Posted by: Brenda Kula | March 27, 2008

Words Are Golden


The pansies are still blooming. I love all the varied colors. And especially the ones that have a blended hue to them.


And you can’t discount the peachy ones.


I wanted to take the time here to thank all the readers who left comments on an entry I wrote a few days ago. It was a sad memory I dealt with by writing it down. I hesitated before posting it. But then decided that if I couldn’t bare my soul with my true blogger friends, then why was I even writing down thoughts instead of merely taking photos of flowers? I also wanted to open up a dialogue for others who might want to share similar experiences. For when these things are shared, we come to realize we aren’t alone.   

Something will remind me of something and off I go. Thank goodness women have the inherent sense to know when to have a crying spell. It eases whatever ails them, and then they’re all fresh and rejuvenated.

I am actually a happy, fun-filled person. I have an absolutely wicked sense of humor. I don’t know where I found it. For I grew up in my great-grandmother’s house, and I seldom remember anyone smiling. But then, she didn’t have much to smile about. She’d had eight children; four girls and four boys. Her husband died. Her next to oldest child, my grandmother, was mentally or brain-afflicted in some way. It made her very child-like. You had to protect her. She was raped and had my mother, or so the story goes. (These days, whether she was raped or not, she was obviously mentally incapacitated, so it would still be considered that she was taken advantage of.)

So then my poor great-grandmother not only had a grown child for the rest of her life, but then the grown daughter’s child also. She headed to the highway. And then here I came. My great-grandmother only lived till I was 13; she was worn out. You know, I never had the sense to think of it in those terms until my good friend Walli said to me one day, "Brenda, of course she never smiled and seemed bitter. Look at what she had to contend with." And it took something as simple as that to make me look at it from that angle. I only hope my own children have such wise revelations one day. (Walli has more common sense than anyone I’ve ever met, by the way. Thanks, Walli, for always being there!)

But I made it, by and by, and I’m still here. And I learned from my great-grandmother to plant things in the earth. I learned the almost unbearable sweetness of a blooming flower. A gift that never needed wrapping.

We didn’t have books in our house. I suppose that was considered a luxury. So as soon as I could read, I practically lived at the small local library.

And from a very early age, I somehow knew that laughter was everything. I was writing funny tales for the teacher to read to all of us at "put your head down on your desk and rest time" when I was in the fourth grade. Words put the whole world at my grasp. Reading was traveling the globe in a hot air balloon!

The ones I truly grieve for are my siblings, who did live with my mother (who I’m sure was mentally ill) long enough to be truly scarred. At least the two I met once in my early twenties were. They saw some things that I could not write here in a public forum. And then were adopted out around school age and expected to be normal. Of course they weren’t. So out of six children, I truly was the lucky one.

The sisters I never met at all were apparently adopted out fairly early. I have no way of knowing what their names were or where they were taken. Or even when they were born. I’ve tried to locate them through adoption and social services, but have hit dead ends. I don’t know if they even have any awareness of my existence.

You have to remember that pain is a relative thing, for which none of us has the actual numerical equation. As in, if I knew what it felt like to have a mother, I might be able to miss her. But that’s like telling someone who’s never tasted a snowflake, or even seen one, what the experience is actually like.

From time to time, I will feel some longing tug at me. Sometimes all it takes is seeing a grown child who doesn’t appreciate the mother they have. And I will feel compelled to write down my feelings in order to put it some place. That is my scrapbook.

You see, my words, they’ve always kept my ship from sinking.

I always say to my grown daughters, "I had you so young and without any amount of sense. I had no earthly idea what I was doing. But I gave you laughter. You can’t ever say I did not give you the gift of laughter."

I thank you all for your kindness, the true affirmation that there is a good world out there. Virtual strangers who have become my dear friends, hugs to all of you. Be proud of being the compassionate women you are!




  1. Hi Brenda,
    What an insightful post and that Walli sounds like a gem. Leave it someone else that can be objective about a difficult situation and is a real friend to speak their mind.

    Maybe through blogging Brenda you may find your sisters. Possibly, they are looking for you too.

    Most of all, I wish you peace. I think it’s great you’re getting your emotions out. And no matter if we’re happy most of the time, it’s great to give yourself permission to have a difficult day. We’re all the same, sweetie!

    Hope your weekend is lovely.

  2. Great post and helped give more insight into your story (which is why I love to read blogs!)

    Like you, I loved the library too as a child and LOVED to read. Writing has been cathardic for me, as well.

    Isn’t it amazing that your grandmother still gave you s lifelong love of something (gardening). You took it and held on to it and passed it around. You are conquring your family’s demons! That is what we all must figure out how to do…or they destry us too. And BTW love the pansy picts!

  3. Brenda, That is so touching. I’m glad you can find help through putting your thoughts on paper. Who knows, maybe someone with a connection to you will read your blog, and the missing link could be found to answer your questions. Only time will tell. Hold your head up high. You have a purpose to fulfill. Love,Rachel

  4. Hi Abi,
    Thanks for the message!
    xoxoxo~From Zeke (keep doing what you’re doing – fluff is great).
    xoxo~And Tracie too!

  5. Brenda– your honesty and transparency encourage me. It is difficult for me to speak of my childhood, but I deal with my pain, and the absurdities, in fictional stories. And much with laughter! My entire family had a weird sense of humor. Thanks for the reminder that this is the greatest gift I have given my son.

  6. Well done, Brenda. And well said. I feel much better about you after having read this post. Laughter is indeed full of healing powers, and being able to laugh at yourself provides the greatest healing.

  7. Brenda, I’m doing my Saturday catch-up, and reading the post from earlier in the week filled my eyes with tears, as did this one. You are a miracle, if I can use that over-used word; filled with generosity and kindness, humour and warmth, despite events of the past. You’re also a far better person than the ones who brought you to this earth, although I am at least grateful to them that you exist, and that you share your story. Thank you for writing these posts, because I’m sure they will also bring comfort to others like you.

    And on a lighter note–I love the change in dot-colour. 🙂

    warmest hugs to you across the miles, jodi

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