Straighten That Crown

Dear Paula,

I always believed. So did you. It was always your greatest gift, you know, your belief. And your faith. Like a worn trail through the woods, and up ahead a signpost on the rise, and then you find your way. A place you needed to go back to. A place you needed to understand. Inside.

Or, maybe, see differently?

Your Mom heard me, just that once. Could only utter a word, so I choose her name. I could say no more. I figured every child wants to hear their Mother’s voice, just one more time.

And then, possibility opened a door.

I like that idea you shared in that post from a few days back, “adjust your crown, remember who you came from“. My shy Granddaughter, you are so much like your Mother. She let my death eat away at her, and I don’t want to see you do the same.

And yes, follow your bliss, not a man. Don’t let that consume you. And, it’s not as important as you think.

Actually, a man is a hindrance, generally. But don’t let that stop you, if you want to love again, love again. And yes, make it true. That is the best kind.

That little garden you’ve created is beautiful; just the thing. It remind me of that spot you loved near the old barn. You would spend hours and hours in there. But at least we always knew where to find you.

Do you recall you saw your first Cardinal there, your first Baltimore Oriole? I’d join you every so often, and teach you all the birds names.

You don’t know this, but we could see you through the kitchen window, your Mom and I. You were 6 years old that year you discovered that old foundation beside the barn. If we stood in the right spot, we could watch you gazing up at the trees, watching the light.

You were always so creative. So much those big blue eyes of yours saw.

It’s nice to see you finally made your way back to the village. Back to home. Good. Helen would be pleased to see you right there in the thick of it, at the crossroads you always loved. Right across from her Alma Mater. That’s where it all started for her, and so it shall for you – you just wait.

I can’t tell you everything. Well, I don’t know everything. I just know you.

So this won’t be the last you’ll hear from me. I have a lot to say.

I loved to write, too. That was one of the reasons we started the paper you know. Sure, we always said it was to give young boys in the village some pocket-money. Yet, it gave Shelly and I a way to express ourselves. A creative outlet.

Just like this blog is for you. You are much like me, probably more than you know.

There were far fewer options for women in my time. Your Grandfather wasn’t afraid of my mind, but society sure was.

You have to remember, I was one of the first generations of women to vote. Amazing as that may sound to you today. Eighty years ago, women were still crawling their way out from under the yoke we’d been placed under. Of family, children, cooking, cleaning, caregiver.

Nothing was different for me, really, in the end. As much as I did love your Grandfather, he became a sad man. Your Mother was much like her Dad, in that. Grieving for decades. Drinking themselves into death.

Don’t go that way.

So yes, Paula, follow your bliss. Follow those fairies you feel in your veins. Those little moments of joy…follow those. Believe in magic.

And don’t let that boy down the street get you off track. He’s not good enough for you.

Straighten that crown.

I know your heart. I know your knight in shining armour nature, but just let this one go. That rib he broke? Almost like a broken wing, but leave him alone to mend. Some just need to heal on their own.

Follow your heart, work hard, and keep riding that wonderful bike that dear friend of your’s fixed up for you.

He certainly is different, isn’t he? He seems like a good fella, though. A good friend. Crossroad.Man, you call him? You were a silly one. What an imagination you always had.

Met him at a crossroads, and one street was a one-way, going West. Land of the Dead for the Egyptians. Clever. Very clever. His Mom’s death wounded him too. You do have a way of attracting wounded creatures!

Yet, he seems to be healing himself, and even cares enough to pop in, drop off homemade pasta sauce. He is a good friend. Sans sex is right, though. Keep that out of the equations. Least for now.

And keep writing. Just keep writing.

And do visit The Mount as often as you can. Your Grandfather would have loved that you go there. You know him and his Ava Maria.

Just a couple of things to know, and I must dash off, but I can’t tell you to where.

You can’t write back. Your letters to your Mom are between you and her, and I don’t want to get in the way of that. She always thought I was sticking my nose in, questioning her parenting skills. I wasn’t. Oh, well, maybe I was a little. But not this time.

This is a special door, but it only works one way. I want to give you some of my wisdom. Whether you choose to listen? That’s up to you.

And tell your sister I love her. You were both so young. You’ve grown up into such wonderful ladies. Or, wonderful women I guess you say today. I’m so proud of you both.

I know she reads this blog of yours, so I want her to know…she’s a fantastic Mom. She’s doing a fine job. It’s the hardest job she’ll ever have. Yet, the most rewarding.

I’ll write more. For how long? Who knows. Nothing in life is guaranteed. It’s all a gift.


P.S. Yes, I like your new word. Quaintrelle. I was a bit of a Dandy in my day.

three sisters
Aunt Jo, Grandma, Aunt Lex, and Great Grandma in the window behind

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