I put a sun hat on my mom as we trailed through the livestock and as we talked about all the different kinds of animals there, I think this is another reason I look forward to the Fair every year because no matter what has changed it is the same feeling of being a kid again while pushing my mom's wheel chair along all the displays of our local community. I loved how the flower section brighten up both my teenage brother and my mom, they came alive with such shared knowledge and I delighted in their reactions. Davis is now my mother's primary care giver, while my father and other brothers go off to work everyday he stays near by to our mom so she won't get stuck or fall down from being on her own. Hard to believe she has come so far in 4 years since her stroke and the doctors who said she would never eat real food again. The 3 of us dug into fair foods with delight and enjoyment that always makes me happy to share in!
Then it all came flooding back to me being at the Canyon Country Fair in Caldwell Idaho this week.....My Grandma Norma (my mother's mother) always took me HERE while I was growing up. The year I was 16 she happily sat on a bench while I rode around in the carnival. Always splitting up the fair foods with me so we could have a bite of everything there! I remember those days with gratefulness...she rescued me from baby bottles and diapers, from my home schooling weirdness and house chores that when done just right made my mom happy towards me. The year I was 16 years old was the hardest year of my whole life, I kept thinking if Heaven is so magical and God loves me then why can't I skip out on all my sadness and depression to go straight to heaven and be with God so my soul can finally rest? Then my Grandma told me "God has great things in-store for you, your life is JUST beginning not ending." She would walk all over the fairgrounds and excitedly get 2 corn dogs for us with ice teas or lemon aids. I felt her memories at this fair suddenly looking at my own 16 years old brother who never really know our little Grandma Norma. She was always very kind to me, she would always listen to me in all of my outbursts or my struggles without blaming me for those feelings I desperately struggled with. I felt so trapped, like I was in prison at the age of 16 because I had 2 baby brothers to watch over and a very hormonal emotional chaotic mother. My fear of father back then took on a whole new life force at the very sight of him I would hold my breath or cleverly run and hide. Since my Grandma was also scared of my father too I felt we had an understanding she often said "Just stay out of his way if you can." At the Canyon county fair my Grandma and I would clap at the talent shows, laugh at the kids running around and walk side by side in awe of someone's needle work. She taught me how to have manners and consideration for others. It's so easy for me romanticize her now that she had been dead almost 14 years.....I remember how she would pout and return her drink if they put to much ice in it or if they didn't fill it to the top.She would get so mad if she overheard anyone speaking Spanish because she said "It's rude, I can't understand them so then they must be talking about me." I would chuckle back and shake my head thinking "Why would they be talking about us? we don't even know them?" I have many good caring wonderful memories of my Grandmother that while going to the fair I was able to breath again and realize there is more to life then my own!
I wonder how Davey sees me sometimes because like any normal teenager he already has all the answers for his life, he is smart and shy then suddenly very stubborn. I like trying to get to know him as much as he will allow at least. 20 years before he was born I was surrounded by grandparents, Aunts and Uncles even older cousins who held me and loved me. I was aware by the age of 6 that if I listened to all these people I could learn something, I could receive a hug and a smile of acceptance that my parents never had for me. My mother reminded me this week as we went to lunch "You were born spoiled by everyone in the family, I didn't think it was fair that you got all of their attention. Everyone said you were a sweetheart but I knew the truth! At home you were always challenging me and disobeying people didn't see the REAL you." I sat there listening thinking back knowing how my mother sees the world is through her own eyes.....I think any little kid would act up getting spanked all the time like I did. Funny, how life throws us into moments of raw pain, of sudden reaction to our past. I could be upset at my mother for so many things if I tell myself the story that I was abused......yet I want to see through her eyes just WHY did our family turn out this way? Full of anger, full of pain? No one really liked my honesty as a kid that I can recall expect my Grandma Norma who would nodded kindly as she listened to my ramblings and she often said "Let us pray that God will help heal your family." I am grateful for those words of comfort and for those days we went out together into the world!
Now I walk through the fair also grateful for how raw and honest my mother is towards me, she doesn't hide away from what she really thinks now after her stroke, I really admire her for that! I have learned so much in the last 4 years of why I was born, of why I was treated the way I was and why she will always blame me for ruining her "honeymoon" days. All of this is part my forgiveness journey, especially for me to stop blaming myself for thinking I broke God's heart as she use to tell me all the time. I understand in far more ways now then ever before that God's heart is stronger then anything I can do or say, that seeing the world from other peoples perspective gives me many more pieces to the puzzle called LIFE! I am so thankful for every day even for those tough ones to be with my mother, loving her unconditionally and sharing my hope to create better days while enjoying our friendship we now have, makes me deeply thankful.
This is the pure magic of the Fair...the sharing of ideas, of hobbies, of arts and crafts with an educational focus in agriculture and what farm animals look like. With laughter and love we stroll through the place like we did when we were young, surrounded by old memories and new faces! I delighted in every second there admiring my Mom and brother as we found some shade to eat ice cream!
From our past we create the present, from our birth we love our parents whether we know them or not.....from BBQ meats to funnel cakes we enjoy the Fair foods and the fun social life!
I said very thoughtfully as we walked through all the sales booths "Ya know Grandma Norma would of LOVED all of this!" My Mom replied back up at me as I walked beside her wheel chair "I wish she was here too, then she could take me out shopping like she use to do only now I can go with her even more." I laughed out loud at how adorable my mother looked and at how shopping is always going to be her main request. I see the world changing right before my very eyes and I know I am already living in a memory.....because all of life is continually cycling from generation to generation we find our way through the many layers of our minds, hearts and souls.
I am thankful, ever so grateful for such a great day at the Fair again this year!