One draft done, who knows how many to go. When I took wing into this writing sky with Jennifer and Carrie and my sister circle last February, I had no idea the cult would be my first book. I had no idea how revealing and healing the writing would be. I had no idea how hard it was going to be.
In present time I have no idea where all this will lead. I know where I want it to lead, and I hold that vision lightly and reverently in my heart. I know I'm on a journey I love and I know I'll follow it as far as it will take me. Getting to write words every day that give wings lift is what I came here to do. It's amazing to me that I'm finally getting to do just that.
For those of you who have followed the story for these last months, and who don't know me in my present life, here is how things turned out:
While Marlene the Unsmiling couldn't be the nurturing mom I wanted her to be, she was the skilled attorney I needed her to be. When the divorce was final seven months later I was granted maintenance and tuition and fees until I got a Master's degree or got re-married - whichever happened first.
Marv wanted to give me Jesse so that he wouldn't have to see me whenever I came to visit. The visits were pretty awful anyway - having to see Marv and having to leave Jesse behind every time. I couldn't afford a rental that would allow a big dog, and decided to let Marv have him. A decision that still stings.
The single teacher next door turned out to be everything that Marv was not and much much more.
I graduated from Portland State with a teaching degree in May of 1987. Walt (the guy next door) and I were married on August 16 of that year. I decided marriage was more important at that point than a Master's degree. A week after we got back from our honeymoon I was hired for a fifth grade position - a week before school started.
The cult and trucking company both ended within a year of our divorce. Through Harold's oldest daughter, who I ran into occasionally, I learned that Marv eventually remarried, moved to California and had a couple of kids. That still stings, too. Harold and Bonnie are both dead now. Laurel and I stayed in touch for years, but she stopped writing a while ago.
I'm still married to Walt, and grateful for the gifts our relationship has brought and continues to bring me. I'm still teaching, and ready for that chapter to end. I'm trying hard to be as present and grateful as possible while the lessons to learn as a teacher are still unfolding.
So, my blog will be changing. During the winter break (a week and a half away) I'm going to pull the story off, change my format, and write about my life as it unfolds in real time. I have a terrifically cool life - a wonderful home in the country, a loving and very understanding husband, a gifted counselor, four cats, twenty-one third graders, great books to read, growing relationships with my brothers, an unfolding spiritual life, amazing friends for fun and support.
Oh, and we're getting a puppy in the next couple of weeks. A Golden Retriever. My third, our second - the first chosen with eyes wide open. We go tomorrow to choose and will bring him home before Christmas.
I am so grateful to everyone who has read and commented on my story up to this point. If you still have unanswered questions, ask away. Or wait for the book (big grin here!). I hope you'll continue to visit me here as I stretch my wings into a new sky.