It seemed like the perfect idea just to write myself a letter and here I begin with Part V, with Gloria. Here is the letter I wrote to myself Gloria. I know of all the people you might understand the most…
0001 Infinity Street
Earth, Universe 00000….1
The Only Earth, The Only Universe
July 1, 2016
Help me through another unforgiving merciless holiday weekend. Now this, another gnawing pain on my left side. I had cancer in 2009 and sometimes your stroke of bad luck comes around to remind you how mortal our existence is. Though, I wouldn’t be writing this, if all that had happened didn’t challenge me in ways to discover my true self, that I share so willingly.
I still have a dream, to dream big, regardless of my circumstances. Just a little more time…is all I’m asking…to many years of health challenges draining the life out of me…before that a mother who I felt never loved me…to a man who should have never been part of my life…a son who may have never wanted me as his mother…I remember when he felt embarrassed to hear me laugh…all mortally wounding me.
P.S. Go back to Gloria and her son, a place that feels safe and quite at home.
So here I am again in Gloria’s and her son’s life. Thank God for them…
When Gloria shared that Grandmother Morgan was like a force and that she was obsessed with Napoleon and Grandmother Morgan even acted like Napoleon. I thought about myself relating to Joan of Arc. Her bravery and spirit always impressed me. She rode a horse like it was second nature to her and she led the battle during the Lancastrian phase. Joan of Arc was born in 1412 nicknamed “The Maid of Orlean’s”. She was considered a heroine of France for her role during the Lancastrian phase of the Hundred Years’ War, and was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint…though I will admit to you that I am no saint and I don’t wish to be. I just felt this deep yearning to protect others, I guess because my whole life I have been protecting myself…in one way or another.
After Gloria’s mother fell in love with Prince Hojenlohe from Germany, Grandmother Morgan and Dodo soon hashed this plan to completely change the course of little Gloria’s life. They decided to go back to the United States by ship on a ocean liner called The Majestic. Gloria remembers being on the ship wearing a new rabbit fur coat and Grandma Morgan gave her the American flag to hold and they took a picture of little Gloria. She was happy and smiling as long as Dodo was by her side.
Reminding me of my white fur coat my mother had bought for me with a matching hat and a mitten warmer. I assumed she probably bought that for me from People’s store in the city 40 miles away. I went outside to play and I loved old abandoned houses. My favorite one was next to my grandmother’s house where Mrs. Bernette and I became friends. She was the make believe woman of the house. But we were at Nick’s parents home and I found another old abandoned house and there was an old stove. I was curious so I opened it’s small door to check for the leftover ashes and that was a mistake. I got soot on my mitten and then tried to brush it off by patting down on my new white fur coat spreading the soot all over me. I remember walking into the warm kitchen and my mother looking at me as she always did, yelling “Lorie!” I always knew when I had done something wrong.
Soon they arrived in New York City at Gloria’s fathers sister’s castle. Gloria was living with Aunt Gertrude in her castle, of course with Dodo and Grandmother Morgan. Gloria’s mother was still in Europe and then “she came back because she was living off of my inheritance so to speak.” When Gloria’s mother returned to the states she rented a house on Seventy Second Street and little Gloria would come to visit with her mother. Then on one weekend little Gloria overheard her mother talking to her older sister and saying “Well, the first thing we have to do is get rid of the nurse.” Little Gloria overheard this and she was absolutely hysterical, Dodo was her mother, her father, her everything. She went to Dodo hysterically crying and explained what she had overheard. Dodo said, “Be calm, be quiet, we are going to go as if we are going to the park and we are going to get into the car and we’re going to Aunt Gertrude’s.” Little Gloria remembers that after she got into the car she completely collapsed.
Little Gloria was going through emotional turmoil by all the schemes that were being hashed due to Grandmother Morgan going against her own daughter to protect her granddaughter. It was the forces of evil and good clashing while the children all the while are listening and not feeling safe and loved. Something reminding me to well of how helpless and alone you can feel just as a child; trying to make sense of it all.
It’s always been the breeze that brings back memories and it has always made me feel safe. A belonging to, is the best way I can describe it to you. For another person it could be the rain or the snow or the sun or night or day, or a sunset flattering our warmest memories. Now the breeze was palpable and the tree limbs full of leaves were wavering in the breeze against the castle, Gloria had not visited the castle since she was nine years old. Gloria said “There are rooms that wait for us, and someday we may be in that room and something may happen to us that may change our life forever.” Gloria was remembering as she entered the castle eighty two years ago, she said “When Dodo took me down here Aunt Gertrude was in this room and there was a sofa there and another sofa here. I was just hysterical so they got doctors trying to calm me down.” This was the most frightening thing that happened to little Gloria and she was only nine years old. Mine was when I was fourteen and Nick came in like a crazy insane person. That was the room that would forever change me. Still to this day making me feel it was all my fault. But it wasn’t. It was Janis’s fault for letting him think less of me and only encouraging his bad and mean behavior. I was never respected in that household and like Grandmother Morgan, Janis made sure that would continue throughout my life, because she never respected me. Then it took me a long while to understand how she manipulated my son’s life; manipulating him as she tried to manipulate her granddaughter by repeatingly calling her mother the “B” word; I hate that word. Finally, my niece told my brother and my brother spoke to Janis about this and she stopped.
Remembering the time we were driving to Santa Fe, Janis was in the passenger’s seat and the girls were in the back seat. She was doing it again like Grandmother Morgan, talking out loud about their mother. I said to her in Spanish so the girls couldn’t understand me. “Stop talking about their mother in front of them or I will take you back home, do you understand me.” Finally she stopped. Then there was the time when my sister-in-law came to the door, it was snowing and cold outside. Janis answered the door without inviting my sister-in-law in. I was furious and went up the stairs from the sunken living room to let my niece’s mother in. After they left Janis was banging the cabinets with her anger and spite, because I stood up to her for being such as a nasty person to my niece’s mother and I looked at her with my eyes never blinking then I left.
One of the most beautiful experiences I had had with my niece was when her mother threw her a birthday party. We were all there and she came to sit by me and she put her head on my shoulder and I felt so needed, she was like a little soft kitten purring and showing her love for Auntie Lorie. Thank you my sweetness.
©Natalie Keshing Editor-in-Chief of NatsWritings.com or NatalieKeshing.com