I See A Road
Miles and Miles
Of Rhapsodic Bliss
That Indomitable Path
Of My Mind
I’m Still Hanging On
By Threads Of My Last Thoughts
I Won’t Lose To A
In A Maze Where No One Escapes
My World Of Color
Depth Is All I’ve Ever Felt
It’s The Need To Live And Astonish
Give Hope And Confidence
I Certainly Believe In You
I Try To Balance It All
With A Heaping Full Of Imagination
For I Didn’t Realize It Until Today
You Can Live in Another’s Happiness
A Scientific Mind – The Proton Storage Ring
I could feel the stars shifting and were brighter each evening. In those days I only saw a full moon. The sun was beaming brighter and I was beginning to feel a real sense of peace and accomplishment in my life. I was sure my education would take me far and I knew my real life was about to begin. I just knew that I was going to do my best to live comfortably and happy. With each passing semester I was getting closer to my goal. My sagacious focus was helping me to realize my dreams. I was now on solid ground. Well on my way to creating a better life for Aaron and I. I was convinced that I wouldn’t let Aaron down in this respect. I would now able to support both of us without a problem and I was always good with money, saving for another chapter of my life. One day I would be in a position to help my only child a son realize his dream. As I watched him grow, it became evident he was my son; he was driven like me and had the same tenacity.
Aaron was a beautiful child. I had done things I was ashamed of; I was harsh and spanked Aaron and I never should have. I now believe that spanking or hitting a child achieves nothing, except to diminish their self-confidence, self-esteem and make them feel unloved and disrespected.
Here again coming full circle in the tragedy of child abuse. Then I felt I was repeating the mistakes of past generations and I should have been so much more to my son. As Aaron grew up, he exhibited some difficulties similar to those I had experienced as a child. It was like watching him repeating me. It didn’t help when I had to change schools and move to another town at fourteen. Aaron would land up doing the exact same thing, except for the fact that he was younger; at nine years old. I was always there on those occasions when Aaron could have made bad choices from which he couldn’t possibly recover from. I kept my eye on him like a bulldog. I was his mother who would fight any evil or person who tried to influence him in the wrong direction. I followed and confronted him everywhere. Anything to remind him that he had me, his mother. I made it very clear to him that I would never back down. I felt this made a difference in his life. In those days it wouldn’t Janis or Nick who couldn’t ensure that Aaron would make the right choices. It was me, who ultimately Aaron feared because of my persistence and constant battle to protect him.
When Aaron was driving in his shimmering midnight blue Honda CRX with a fancy boom box he would turn the corner and I could hear him in his car, reassured he was almost home. When I was returning from work one day, I immediately picked up Aaron on my radar peripheral vision. Aaron and his friend Bill were stopped by a policeman; I assumed for speeding. I immediately made a u-turn, parked and got out of my car. I could see Aaron’s beautiful hazel eyes change to rounder and bigger. Later Aaron told me that his friend Bill said to Aaron “A La dude, your mom’s a witch. She shows up everywhere you are.” I took that as a compliment.
Aaron had a dream one night and he told me, “Mom, I was flying like a kite in the sky and you were down below. You were pointing a gun and you shot me down.”‘Oh my universe’, I thought. “What a nightmare!” I told him. I realized I was so deep inside his subconscious that he couldn’t erase me. I wanted so much for him. That nightmare left a lasting impression on him. Aaron, of his own volition came to realize as I did myself, the importance of an education and so Aaron came to pursue his education with a vengeance. I was immensely proud of him. He breathed the air of success. The fluidity of my spirit and ambition had passed onto him. I love you Aaron. I am so proud of you and I am “Your Mother”.
I kept my word to Aaron’s father. After Aaron was born I went through the Child Support Enforcement Division who assigned a lawyer to my case, her name was Ms. Flaucy. She started legal documentation and proceedings to notify Anthony immediately. Naturally, he fought it with everything he had at his disposal. First, he wanted a blood test from both Aaron and I. We went to Albuquerque for that. The results came back conclusive and confirmed that Anthony was Aaron’s father. Then he continued to stall with his attorney and Flaucy wrote them a very convincing letter. Flaucy pointed out that I was a minor and Anthony was twenty-four at the time of my pregnancy and we were still well within the statute of limitations to pursue statutory rape. That was all it took.
I was awarded the child support, but regrettably settled for a minimal amount. The whole proceeding had exhausted my energy at that time, but I was proud that I pursued it. Anthony was ordered to pay child support until Aaron turned eighteen.
During my senior year of college, I was contacted by a psychologist her name was Sue. I was surprised when Sue explained that Anthony was married to a woman named Carolyn. Anthony and Carolyn were interested in child visitation rights. Sue explained that he was well within his rights to pursue this. I understood this and I was happy to oblige. My hope was that one day Anthony would come around and want to establish a relationship with his only son. I did explain to Sue that I had some reservations regarding Anthony’s commitment to follow through. But in spite of my reservations, I knew that the right thing to do was to allow for Aaron and Anthony to establish a father and son relationship. Apparently Anthony and Carolyn were having trouble conceiving their own child. So I assumed this is what prompted Anthony to exercise his rights within the law and visit with Aaron. Many years later Carolyn did get pregnant and had a girl. But Aaron would remain Anthony’s only son.
Aaron was four and half when he started visiting with Anthony and Carolyn. It was clear from the first visit that he was happy. He came home telling me that he had his own room with a fish tank. He had his own TV and I was happy for him. They started exposing him to different experiences. I was elated that they wanted to show Aaron their love for him. I even offered to meet Anthony half way for his visitation with Aaron.
Six months passed when I noticed they hadn’t called for the scheduled weekend visit. Instinctively I knew something was wrong. I was nervous and my heart began to pound faster and hands were shaking. I couldn’t bare to think about Anthony abandoning Aaron. Sue called and told me that Anthony and Carolyn were discontinuing the visitations. My mood sank into a deep black hole. With no feelings and no joy I was numb with the knowledge that Anthony was a coward and would remain one.
Sue explained to me that in her personal opinion, “Carolyn is insecure with you Lorie.”
“She’s jealous of me?” I responded.
“Yes,” she said, “Because the exchange is always between you and Anthony.”
“Well, we can arrange for someone else to take my place,” I replied, wanting to resolve the issue in order to prevent a second abandonment in Aaron’s life.
“No, it wouldn’t work. They were adamant about their decision. I’ve already spoken to them and tried everything myself to convince them otherwise.” she said.
I reminded her about Anthony’s word and his inability to keep up with the visitations. I thought he was worthless and heartless. How was I going to explain this to Aaron? I was wary it would hurt him deeply. I watched my son grow up with a deep wound in his heart. How was I going to fix it? How? I couldn’t find a way to explain it to Aaron without him feeling terrible. I avoided the issue for as long as I could and when I did say something I knew it wasn’t enough and it never would be.
Graduation came and I graduated with honors. Nick and Janis were there to watch me receive my degree, a B.S. in Computer Science and Math. Naturally, I was in high spirits; it meant so much to me. Life was going to change for Aaron and I. Tammy, Nadine, and Jaclyn also attended my graduation. I had bought a new dress to wear for the occasion.
I immediately began applying for jobs in my field at Los Alamos National Laboratory. I had dated a guy on and off. When I was hired I made more money than him and this affected his ego a great deal. I was really wasting my time with this guy. There really wasn’t anything we had in common. I didn’t even like him. I started earning a great salary and looking forward to our future (Aaron and I). The guy I was dating had property by the river. He said, “We could build a house together.” I thought, “Build a house together? Was he crazy?” I certainly didn’t want to marry him, but it took five years to admit that to myself. I realized he was an opportunist trying to convince me that it would be a great idea. ‘No way!’ I thought, ‘He must be crazy and must think I’m crazier.’ I didn’t love him; he never felt like the right person for me, much less a soulmate.
I was hired in a very scientific technical area known as the Proton Storage Ring Facility (PSR). A proton beam was generated and traveled a half mile through a six-inch diameter pipe to the equipment and experiments. The job was extremely challenging and it became what I refer to ‘my masters’ in my career.
My responsibility were the wire scanners which measured the intensity of the proton beam. The Fortran code had to be redone and modularized. C++ and Java were coming but not soon enough with the capability to embed modularized functions. There were PhDs everywhere. I was assigned to work with Faucad. He was the physicist who handled and worked on the hardware end for the wire scanners. A previous co-worker didn’t exactly give Faucad glowing remarks and much less a recommendation.
She said, “He’s impatient, he’s hard to work with, and his a sexist.”
My job entailed a lot. First, I had to become well versed with the computers; the Vax 11-70s and the PDP-11s as a system’s administrator. Then I had to pick apart the Fortran code and rewrite it to run more efficiently with modularization. The wire scanner’s program was controlled and executed by operators who would press Lexidata touch panel graphic screens to monitor all the equipment used in the controls system for the generated proton beam. This was a twenty-four, seven facility. Process modules, programs written in Fortran, would communicate with equipment modules. The equipment modules contained analog digital signals which executed and controlled the scientific hardware like the wire scanners, magnets, etc. The best way to describe this scientific technical environment was to compare it to a NASA control system’s environment.
When I started the job, I made a deliberate and important decision to wear no makeup, pull her hair back in a ponytail and to wear baggy sweats and tennis shoes. It was a significant choice to make in an all-male environment. I would demonstrate that I was serious about my job and I was determined to earn everyone’s respect. I was also chosen by one of the directors to write the Fortran code to strip the neutrons from the proton beam. This was the foil stripper. It consisted of six thousand lines of code to control and execute the hardware for the foil stripper.
One of my favorite stories, which involved Faucad and myself teaming up to resolve a problem on the wire scanner hardware. Faucad and I had gone out into the field to debug and test one of the wire scanners experiencing a problem. We found the problem and resolved it. Faucad’s compliment and his rhetorical words in his beautiful Indian accent were memorable. He was from India.
He said, “You’re alright Lorie. Yes, you are. You’re alright.”
I smiled and realized I earned his respect, which meant a lot to me considering I was a female. I kept smiling and thanked him for the compliment. I said, “Thank you Faucad I really appreciate your words of encouragement.” We got along marvelously. It was a matter of communication and solely concentrating on the problems and issues with the hardware and not our independent personalities. But then again I was a bridge person. When I went to my first counseling sessions the psychologist there identified me as a bridge person. Meaning I was able to fit into other people’s cultures and get along well with them. It really was attributed to my humble beginnings with my grandmother and grandfather. A very culturally enriched community I grew up in. Plus I was extra friendly and I really enjoyed people.
During the course of one year I saved a lot of money and made a bold decision. Nick and Janis had plenty of property so Janis and I started to look at modularized homes in Albuqueruqe. Janis was excited about it and Nick gave me some of the best advice.
He said, “I don’t think bringing up Aaron in this environment is good for him. You’re probably making enough money to afford a real house in Santa Fe. That house will appreciate in value and it’s a better investment.”
Well, he was absolutely right. I could swing a house payment by myself in Santa Fe.
It also confirmed that the move to that town was a mistake from the beginning. Nick knew that when he sent Miguel to a private school. I was never given the opportunity to go to a private school. I had asked, but they’d told me no. No private school for Lorie. No government bonds were bought and saved for Lorie. If you look at it reasonably, Nick and Janis were doing everything they could not to contribute to my education. But regardless I knew I would make it and get my education.
I wanted to find a place of our own and make it up to Aaron. I wanted a closer relationship with my son. Very quickly. I began my search for a house in Santa Fe to rent or purchase. Aaron and I went to Santa Fe and found a ‘for sale’ sign ‘by owner’. I made an appointment to view the house immediately that following Monday afternoon. It had a high ceiling in the living room with wood and beams exposed, a beautiful Spanish fireplace and the house looked practically new. There was a nice sized kitchen with honey pine cabinets and a door leading to the south side to an enclosed patio with privacy. It had plum and peach trees in the back yard and rhubarb plants from which the former owner, Mrs. Mires, made pies. There were two bedrooms and one bathroom, as well as a utility room for the washer and dryer, and a double car garage.
Within a week I put down a deposit and signed a contract. My application for a loan was almost immediately approved by the bank. In my excitement I couldn’t wait to show Nick and Janis. I would finally achieve my ultimate escape and would never have to go back. I arrived at home with the contract in my hand and watched the blood drain from Nick and Janis’s faces. I was now the proud owner of a pretty house in Santa Fe. It felt great and I was eager to move in so I contacted the owner who was Mrs. Mires’ daughter who had inherited the home. I wanted to pay rent and start living in the house as soon as possible and that was fine with Mrs. Mires daughter.
The expression on Janis’s and Nick’s faces when I announced I’d bought a house and held that contract in my hand was unforgettable. Then I informed the man I’d been dating and he was shocked, but I was all smiles. Aaron and I moved in and I bought a beautiful off white sofa set made of down feathers. It was something I could plunge myself into and breath the air of freedom. I told Aaron he could have a dog so we went to the dog pound and Aaron picked out a dog he named Corgy.
Because of the high ceiling in the living room there was a great deal of white wall space. I said to Aaron, “We are going to buy white canvases and learn to paint.”
Aaron could draw very well while I had a good sense of color. I became an artist teaching myself to paint. It was a wonderful hobby; very therapeutic. I began hanging paintings everywhere. As the years passed I did improve more and more. My website is www.lwestart.com. I will admit that it takes time to paint well. I would like to paint more and experiment with different painting styles; like abstracts. In my view, it’s almost harder to paint a beautiful abstract than a landscape.
In all the excitement what I didn’t realize was that I was taking Aaron away from his home, his grandparents, and his life. I was fourteen years old when it happened to me. He was only nine.
Continue the story with He touched me
“A Past” from NatsWritingsMind
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