babe I watched the years pass, talking to myself, imaging I had a conversation with the Almighty above.

I know now this wasn't the case. I talked with imaginary friends as a child, who became my late-night companions, as my siblings and parents sleep soundly. I sat up late at night watching my sisters sleep while the crescent moon passed my windowsill, before falling asleep myself.

I thought about the confused years growing up. Turning thirteen was an eye-opener. I became an adolescence and still wondered why I had no boobs, not even a bud. My sisters did and I'm older than all of them. I wondered why Bloody Mary (BM) wouldn't come for me at 10, like it did for my sisters. I suppose something was wrong with me. On my sweet sixteen, I realized the wait wasn't so bad after all.

Turning eighteen wasn't so grand. It was just another year, another number, another day in my growing up which to me seem like life stood still in my childhood living with 5 younger sisters and 2 younger brothers. I remember it was the year my mommy realize I didn't stand up properly. She set an appointment with a specialist who diagnosis it as scoliosis. By that time I was too old for a back braced and surgery wasn't an option. I have no idea why they settled for no treatment for my scoliosis. It just wasn't a viable thing to do I suppose. If we weren't so dirt poor, lacking health insurance or some community help, I may have gotten therapy or something, but that wasn't the case. So I'm fixated with this deeply curved spine causing me much anguish. This injured neck wrecked with arthritis and pain for years. I whine not. It's just a fact of my life.

So, I grew underdeveloped with a small head and neck, undeveloped gum lines, left to my mental state to live my life as best I could. I got my work in school and graduated in the top of my class with a high school diploma. My first adult responsibility was when I voted for Jimmy Carter in high school during our school political event. I registered to vote at eighteen while still in twelfth grade for Jimmy Carter. As we all know Carter lost to Reagan in my twelfth year of high school.

At the present, I'm disabled running from a wheelchair. I'm determine this unknown condition won't catch me waiting for (death), but moving on with life. I'm doing all the things I didn't get to do in my twenties, thirties and part my forties while I raise my family and cared for my husband and home. I am as capable as life would allow me at this point mostly from my bed taking classes online. I sols "Avon with much passion". I started my own company, "Gifts and Florist", out of my home. I sold home and garden products to friends. I sold, sold, sold, whatever I suspect people would want in their daily lives.

At age twenty I move to Pennsylvania to a little town called New Cumberland, fifteen minutes from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I turned twenty-one a few months later while living there. It was the most memorable year for me. I was away from home for the first time in 20 years of living. I lived 15 minutes from a big city called Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It was the biggest scariest city for me. It was a surreal awareness of life I never before experience. Crime became a known that ended my innocence. A crime free country girl living in the South.

One day I visited with my friend's friends in Harrisburg and the guy of the house told me never sit in front of the window, but on the floor. He told me scary stories about daily life in this big city. I saw news reports about kids being poisoned and fed razor blades for Halloween. This was unheard of where I came from in the Carolinas. One day I saw an older lady sitting on her porch while a small boy, her grandson, played in the yard and a young girl, supposedly his mother, raking the leaves in the from yard, by the road on my way to church one Sunday. By the next weekend the news reported the older lady caught a stray bullet from a drive-by. I was heart struck at how fast terrible things happened in Harrisburg, 50 years ago. New Cumberland was quiet and peaceful and I wanted to stay near the base. But my friends and parents had other ideas.

I spent a year as a live-in babysitter on New Cumberland Army Base with my friend, her husband, and their three kids (two boys one girl). I also babysat a beautiful little girl for 50 dollars a week. This was my first real job. It made me feel good. I felt all grown up, but still as an adolescent learning new things. That was more money than I knew what to do with. I hid it in a can in my closet for keepsakes. I gained friends I'll always cherish. I met a young girl that played hockey for army and traveled to other countries like Japan.

I met a nice young man on my 21st birthday at a club called Strawberry Lounge in Harrisburg. I'll never forget him. He was sweet, but I was so scared and about life and men. I suppose I wasn't ready to date yet. Staying a virgin was all I knew and where I wanted to be. We talked a long time at a corner table by a window near the door. It felt safe with him, but a part of me stayed guarded as I couldn't drink the "coke in the glass" he bought for me. My friend's brother took me there for my 21st birthday. He became disappointed because I followed him around and caused him to lose out on a suspected dated he had in his sight. Clueless, I did not know. So my friend's husband took me back the next weekend and that's when I met this nice young man who bought me the glass of Coke. I was too afraid to drink it because my dad warned me never put your drink down and drink it later, men would drug your drink and rape you. If it doesn't have a sealed cap on it or I set it down for even a moment I still, to this day, will not drink.

I turned twenty one that year-1981. Life was young and fun, but I was as shy and scared as a groundhog poking its head out seeing all those people and lights. A move back to Carolina to my parents was a sad day, indeed. I was twenty one and wanted to stay in New Cumberland and try to make it on my own away from the South where the buddy system ruled and only a certain class of people and families are allowed to make money or given opportunities. I never got the opportunity live my life as an independent working woman. Still, to this day, I can't find a job anywhere in my preferred program in the piles of jobs sitting around Carolina for the asking and taking for those accepted by the buddy system which excludes me.

I like the idea of bearing gifts. I gave gifts to my military-based family and their children, who was very young at the time. I gave gifts to the friends who took me there. I gave gifts to friends I made before leaving. I also brought gifts home to my family as souvenirs of my stay in New Cumberland Pennsylvania. I went back home to Carolina with a long nasty pout. I wanted to make a life for myself in New Cumberland somewhere. They weren't hearing it.

Had I had wisdom and not been such as child, I would have taken all my money from that can in my closet and saved it. I would have caught the greyhound bus back, but that would have been too much. I had no one to ride back to help me. All my friends were military and were being deported somewhere else.

After walking around life with no purpose in life, no job to take me serious, I decided to go back to school in 1982. Morris College looked like a good place to start and get a degree in Business Administration. In my Freshman year, second semester, my life changed drastically. I became with child by a devious Air Force man at aged 25. Tricked and seduced I was swept off my feet literally in front of laughing men on the base. I was humiliated and paralyzed with shock for hours. I thought I was going for a ride with a nice young shy man. But ended up on the base. Had I wished it my three girlfriends on campus would had taught him a lesson he'd never forget. He choose the rest of life so I tried to make sense of it and live it. Then he married another before I could wrap my head around a shock wave of experiences that came like tsunami.

"A baby in tow" is not what I wanted. The rest of my life caring for a sick child on my own was my way of life as I begun to grow up. Only God carried me through the rough patches while families sat back thinking I got this, thinking I didn't need them there. I was forced to grow up leaving innocence behind for the first time in all my years of life.

The Ronald McDonald House (RMH) was being built Columbia, South Carolina. Ronald McDonald House was my home away from home for years. It's where I lived the first years of my sickly baby boy's life. His daddy never came to be with us. He never came to help me through the pressure. He denied Red Cross and stayed in Germany until it was almost over and my baby boy was four just to say, I'm getting married in three days to another. That was the biggest tsunami to hit me ever. I swam my way up the river of life and kept moving forward caring for my child without his dad in his life.

Somewhere in those 25 years my boobs grew, my bloom of youth blossomed, then wilted before I knew it. Seems my adolescence years lasted well past my nineteenth birthday. I did wondered what sex was like, but never wanted to experience from a man at that time. I wanted to be married first. A scared little virgin deflowered at age 25 was all I knew. I was overwhelmed with embarrassment. I hid from my baby's daddy for two months then the test came back positive, I was with child. I was emotionally hurt as my first-time was not the way I wanted it. I didn't have control over my precious flower because some man saw the need to put a notch with my name on it in his belt or a puffed up chest.

To me a baby meant marriage. No one can raise a healthy bouncy bundle of joy all alone. I thought the man of my dreams would sweep me off my feet like in romance novels, not a sex, lust, and lies story for Air Force buddies to talk about. The only thing that got swept was my bloom of youth being flushed away in an Air Force soldier's dorm room. Being swept through the corridors by a young soldier determining to score with a sweet young thing like me was not a romance story I wanted to write. I wanted to disappear inside myself as if this thing was not happening. I'm not the type to fall in love at first sight, so I thought getting to know him would be good and getting the love of my life would be found in him. All I got was a baby in tow and a slap in the face. I survived the tsunami.

The pain and tears soaked my wet, soggy face. Tears dripped down my chin and pooled inside my fresh breasts. He never saw my tears or heard my cries. I made sure of it. I laid on my bed at the Ronald McDonald House listening to Dolly Parton "I'll Will Always Love You" while my baby boy lay in intensive care after having two surgeons cut away bad spots on his bladder and scarred tissues from his intestines for 9 1/2 hours. Making him an anus that never developed.

After the long wait by myself someone finally came to tell me what was going on and that it would be just a little longer before the surgeries would be over. After it was all over, I couldn't see him so I dragged my lifeless body from the hospital to the RMH across the parking lot as he recovered in ICU. He is now the age I was when I lived through those years of hard times all alone with God as my helper.

I decided to marry at the age of 30 and give him and my two baby girls a daddy in the home. During the rough times I gave birth two lovely girls while my internal clock was ticking and the hour glass was running out of sand, at least I thought it was. I was a single mother and wanted my kids to be raised with a father in the house. I refused to live as a common law bride. At 30 I put my last 30 memorable year of childhood years, preteen years, and adolescence thoughts, and growing pains carefully wrapped in silk of innocence. A keepsakes box in the cabin of my heart.

I took his hand in marriage then my life immediately became lost in a jungle of trials and tribulations that befalls all marriages. I lived no longer for me, but for my husband and children. It was okay for a moment in time because it was what I wanted in my narrowed minded world. To be a good wife, loving mother, and home specialist. It took two weeks to realize that there was no happiness in marriage just distrust and accusations.

Birthing my fourth child in a honorable relationship was a blessing a fruit of my womb and his lion handed to us by God himself. The next 22 years proved harder than I expected. The first 10 years went quickly in a downhill spiral. Separated with 4 adult children, 5 grandchildren, a college degree after 6 hard years. Hitting the pavement in my '06 Chevy Aveo doing whatever came to my mind.

Now my Chevy Aveo sits under a tree. I'm looking to get another ride to carry me off. To take me away. I've reinvented myself for the good, but still it's the old me they want to hold on to, that useless, worthless me, incapable of helping other like I want to. I only wanted to feel important. Is that too much to ask? Impossible? I'll live my life without them. I'll become a writer telling my story.

Well, what will I do with my next 50 years? I graduated college May 2013. I've been approved for disability, and work as a part-time Certified Merchandiser or secret shopper. I'm a writer/poet and love to write

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