I would like to welcome T. H. Waters, as the Hometown Track Minnesota Author in the Spotlight. Ms. Waters has graciously written a heartfelt guest post that spotlights mental illness. Read on.
A kid like me…
I was born a long time ago, eons actually, or so it seems. My upbringing was unusual, odd at best, and I longed for the conventional lifestyle that all my friends enjoyed. Unlike many other writers, I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. All I knew was that I wanted something different, far different, polar opposite different from the murky life I’d lived until the day I turned 18 and got ready to shove off for college.
I loved my parents… dearly. They both were young, smart and full of freshness when they married, poised to capture the American dream. Two people who were worthy of admiration for their unwavering determination. But as one life entwined itself around the other and the children came, bills mounted, jobs became harder to find, they were consumed by an obstacle that was simply insurmountable, and we eventually imploded, all four of us, Mom, Daddy, my brother and I, failing to land firmly on our feet. After Daddy died when I was ten years old, we moved to a small town in northern Minnesota. I swear that’s what saved my life. I was lucky that we knew so many gentle & caring people there who overlooked the untidiness of my wilting family and showed us the true meaning of “community”.
My mother, broken from years of mental illness and loads of prescription medications, died five years ago. It was only then that I stopped viewing her as a woman who could never provide the only thing I’d ever wanted from her… an unyielding bond between the two of us. It was only then that I started to wonder what her young dreams had been as a girl and all that she had lost, this extremely bright, delicate creature who was robbed by an inexplicable foe of all that life could have offered her, should have offered her. I wish I could have known the soothing of her voice as she read me to sleep or felt the strength of her support during my many failed attempts to properly examine my world. But my mother was never capable of such pivotal parental duties. She was far too consumed with treading the tumultuous waters of her own existence. It was never anyone’s fault; it was simply something that just happened. I know that now.
My book, Ghellow Road, was an extremely ambitious project for me. I had never put as much effort into anything else as I did with this endeavor, my blood, sweat, tears… you name it. Why did I ever write it? One reason -- I had so much I wanted to say. I hope that each and every person who reads it will be touched in one way or another. But if you glean only one tidbit, one shining morsel, I would ask it to be this: My tale is larger than just one child. It belongs to the thousands of kids out there who are just like me, past, present… and future.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Laura from the bottom of my heart. You’ve been so gracious & I’m truly grateful for all of your support.
Tera aka T.H. Waters
I agree Tera, that millions of people are affected by mental illness. Thanks Tera for such a touching guest post!!!!