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Another Year Here – A LONG Post!

Another year here?

With every passing day we grow, learn, live, and forgive 🙂

Sequoyah Park

Forgive? Yes, forgive. I find myself forgiving much lately. Forgiving words, actions, glances, thoughts, erratic driving, others jumping in front of us, and even the random stranger using my Kroger gas points before I make it to the gas station! I couldn’t finish this post on April 26th because I wasn’t mentally up to it. Another year here means what? When I’m ready to decide, I’ll edit this post and write more 🙂 Bye for now.

3 June 2012

I’m ready now. Reviewing one’s life can be traumatic, stressful, or fun. For me it was embarrassing that I could not remember the details I wanted to remember. I think my problem was that I needed to break it down into segments of life and I was trying to look at my whole life. I think my memory has improved dramatically after hitting my head last year and developing PCS. I have recovered much of who I am and the parts I can’t remember, I will ask my family to fill in for me. This is a recap synopsis of blessings, trials and triumphs that many continue over time. I really haven’t decided. I will ask one thing dear reader, please do not feel sorry for me. Rejoice with me in the blessings that God has bestowed to, for, and on my life and how he has allowed my life to touch others!  And…remember for me (since I’m not good with memories, that I am a very happy person). Family, please jump in there and correct my memory if it has gone haywire!!  Thank you 🙂 I am now 36 yrs old.

When I came into this world, My mother’s name was Janey and my father was Johnny. They were very young, had many issues of their own and A LOT of kids already. I and my oldest brother Jackie were given away. Jackie had a different father than I did. We didn’t go to an orphanage though. We were given to two loving people that could not have children of their own, Jim and Edna Hensley. I have heard arguments about how old I was at that time, but my adopted parents tell me I was 2 1/2 months old and my natural parents say I was 3 months old. My new mother was 42yrs old and my biological mother wasn’t 20yrs old yet. My new mom was nervous about having a sick baby and evidently I was a very sick baby. My new Aunt’s name was Evlou, she was my new mom’s sister. She had raised 4 young men already and was working on her 5th boy, whom was a year and half older than I (Ben). Mom looked to her as the baby raising expert and took me to spend my first night with my new family with my Aunt Evlou. She fell in love with me (a baby girl). After a short while, it was determined that I was too sick to keep at home and off I went to the hospital. I have seen old black and white pictures of me in an old iron rail crib at the Children’s hospital from that time, but of course I remember none of this. Doctor’s determined that I was “starved” because I vomited all formula for such a long time, my body was malnourished. This was no one person’s fault. Babies, kids, and adults get sick, it’s just how life goes. Anyway, I had a feeding tube in the top of my head and stayed in the hospital for a while, had a special formula, and got to go back to my new home.

Skipping ahead, when I was a toddler, I guess I was pretty happy and mouthy. My mom and dad didn’t baby talk me, so I learned to speak properly. Mom told me that people all over would tell her I was cute because I spoke like an adult and they would talk to me to hear me talk back. Evidently once I got started, I din’t want to stop talking though. Seems like I do remember them pleading with me, “Chrissy, just shhhhh, please stop talking.” Mom dressed me well in beautiful frilly dresses, shiny shoes, tights, and ruffly panties. My hair was naturally curly and hung down my back like an accessory.  My new parents were musicians, song writers, and singers locally, in Nashville, and rubbed elbows with many well known names. They were active participants in the community and very active in churches. Dad felt a draw to minister (as his father did) and mom was beautiful, talented, and had a no-nonsense business head on her shoulders. My brother they took in was given to musician friends of theirs to raise (because that couple couldn’t have children either). I was raised with a brother named Scott (which was the first child they adopted). My cousin Tessa was also given to them to raise. They promptly called another musician family that could not have children either and they gave her to that family to adopt. Because of my malnourished issues early one, EVERYONE in the family encouraged me to eat…eat!  So, I made them happy. I ate until it hurt. I became an over-eater. I grew, I got taller, I got FAT.

School age: My new parents loved my brother Scott and I tremendously. They told us everyday that we were loved, had lots of hugs, and also told us that we were chosen, adopted, and not a mistake. I think I grew up thinking that I was truly special because I heard this so many times. It was nice to think we were special…chosen.   My mom and dad (which is what they will be referred to throughout this article) were great with us when we were little. They taught us a healthy fear of avoiding “wrong” and loved us dearly. They also took other people’s children in to raise from time to time. Our family size would vary dependent upon other people’s life situations. We traded/exchanged/borrowed new brothers and sisters pretty regularly as they came in and out of our home. We were not rich, but my brother and I thought we were.  We didn’t want  for anything, we were happy with what we had. We went through a 15 year gaming spree. Pong, Atari, Nintendo, Super NES, Sega, Sega Genesis, Commador 64, a pole table, UNO, ROOK, SkipBo, & the Playstation 1. We played as a family, we played solo, we danced and sang daily, we weight lifted, and we always had bikes to ride, we did everything together.  We even argued together. Mom and dad were not the Cleavers (which we watched everyday) and they certainly were not from Mayberry. They had disagreements, arguments, had rough times financially, and we struggled like any other family does. If my recovered memory serves me correctly, as money became very tight, the arguments increased significantly. I think my Middle School years (6th-8th grade) were the worst for mental anguish. The constant bickering took a toll on my mental health and I constantly thought about suicide. My spiritual convictions about taking ones own life prevented me from completing the task though. I saw dad attempt to hurt himself and I watched mom cry for days and days. I had very little self confidence. Mom resorted to verbal abuse. She would attack anyone and everyone that dared to tick her off.  If there had been an Olympic sport for ripping someone to shreds with a tongue lashing – she would have walked way with the Gold medal every time! I was a very heavy (over weight) child, wearing women’s plus sizes by 5th grade. I was so tired of hearing people say, “but…you have such a pretty face”.  I thought no one would ever love me as chunky as I was and just knew I’d always be rather round! Mom’s constant reminders of my figure were bad enough, but when I factored my friends words into the mix – I thought I was doomed forever. I fell in with a crowd of teenagers that thought hurting themselves was cool. I tried some of their methods and determined that my mental anguish was enough, I didn’t understand the physical harm to oneself. So, I was pretty miserable. I stayed depressed, wanted to withdraw from life, but something kept pulling me up out of it – every time.  Dad’s music store that he owned we out of business, we almost lost our home, food became scarce, and we all prayed to survive from day to day.

My brother Scott, Mom,and I

Something changed in December of 1990 though. Dad finally followed his heart and began studying his bible more. He had felt a strong pull on his heart to start a non-denominational church. Through the years, I had church traveled with daddy. We had “visited” almost every church in east Tennessee and he had evangelized for many years. Everywhere we went in public, there was someone that would invite daddy to come preach at their church – so he and I would go. Mom was wrestling with her own version of salvation, so she and my brother would stay home most of the time.  I loved being exposed to so many variations of Christianity. From backwoods daddy-called-and-momma-taught churches to the big commercialized denominational organizations – I found God’s love in every church and in every person. It was harder to find in some people than others 🙂 But it was there!  So, fast forward to 1991, dad was pastoring, mom was growing spiritually, my brother and I were being typical preachers’ kids, and life was getting better. I wasn’t as depressed as often. We had food!

Graduation 1994

In 1993, I began my own spiritual studies, completely independent from the church. I wanted to study outside of Christianity so I had a better understanding of why people believe what they believe. I studied Buddhism, Wica, Hinduism and the Ajna chakra, and many other types of faith. I developed an understanding of why people believe, what they believed, and always came back to Christianity in the end. There’s just nothing like my Jesus! I graduated in 1994 and got married the day after. I was 18, young, stupid, yet – knew everything! That lastest only a short while. I met Nick in 1995 and immediately fell in love <3 It was as if Edgar Cayce had told us many moons before we would meet. I had been waiting for him & he had been waiting for me! We married, had 2 beautiful boys, and stayed together for 14 yrs…until he passed away.

I’ve gotta run…I’ll write more later!!

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