She was remarkably beautiful at ninety one. Her eyes still the eyes of a young woman. The camera zoomed in on her private moment and again I saw the difficulty of her past pass through the windows to her soul; her beautiful brown eyes.
She was in a safe place, even at ninety one years young, this still remained a part of her life, to be in a safe place. Now I remember Gloria quoting Mary Gordon who said,
“A fatherless girl
Thinks all things
And that’s absolutely true
Those opportunities come few and far in between, but they do come. When they come be fully prepared for your calling. You’ll know instinctively, a pivotal time in your life, and everything will change. Sometimes, it doesn’t necessarily have to hit you upside of the head, this pivotal time, other times it’s completely evident and it is going to change your life forever in the best possible ways. This was for me “My Son”, he is the best part of me and completely driven as I am. Now Aubrey Natalie holds this driving force within her and I couldn’t be prouder of her, at 16 months she’s already showing great promise for so many things that will become part of her life. She’ll start gymnastics next week and one of her first words at sixteen months old was “Dinosaur”, she certainly surprised her wonderful parents. She likes to watch the movie, “The Good Dinosaur”. I must buy her a dinosaur set along with all the dresses and outfits I like to dress her up in. Yes playing dress-up with my granddaughter.
Knowing and understanding now some of Gloria’s life, I guess really the only thing she might have missed was coming full circle. By that, I mean Gloria, her son, and a grandchild. But it still isn’t too late. As my granddaughter was a complete surprise ten years after my son and daughter-in-law were married. Now it is me Lorie, my son, and my granddaughter Aubrey Natalie coming full circle. I imagine you’re starting to put two and two together regarding the names of certain people relating to this book.
What a wonderful opportunity to attend an all girls school, ‘The Mary C Wheeler School”. Even in black and white, the school stands out. The green growing vine enveloping the entire three story building. It looked liked it was made to withstand anything. It had a welcoming arch at the entrance into the school grounds. I can see Gloria with her dark brown beautiful hair, carrying her books, in a periwinkle blue cardigan sweater, and a navy blue flare skirt; Gloria smiling with all her friends.
The chatter of young teenage girls, so happy and impressionistic for the world is an open oyster and there is so much to look forward to at that age. During this pivotal time, an all girl group can talk up a storm and there still wouldn’t be enough hours in the day to say everything you wanted to say. Reminding me of when my first cousin and my Aunt Maggie came to visit. Sharon, my first cousin, could talk up a storm and my grandfather would say to her, “Sharon I will give you one dollar if you can remain quiet for ten minutes.” Bribing, negotiating seems perfectly normal when you’re trying to lead by example with a teenage granddaughter.
Gloria was among her friends at the Mary C. Wheeler School an all girls school. I was with my best friends a group of five of us at B.F. Young. I was instantly popular as Gloria was. I had straight A’s and I was the student council vice president. Fancy title for a girl who was only fourteen. I wasn’t that interested in boys which was probably a good sign to my parents. But that would change when my body started changing. Among my neighborhood there were plenty of girls who were already in high school and I kept thinking “when am I going to grow larger breasts and look more curvy like the rest of the girls in my neighborhood.” Always at that teenage wanting to grow up too quickly. But it does come quickly enough and there it goes, those wonderful and sometimes not so wonderful years that become part of our past and shape our future.
Still at thirteen years old Gloria said, “I never felt that I belonged. You know, I felt that I was an impostor; kind of a changeling.” A child surreptitiously or unintentionally substituted for another. Gloria’s cousin said, “She was not quite a Whitney and she was not quite a Vanderbilt. She really seems to have raised herself.” I can certainly relate to that. When I was thirteen years old, I finally was told the secret by my grandmother. From that point on I felt that I left behind the old Lorie, then I was to become an impostor of my old self. And this Lorie would certainly remain different among this large family. It was as if the secret fueled my power to become even more independent and I became even more purposely me…
To Be A Mess
Only To Take
And Damning The Rest
It was already written
In the tale of her legacy
It was already told & hidden
As only a secret can be…
©Natalie Keshing Editor-in-Chief of NatsWritings.com or NatalieKeshing.com
“What Remains to be said” Part VIII