Posted by: Marie | August 10, 2012

(686) The value of me – Part 1 of 3

Post #686
[Private journal entry written on Friday, September 9, 2011 at 10:00pm]

I’m sitting in the quiet tranquility of the “girls’ bedroom” at my cousins’ home . . . reflecting back on the evening . . . taking great pleasure in how clearly it has been made known to me that, in this home, I really matter.

The trip down was uneventful . . . I thought it would take four hours to make the trip, but it took less. Even though I didn’t get on the road until 3:30pm, I still arrived at their house at 7:00pm . . . just as I had hoped.

On the Hike by Martin Chen

When I pulled in the driveway, Caleb and Nell were eating dinner at the little garden table in their side yard. They offered to share their meal, but I wasn’t hungry – I had stopped for a fast-food meal on the way down and had eaten it as I was driving. So, I sat with them as they finished their meal.

After they finished eating and as they cleared the dinner dishes, I unloaded my suitcase and the frozen cherries I picked and pitted for them – I had packed the cherries in ice for the trip down. Nell was delighted to have them . . . I guess Caleb didn’t tell her I was bringing them so she was surprised . . . surprised and delighted. She bakes a lot. So, she assured me, they would be incorporated into a pie and greatly enjoyed sometime in the near future.

Then, after the dishes and suitcase and cherries were all snug in their assigned spots, the three of us headed out for a walk. The evening was relatively cool (well, “cool” for a September evening in the desert). We walked down their road and turned onto the next crossroad. A ways down that road, we turned to cut across their neighbor’s pasture and cornfield to arrive back in their yard. We returned to the house within about 20-30 minutes after leaving.

We filled that time with conversation . . .

It had been my intention to ask questions of them . . . to get to know them. But, Nell apparently had the same intention in mind with me. She started asking a million questions of me as soon as I arrived at their house and was watching them finish their meal. There was nothing uncomfortable or inappropriate in her questions . . . just meaningful questions that demonstrated her intense interest in getting to know me.

I found it very easy to share my story with her . . . well, with both of them. Caleb is a man of few words, but he listened carefully and occasionally asked a question. I had their full attention . . . both of them. And, they were an empathetic audience.

Within the first hour after my arrival, I had already shared my entire story with them . . . well, you know . . . all the main parts of my story. I even told them about “X” molesting me . . . I told them that part of my story as we were walking through the cornfield.

Obviously, I didn’t have enough time to share all the details of all the parts, but I at least touched on all the parts in general . . . except the part about my spiritual journey. I’m not quite ready to trust them with that part of my story yet.

On the walk, I explained to them why I hadn’t told my mom that I was visiting them on this trip . . . I explained that I haven’t told my mom about being molested because I don’t want her to have to live with that for the rest of her life . . . and I haven’t told my mom that I’m still in therapy because I don’t want to bring up with her the reasons why I need this much therapy . . . and I didn’t tell my mom that I’m visiting them (Caleb and Nell) as part of a therapeutic/healing exercise . . . which I would have to explain if she found out I was visiting them again so soon after seeing them at the wedding . . .

My mom is pretty sharp and she would figure stuff out if she happened to ask questions for which I stumbled around for answers. I don’t want to lie to her. It’s simpler to just not tell her . . . and it’s really none of her business, anyway.

Anyway, after our walk, we settled onto the porch stairs just outside the front door. After a while, the stairs got a bit hard on our butts, so we headed inside to the living room area in the main living space – the whole house is one big room except for an enclosed room in each of the four corners: one bathroom and three small bedrooms.

The “boys’ bedroom” is the room their two boys shared, and the “girls’ bedroom” is the room that their two girls shared. Now that all their children are adults and are making their own way in the world, the “boys’ bedroom” has become more of a storage and project room and the “girls bedroom” is the guest bedroom. I didn’t look inside the “boys’ bedroom”, but I think there are beds in there . . . maybe bunk beds . . . ??

Actually, the original front door was located along the part of a wall now enclosed by the boys’ bedroom. That opening is now a window and the front door is now on the side of the house. (If you remember from an earlier post, their house was originally one-half of a military barrack that was moved onto the farm about 50 years ago, used as a barn for a couple of decades, then converted into their home about 30 years ago.)

Anyway . . . during our conversation in the living room, I noticed there was no TV in the house . . . or, at least not one I could see. There was a large wooden cabinet with doors against one wall . . . I suppose a TV could be in there. But, no TV was exposed or turned on while I was there. Instead, we sat in the peaceful quiet and talked.

The topic soon turned to music. They are a very musical family. All of their children play musical instruments and/or sing. One son is the in the famed U.S. Marine Band (the national military band). The other son (the one who just got married) composes and sings his own music. He and his new wife (well, she was his fiancé at the time) recently produced a CD of his music.

Nell asked how I had become a piano teacher, so I shared all the serendipitous twists and turns my life took to get me to this place. I had already shared with them the part about being molested by our church’s music director, so I explained how that childhood trauma had actually helped me prepare for this stage in my life.

[Continued in the next post . . . ]


  1. Sounds like a wonderful time

    • It was everything I had hoped for!

  2. This makes me so happy!

    • Thank you, David!

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