Is it so hard? We are supposed to find the wonderful things in every day - even if they're small. Waking up. The sun shining. A hot cup of coffee. A snuggle from a pet. A crisp newspaper. And that's just the first 15 minutes.
But it is difficult to notice every tiny thing that crosses our path that should or could make us smile. Sometimes, at the end of a day, we have to really search for it - that thing that uplifted us, even if for just a brief moment.
Children who are abused often retreat into themselves and/or a land of fantasy. The folks at Voices Amplified work tirelessly to help children speak of abuse. It is never easy. Since the maltreatment I suffered as a child was emotional rather than physical, it's even harder to recognize (say, as a five-year-old) that you are being abused. It is simply normal. I can only imagine the sheer pain of children who are physically or sexually targeted. That is why I just completed my application to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children in the foster care system. I want to help be their voice, especially when they are battling against danger they may not even recognize.
As a child, my outlet was the creative arts. The family members that are still in my life say I do as an adult exactly what I did as a kid - I write and draw pictures. Fancy that ... I write and draw pictures - still. The fact that I could do it for a living was a tremendous gift; so out of pain grew beauty. I am thankful.
When I first started writing my memoir, I was grumbling and griping to a graphic designer friend how hard it was to get started. He sent me this in an e-mail: "One woman. One brain. Two hands. 26 letters." I wrote it on a sticky note and still have that faded scrap of paper near my desk. It always makes me smile. Only 26 letters? I can conquer the alphabet, I thought.
In my area, a woman recently knifed her seven-year-old daughter up to 30 times before slicing her own throat, killing herself. The child survived. Today, it was revealed that many years earlier her sister had shot her own five-year-old son to death and then turned the gun on herself committing suicide. Psychologists trying to explain the very rare phenomenon of a mother taking the life of her own child along with her own say that the perpetrator has a sense of protecting their baby because they don't want to leave them without a mother. It sounds preposterous, doesn't it?
Why Would Mothers Want To Kill Their Children
The final sounding bell in this article, however, is that the survivor - the child - whether it be of attempted murder or abuse - always thinks: "What did I do wrong?" This can not be. I remember trying to be a better daughter; a jester of sorts to cheer up my downtrodden mother, gifting her with all that I had - my stories and my drawings. Even a brief smile from her would please me.
This blog was not supposed to be so dire. I do believe that there is something in each day that reminds us how wonderful and short life can be. So, in the meantime, I have decided to simply celebrate everything! Can you do it, too? Throw a party! Get yourself some pampering. Take a child out for a day and talk to him/her; really have a conversation. It could start with: "What do you see today that is truly beautiful - something that you would like to put in your pocket and keep forever?"