18 Jul

Memories. The pleasant ones I save for day time when I need to be reminded of all the unbelievable ways I have been saved from disasters in my life – and the happy times spent with my children and how wonderful they turned out in spite of a life of chaos and turmoil – but the nights I have no control over.
It is three o’clock in the morning. I am sound asleep when the persistent dry, hacking cough wakes me up and continues until it is impossible to ignore it. A physical reminder of long ago when life seemed unbearable.
I remember Corky ( my nick name for my youngest daughter, the light of my life) was having a conversation with her four- five year old play mate. She was explaining to her that I was cleaning an already clean house. “why”? was the girlfriend’s question. “Because when mommy is mad she cleans house” came the answer. Then she added “We have the cleanest house in the world”. What a wake-up call. That was her take on my total panic of how to exist day to day – until my precious girls would be grown up enough to make their own way in this world and I could finely go to sleep and never, ever wake up. God would take me home never to feel pain again.
Alas, God has promised to be with us through whatever we must survive here on earth, not protect us from it all.
In my youth I did not understand that. I spent a lifetime trying to do it on my own because I had learned in my early years during the war that you can’t depend on anybody to save you from disaster except yourself – and that is a hit and miss condition at best. So, death is the only answer.
Now that time had come. My daughters were both on their own and I had given up waiting for God to do His job of taking me home. I would have to expedite that goal. Yes, I was cleaning – again, when I read the warning on the bottle of cleaning agent I had in my hands about the danger of combining that with Chlorine bleach. It listed the consequences with death being a possibility – Eureca – I had found the answer. When the fumes hit me full force in the tiny, windowless bathroom and I started coughing uncontrollable my stubborn, uh, determined personality refused to let my feet take me out into the fresh air. My thoughts, as I lay there on the floor on the way to unconsciousness were euphoric – no one would suspect attempted suicide as the cause of death – I would not be leaving a reputation behind for my girls to be ashamed about – I had reached my goal.
Needless to say I did not die. But I had to pay the consequences of a damaged throat the rest of my life. I am here writing about it. Find the answer to my survival in “The Chocolate Bar”. And my life eventually became first bearable and then pleasant and, in the last two years totally happy, having the love of my life next to me on sleepless nights, rubbing my back until I fall asleep. I never asked him to do that but he remembers our conversation about what I wrote in the book about my father rubbing my feet during the nightly air raids. It calmed my fears of being alone in the dark bunker – I felt safe as long as his hand was stroking me.
No, I did not have to ask my husband to do that for me – he knows instinctively what it takes to make me feel safe and secure – and – he is willing to do whatever it takes. What love and sensitivity.
No, God has not answered my prayer to take me to heaven. He is giving me heaven here on earth.


One response to “Consequences

  1. Marion Turrell

    July 18, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    I have heard part of the story and now I have heard the entire story. I knew why she wrote “The Chocolate Bar” and my heart is sad now that I know the entire story. She has told me that her father use to rub the bottom of her feet while sitting in a bunker while the bombs rained down from heaven.She has never ask me to rub her back and I do it before we fall asleep in the evening. Then sometime during the night I wake up enough to rub her back and she will fall asleep again. When she does I feel like I have done something very special for my loving wife, Agathe.



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