I Remember Her

Fifty years ago this month my young life was in upheaval. A man in the house taking on the role of father. Two teenagers taking on the roles of elder sisters, releasing me from the responsibility of being the oldest. A new house to hold all of us. A new school.

lisa 6th birthday

I remember that time and I remember the stories but I think back now and wonder who she was.

Did I know her?

She wrote behind closed doors. She was painfully shy and blushed beet red and knew she was ugly and didn’t know how to fit in.

Thirty years ago there was another major upheaval. Siblings gone, parents retired, a move to the woods.

Did I know her?

She had a little more confidence but she still wrote in secret, this time by kerosene lantern. She had a clear vision of who she was going to be – an old hermit living alone in the woods with her books and stories and dogs. And when she walked down the narrow track through the overgrown spot in the forest that would be her home, she absolutely knew with a deep certainty that this was where she was meant to be. She spent many hours wandering the woods with field guides.

lisa with white bear & chickens

That rooster – Little Bear – finished his hatching in my bra. Thought I was his mother.

I remember her.

Twenty years ago she was a wife and mother and still living in the woods.

Did I know her?

Her confidence level was higher still because she was held up by those who believed in her. On their wings she found the courage to share those stories that filled her with their reality. She raced out on fire engines and aid cars. She left a job after years to try something completely new. She envied her friends, those strong women she dreamed of emulating. Learning how to be a mother, realizing that she could still be a hermit with two kindred spirits.

lincoln city jan 06 009

I remember her.

I wonder sometimes where those earlier versions went because there are days when they are strangers and the memories seem to belong to someone else.

So, here she is. Do I know her in this moment, as she slips into the robes of, dare I say, becoming a crone? Let’s not. Let’s say instead, becoming a wise woman. Hopefully.

Will I remember her in the years to come?

I’ll remember some stories, and trust those I love to remember more for me.

Maybe some stories will even have endings finally, like that pesky question – who really killed the goldfish by putting pennies in the bowl?

steven consoling me over something i was mad about

2 thoughts on “I Remember Her

  1. Oh what a lovely post!!! I love it! I will remember your stories of that sweet little girl and the hidden stories and the man who got them out of you into the open 🙂 I will remember you as a strong woman who thought she wasnt tough and wise and such a smart friend and the one who had endless stories of reality and fiction. The one who brought me closer to so many wonderful worlds of magic and who brought me so many wonderful memories out in the middle of nowhere. The peace, the love, the calm, the elements, the tea and the animals… I cherish our visits and hope we have lots lots still to come! Oh you wonderful friend…


    • Well, isn’t that a nice thing to say! I’m embarrassed. We have shared some stories though, haven’t we? Lots of laughter and lots of tears. And I remember that girl who showed up the first time and her courage.


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