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.
My sister Margie has a saying “Memories are an imperfect vessel.”
Ignoring child abuse problem won’t make it go away
For those of you that might have missed it, this past week the Athens Review has been running a series of stories titled “Girl in the Closet.”
JOE ELERSON: Big Tex again proves he’s much larger than life
When I was a little kid, the thought of seeing Big Tex at the State Fair of Texas was something I could not wait to see as I entered the fairgrounds.
Enough about me — these folks really matter
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before — I’m leaving the Athens Review.
No, they’re not firing me and I haven’t joined the circus (I never got a call back). I’ve accepted the public information officer’s position at Trinity Valley Community College, an adventure that begins next week.
They just don’t make them like they used to, do they Art?
I hate to admit it. I miss Art Lawler. Its been about a year now since Art swam back upstream to Oklahoma where he was born and raised. Not that I don’t love Kathy, Rich and Jayson, but Art is one of a kind.
Is there a better guy alive than Jayson Larson?
About every few weeks, Jayson Larson, the editor of the Athens Review says, “Kathi, it’s your turn to write a column for Saturday.” Since he is a short-timer, I should just put him off or ignore him. But that wouldn’t be fair. When I say short timer, Jayson will be leaving the Athens Review in a week. And I am not a happy camper.
JOE ELERSON: I just can’t get enough of the world of sports
When you become a full-time sports reporter, the question of, “What do you do in your free time?” comes up a lot in conversations.
A reminder of hard truths at humane society
In our Friday edition, we reported on a conflict that arose when the Henderson County Humane Society euthanized eight puppies within minutes of receiving them from an area man.
Is English complicated and confusing, or is it just me?
Trying to understand the English language can be difficult. Recently, an e-mail was sent to the paper by a nice lady that wanted to make sure I knew the difference between accept and except.
Will I always procrastinate? Let’s talk about that later
I am going to tell you a secret that a lot of people don’t know about me. I tend to procrastinate about things that I really shouldn’t procrastinate about.
Let’s choose to cling to the good memories
I attended the funeral of another friend who succumbed to cancer this week. As many funerals as I have attended lately, they are always hard. This friend, Gary Browning, was a 52-year-old man who left behind a wife and two adult children.
- More Opinion Headlines
- Ignoring child abuse problem won’t make it go away