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Updated on December 17, 2010


Lynn’s Mother, was one woman who should have never had children. She would agree so don’t think I’m being disrespectful here. I know you’re not to speak ill of the dead and she did the best she could with what she had, trouble was she just didn’t have it in the parenting arena. She told Lynn and her sister this often enough, that she wished she’d never had them and even went so far as to let them know that her third husband, Frank, had tricked her - the bastard - into thinking he couldn’t have kids. That was how Ann came to be and she paid for his lie with every day of her existence.

I don’t remember exactly when I came along but someone had to be there for Lynn. While her sister developed a hard shell early on, Lynn stubbornly held on to unrealistic dreams of having a family like the ones she saw on the television. Between me and Ann, we tried to shield her from more pain than she could take and from the ugliness of the world she lived in but she fractured somewhere along the way. Ann took most of the worst beatings but even the sounds of the belt, stick, or whatever was handy, hitting soft flesh sent Lynn further and further into some dark place I’d have to go and drag her out of. I don’t question God, but putting that tender of a heart into a child who traveled the path she would, never did quite add up to me. I remember this one time, let’s see I guess she would have been about three …

The sun was very bright, too bright for a woman with a migraine and she sent Lynn out to play warning her to be quiet so she could lie down. Ann was at school and there was no one to play with but Lynn shut the door quietly, as she had learned to do to avoid the slam of it just before the spanking came. She sat on the ground digging her toes into the sand, wishing she had some Kool-aid. It was hot. That much she knew when she spotted Dusty laying in the opening of the crawl-way that went under the house. Dusty was panting and the dog’s dish was bone dry. There was a thing along side of the house that made water come out but she wasn’t allowed to touch that. Her world was full of things she couldn’t touch, watch, eat or have and she knew what could happen if she broke rules.

She scooted in along side Dusty and quietly told him a story that Ann had read to her the night before. She loved lying on her bed watching her sister read. She would lay the opposite way and watch her sisters mouth upside down, going open and shut, open and shut like puppets she saw once on tv. Ann usually read quietly but sometimes she read almost louder than the screaming that came from their Mother when their Father came home. She must not have been very good at storytelling because the dog started whining and panting even more. She tried to put her hand over his mouth to quiet him like her Mother did with her when she cried too loud or too long but she was careful not to make his teeth dig into the sides of his mouth. That always hurt. Dusty was having no part of this and wiggled out from under the house and took off around the side. Lynn scrambled after him not willing to give up his company. He was at that thing alongside the house, sticking his nose up and nudging it and to her delight she saw small drops of water falling out. She ran back, got his dish and put it underneath but Dusty was blocking the drops. She knew how it worked since she watched Ann turn it on when she watered the orange tree that struggled to grow in the front yard. Dusty barked - a loud string of barks as a matter of fact - that nearly caused Lynn’s heart to stop. There was no choice but to make the water come out. The dog was going to wake her Mother and either way she knew a rule would be broken and a spanking would follow.

She turned the red thing at the top – hard – and water came pouring, just like that. She filled Dusty’s bowl and then sucked at the water herself, letting the cool of it down her parched throat. It felt good! It was cold as it splashed out onto her hands. She put some on the dog and he liked it too so they started a game. She would put it on him and he would shake it back onto her. She stuck her head under it and shook water back at the dog. Soon, both soaked and full near to bursting from drinking. Lynn thought she’s better make the water stop now. She turned the red thing on top hard again. More water came out, lots and lots of it, so much it was making a trial in the sand toward the front of the house. She kept turning and turning but it would not stop! She spied a rock and began pounding on the red thing willing it to obey!

She heard Dusty yelp a warning but didn’t move quickly enough. A wire flyswatter hit at her bare legs, face and arms, stinging and bringing up welts on her skin. She saw one hand shut off the water and felt the other dragging her by her hair into the cool of the house. No words came from her Mother, so outraged all she could do was keep swinging that flyswatter. When the screen part came off she continued with the wire handle and her free hand. Finally, spent from her rage she looked down at the cause of her actions and ordered Lynn to her room warning her to shut her big mouth that was making her head pound again.

Yeah, I remember that time. I had to get underwear out for her and make sure she hid the wet ones under the mattress. I waited until the Mother went to sit on the back steps with a large glass of iced tea and then had Lynn go wash the blood off her self best she could before it got all over and she got another spanking for that too. I stayed with her until she fell asleep under the bed. Maybe that was the first time I came, but I have my suspicions that it was much, much earlier.


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  • Poohgranma profile image

    Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge

    It may be years later, but you have Q, you have so many times. Thank-you!

  • QudsiaP1 profile image

    QudsiaP1 5 years ago

    If I could I would put my hand between the swatter and the innocent child.

  • stars439 profile image

    stars439 7 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

    So many childhoods were not as they should have been in some homes. We see it in the faces of some children all too well. I worked in a facility for troubled teens. Many of them only wanted loving family lives, but love just seemed to be a scarce commodity. Wonderful hub. God Bless You Dear Heart.

  • Poohgranma profile image

    Poohgranma 7 years ago from On the edge

    Even though Lynn's life left some to be desired, she had it better than a lot. I can not believe some of the horror stories that we read or hear of on tv or via computer. Some are damaged so badly no amount of love or counseling will ever reach their poor little hearts. I was blessed in comparison to many!

  • moonlake profile image

    moonlake 7 years ago from America

    Some poor little kids never have a good life. Then there are kids that have a good life and grow up acting like their life was so terrible because they didn't get the brand name shoes they wanted. They don't know what real suffering is.

  • Poohgranma profile image

    Poohgranma 7 years ago from On the edge

    Hi SOH - thanks much for stopping by to read and for your nice comments on my writing! I don't have much stomach for roller coasters and I think I know

  • SomewayOuttaHere profile image

    SomewayOuttaHere 7 years ago from TheGreatGigInTheSky

    ...hmmmmm....that was a hard read...i agree, some people shouldn't have children....but they the way you described Lynn having fun with the water...and then swept away from that childhood the blink of an eye....

  • Poohgranma profile image

    Poohgranma 7 years ago from On the edge

    AW now - blow that disgusting snotty nose of yours and shape up girl. This was just a memory, that's all. Lynn's Mom was a very sick woman she just never sought help for it, that's all.

  • LaurieDawn profile image

    LaurieDawn 7 years ago

    All I can say is here is a big hug from me to you Pooh! With the tears streaming down my face, I am glad you are here, and glad that you are such a wonderful warm caring Lady!

    Blessings and hugs,


  • Poohgranma profile image

    Poohgranma 7 years ago from On the edge

    Me too Scarlett cause I didn't know I was lost! ha ha ha ha ha

  • Scarlett My Dear profile image

    Scarlett My Dear 7 years ago from Missouri

    I am so glad I found you, Pooh!

    Love, Scarlett

  • Poohgranma profile image

    Poohgranma 7 years ago from On the edge

    Scarlett and Charlie - thank you both for reading. I always appreciate it when you take time to do so and value your comments. I give lots of hugs to my grandchild and I wish I had learned earlier to give more to my children.

    As far as some questioning God, Charlie, I have learned not to. So many things in life that happen we live long enough to see the "why" of, others we learn to accept. All each of you need to do is look at your own writing to realize that all that shaped you is now shared with others to guide them, tickle their sense of humor or maybe just help them remember how to feel. It's all good. :)

  • profile image

    ralwus 7 years ago

    One more reason for some to question God, or even if there is a God. Scarlett is right, very painful to read about. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Scarlett My Dear profile image

    Scarlett My Dear 7 years ago from Missouri

    This is painful, Pooh.

    Our childhood does have a way of following us into our adult relationships, doesn't it? I wish I could have wrapped my arms around you, then and now.