Oh, now that’s a good one, that Daily Prompt, “abandoned.” Good thing I didn’t spot it early this morning; otherwise, I might not have got anything else done except a very long-read indeed on the topic of abandonment.
I daresay I have become something of an authority if not an expert on the topic. I stand to be corrected, and it may be a fine line, but I think it’s possible to be an “authority” on a topic without being an “expert” regarding it: someone who has had extensive experience on the receiving end of abandonment will surely be granted the right to speak with authority on the topic by caring readers or listeners, though their lack of expert credentials may also be painfully evident.
It’s hard to believe in these days when people are much more open about childhood trauma, including abandonment, but years ago private or public discussion that might have given damaged souls a much better chance to heal was not encouraged. There was something shameful about having been abandoned as a child, to be adopted, or not. Such children were called “foundlings,” or sentimentalized as “flowers in the dust,” as my elderly mother has recalled, from her own experience.
She was abandoned at age three by her deeply unhappy mother who had herself been abandoned by the great love of her life, and my Mom’s father.
My father was abandoned as a new-born baby and adopted a short time later. A very sensitive, intelligent man, he never wanted to go back and explore how that might have affected him emotionally, even though it should have been clear enough that it had. “Let sleeping dogs lie,” he said.
Mom, on the contrary, kept going back, telling and re-telling the same stories over and over again, trying to understand what happened, and why.
Their great love, the love of two people who were born to love greatly, was almost surely bound to end badly because of the unhealed wounds of abandonment they had both suffered.
To be left with a lifetime of feelings of unworthiness is a terrible thing, and a terrible waste of one’s life, and the person you were meant to be. If you’ve been there you will know what I mean. If you’re still there, hear me when I say, it’s never too late. Reach out, or up. Your life has value. You are worthy. You are loved.
Yes, I know – believe me, I know – it’s easy enough to say, to get into your head, but getting it into your heart is something else.
But I’m starting to think finally maybe it’s not that hard after all. Today helped.
I mentioned earlier that I did other things earlier in the day other than checking out the daily prompt. That other thing was planting potatoes. But not just any potatoes: ironically they were abandoned ones, several boxes of Irish cobblers I had tucked away in a dark corner of the basement last fall.
Normally I would have planted potatoes at least two weeks ago, but it was too cold. So, the Irish cobblers were well and truly sprouted, to say the least, when I finally remembered and told myself, they have to go into the ground before it’s too late.
It just so happens my youngest daughter Lila (Lily) Marie and my youngest granddaughter, Mirabella (beautiful miracle) are up visiting for a few days.
It’s Mira’s first real introduction to life “at Grandpa’s farm,” with its wide-open spaces, and grass, lots of grass, and even a mud-puddle to splash around in. (Mira loves water, wherever she finds it. We’ll have to keep an eye on that.) She only just turned two in February, and already she’s speaking in sentences.
She loves it here. And there she was this morning, running down the lane from the house and around the corner, full of happy to see Grandpa digging dirt in the “new” garden.
I got down on my knees and opened my arms, as she ran toward me.
“Grandpa loves you, Mira,” I said.
“I love you, Grandpa.”
My heart soared.