I have started to go back through my earlier posts and with my Sanctuary post, I keep asking myself:

Why didn’t I just tell my grandmother about what my stepfather had done?

Why?  Why?  Why?  Is the mantra that plays in my head.  Inevitably that question leads into:

If I had told her, would she have done anything about it?

I’ll never know the answers to those questions and not knowing what her reaction would be, scared me.  Jack A. threatened me on a regular basis, telling me that if I ever told anyone and CPS got involved, they wouldn’t believe me.  That they would come in, talk to him, and leave and then I’d really be sorry.  So, out of fear of the unknown AND the fear of what he would do to me… I kept my mouth shut.

However, this isn’t meant to be a sad post.  I have a lot of fond memories of visiting my grandparents.  There is this one particular day that stands out.  It was bright and sunny with only a few clouds in the sky that looked like white cotton candy.  I remember wondering if they would taste like coconut.  The sky was a deep aquamarine blue.  It was early summer and it hadn’t reached the astronomically high temperatures it can get down in the south.  I went and asked my grandma if I could go on a hike and she insisted that I take my pack and a lunch.  I took my pack everywhere with me.  I was still keeping a journal at this time.  I believe I was twelve years old and it was 1995.  In my pack was my walkman, lunch, a small blanket, journal, pencil, water bottle, and my reef walkers for exploring creek beds.

Back then, kids were still aloud to run around their neighborhoods and go on explorations without the fear of the boogeyman.  So, I started out exploring the neighborhood and I branched out and ended up finding an abandoned secluded beach by the lake.  It had a small dock that went out over the water.  The dock looked like it was in need of some serious repairs so I put on my reef walkers and went wading.  I checked the dock to make sure it was as structurally sound as possible.  I didn’t want it collapsing with me on it.  So, when I felt satisfied, I waded out of the water and made myself comfortable on the dock.  I laid down on my stomach and watched the water.  The water was somewhat murky but you could see a good six inches down.  There were minnows everywhere in the water.  Every now and then, you would see a larger fish swoop to the surface to catch it’s lunch.

I’m not sure how long I sat there watching the minnows dance but it was just soothing to my soul.  I had found a moment that was just mine.  I didn’t have to share it or tell anyone about it.  It was my secret place.   I knew that no one could take that memory away from me.