Last night I started writing a post talking about some good memories with my family, and I was talking about songs my family would write together. One time, when I was 4 years old, my family decided to write a song, so my dad asked me what I wanted the song to be about, and apparently I said, “I’m gonna be happy.” So my parents, me, my brother and my nana and papa all wrote a song titled “I’m gonna be happy.” I still remember it and sing it every once in a while. I can tell who wrote which verses and that makes me really happy. We wrote songs, made up games, and played together all of the time.
Up until the age of 7 (even through all of the sickness/losing my kidney) I only remember being full of happiness. I had so many people in my life who loved me and took care of me. My parents were only 23 when I was born and they were 26 when I finally had my kidney removed and all of the seizures, hospital stays, and sleepless nights ended. Obviously, I don’t have memories from when I was an infant, but I do remember a few things from around the age 2 and 3 (a couple of the memories from age 2 were a bit traumatic, though). One short memory I have is my 3rd birthday. I spent that birthday in the hospital. I had just had surgery and my family was there visiting me. Because I had just had surgery, I wasn’t able to walk, so I would be pulled around in my little red wagon. My parents would put a pillow in it so that it was nice and comfy. I remember my grandmama getting me out of the hospital bed and putting me in that little red wagon, and I distinctly remember thinking that I had forgotten how to walk, and thought, “I’m going to have to learn to walk again” haha, children. But I don’t remember feeling sad about that at all. I just remember feeling determined to “learn to walk again.” My parents always made me feel brave. They told me I was and I believed them, so from a very young age, I knew that I could do what I set my mind to do.
My parents also wrote a song called, “If God Sees the Sparrows Fall.” It is a very special song to me and I’m very thankful that they have it on recordings so that I am able to hear it whenever I want to. My parents were so brave. Their faith kept them going through these hard times. Their faith and strength have always been inspiring to me.
Last night, I couldn’t remember a couple of the lyrics to the song, so I googled it. I found someone’s blog who had written the lyrics out, so I copied and pasted them into that post. Then, I found an mp3 of my parents singing it on my dad’s publishing company’s website. (I don’t think I have mentioned that my dad is not only an evangelist, but he owns and Christian music publishing company). So this sent me on a journey of listening to my dad and mom singing on their CDs. On this one song my mom was singing soprano (she generally sings low tenor, but she can also sing pretty high soprano, which is what she sang in the church I grew up in–in choir–that my dad led and a good bit of my family was in). So…at church…my mom sang beautiful soprano. Once we left the church, school, family, mom tried to kill herself, dad became an evangelist, my brother basically started emotionally abusing me, my mom started singing tenor when singing with my dad (on recordings and when we would travel with him). Well, hearing my mom sing in that sweet, soft, beautiful soprano voice, I began to panic. I was losing my breath, shaking, starting to cry and got up and ran to the bathroom and had to calm myself down. It was really really confusing to me.
As I have mentioned in What is a “Calling?” and Why so Angry?, my mom was diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder (then called Multiple Personality Disorder). It’s really hard to explain this, but my mom has an alter (splits of her personality…so this “other personality” has a name, memories, sometimes a different sounding voice, etc.) named Theresa. Theresa and my mom’s original personality (we’ll just call her Rigi) basically became one personality, with Theresa at the forefront, speaking, singing, etc. The reason that Theresa is usually the one “out” is because Rigi is quiet/shy/afraid, but she’s very kind, loving, and beautiful. Theresa is also loving and kind and beautiful. She’s also there to be brave for Rigi. When I think of Rigi, I think of the beautiful soprano voice. When I think of Theresa, I think of the low (also beautiful) tenor voice. So when I heard this recording of my mom and she was singing soprano, it reminded me of the days before my world completely changed. When Rigi tried to kill herself and then the other alters were discovered, it feels as if Rigi did died just a little bit. It’s really really confusing and hard to explain, so…I’m sorry if you’re completely lost haha. I still don’t understand things fully myself, but I grew up with this, so, it’s always been “normal” for me.
Hearing Rigi sing just brought back my memories of what I called as a child, my “first life.” In this first life, everything seemed perfect. I remember so much laughter, so many smiles, so many songs and games. Everyone seemed so happy and full of love and life. All of us grandkids had no clue what went on when we weren’t around. I’ve talked to my brother and some of my cousins and everyone has said the same thing…life was perfect and full of happiness and then all of a sudden our worlds flipped upside down and our best friends were taken from us, the songs and laughter and games were all different now, some voices and instruments were missing.
I really wanted to write a post solely about my happy memories. Because there truly are many of them. I love my family and even though there were some rough times, we always get through it. It may take a while and we may stumble a bit, but we always learn how to walk again.
Even though I intended to write this happy post last night, something happened that I just needed to write about instead. I have mentioned some happy memories and positive things at least! 🙂 I really am blessed in so many ways and I’m thankful that at that very young age, my parents instilled this bravery in me. I think that God put a strong spirit within me.
Just know that even if you’re broken, even if your world is flipped upside down and you don’t understand why, or if you just can’t stand on your own two feet, you can always learn how to walk again.