It Started with One Kind Word

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February 4, 2013 by somesauceontheside

If you grew up in a home were things were chaotic due to a parent or family member who is an alcoholic/addict you will probably identify with title of this post. My mom held things together as long as she could. But after a while that is a train ride that you want to get off of. She made the right/best choice for her children despite what the church told her she should do. She knew her limits, this was not something she could fix.

I was a baby when we came from Germany to the United States. I grew up in Santa Barbara, California…surrounded by beauty. I have some great memories, picnics at Goleta Beach with other German families, hiking in the mountains, vacations in the summer to Lake Tahoe and playing kick the can at night with all the kids in the neighborhood. You don’t see kids doing that anymore.

It is strange when you first realize that your family might be a bit different from other families. The first time I realized this was when I was invited to sleepover at my best friend, Barbara’s house. I initially sat back and observed her family, I was trying my best to blend in. They were loud and fun! Her parents let us sleep out in the family room on the sleeper sofa where we watched Mel Brooks and Woody Allen movies. This was the beginning of a life long friendship for me & Barbara. We drifted apart in junior/senior high but resumed our friendship like no time had passed after high school.

Barbara’s dad who we all call Pops took one look at me pulled me onto his lap and said this girl is going to be Miss America someday ๐Ÿ™‚ What a difference a kind word can make in someone’s life even if it ended up not coming to fruition! I still get teary eyed when I think about that because that was when I first realized that when I grew up my family could be different.

Barbara was diagnosed with Bile Duct Cancer last year and had an extremely complicated surgery to remove the Cancer. She has been the one friend who has been to every home I’ve lived in. I introduced her to her husband and they have 3 kids. She had her surgery in Santa Barbara and stayed at her parents home to recover. My husband and I drove up to visit her for the weekend last August. She came out the front door to greet us and a wave of relief came over me. I got out of the car and burst into tears. She took one look at me and did the same. I was crying because I was so relieved she was crying because she thought that coming Christmas might be her last. She is cancer free ๐Ÿ™‚

That is all for today.

Cheers,

Michelle

Me at our first home in Santa Barbara 1969ish

Me at our first home in Santa Barbara 1969ish

 

A visit to Germany 1970, I'm guessing shortly after my sister was born.

A visit to Germany 1970, I’m guessing shortly after my sister was born.

Me and Barbs August 2012 after her surgery and recovery in SB

Me and Barbs August 2012 after her surgery and recovery in SB

Life long friends through the worst and the best. August 2012

Life long friends through the worst and the best. August 2012

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