Sunday, August 20, 2006

Crazy {Desperate} Canadians

It's funny what childhood memories we carry with us. Some events that should be memorable seem lost with little or no recollection except the knowledge that they did in fact happen. The other night while lying in bed an odd event came back to me. One that I don't think I have shared with many, probably because I forgot or maybe because as a child I had hoped to forget. It's not tragic or horrible, just a strange event that will remain burned in my head to the end of my days.

It was a sunny day when I was about 7 and I was accompanying my father on some errands. He had to stop at somebody's place, I don't know who or why but when we pulled into to apartment complex, I saw a play area and asked if I could play on the swings.

"I won't be long, so wait for me there."Said my dad.

This was before the days of constant super vision. Back when phrases like "It's a beautiful day, go out and play." Or "You've been parked in front of the TV too long, go out and get the stink blown off ya" were heard on a daily basis. "Be home by dinner." was usually the last thing you heard mom say before venturing off for hours, without a cell phone or any other lines of communication.

I headed straight for the swings. I was alone and loved to swing, I would get as high as I could, close my eyes, lean back and just let myself glide back and forth until I stopped. But today's relaxing swings was interrupted with a perky "Hi!"

It was a girl from my class named Dixie. I didn't really know Dixie, but I did know that all the kids made fun of her. She was poor and it showed. Dirty hand me down clothes, her pants always a couple inches too short, matted long blonde hair, and stick thin. She was an odd little girl, often teased and the brunt of jokes.

"Hi." I replied.

"Do you live here too?"

"No, just here with my dad."

"Wanna play?"

"I guess but, my dad said he would only be a couple of minutes. How come you cut your hair?"

Ok, so it wasn't just cut. It was buzzed, completely. And I just had to ask. " I had head lice so the doctor said I had to shave it off."

I thought this seemed strange as other kids in class had had head lice and the school nurse had sent home a notice that mentioned a special shampoo. I couldn't help but think about how much she would be teased on Monday, and why a parent would shave a little girls head but before I could respond her face lit up. "I have something I want to show you, wait here." And off she ran across the parking lot and disappeared into one of the buildings. She was only gone a few minutes when she came speeding back, her fist clenched tight and wearing the biggest grin.

"Hold out your hand I have a surprise for you!"

Hesitantly, I stretched out my arm, palm up, she put her hand over mine, and let a few little grey flakes fall into my hand.

"I really like you and I want you to have these."

Puzzled I looked at the delicate little flakes and asked "What is it?"

Seemingly surprised with my lack of knowledge she said "That's not an 'it', that's my dad."

As the horror, shock and disgust began to set in, I could not take my eyes off of the three little ashes she had placed in my palm. I glanced at her, she seemed so pleased and happy to have given me this gift. "He died a few years ago and mom had him cremated, she keeps his ashes in a jar on the shelf. You should put them in your pocket so the wind doesn't blow them away." And with that said she turned and happily skipped off.

Freaked out and taking the opportunity of her back to me, I hastily brushed the ashes out of my palm and let them find a new home in the sand beneath my feet. Just then Dixie turned to me, with a fake, somewhat scared smile, I pretended to pull my hand from my pocket. Dixie climbed onto the seat of the giant orange spring, holding onto the pegs that protruded from the temples of a horses head and while rocking back and forth began humming a made up tune.

I, was not so cheery. I was grossed out that someone put human ashes in my hand and then I was suddenly filled with guilt for letting pieces of a human fall to the ground. Then I felt fear as I scanned my surroundings, wondering if there had been any witnesses. Satisfied, there were none, I looked to the ground to see if I could see the pieces of Dixie's dad.

Just a few seconds later I heard my dad call my name. I Jumped from the swing, thankful to be getting out of there. "Bye" yelled Dixie waving.

"Bye" I mumbled, giving one of those half assed waves where your arm appears too heavy to lift past your waste.

I was quiet all the way home. Too scared and maybe even ashamed of what had happened to tell my Dad. And how do you tell your parents that some strange girl gave you human ashes but you freaked out and bushed then to the ground? Hm.

Strange but true. What would you have done?

As I have stated in past entries, I am going insane with my sudden limitations. So I decided to try a new creative outlet. Something I had no interest in doing but desperation to create drove me to it. I have a friend Val who designed some free digi kits which you can download from her site Embellies . I tried the Sid kit and created this layout of my brothers dog Mattu. Now remember this is my very first digi layout, created with Valerie's very first digi kit...hehehe...

I think it's pretty cute, and will definitely be doing more!


strawberrygirl said...

Awwwwwwww...our guy is a celebrity:) Thanks Auntie Danea!

Breanne said...

Cute layout!

Miss M! said...

What an interesting story. That poor little girl. I can see how you would have been freaked out though, hell,I would have now, even as an adult.

mindy said...

Way to go with the digi! can't believe it's your first.

Yer daddy said...

well.. you could of told yer dad... after all... I had years of practise at "listening".. Kinda strange now.. however cause in our living room, Jules and I have the last earthly remains of her "Uncle Jack", and I kinda like havin the old fella around. Weird huh?

christina said...

ohh i would have freaked out too and probably would have done the same thing, after all you were only seven. i feel so sad for that little girl.

cute lo's btw. i want to try digi layouts and definately will be checking out your friends site.

cheryl mezzetti said...

Wow what an incredible story and an awful lot for you and that little girl. I hope life was good to her in the years that followed. Your digi work is gorgeous..but then i love all your work..


MOM said...

That is adorable, I am not sure i understand the digital thing. Do you print it out ? What do you do with it. Ya ya I am still in olden days mode! These fancy pancy new computer things get us old timers. heehee. Help me out here girl.
love mom

PS How come you never told me that story?

Anonymous said...

great lo. love the red collar.

that is a strange story. that poor little girl. i guess she was just trying to keep him alive since you couldn't meet him in person. i bet she had done that before. i wonder if she remembers that store.