I originally posted this on a blog I tried to start a couple months back. Like other blogs that I’ve “tried” to start after leaving The WP, it just left me disinterested. I guess after so many years of depositing my stories here, the pull is just too strong. So I’m moving this over here, so as to keep it in the general ‘timeline’ of my unfolding. Happy Friday, everyone!
Yesterday started out fairly ordinary, in one of those extraordinary kind of ways. My daughter was throwing a birthday party for my grandson, and I spent the morning with food preparations. It was a very special experience for me, since it was the first of his three birthdays that I was actually present for.
Little did I know, as I was busy deviling eggs and crock potting meatballs, that my life would change in the blink of an eye.
As I sat there watching Boo open his presents, I was amazed (again) by the irony and mystery of life. There I was sharing space with my grandson and daughter (neither of which were even in my life this time last year), my mother (making it 4 generations), my ex-husband and his girlfriend, and my son and his girlfriend.
Then there was an equally bizarre showing from the other side of the family. Mr. DeadBeat, the sperm donor. He’s only seen Boo a handful of times in his life – an ex-Iraqi war vet who may be suffering from PTSD, a substance abuse issue, and a dysfunctional childhood. DB’s mom was there, (she has a history of abusive marriages), and HER ex, DeadBeat Sr. with HIS girlfriend. A couple of little cousins and an assortment of my daughters friends, tatted up and wearing cowboy hats, rounded out our menagerie nicely.
But as weird and heartwarming as all that was (how I held my tongue is still a mystery), it wasn’t the party that changed my life. It was something my mother said offhandedly in that “I’m 80, I’ve had two glasses of wine, and you never know what’s going to come out of my mouth” sort of way.
First a little back story.
All four of my grandparents were dead long before I was born, and so I grew up in a bit of a vacuum where my family history is concerned. My mom and her folks were dedicated Assemblies of God Christians – tongue talkers, the lot of them – after Grandma and Grandpa Stone got saved during the Asuza Street Revivals. I’ve heard all sorts of stories about them from my mother, all of it so wonderful, it’s surprising my grandparents weren’t sporting wings. When I became a tongue talker myself back in the 80s, I knew I had made my Grandma Pearl and Grandpa Joe proud.
Then there’s Dad and his family. Born in Illinois, and later migrating to California as a young man, Dad decided that his family wasn’t going to be discussed much. What I do know is that he spent the majority of my life wavering somewhere between being an Agnostic and a Christian, although Christianity won out at the end (I can’t imagine living with Mom for 40 years and remaining a hold out!) Of my paternal grandparents I know of almost nothing except that my mother still holds some pain and a dash of disdain where they are concerned. I’ve heard her stories, and since in many ways I’m reliving them myself with my own in-laws, I understand.
So back to yesterday when my mother – God bless her slightly inebriated soul – blurts out, “The story is that your father’s mother was born with a caul over her face, and she kept that damn thing in a locket that she wore. When she died, supposedly it disintegrated. Oh, and she did “readings” for the neighbors.” She said the word “readings” like other people say “diarrhea”- with an upturned nose and tiny quiver of disgust on her lips. She continued, mumbling something about how she would never have anything to do with ‘that crap’ (hence, the diarrhea analogy), and “get me some more Rose, please.”
I’m glad Mom wasn’t looking too closely at me as she told this story. For my part, I couldn’t tear my eyes away from her.
The question came blurting out of me like water from an artesian well. I wanted to make sure I had understood her correctly because HERE, finally, was new information about where I came from. My roots.
I wanted affirmation. I wanted clarification. I wanted detail!
But what my mother doesn’t know is that I was really asking, “You mean, I’m like my Grandma Birdie? “
Not that I have a piece of membrane hanging around my neck in some sort of Dark Shadowy fashion statement (who else was hooked on the original back in the 60s???). No. But I do have a secret. One I’ve never told any of my family.
After leaving Christianity back in ‘01, I discovered a very comfortable, powerful connection with oracles of all sorts. Tarot, oracle cards, Runes, pendulums, I Ching – you name it., I’ve done it. If Mom knew, she’d have a conniption, start to cry, and possibly try to cast the devil out of me there on the spot.
BUT it’s true. It’s MY truth.
Not only do I love oracles, but it turns out I’m a good reader. Back in the day I used to do readings for my neighbors, only they were from my blog neighborhood. I would post an offer every now and then, and there was never any shortage of takers. The feedback was very positive. I read intuitively rather than explicitly by card ‘definitions’, and I use my other gifts (they call it prophecy in the Church), to try get a complete snapshot of what was happening with that person.
Only one woman didn’t care for what I had to say, but only because she had disowned her stuff. (When we do that, when we disown what is inside of us, it shows up in the people around us.) However, the ‘future” unfolded and I hope she survived that karmic Bitchslap, because I tried to warn her.
Anywho, yesterday really did change my life. I see me differently. I’m not some Devils’ spawn after all. Grandma Birdie and I obviously share Something…Something that’s must be in my DNA as much as in my personality. And as strong as my belief in a man named Jesus. I’m both Birdie AND Pearl – the combination of two diametrically opposing forces. In me, they are ONE.
Suddenly, I don’t feel odd any more. I don’t feel so different from the rest of my ‘family’.
I don’t feel alone.
But Oh, how I wish I could talk to my Grandma Birdie! I’d ask her all the things that I’ve held in my heart for over a decade. Things like, “Grandma, what are we?”
*note to self: When I hit “publish”, it showed me that this was my 444 post*