Sunday, September 20, 2015

Legend: Days Gone By

     Most of us can hear a song that takes us back to a day when we had fewer responsibilities, time to kill and that time was filled with nothing but fun and lots of laughter.

     For many of us in and around the Gasconade County area, it was a band.  A band, that may have inadvertently formed a phenomenon that matched their name.   A band called..........LEGEND.

     Last evening was a night of copious reunions.  The music formation itself reunified after a twenty year hiatus, possibly
creating the largest event Stony Hill has observed since the last time Legend played there.  

     Standing in a single configuration that trailed from the rear of Purdy's bar, that snaked through the parking lot, ending at the gravel road, I listened to us talk like groupies.   Story after story of fun and craziness that happened only at Legend dances radiated throughout the line.

     Entering the mass of onlookers, I felt like a sightseer and as I watched and looked over the crowd, I smiled.   A lazy smile that blew into a cheek splitting grin that crinkled my eyes.  It was a crowd filled with my past.  A reunion of Owensville High.  I listened as I heard the mob reflect,  chasing memories of days gone by.  

     I studied the band members, ate up with the response from the crowd and that after the addition of two decades, the loss of  big hair and spandex, that they could still rock as hard as they do and entice the throng of fans to scream for more.  

     Timidly, I injected myself into the mosh pit.  This group is the reason I have Ozzy Osbourne cycling through my play list and why I know every word to "Momma Let Him Play".  I scanned the party of people around me, dancing, singing, smiling and doubling over with amusement as we all rode the "Crazy Train" together.  

     Everyone embracing each other with laughter bubbling from deep in their bellies.   This is what I viewed through my eyes. 

There were no negatives, no hate, no enemies.  Only those of us smiling, enjoying, appreciating, remembering..................
 days gone by.

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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Hey............I Can See You Looking at Me

     Three months after our collision, my husband took me to the grocery store in our local community.  Only leaving my living room to attend doctors appointments, I was both anxious and excited about this awaited chance to leave the confines of my home.  It was my first taste of catching inquisitive yet sympathetic glances from onlookers.

     Most would smile, some would cry, others would look away.  My life had been spent avoiding center stage at all costs and now I felt the spot light blinding me as I rolled from aisle to aisle.  

     As summer time approached, the heat increased the edema in my legs to a new level.  Socks acted as a tourniquet and if worn invariably created a condition known as "cankles", which then increased my pain and made the overall scene look worse than it already was.

     Refusing to lay in my home and miss memories with my family, I traveled as best I could to each activity.  Elevating my legs at all times was not a choice, it was a necessity and it put my tragedy on display.

     Each surgery added more scars to the plethora I had already obtained from our collision.  Some opened four times for reconstruction.  Pieces of our car embedded themselves or scraped along my skin, starting at my waist continuing to my toes to create permanent reminders of that evening when I drove down that frozen highway.

     Every so often I study them, finding one that I hadn't noticed before or how some have begun to fade slightly.  When I am out in public, I see those of you who walk by with your heads straight forward, but your pupils stretched as far to the corner of your eye as physically possible, trying to catch a glimpse without offending me.  Trying to see if the rumors are true or exaggerated.  But, I see you.

     At first, my chest would cave in, tighten and I became insecure with my new self.  I knew not a single person meant me harm and that this was an insecurity that I needed to fix within myself.  

     Everyone is curious about them, but no one asks.  It is awkward, I understand and no one wants to cause me any more distress.  But when you peer at me from around corners and look away quickly, some of my insecurity returns and there are times that I have felt ashamed.  Of how I now look.

     Putting myself in your shoes, I hope I comprehend how most of you feel.  I want to let you know it is okay to ask questions.  I am the best one to ask.  I have lived it, recovered from it and can tell you with heart wrenching honesty what each scar represents.  

     Working on myself for nearly five years has brought to me a sense of pride about my scars. These scars are my story, a story of survival that my family and I have traveled, a road map of recovery.  

     They are my one of a kind tattoos and most importantly, each one is a valuable lesson that has encouraged me to grow into this new self.   A self that I have never been more proud or comfortable with.

     So............I see you looking at me............and it's okay.