Friday, April 8, 2011

Something to Hide

I did not know I had something to hide.

Gretchen asks “Is there anything you have kept from me and Daddy?”

“I don't think so” I said conversationally…Then in my mind, the wheels turned.

I've tried to convince him that we are broke... I think that has finally worked. I've learned to like watching M.A.S.H. before bed, but I won't tell him this—I will still grumble—that is part of my routine. I won’t tell her when it is goat cheese on the chicken. That is a conversation that just does not need to happen. She needs to eat the chicken. Having said that, I don't think I've “kept” anything from them. I don't think I have anything to hide....I don't think I do.

I've used this blog in the past weeks to share what I’m feeling—what I can’t just say—what might be seen as too much, but I don't think so. I will not hide. I will not hide from all of this craziness that currently resides in my head.

It seems like there is more honesty to write about circumstances, emotions, and stuff along that line than to talk about it. When I talk about it, my voice quivers, my eyes leak and my heart races, my temper rages and my face turns red. I lose my words and tend to become hysterical in a girly kind of way. That does not happen here with a keyboard however. All of that emotion, every bit of that comes out of my fingers like they already knew what to write, like it was always there, like all it needed was to be released. I find myself holding my breath until I finish the sentence and its punctuation. Breathe. The words cross the screen before I even think them. Breathe. It is there on the screen, like someone else was telling me what to think. Holding my breath like I too am reading for the first time what my heart is feeling.

I feel like there is nothing to hide because anyone who takes the time to read this is actually interested. They are not looking me in the eye they don't have to continue to read if it is boring or if they don't have time. They can click the X at the top right of the screen if the beeper goes off and dinner is done. People can read because they choose to. But regardless if anyone reads or not, I have said with my fingers what I needed to released from my heart, and you can listen if you have the chance. I don't have anything to hide....I don't think I do.

I can form run-on sentences to share the sorrow, the pain, the process of grieving, you can take part if you want. It is not easy to process all the power surges of emotion, but I'm glad that this keyboard is ready to hear me out. I'm honored by those who have read my words and have shared their feedback and given their caring advice. I thrive on the advice....I'm humbled by the advice. I'm also humbled by all of those who have read any of my blogs at all. I may not have known you were reading, but I'm grateful still.

There are those who have been through their own trials, and when they say, let me hold your figurative hand, let me share your road; let me show you what I have learned. To those I say thank you. Because knowing you care makes it easy to share, sharing without being afraid to be judged. I tell myself I have nothing to hide. I will not hide. I will not hide from these feelings—and when I have shown these feelings—to those reading—thank you for not running. For standing with me, for saying you care, and for sharing your own thoughts. Thank you for loving me and indulging me and my thoughts. Sadness and anger they are just part of what is showing right now. You can say anything to me you darn well will not make me mad. It will make me know I'm not in it alone.

My daughter has an old soul. She is more understanding than a girl her age should be. She would almost make me believe in reincarnation, it is like she has done this thing called life before. It is all old hat to her. She has these eyes that are so knowing. She approaches situations like “now how did I do this last time?” Her questions are well beyond her age; she cuts to the chase and lays it all out. “Have you kept anything form me and daddy?”

I can't even remember where the conversation came from when she ask me if I have kept anything from them. I can't even remember what we were talking about, at that moment. I do however know where the question has gone to in my head since then. I haven't kept anything from them but I do tend to keep things secret in my head. Secret until I think it can be let out. Secret until I think it is safe to share. Secret until I have thought it through.

I tend to process every thought like it is a secret, I think each thought to death in my head, not just good things, not just bad things, not just anything...I over process everything. I tend to run scenarios of the hypothesized outcome over and over to see what the best plan is. My words are strategic, my plot is planned. This process builds anxiety like crazy. To think that in my head I can run enough scenarios to keep the bad things from happening. Yeah that will always go well, right? Breathe.

This over indulging thought process punishes me sometimes. It keeps me form being spontaneous; it keeps me from taking chances. It however makes me sure of who I think I am and that I have nothing to hide. Whatever I have thought through will be safe to let the world share.

I have found when I sit down to write, the over indulged thought process is gone, it doesn't seem to apply here. What crosses form my fingers to the keyboard is instant, it is unplanned and it is true. I take chances that my feelings set adrift into the world are pure and will be received by eyes and ears that care for me. So I do not over think them, I just let go, I will not hide. I will release them and let them go, I will be sad, I will be angry, I will be true, I will not hide. I will process and allow the process to heal me—because it is not just me that needs to be healed.

There is this little girl who needs me to be on her path of healing, to help her count the things she knows to be true. To help her not lose those things she knows to be true. It’s my job to help her not hide from the hurt, not to hide from her feelings, not to hide from her thoughts. So she can be able to release and to breathe.

For a few years, most nights before bed we do what we call “happy thoughts,” a list of things that make us happy.

Fuzzy socks
Painted toe nails
Battery operated tooth brushes
Each other...

Before my Daddy died her grandparents were on her list each night. Now they are not. She does not list them, I do not list them. I think we are both afraid to say it, to say that Pop is our happy thought, because right now it is not happy. Right now it hurts to feel happy about him. It feels wrong to list a man that filled us with love and with joy. So we don't. We instead list thing like...

Wind chimes
Humming birds
Ice cream

We list things we know would be on his “happy thoughts” list. It is not that we planned it, it just happened.

I may feel like I have nothing to hide, but I know I have something I would like to hide. I want to hide her away from this pain and grief, to be protective of her old soul. I want to collect and hideaway all those happy thoughts at bedtime about Pop. I want to hide them and share them with her again somewhere down the line. What I wish I could keep form her is the memory of her Pop and this pain being intertwined together. To keep her heart safe and for us to come out on the other side of all of this unharmed.

I have something to hide.

This young girl that has gained more and lost more than someone her age should be able to tell of; I want her to remember her Pop and it not be mixed with pain. She asks me why I smile right before I start to cry about Pop. I did not know that I even did that. I suppose I smile because the thought of him makes me happy, but the power surge of grief takes it and the grief washes away the smile with my leaking eyes.

I made a list of what my Daddy meant to me before he died because I never wanted to lose any of that or forget a bit of it. I want to hide away all those memories keep them safe and never lose them, so they will not be washed away for good. To hide them so my daughter will always know her Pop was a man that loved her so strongly. He loved her with a love so true that most people spend their whole lives looking for that kind of love. To keep that safe so she will not have to search her whole life for it—that love and happiness are hers already—it may be hidden right now but she just has to look for it. It is not gone she only needs to remember what it feels like. Maybe she can keep it hidden away in her heart for now—hidden away, but easy enough to find someday soon. She will know when the time is right to make him part of her “Happy thoughts” list again.

Someday we will not hide the happiness away, because the sadness and the anger will have faded. The sadness and anger, they will be over and the healing will happen. When the time is right the smiles on our faces will stay and the grief will not come to wash it away. When the time is right we will no longer have something to hide


  1. Until the time is right...from me, you do not have to hide. Love and prayers, Priscilla.

  2. Tanya Masters Templeton Thanks for sharing your soul with us all! We are with you! Always know that. When I am missing Pam, I walk outside and a butterfly will come and light on my shoulder. I think it is her way of knowing I need her comfort. I carried a piece of jewelry she had for over 10 years just because I wanted to touch something that she had touched. Happy thoughts will come. Ask your dad to send you his comfort. He will. Love you honey!

  3. Marlene Bowen Masters Priscilla know that you are loved and we will always stand by you or behind you if you need to lean back on someone. Love you lots and I wish I had your skill of words to express myself.

  4. Priscilla It makes me very proud to read your words again. Love you, Mom