Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Love and Grocery Stores

Hello,  my name is Abigail. I am so honored that you have visited with me today- or rather that you are letting me visit with you. This is Brave- it is my hope of freedom for women stuck in situations of domestic violence, it is my belief that all people need to be reminded to be brave and my story- as I have been in both places. If you are a woman stuck then please accept this as a hug. You are okay and you can also be brave. 


I have a very simple story to share today. It begins on a trip to the grocery store. I am a mother of five and I only had four of my children with me on this trip- truly a luxury! But my four were acting slightly rambunctious in the van... as in there was no small amount of squealing, giggling, yelling, hollering, teasing and poking going on in my rather small mini van.... My level of usable patience was decreasing by the second. I admonished, I breathed deeply, I reminded myself that nap time would come, I prayed a little prayer and I still felt the bristle of irritation with my angels. Like the grumpy old troll (yes that is a Dora reference) I had small eyes and a serious lack of smile. Three of the wriggling, squirming, jumpy children piled out of the car continuing this childish behavior as they waited for me to unbuckle the youngest. She too had not a still or peaceful inch about her- just squirmy! Squirmy! (Can you hear me say "ARGH!!!") My youngest wanted to jump from the van, I breathed deeply and let her hold onto my finger as she took a flying leap... right onto my naked toes. My silent grumbling became vocalized. My toes hurt! And, and, and, and, and...... My two year old squirmy daughter bent over and kissed my toes. She looked up at me and flashed me a giant smile while saying, "All better!" While I was grumbling they never stopped loving me. I hadn't stopped loving them. And she kissed my toes- right in the parking lot, right next to my van. I scooped all the kids into a big hug and we as a big squirmy group went shopping. This is love, a Brave, true and simple love. I'm not sure if I need to be willing to kiss someone's toes or just remember to not lose sight of the love I have with my family... Maybe both! Be Brave today.

Dark Corner
Another grocery store tale:
Four children, pregnant with another and I walked to the grocery store and then back home. Four hours later I was ready to fall apart. There had been no big loving moments- we were walking because I was in trouble. We'd figured out how to pull the gallon of milk and our other small items in the wagon with two of the kids- they had been done with walking long before we were even close. It was dark before we were close. I was stuck between two emotions- I had done what he had made me do, I felt a weird distorted pride that I'd done it. But at the same time I, on the brink of melting into my tears, wondered why I had to do that. Why didn't he go get the milk? Why was he "teaching" me lessons? But those questions only brought the tears closer to my eyes- and that was not allowed. That would be dealt with in a way I was trying to avoid. I breathed deep, I cleared myself of all of those emotions and removed myself from any care- or tried to. He hurt me that night anyway- I couldn't hide my dislike.

Love is amazing. What I described in the Dark Corner is not love. Love has actions, love has care. Love has forgiveness and humanity's imperfections covered; reality enjoyed and a longing to share life. If you live in a situation of love be so very thankful. I am astounded with the stories from women that are in abusive relationships- it is an evil that is rampant in our society, in our schools, in our churches, in our - it happens everywhere! I cannot tell you how many times I was hurt outside of Costco on Dimond Blvd, or REI or Carrs or Hilltop.... I cannot tell you how many times I was thrown out of the car on O'Malley Road. Violence and verbal abuse does not always happen behind closed doors but it takes mindful watchful people to see it, to be brave and find a way to help. It also takes a woman who has lost hope to wake up enough to accept it. Be Brave. Be the one that helps. Be the one that wakes up. Be Brave! 

The US National Hotline for Domestic Violence Victims