Posts Tagged ‘abuse’

Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That’s why it’s a comfort to go hand in hand.  (Emily Kimbrough)

November 9, sunrise hasn’t made an appearance yet. I pass through the doorway between our dining room and kitchen. Two green tomatoes wait on the windowsill for the sun to ripen them. I pause. One of the fruits has caught a pink glow; the other remains a solid, unchanged color. Perhaps, the two broke from the vine at a different time in their development. I can’t judge tomatoes any more than I can judge people. I have a black thumb.

My husband handles the watering and care of plants. If they survive, he deserves the credit. Cooking and cleaning remain in my jurisdiction.

My response to this moment also remains in my jurisdiction. Today seems darker than it usually is before sunrise.

Everyone is in a different stage of development. Human beings were born with senses—yet, we perceive the same realities differently. Some people are excited about the election of this new president. Others shudder; this man has no concern for individuals, especially women and people from other countries. He cares only for his own goals.

Events in my life that occurred in another century, long ago past, reappear in my mind. I imagine them viewed by many among the current generation of voters, as if the pain were no big deal, as if the possibility of being left for dead in a ditch, meant nothing. I didn’t die. Instead, my tormentors promised: We will be back for you tomorrow. I thought death may have been better because reporting the incident became another form of torture. The win, a Pyrrhic victory.

Abuse talk disintegrates into buzz words, leading into useless argument or emotional responses. Worse, it is immediately dismissed. Perhaps we have become hardened to the subject, the way we have responded to other forms of violence.

Nevertheless, I survived, and I survived well. I am a wife, mother, grandmother, writer, author. I learned to play guitar in my mid-fifties and have written songs and sung them publicly, even if my mother would have told me I didn’t have enough ability to achieve such a goal. Strangers have complimented me on my words, music, voice, smile and positive outlook.

Dawn appears. It always has. My husband brings home a bag of late, partially green tomatoes. I line them up on the window sill.

I can’t predict the future, and I won’t pretend that more than a little trepidation floats through me.

The sun rises higher. I pray to rise with it, joined by friends who stumble, too, but are not afraid to reach for the hand of another.                                             


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