(R) Elizabeth Veronica Larkin
(L) Veronica Elizabeth Larkin, Laskavitch, Kelley, Carter
“The first pressure of sorrow crushes out from our hearts the best wine; afterwards the constant weight of it brings forth bitterness, the taste and strain from the lees of the vat.” —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
JULY 3, 1945, curled tightly within the embryonic sac as if I were trying to protect myself even before I was born, my mother’s bitterness passed through the placenta to me. Her caustic drip of vengeful thoughts toward the man who knocked her up and then abandoned her for another etched their way into the texture of my being. With an inexplicable knowing, I absorbed the angst she felt around her unwed status. It would be years before I would understand the reason for her uncontrolled, soul-searing sarcasm toward me and my birth. Unfortunately, reasons—even understandable ones—can never erase the scars such hatred leaves. The defacement is indelible; the deformity remains. “Shameful, embarrassing, defective,” became the standard by which everyone, myself included, measured me. After all, as the Bible says, “The bastard shall not enter the congregation of the Lord; even to his tenth generation” (Deuteronomy 23:2).
Wiping the July sweat from her brow, my mother, Veronica adjusts her burgeoning belly and cries out to her mother, “For God’s sake, mother, this child is one month overdue! I can’t take this pressure anymore! Go get me what’s left of the ice.”
Scrambling to calm her agitated daughter, my grandmother, Elizabeth, hurries outside to retrieve the last of the ice from the old ice box on the sagging front porch. She is careful not to step on any of the ancient boards that have nearly rotted through. She smiles at her four- year-old grandson, whose dimples are almost as large as his little round cheeks. “How ya doin’, Ronnie?” she croons. (P.g. 6) To be continued………………..
Ragdoll Redeemed: Growing up in the Shadow of Marilyn Monroe at www.Amazon.com