Thursday, July 29, 2010

Clear Your Mind

Although my father went home to Glory almost twenty-five years ago, I find myself thinking more and more about him. Especially now as it is close to what would have been his 96th birthday.

As a child I remember my father walking around with small spiral bound flip style notepads in his shirt pocket. Along with the notepad, he kept his ever present pencils. Now we had hundreds of government issued black ink pens around our house that he got from his job, but for some reason, his notes were always written in pencil. Speaking of his writing, his penmanship was beautiful for a man, although, I thought it was extremely ugly at the time. He wrote with an exaggerated slant reserved for left handed writers even though he was right handed.

His notes didn't make sense to me at the time and clearly being a child, I didn't take the time to read them. But after he died it was a pleasure stumbling across pieces of paper he had written on. It took me back to a time in my childhood where the memories were good. If he could have accomplished everything he'd written about, he would have died a wealthy man. Truly a man before his time, he also typed endless notes on his Royal and Remington typewriters. I sure wish he could have been around for the age of computers. If you saw my father, he had a kind word for everyone and then would go into his spill to sell you whatever he was into that day: BestLine, Amway, Kirby Sweepers, insurance, NAACP memberships, magazine subscriptions, fundraisers or tickets to whatever event was going on at this time.

During the time of the illness that eventually took his life, he would ask the doctors and nurses who assisted in each of his surgeries to buy NAACP memberships before operating on him. Black, white, red and yellow, it didn't matter what color they were, he asked anyway and they all bought them. He won several awards for selling the most memberships in his chapter.

The government honored him on several occasions for his writings. He was also awarded for being the fastest typies in his Army unit. Had he wanted to, he could have been a great author. He was my inspiration. But the thing I remember most is those spiral notepads. How I wish I had paid more attention to them when I younger. Now that I'm in my fifties, I realize now what he was writing in those notepads. Just as I do now, he was writing his thoughts. Sometimes just a word, sometimes a phrase, but something that would jog his memory at an appointed time, just when he needed it.

By writing his thoughts, he didn't have to think of an appropriate phrase or response, it was already written down. Therefore, he was never at a loss for words. Having his notes handy kept him from sounding like a blubbering idiot. He didn't have to use the "um's" and the "you know's" in his conversations that young people today pepper their conversations with. When he wanted to complete a project, he could go back to one of those trusty notepads and find his thoughts or his homeade instructions. He had a note for everything, just as I do now.

Now that we are in an age where the cell phone has become an appendage to our bodies and texting has become the familiar mode of communications, handwritten notes are more and more obsolete. Yes, we make "to do" lists, grocery lists and shopping lists, but making notes about your thoughts clears your mind for the important stuff. Just don't throw the notes away, you kids and grandkids will love reading the things you were thinking!

Random thoughts:

If you talk about doing something and don't do it, it's just talk!

Writing your thoughts can organize you.

Writing your thoughts validates you.

Date everything. Nothing worse than writing it down and having no time frame for its' origin.

Monday, July 19, 2010

An Anchor

Recently, a classmate from a long time ago found me and in our conversations, she told me about a basket "that my great, great, great Grandmother took with her when she and her husband went to Kansas from Indiana in a wagon. Her husband died while they were there. She buried him and came back with her kids and she filled that basket with cookies for the kids on the way back." She told me that she was given the basket and it had become an anchor for her when she was tired or scared. The word "anchor" is just what I'm searching for! Something that will keep me grounded in my time of despair.

That's why finding my birth mother is so important to me. The bond that my birth mother and I shared in utero was completely severed with my adoption and so was my anchor. Finding my birth mother will allow me to know that I actually existed. Yes, I'm here so I know I exist but I exist as Rosa Elmore. I want something that will allow me to celebrate Infant Sleigh and something that will allow me to know that Infant Sleigh actually existed. In case L. Sleigh is having emotional problems about giving me up for adoption maybe knowing she is my anchor will sustain her.

The longer it takes for me to find L. Sleigh, the less time I have. She would be 76 now and I pray she's in good health and will be around long enough for me to locate her. If she has already met her demise, I pray she was able to forgive herself. I have forgiven her but I still have hope. For the time being, hope has become my anchor.

I pray the Sleigh ride ends soon

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hoarding: Buried Alive

I'm watching a TLC show called Hoarding: Buried Alive and as the psychologists talk to the women buried alive by the clutter in their homes, I now realize my mind is cluttered with too much "stuff." Trying to find my birth mother, trying to finish this third short story, trying to go back to school, trying to stay pain free, trying to lose weight... trying, trying, trying. I now know that the things I've never been able to finish were neglected because my mind and my heart were cluttered with a lot of unnecessary junk.

It is okay for us to say "no." We can't please everyone, a lesson I've yet to learn. If you say "yes" to everything and everyone, you have no time left for yourself. That adds to the unnecessary clutter in our lives. Clutter will overtake you if you allow it. And just in case you don't know if your mind is cluttered, think of it this way..if you think of things you need to get done during the day and you spend more time thinking of how to do them than you do getting them done. You've wasted an entire day doing absolutely nothing: that's too much clutter.

The clutter in our minds also take time away from our loved ones. If you spend more time on the job, at church, in night clubs, social clubs, dating, etc. than you spend with family members who are important to you, you are probably leading a cluttered life.

We have to become more cognizant of whom or what we allow in our lives. I heard someone say "be careful who you let rent space in your mind." Now that I know what's cluttering my life, I'm going to rid myself of those things. Perhaps then, the Sleigh ride will end.

Friday, July 16, 2010

I am Good At Being Me!

"I might not be the most beautiful or the sexiest, nor do I have the perfect body. I might not be a first choice, but I'm a great choice. I don't pretend to be someone I'm not, because I am just too good at being me. I might not be proud of some of the things I've done in the past, but I am proud of who I am today! Take... me as I am or watch me as I walk away"

I don't know the original author of this statement, but they hit the nail on the head with this one! I am learning that I'm good at being me.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Locator

Okay, yesterday I watched a rerun of The Locator. It's been quite some time since I watched only because it reminds me of my failure to find my birth mother and the fact that she is not looking for me. On this particular episode, the birth mother's newly adopted daughter wanted to find the daughter the birth mother put up for adoption thirty plus years ago. The newly adopted daughter saw the pain her mother was experiencing due to being forced to give her first born up for adoption. She wanted to pay her mother back for taking her in and loving her: finding her first daughter she thought, would help ease her mother's pain. All of that in itself would be a great story and I could stop here, but there is more to it that I want to tell you about.

When Troy Dunn approached the adoptee, she wanted to know "why now?" "What does she want?" "Does she want a kidney or something?" All good questions. So it got me thinking, is that why I'm having so much trouble finding my birth mother? Is she wondering "why now?" "What does she want?" "Does she want a kidney or something?" No L. Sleigh wherever you are, I don't want anything from you: not money, not a kidney: nothing. I just want to see you, hear your back story and more importantly allow you to see me. I want you to see that I've done okay. I don't have to tell you of the disappointment I suffer daily by not knowing who you are. I don't have to tell you that this adoption has affected and effected everyday of my life. I will spare you from all of the pain being adopted has caused me.

Troy Dunn asked the daughter if it was possible her birth mother just wanted to see her? When he asked that question, it was like a light bulb went on in the daughter's head. "Yeah," she said quietly. "Yeah." So you see L. Sleigh, I just want to see you, nothing more and nothing less.

This Sleigh ride is more like a roller coaster ride.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Random Thoughts

Now that we've celebrated the birth of our country, I can get back to the business at hand: celebrating me. I have nothing new to report. I haven't heard that anyone is searching for me. And to be quite honest, I haven't given much thought to the search process either. Does that mean I may actually be getting over looking for my biology? I won't go that far, but I find myself thinking less about being adopted and more about discovering my future. Maybe I am finally finding myself.