I want to hold her in my hands and look at her face. My eyes scroll over the pictures that haven’t moved from the self-adhesive plastic covered pages for years. I am looking for her. As I turn the page, I take her in and notice a tightening in my stomach. “She’s a pistol,” I mumble, “with a tender heart.” Her baseball hat hems in her blonde ringlet curls. Her eyes wide open. Her pointed little tongue pressed on her lip. I imagine her knees that are tucked beneath the table scraped with both fresh and scabbed wounds.
I pull the picture close. Oh how she lives in most every memory I have of myself.
She is in the Easter picture set between her two sisters, adorned in a baby blue frilly dress and bonnet. Her purse, filled with frogs and worms is clutched in her gloved hands.
She did cannonballs off the dock right after the ice melted on the lake, to mark her place on the yearly calendar, as the first to jump in after a long Wisconsin winter.
She ran the basketball court as a young girl and then a young adult and used her body to box out her opponent and dove to catch any loose ball. She had an aggression that was tenacious but gentle.
She shuffled the halls of the psychiatric wards where labels, diagnosis and Dixie cups full of pills were given out and with her whit and relational savvy she rose to take her place on her Senior homecoming court.
When on the brink of death from another failed suicide attempt, she looked back at me in the mirrored light fixture that hung over my bed in the Emergency Room and said you aren’t done yet – don’t give up.
She found the strength and courage to escape 10 months of imprisoned hell from the pastor who groomed, seduced, and consumed me.
Oh my how I carry her with me.
She found free treasures on the side of the road when I had no money and helped me turn them into Anthropologie-esque masterpieces to make my space beautiful and cozy.
She helped convince me to purchase an exquisite white gown and hold my head up high when I walked the aisle through a difficult crowd, to take my husband’s hand in marriage.
She rose in the operating room and tried to out-smart the anesthesia after a traumatic miscarriage that ended in a surgery, on the most intimate part of my body.
She scooped me up and marched me into the counseling office and has kept close watch and asked big questions to help me establish it as a place of safety.
She is cunning and clever and can sniff out danger when it lurks. She can read people with precision and accuracy and can take in a room within seconds. She has sniper-like abilities when she is in the presence of false, inauthentic religion and is quick to raise the warning flag.
She is my scrapper girl.
She has rescued me from trouble, and yet she has not been invincible.
She won’t be messed with without a fight.
She has a vigilance and a commitment to keep me alive. But she has also taken the bait hook, line and sinker.
She has a ceaseless devotion to me, but I am at war with her. There is an ambivalence I have towards her because she has caused uncertainty and disruption.
As I work to embody my story, I want to bless her, and honor her, and lavish her with kindness. She has advocated for me so well.
As I begin to settle into spaces that are beginning to feel safe, my younger places have a lot of things to say. I don’t need her to fight and protect with such vigilance anymore. She too needs green pastures and peaceful waters to rest. She needs open space to run and play.
There is a new kind of suffering that I am enduring, as I call to mind, remember, grieve, and heal in very young places without her shielding and protecting me.
She is stunning, a glorious warrior.
Mercy to you my sweet scrapper girl.
Mercy to you.
Megan thrives alongside her husband of 15 years in Colorado. She is the mother of six children. While walking faithfully with friends, Megan co-hosts a marriage conference, a Christmas show, and a songwriter’s retreat. She loves Hot Tamales and Essential oils. She is a natural gatherer and organizer. You’ll find her listening to audio books while doing laundry and Costco runs.