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Lost in my Lowcountry

February 6, 2012


Family. My sister traveled home for the weekend. It’s never easy for the three of us, mom, me and her. Mom knows all the right buttons to push and she should as she she’s been at the switch for a long time. Over the years my sister and I try various methods of handling the battery of questions, and the constant commentary of what we have done wrong and the losers we dated. This trip was a wee bit different. On Friday she surprised me by saying how proud she was of me and of my sister too. I was taken back and amazed. We were  together for eight hours and I was concerned what would happen the next day. We had agreed to go to one of my favorite places; Old Sheldon Church near Beaufort.

I knew something was wrong the next day when my sister wasn’t finishing sentences correctly on the phone in the a.m. Look, my girl is brilliant and only cannot not articulate when mom is sad or the questions are fired like a machine gun from our matriarch.  Stalingrad, Leningrad? Please let our emotional feet have boots while in mental WWII in Russia in Winter.

They picked me up and we went to Wildflour for excellent coffee and scones, but only after I got them lost. Now I didn’t mean to get lost; I just did. I was sitting in the back seat and the tension was in the front and it was coming fast and hard at me like a dementor in Harry Potter and there was no chocolate in sight.  And then we drove on. To a haven of mine; Old Sheldon Church. I love to touch the ruins, to trace my fingers on the tombstones, to be one with this open sanctuary. I always find it and never get lost.

We didn’t get there. I was turned around in conversation about the guy I had went to the Prom with a  million years ago who is now in jail for a Ponzi scheme. Truly, few of us have good judgement at 17, plus he liked me and he was handsome.  

So I got us lost again. We didn’t see the church as I had wanted.  What we did see was amazing. At least it was for me in the back seat as we crossed first the Edisto then the Combahee and Ashepoo Rivers. The sky turned from grey to blue and the clouds went from sirius to cumulus in their formations. The creeks at low tide showed gradient brown hues with clusters of oysters and I tuned out the questions and the inquisition. I just enjoyed what I call my landscape. It heals my heart. We landed close to home at the Angel Oak, yes, I got us lost again, but only for a few minutes. My sister and I were quiet and took a few pictures. We spoke about feeling empathy and kindness and I realized as I had so many years ago that my Adrienne is an amazing jewel.


As our parents grow older we switch roles. This is hard and it tests us.  We all have to hone our skill set and sharpen our tools so we are not thrown backward into patterns that are ineffective. I journal. For me it is salvation as I can honestly express my feelings and write how I feel whether it is what I felt long ago or today.  So,  I must say I love you Mom; thanks for making me absolutely batshit crazy and thank you  for what you have given me.


What can be better after a weekend when there was too much baggage that was opened? Winnie of course and the twins. Joy oh, fantastic joy, being with the innocent 5 year olds that say whatever they’re thinking. “Oh, that flower is nice. People shouldn’t litter. Are we at the playground, yet?” As they talked they patted Winnie between them and I needed to say nothing, but, Love bugs follow me; and they did!


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  1. Louise permalink

    I know what you mean about the”landscape”. I miss it so much. Restful joy.

    • It’s so hard when they get older. Thank you Louise. I hope you liked the book!

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