Home > Communication, Family, Love, Parenting > on finding “for”

on finding “for”

A husband and wife
sit in near darkness and
discuss history and politics
over unfolded laundry
heaped between
them on their
dinner table

Why are you so angry
right now? The past is the past,
and now–now is what it is.

I am angry
because I thought
my suffering in childhood
was anomalous; to see now
that it was widespread,
systemic, is crushing.
It should never
have been
like that.

Totally true.
But that was true even
before you understood it.

I’ll get back to okay
with it, you know.
That and hope
are how I

But I don’t
make the anger
go away by telling it
to go away; I have to
sit with it, and look at it
long enough to understand it,
to soothe it, to reassure it
back to nothingness.
Suppressing it
assures its

But, man.
Man, am I angry
at all the people who
sat by and did nothing.
Nothing! They ensured
my family’s suffering with
their wilting disregard,
all the while priding
themselves on
their splendid

You’re mad.
You want change.
I hear that. What
is it you hope
to change?

do I hope
to change?!
I’ll tell you what:

Right now,
while we have
this conversation
with our kids sleeping
safely in bed, there is a
girl locked in her closet
somewhere, trying to–
as I once used to do–
find a little peace
and a little quiet
in a home

she is wondering–
as I once used to do–
whether life is even worth
living, if it’s always going to
be this painful and she’s
always going to
have to fight
this hard.

I had my siblings,
but she is alone.


She is alone,
and that is
not okay.


I need–
I need
to reach her.

I need her
to keep going.

And I need
to help make
it easier for her
to keep going.

I need her
to know I
love her.

Well, then,
it sounds
like you
have found
you are for.


We will find
some time, and
some space for you
to find ways to change
life for her, okay?

We will do this

And the scene, it departed
with the anger; replaced,
instead, by

Li'l D and Cashier sittin' in the tree

  1. July 19, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    Thank you both.
    Things kept in the dark fester and grow I believe. It isn’t always easy shining a light on them, but it is worthwhile.
    And if ANY child feels loved and finds safety because of your caring you have achieved a great deal.

    • July 20, 2016 at 10:11 am

      I totally agree about things festering and growing in the darkness! Also on how hard but worthwhile it is to shine that light.

      I decided a few weeks ago that education inequality is where I want to focus my limited “extracurricular” time and efforts. I was lucky that I grew up in the flourishing school district of a relatively affluent town. Folks who do not have that, whose schools are dying and along with that their opportunity to rise through education, are not nearly so lucky. So for me, picturing that somebody who has all that abuse and poverty AND underfunded, failing schools … oh, it compels me to work toward change. To bring hope and genuine possibility where right now it does not exist.

      Here begins my own education in advocacy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Paul
    July 20, 2016 at 1:44 am

    Well done Deborah.well done.

  3. July 20, 2016 at 2:25 am


  4. July 20, 2016 at 2:48 am

    ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ :, ) ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. July 20, 2016 at 3:48 am


    The anger never fully goes away, I've long suspected. With time — with luck, with love — it can get transmuted.

    • July 20, 2016 at 10:14 am

      I’m going to practice building that love, and using it for positive change insteaf of being angry. Like in my “abridged history” post, it remains true that:

      My power is choice.

      My choice is love.

      (By the day, I hope to make this choice more easily by my practice.)

  6. July 20, 2016 at 4:11 am

    Very powerful!

  7. July 20, 2016 at 6:10 am

    Love that you shared the follow up discussion – and I can’t wait to see how you change the world for that girl, those girls, all those children. You actually have a great personal and professional background to draw from!

    • July 20, 2016 at 6:13 am

      This was the instigating discussion. I’ll probably switch the dates on the two so that they’ll appear in chronological sequence.

      Anthony and I had this conversation Sunday night. I posted the “I dream” first, but then felt anger rising up again last night and wanted to revisit how “I dream” came to be. Typing that up once again transformed my anger to hope, and to commitment to shaping change for those who are living what my siblings and I once did (and in some ways, still do).

      • July 20, 2016 at 6:16 am

        Now I love the story even more – because I can see that you wasted no time in moving forward. It is not an easy path, but you are an inspiration to so many as you walk it.

    • July 20, 2016 at 11:04 am

      Thank you so much for coming back to say this! I wrote a short, angry post before conferring with my sisters and deciding there were much better ways to proceed. Sitting down and reflecting on this exchange softened my heart again and felt much the better thing to do overall.

  8. July 20, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Very well done and powerful. I’ve been quite busy for the past four hours. It was four hours ago that I first read this post, and I’m still thinking about it.

    • July 20, 2016 at 11:05 am

      Heya! It looks like my “thank you so much for coming back to say this” comment didn’t link to your comment. That one was for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. July 20, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Perfect. ๐Ÿ’œ

  10. July 20, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Powerful. Beautiful. Fierce. I love it whole heartedly.

  11. July 20, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    This is the beginning of something, I think. I’m so looking forward to reading alongside you as you figure it out!

    • July 23, 2016 at 6:51 am

      It definitely feels like something in my heart! It was about a month ago that I looked at how little time I have outside my must-dos and wondered which one place I could/should best focus my energy toward changing things. Education was one of the most significant influences in my life–and for my siblings, I’d say–so that working toward truly equal education was almost immediately where my heart landed. It’ll take me a while to figure out what to do with that, but I’m reading, looking, listening. I am moved. ♥

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