The Shauny Award Nominations

On January 21, 2014, I was nominated for the The Shauny Award by Suzi of the blog, Tales of a Slightly Stressed Mother and again, February 26, 2014 by Mark of the blog, markbialczak.com.

Thank you to both Suzi of Tales of a Slightly Stress Mother and to Mark with markbialczak.com!

If you have not already found these two wonderful blogs, I urge you to click on the links above and check them out.

They both write about a 'little of everything' and in a very interesting and inspirational way. I have enjoyed following both of them, reading their terrific posts, and interacting with them them through comments.

This is the first year that I am accepting awards. Last year I was too new and was busy trying to figure out how to blog on WordPress.

When Suzi nominated me for the Shauny Award earlier this year, I was committed to the ZerotoHero Challenge and needed to postpone the acceptance of it.

The Shauny Award was started by Dr. Rex in tribute for Shauny Gibson, a young man who contributed a great deal through his efforts on WordPress.

 

Rules of acceptance are that as a blogger you:

1. Show love

2. Show humanity

3. Be yourself

4. Be original

5. Don't gossip

6. Share the award by nominating ten other bloggers.

These are the ten bloggers that I have enjoyed following and reading their posts. I am nominating them because I feel each of their blogs have these six qualities and deserve to proudly show this award. If you have not read any of their posts, I encourage you to click on the links below and check them out.

To those who I am nominating, if you do not accept awards, I ask that you forward this nomination post to a blogger who you follow that you personally believe deserves to be presented with this award and allow them to take your place.

http://stormiesteele.wordpress.com

http://heysparky.wordpress.com

http://lorilara.com

http://mytravelswithdepression.wordpress.com

http://publictransituser.wordpress.com

http://behindthemaskofabuse.com

http://ohthevogonity.wordpress.com

http://5kidswdisabilities.com

http://curiousflowers.wordpress.com

http://joynpain2.wordpress.com

http://annabellefranklinauthor.wordpress.com


Thank you to each of you for writing such wonderful and inspiring posts!



 

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The Story Teller

Gianna is a story teller and she loves telling stories. Children, especially, loved to hear her stories. Adults loved for her to babysit because she was good to the children. The children loved for her to babysit because they loved her stories.

What they didn't know about Gianna was that she came from a very abusive family. As a means to escape from her suffering, she wrote stories. She stayed in her room most of the time because by “not being seen nor heard” she endured less abuse. At least she suffered less physical and mental abuse from her mother.

She could not escape the abuse from her father, his sneaking into her room in the middle of the night, placing his hand over her mouth so she couldn't make a sound, and do what men do. (The only reason she knew this was because he was a man so it must be so). The alcohol on his breath made Gianna sick. She would have to choke back her gagging reflex so she wouldn't vomit and die choking on the vomit. She kept her eyes tightly closed so the tears couldn't escape, until it was safe for them to. After he finished, he would take his hand and make the motion of slitting her throat. Gianna got the message. He would leave her room and then, she could let the tears escape, silently trickling down her cheeks onto her pillow.

She couldn't tell her mother anyway because she would just beat her and tell her she was a liar with a mind of a “whore.”

She couldn't tell her sister because her sister was always trying to get her into trouble with her parents.

She couldn't tell her little brothers, because well, they were just too little.

So Gianna wrote stories. When she finished a story, she would place it in a box under her bed, but way back in the back so no one could find it.

She would attend school with bruises always somewhere on her body. When the teachers asked her about the bruises, she would make something up. She came into school so many times with bruises, that she was either a really clumsy kid or she was being beaten.

Her teachers started asking her more and more questions and Gianna was getting more and more afraid that they wouldn't believe her and her mother would get in trouble. The teachers knew that something terrible was wrong with Gianna, something terrible that was eating her from the inside out. She often came to school each day in the same dress and each day the dress was dirtier and dirtier. Her hair was often uncombed. Her eyes were always looking down and she wouldn't look at anyone in their eyes. The sorrow inside her screamed like a cat caught in the jaws of a coyote. But her lips were silent. Completely silent…until she told the children stories.

Her English teacher, Mrs. Shockley, started taking a special interest in Gianna. She noticed that she liked to write and was very good at it. She would ask her to stay after class and help her in her room. She would talk to Gianna like she was a friend, and not just student. She would let her help her grade class papers (not her class papers, of course).

She and Gianna became friends and Gianna would open up a little more each day. Mrs. Shockley never grilled her about her home life. She would ask questions about her home life and then pretend she was satisfied with the answer Gianna gave her. This pleased Gianna, because Mrs. Shockley would accept her answers and not try and force her to tell her more. She loved her mother even though her mother was mean to her and would hit her with a large stick and sometimes a leather strap. She didn't want to tell her about what her father did because she was too afraid (and too embarrassed).

One day she and Mrs. Shockley were talking and Gianna started telling her about her stories. She told her about them being in a box underneath her bed. Mrs. Shockley pretended that she was mildly interested and told Gianna, “I would love to read them sometime Gianna.”

For several weeks, Gianna would continue going to Mrs. Shockley's room after school was to help her clean the white boards, change the bulletin boards when necessary and grade papers. They would visit with one another as they both went about their work.

After about a month, Gianna came to class with a shoulder bag. Inside the shoulder bag were all of her stories. She kept the bag very close to her side. She trusted Mrs. Shockley now. She wanted Mrs. Shockley to read her stories.

Promptly after school was out, Gianna went to Mrs. Shockley's class to help her. She cleaned the white board, she helped grade some papers, and when it was time for her to leave, while Mrs. Shockley was in the restroom, she put the bag on her desk and walked home.

The next morning, the principal called her to her office. Gianna was frightened. She didn't know what she had done wrong to get into trouble. She was trembling as she entered her office and her mind was racing trying to track down what she might have done that was wrong. To her surprise, the principal was there along with her teacher, Mrs. Shockley and they were both smiling at her.

The principal excitedly told her, “Gianna, Mrs. Shockley has shared with me the stories you have written and I was so impressed that I thought you should enter one of your stories in the state's “Story Day” Contest. If you win, you will be flown to the capital and will get to meet the governor of this state. Plus you will be awarded a scholarship.

Gianna was so relieved that she wasn't in trouble. She was also happy that Mrs. Shockley and the principal liked her stories.

The principal added, “Gianna, Mrs. Shockley would like for you to move in with her and her husband for awhile so you could work on a story for the contest.”

Gianna was shocked. “I don't know if I can do that. I don't know if my parents will let me do that.”

Mrs Shockley spoke up, “It's all okay Gianna, it has all been taken care of. It is okay for you to move in with me for awhile.”

Gianna was so happy she didn't know what to do. She couldn't believe that she wouldn't have to be beaten by her mother, bullied by her sister, and raped by her father.

Mrs Shockley also told her, “You don't even need to go home and get your things, that has already been taken care of.”

Gianna wanted to jump up and down with joy, but of course she didn't, that would make her look stupid.

As they climbed into Mrs. Shockley's car to go to her home, Gianna didn't know that two policemen were at her house arresting her mother and her father and putting her siblings into foster care.

Things were going to change for Gianna.

At last.

 

My Funny Valentine

My Dearest Darling,

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day and will be, or would have been, our 65th Wedding Anniversary. Every year at this time of year, I reminisce about the 51 wonderful years we had together. (Rather, 51 wonderful years we would have had together if I had not caught you sleeping with that slut woman! And right under my nose, you dog!). And, every year, at this time of year, I write you a letter. Tomorrow, I will place this letter with all the other letters, with your remains.

Remember darling how much in love we were when we got married? (Yes, I know daddy told you to marry me or else he would give you a job at the car lot?). But you told me you loved me and I certainly loved you because I was pregnant. (Don't you remember telling me that if I loved you I would sleep with oh, nevermind).

Oh that wonderful day when little John was born. He was such a beautiful baby. (Yes, I know you said he looked just like Frankie, your best friend you). And he was such a good little boy. (Except for the time he peed all over your shoes in the closet and set your pants on fire). But you took it well (after you screamed at him you were going to KILL punish him).

Next came our little girl, Cheryl and another little boy, Charles. You loved being their father and would give them piggy back rides (after I stole your car keys so you couldn't leave).

Now the kids have all grown up and moved away. I know you said you wouldn't would miss them. I miss them too. They still don't know you have passed away. I lied to told them you ran off with that slut other woman and I haven't seen hide nor hair of you.

Little do they know you are just a worthless bag of bones in the attic along with a bunch of hateful loving letters.

Lovingly,

Your Funny Valentine

Your Crazy Wife

Life is for Living

I finally found myself in the year of 2010. The reason I say this is because I was lost for the two years prior to 2010. My husband died and my world went blank for two years. In June, 2008, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. Two weeks later, he died. I did not have time to process the fact he was dying because it happened so suddenly. I can talk about this now. Before now, I was not able to.

My husband was a large man, but not fat. He was 6'2″ and weighed 185 lbs. I think that most of that 185 pounds was muscle. He was a contractor and built homes for a living. He was a good provider. He was also a good husband. I wish I could say he was also a good father, but unfortunately, we were not able to have children. Prior to his diagnosis we had been talking about me getting fertility treatments. Once he was diagnosed with late stage cancer, we couldn't even think about that anymore because it was no longer our priority.

The doctor told us that there was no cure for his cancer, especially at the late stage that it was. I wanted to fight. I wanted him to do everything he could to try and beat that damn cancer. But he said no. He said that it would only prolong his suffering and he didn't want to do that. He asked me to try and understand.

“Understand what? Understand that you don't want to live anymore? Understand that you don't want to be my husband anymore?”

“No sweetheart,” he told me softly, “that is not it at all. I love you more today than the day I married you. I just refuse to be a burden on you. I refuse to suffer trying to get a cure, trying to find some little grain of hope, when in truth, there is none.”

The tears stung my cheeks with a fire I hated worse than anything I had ever felt before. “I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU! DAMN YOU CANCER, I HATE YOU!” My sobs left me gasping for breath. He had his arms around me, understanding the agony I was in. We just stood there holding each other. Neither of us, at that time, knew how long he had left to live. I never even dreamed he would be taken from me just two short weeks later. I know now that that was the best. That meant he didn't have to suffer long. I was the one that was left to sufffer.

Like I said, I don't remember much of those two years after he died. My mind pretty much went blank. I just went through the motions of living, but I wasn't living, in truth, I was dead inside.

Two weeks after James died, I finally had the nerve to look through some of his things. I wanted to smell his smell. I wanted to touch what he touched. I just wanted to be near him and this was as close as I could get now. In the pocket of his jacket, I found a letter. The letter was addressed to me.

To my beautiful wife,

If you are reading this, then I have gone. I want you to know how very much I loved you and will always love you. You are and always will be, my soul mate. I am sure right now your world is filled with darkness. Please get out of that darkness. Stay in the beautiful light that you are meant to be in. Color your world with happiness and joy. Fill your world with love and friends. I love you so very much, my dear beautiful wife.

Your loving husband,

James

For six months I slept until 1:00 or 2:00 in the afternoon. I only got out of bed because I felt like I had to. I would have preferred just to have stayed in bed. I hadn't worked since James and I got married. He didn't want me to work and I was happy with that. I just wanted to be a good wife and someday a good mother. Now, I am going to have to find a job and get a life. Whatever the hell that is. But now wasn't the time for that. Now wasn't the time for anything for that matter.

I read his letter every day for six months. I would read it, kiss it, touch it, and smell it. It was getting very worn and tattered. I put it inside my favorite book, next to the rose James gave me Valentine's Day.

Eight months after James died, my sister quit her job in Boston and moved to Albuquerque to be with me and find a job here. I was glad she did that for me. I needed her. God knows, I needed someone to help me get through this hell.

She found a job right away and settled into her new life here very well. I was thankful to have her company. Her presence helped pull me out of the darkness I had surrounded myself in.

On May 1, 2010, she and I decided to go to “Albuquerque Old Town.” For the first time in two years, I finally laughed again. She and I ate Stuffed Sopaipillas. They were sopaipillas that were opened up and filled with delicious ground beef, pinto beans, green chili, lettuce, tomatoes, and shredded cheese.



We browsed through the shops and enjoyed the beautiful southwestern art. My sister bought a small squash blossom necklace.



Finally, I felt alive again.





When I saw this on the side of one of the shops, I felt like James was giving me his message once again, “Color your world with happiness and joy.”

“I did it sweetheart. I finally did it,” I whispered.

The brilliant southwest sun soaked through my skin into every fiber of my being. It was time.

Weekly Writing Challenge: 1,000 words

 

Life is for Living

I finally found myself in the year of 2010. The reason I say this is because I was lost for the two years prior to 2010. My husband died and my world went blank for two years. In June, 2008, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. Two weeks later, he died. I did not have time to process the fact he was dying because it happened so suddenly. I can talk about this now. Before now, I was not able to.

My husband was a large man, but not fat. He was 6'2″ and weighed 185 lbs. I think that most of that 185 pounds was muscle. He was a contractor and built homes for a living. He was a good provider. He was also a good husband. I wish I could say he was also a good father, but unfortunately, we were not able to have children. Prior to his diagnosis we had been talking about me getting fertility treatments. Once he was diagnosed with late stage cancer, we couldn't even think about that anymore because it was no longer our priority.

The doctor told us that there was no cure for his cancer, especially at the late stage that it was. I wanted to fight. I wanted him to do everything he could to try and beat that damn cancer. But he said no. He said that it would only prolong his suffering and he didn't want to do that. He asked me to try and understand.

“Understand what? Understand that you don't want to live anymore? Understand that you don't want to be my husband anymore?”

“No sweetheart,” he told me softly, “that is not it at all. I love you more today than the day I married you. I just refuse to be a burden on you. I refuse to suffer trying to get a cure, trying to find some little grain of hope, when in truth, there is none.”

The tears stung my cheeks with a fire I hated worse than anything I had ever felt before. “I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU! DAMN YOU CANCER, I HATE YOU!” My sobs left me gasping for breath. He had his arms around me, understanding the agony I was in. We just stood there holding each other. Neither of us, at that time, knew how long he had left to live. I never even dreamed he would be taken from me just two short weeks later. I know now that that was the best. That meant he didn't have to suffer long. I was the one that was left to sufffer.

Like I said, I don't remember much of those two years after he died. My mind pretty much went blank. I just went through the motions of living, but I wasn't living, in truth, I was dead inside.

Two weeks after James died, I finally had the nerve to look through some of his things. I wanted to smell his smell. I wanted to touch what he touched. I just wanted to be near him and this was as close as I could get now. In the pocket of his jacket, I found a letter. The letter was addressed to me.

To my beautiful wife,

If you are reading this, then I have gone. I want you to know how very much I loved you and will always love you. You are and always will be, my soul mate. I am sure right now your world is filled with darkness. Please get out of that darkness. Stay in the beautiful light that you are meant to be in. Color your world with happiness and joy. Fill your world with love and friends. I love you so very much, my dear beautiful wife.

Your loving husband,

James

For six months I slept until 1:00 or 2:00 in the afternoon. I only got out of bed because I felt like I had to. I would have preferred just to have stayed in bed. I hadn't worked since James and I got married. He didn't want me to work and I was happy with that. I just wanted to be a good wife and someday a good mother. Now, I am going to have to find a job and get a life. Whatever the hell that is. But now wasn't the time for that. Now wasn't the time for anything for that matter.

I read his letter every day for six months. I would read it, kiss it, touch it, and smell it. It was getting very worn and tattered. I put it inside my favorite book, next to the rose James gave me Valentine's Day.

Eight months after James died, my sister quit her job in Boston and moved to Albuquerque to be with me and find a job here. I was glad she did that for me. I needed her. God knows, I needed someone to help me get through this hell.

She found a job right away and settled into her new life here very well. I was thankful to have her company. Her presence helped pull me out of the darkness I had surrounded myself in.

On May 1, 2010, she and I decided to go to “Albuquerque Old Town.” For the first time in two years, I finally laughed again. She and I ate Stuffed Sopaipillas. They were sopaipillas that were opened up and filled with delicious ground beef, pinto beans, green chili, lettuce, tomatoes, and shredded cheese.



We browsed through the shops and enjoyed the beautiful southwestern art. My sister bought a small squash blossom necklace.



Finally, I felt alive again.





When I saw this on the side of one of the shops, I felt like James was giving me his message once again, “Color your world with happiness and joy.”

“I did it sweetheart. I finally did it,” I whispered.

The brilliant southwest sun soaked through my skin into every fiber of my being. It was time.

Weekly Writing Challenge: 1,000 words