Is it Only in My Mind – First move (Alberta)
Caught up in circles confusion is nothing new
Flashback, warm nights almost left behind
suitcases of memories
Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time
We moved to Alberta with an old car, and a truck pulling one u-haul mini trailer. If I wanted the blue chair that the little ones loved to lie in I would have to fit it into the u-haul. I would need to fit our lives into the u-haul because the truck bed would be piled with all the unsorted paraphernalia from his garage. Though frustrating as I let things go, it would prove a good thing when a bolt would break on the hitch of the truck and he would happen to have just the one we needed in his junk boxes.
Our boxes were piled in the basement of the house we would originally live in while we stayed with people in the church. It would work out okay. The children were small enough and people were friendly enough that I could hope this would be the place my husband had dreamed it would be.
Our little girl turned 1 years old shortly after we moved into our house across the parking lot from the church in the Alberta town. At first it really seemed that life would change. The people were friendly enough and our two little ones were surrounded by love. The church had a piano that I could play in the day while the children played around me or late at night when my husband was home and the children in bed.
I would get in trouble sometimes when I would go and get food for the transients that would come by the church asking for help. I was taking too many risks. But my family had taught me it was right to care so I would do it anyway.
I would introduce children’s songs or follow my husband’s leading and teach praise songs, some with the syncopation that made the present pianist uncomfortable. I would talk too loud or too long, talk to the wrong person.
When one of the people in my church put my name forward to try for the part of Maria in the town production, with my husband’s okay I took the private audition. When I was asked to play the part, I still got the okay. My children spent many evenings and Saturdays running around the local gym while some of the parents rehearsed on stage. I helped make costumes, and felt those flutters of friendships as our family would share a meal and visit with the family of the doctor who played Georg, the captain, since I was so nervous about the love scenes that were a part of the role. The scenes with the children were magic though. How I came to love them all not just on stage but off. When I would be a bit concerned about my lines our director would take it in stride saying that all actresses felt strongly about things like I did. In the end, this director who had met Maria in person wrote that SHE would be proud of what I had done.
When it was over one of the children and I were asked to take lead roles in Amal and the Night Visitor. To be asked to play the role was a great honour demanding that I practice at home. The richness of the notes vibrated through my being soothing out the edges of anxiety and depression for the moments of singing. However, though the yes was given, the picking at home was gaining momentum.
I found I was pregnant with my third child about the same time I started having severe pains in my chest that were diagnosed as a hiatal hernia, some problem with my stomach not closing properly. It became so severe that I had to stop my work on Amal and the night visitors. At the time, I believed it would be the last opportunity I would have to play a role. But my child came first and I couldn’t know if the pain I was feeling was harming my child. Losing this avenue into the life of others who accepted me for something I was capable of doing was a great loss in my life. Especially since the after math of my role in the church was greater expectation and greater criticism because I had done something that was not directly for the church.
There was some understanding and concern since I was having some health problems. When the doctor recommended a water bed could possibly help with the discomfort I had, two men even offered to move the king size bed we had and help set up a waterbed someone was getting rid of so was willing to let us have.
They didn’t know my husband. The day came to move the king size bed, only weeks before my due date. He didn’t call the men, he called me to help. Having had my water break early with both of my other babies, I wouldn’t help. “Okay,” he told me, “then you can just sleep on this bed.
The day came for our daughter’s birth as told in another writing. The problems with the closing of her stomach valve – the infant form of what I had experienced throughout her pregnancy – would cause her to scream much of the day needing rocking in a chair or in an inclined rocker. She could not be left alone or flat. Nights were nightmares as her coughs could mean she would stop breathing. And so the journey toward darkness, as recorded earlier began.