Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Like a Fish Out of Water (10/24/13)
- TITLE: Getting Along Swimmingly . . .
By Judith Gayle Smith
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Our frightening father, when he died at age thirty-six, left behind a small fortune in Child Pornography magazines. Mother burned every last one of them in the incinerator. We small girls drowned in her tears.
I didn't understand why mom cried so much, why she put up with daddy's womanizing, drinking and beatings. I know she didn't believe in divorce when children are involved. She wouldn't partake of the drinking, and could ill endure the physical and emotional abuse. Swimming in a sea of lust and booze, our daddy was.
My older sister is still frightened of men.
I vowed I'd never marry someone who could hurt me so much.
Mom remarried daddy's best friend, my sister's godfather, because she didn't want us vulnerable young girls to grow up without a father. Mom had sadly endured her parents' divorce because of her father's adultery when she was a impressionable and confused nine-year-old child. Still waters deeply run.
Too young to understand, I didn't know why mom became terribly agitated to find men's magazines with centerfolds smuggled into our home. When our new dad started fondling us girls, we became confused and angry. Dad tried to swear us to secrecy, telling us how much it would hurt mom if she knew. Threatening to call the police and tell Mom when she returned home from grocery shopping quickly calmed those very troubled waters.
I became extremely wary of men I could not read.
My first marriage proposal was off-handedly suggested by an inconsiderate young man who had his eye on our dad's trucking business. Flunk. He was my determined, handsome escort to both our Junior and Senior proms. He found someone else willing to marry him, and word came to me that he was that most miserable of loathsome wretches, a wife beater. Close call. Several years later she intelligently divorced him and he came calling. We had dinner at Knott's Berry Farm, and I lost my contact lens in the soup du jour. He then took me for drinks and dancing. The Polka. I couldn't Polka. He arm twisted me to the dance floor totally against my will. I turned him down the second time. Threw him back in the dating pond.
I drowned hopelessly in love when I turned twenty-two. To a man I met in church who did not use me as an object of his lust, who treated me like the perfect lady I yearned to be. We married four years later. Still a virgin after four years of wedded "bliss", I was frustatingly untouched physically, desperately gasping like the proverbial fish out of water emotionally. We had a true pathological-symbiotic relationship, he needed, and I needed to be needed. Mentally we communicated swimmingly, but were oceans apart spiritually and physically. I floundered helplessly . . .
I took an unbelievable flying leap the following year, 1973, running away to the wilds of Canada in a Ford Van driven by a dark "Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights-type" brooding health nut hippie who made Elvis Presley look positively anemic. Surprisingly, we met through my parents. I was, I thought, throwing my life away, giving myself to a man who had seven hundred pounds of grains and nuts in Boaz, his van. But God had made other plans. He kindled a sympathetic beingness of the two of us. We grew to love each other with Jesus as our Center. His Living Water is warm, welcoming and comforting.
We are now aging grace-filled because of Him. We anticipate being the blessed Koi of His Pond. Actually, there is nothing fishy about this. We have finally found Whose, What and Where our true Home is, and therefore we have chosen His fishbowl to splash in happily ever after . . .
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