I haven’t been posting, but I have been writing.
A few days ago one of my favorite people, my Aunt Kathy sent me a link to a 300-word essay contest. The theme is, Your Maine Intention and the prize is, a beautiful home situated on four acres in Bath, Maine.
My Aunt told me she believed that I could write a beautiful essay, and when good, honest, and loving people share their beliefs with me, I’m making it a practice to listen.
I’m not sure that my essay is ready to submit (or even quite beautiful) yet…but draft one is done. And the beauty of finishing something (anything) is something far too valuable to overlook.
MAINE INTENTION (v.1)
“Eat it,” she whispered.
Her face was so close to mine that I could see the smudges on her glasses and smell the hairspray in her dull, gray curls.
“Please, Julie,” I choked out.
I was five with hot tears running down my cheeks and she was a babysitter scaring the shit out of me.
“I said. Eat it.”
Now, my little sister sitting across from me was crying, too.
“I’m not hungry,” I lied.
Julie nudged the cereal bowl closer.
I barely liked cereal to begin with and Cheerios least of all. Thankfully, there was a Tupperware cup filled to the brim with grape juice. Maybe I was too excited. Maybe that’s why I spilled that entire cup of deep purple deliciousness directly into that bowl of bloated Os.
I watched the juice bleed into the milk and felt sick. I started crying immediately and in the smallest voice I could muster asked Julie for a new one. That’s when she let out her first sinister and threatening, “Eat it.”
Still petrified of puking I reached for my spoon, crying harder and quieter.
“Every. Last. Bite.”
Then. Miraculously. My Mother reappeared.
In one loving swoop, she picked up my sister and me, covered us in kisses, and we never went back to Julie’s again.
For reasons I’ll likely never know, my mother’s mother never swooped in. Not once. My mother spent her childhood abused, neglected, and aching. But, my sisters and I did not. And neither will our children.
In her late teens, my Mother discovered her inner Super Woman on the coast of Maine. As a result she ended a terrible cycle of trauma and positioned our family to soar off a solid foundation of safe, loving, and joyful experiences that can be traced from Footbridge Beach, to Old Orchard, to Hermit Island, to Acadia and back again.
My Maine Intention for the home you’ve so lovingly built is to fill it with the family my Mother made possible, and to let her know what it’s like to have someone else save the day.