Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Breaking News

Opinion

July 9, 2012

Dysfunction will make for good reading in my future book

Athens — My sister Margie has a saying “Memories are an imperfect vessel.”

I have never really thought about it, but she is so right.

I grew up in a family of five children, all girls. Sometimes, I think we all grew up in different households. There are so many memories  I don't remember. One sister will remember an event, and the rest of us will say it never happened, or happened differently.   The truth lies somewhere in-between.

People who remember things from their childhood, and find out later it never happened, are those memories Margie always talks about.

My two older sisters are about 18 months apart in age. They both think their memories are correct. I am about five years younger, and my memories not so clear.    

I have wanted for a very long time to write a book about my life. I have to wait until all my sisters are gone, because they all disagree with my version of our childhood years. I’m not sure they would like what I have to say.

I have always said I grew up in the original dysfunctional family. My sister would say we put the 'Fun' in dysfunction. Not so true.

Anyone who lives long enough has a book in them. You can pick anyone out of a crowd, and they all have a story to tell.

My friend says her life was boring. I say just look deep enough, and there is something in your life worth telling.

The older I get, the more I realize most families are  dysfunctional. Some more than others. Our family may have been considered on the high end of dysfunction.

The old adage, “What doesn't kill you makes you stronger” is true in my family. I come from a family of very strong women. Not only strong, but very outspoken. Sometimes that’s not such a good thing.

I watch a lot of those Lifetime movies, and always think my life was  much more interesting then theirs. At least, I think it was. 

I don't want to give away my story, but for a short time I lived in a girl’s home. This was after my mother passed away when I was 11. The home was called “Parental Home For Girls” in Jacksonville, Florida. Horrible name for a horrible place.

When I was grown was about 18 years-old. Okay, I just thought I was grown. I would wish that place would burn to the ground. It was just wishful thinking. I just didn't want any more little girls to have to live there.

After my son was born, Jackie and I took a trip to Florida. We drove by the Parental Home. I wanted Jackie to see where I lived for about two months.

Oh my goodness, it was gone. The place had burned down.  I was so glad I lived in Texas. I could have been easily accused of burning the horror house down. Don't worry, I didn't  do it.  Not really gutsy enough.

It was part of my past. I didn't have to deal with it as an adult.

There are stories about the Parental Home that would be part of my book, and  the soon to be movie.  I definitely wouldn't give too much attention to that place.  The State of Florida should have never put little girls in that home.

 Here is just a small preview of my book.

“The girls home every Friday night would make those young girls take milk of magnesia. YUK. Who knows why? They just did. I personally think it was child abuse. But no one would listen to a loud-mouth 13-year-old.

“There were about 40 girls in this home. They would line them up in the hall, and one-by-one make them drink milk of magnesia. You had to stand there while you drank it. They didn't want you to go spit it out.

“Me being the smart teenager I was, I made the decision this was just wrong. In the middle of the night, a girl named Josephine and I took all the gallon-jugs,  and hid them. When I say gallons I mean about 20 gallons. The girls’ home was on about 50 acres  where they grew corn. The pink, nasty stuff ended up in the cornfields.

“Those mean old women tried everything to get us to tell them what we had done with the  pink liquid. I was never telling, and thank goodness, neither was Josephine. They threatened us with everything. How bad could it be? I live in the Parental Home.

“After about two months, I moved from the home, but the pink stuff was still in the cornfield.”

That's a preview of my made-for-TV-movie.

If you think you have a book in you, put your thoughts on paper. Remembering your past can be freeing. If you don't remember, then you very well may repeat  it.

Kathi Nailling is a Staff Writer for the Athens Daily Review.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • 4-12 Rich mug.jpg Meal time for kitties can be an adventure

    I believe God gave us housecats because we didn’t have enough to worry about. They are puzzling little puffs of fur that seem to be constantly developing new sets of peculiarities.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wilson mug.JPG I've got my rib back!

    Much has changed since Jan. 19, 2008.
    Bruce Almighty, Man on the Moon, Major League – gone.
    Complete rooms decorated with sports memorabilia – gone.
    More than a dozen trips to catch baseball in Arlington – gone.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wilson mug.JPG Exhausted, but happier than ever

    Wow, what a rush!
    I can not begin to explain the emotions I experienced on Monday, March 17 as Maylee Grace Wilson made her debut.
    Yes, there were tears.
    Yes, this “Iron Man” showed the emotion he hoped and prayed for.
    Over the two weeks I was home with Maylee and my wife Lacie, I experienced a plethora of emotions - emotions rather rare in my life.
    As expected, there was little sleep at the hospital. With the way Maylee acted her first night, I thought I might be able to catch a little shut-eye once we got home.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joe new mug.jpg Music helps deal with life’s situations, good or bad

    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said, “Music is the universal language of mankind.”
    With music, it can help us deal with tragic situations, help us deal with the loss of a loved one, make us want to dance, make us want to sing along to the words, or help us calm down after a long day of work.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • kathi New  copy.jpeg ‘Small town, USA’ has advantages, disadvantages

    Living in a small town can have its advantages and disadvantages. For me, personally, I love “Small Town USA.”
    Some disadvantages possibly are: if you do something out of character, everyone will know by tomorrow morning; everybody tends to be related, so watch what you say;  limited resources;  it's not easy to broaden your horizons; and driving more than 50  miles to the nearest mall.

     

     

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jeff's mug.jpg A habit in a society and in a home that should stop

    It was Tuesday that I was walking back to my car on the Walmart parking lot, when a business acquaintance of mine who comes to the Review office sometimes, stopped her car in front of me to say hello.
    I noticed her doing something that happens at almost any moment she is around, without the office surroundings.  She had a cigarette in her hand.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • RICH-USE THIS ONE.jpg TVCC Lady Cards add to school’s winning legacy

    When I came to work in Henderson County in 1991, the Trinity Valley Community College Cheerleaders had already picked up a couple of national titles. Coach Connie Russell had the team doing things few had ever seen cheerleading squads do. Russell retired after winning five times on the national stage.

    March 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wilson mug.JPG Let’s all follow Tom’s lead

    My first-born child is here and there is a hero for her to admire already.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • COLUMNIST.jpg Giving businesses choice is not legalizing discrimation

    The bar owner was blunt. A couple of weeks ago, he announced that people of a certain persuasion would not be allowed into his establishment.
    To demonstrate his seriousness, he had head shots printed of those who are not welcome to make sure that his security team would deny them entry.

    March 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wilson mug.JPG I am Iron Man, the suit and I are one

    The suit is damaged, it might not hold up this time.
    Like many men, I have hidden my emotions behind a suit of armor for years.
    Happy, sad, excited or mad – my external emotions were never displayed.
    In some ways that was a good thing, but in others...

    March 8, 2014 1 Photo

Biz Marquee
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing