LIFE: Getting Over It

Sandy's Life Saga

by Sandra Groven

 

Book Details

SAN FRANCISCO STREET KID: (Grandma was a hooker. Mama was gay. Daddy was a womanizer, is in Guinness, and Ripley's believe it or not) LEARNS TO GET OVER IT?


SAN FRANCISCO STREET KID: (GRANDMA WAS A HOOKER, MAMA WAS GAY, DADDY WAS A WOMANINZER, IS IN GUINNESS AND RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT) LEARNS TO GET OVER IT! Do you have skeletons in your family closet that bang on the door to escape? Has anyone ever broken your heart? Have you ever been locked away? Have you ever been rejected? As a young teen did you have a child out of wedlock? Have you ever been sexually compromised? Have you ever just wanted to give it all up and die? Has an untimely death robbed you of a child, or family member? Have you ever felt like a defeated parent? All of the above has happened to me... and more. My step-mother in a very matter of fact manner tells me “Your sister was born to replace you. You have been replaced so get over it.” Sometimes new children utterly take the place of old children, who are now out of sight, out of mind. So how did this make me feel? Like she had hit the delete button. Poof! I was gone. If you are like me, you might ask, “How do you just ‘get over it?” Perhaps you have not gotten over it even after decades have gone by. Have you ever been trying to comfort someone and found yourself saying, “Been there, done that!” You are not alone. Be encouraged by stories of angel interventions, spiritual encounters, along with divine appointed acts of kindness, that helped me GET OVER IT and on with LIFE.

 

Book Excerpt

A Family of Broken Hearts San Francisco was always a very busy town, but during the war years it became absolutely buzzing. What girl could resist a man in uniform? Out of the foggy, damp night steps a handsome but lonely-hearted sailor named Joe. He bumps into the beautiful but lonely-hearted young Jackie. Few moments in life are perfect, but that meeting, at that time, was pure magic. Great hopes filled the air along with the deep call of the fog horns as the lights dashed back and forth across the water, making the Pacific Ocean look oh so magical. They decide to stroll side by side, bumping each other gently as they follow the sounds of “Laffing Sal,” the laughing automated character whose cackle echoed while her jolly belly, bent back and forth, could be heard throughout the famous Playland-at-the-Beach Amusement Park. They were very shy in many ways, but there was something wonderful beginning to happen and the longer they stayed in each other’s company the braver they became. Reciprocated smiles. Furtive glances. It was starting to happen and there wasn’t a force on Earth that could have stopped it. Once inside the Fun House they just naturally chased each other as they went passing through a mirror maze. Next, they squeezed through the spin-dryers and entered the main area of the Fun House which contained a Joy Wheel (flat wooden disc that spun quickly and forced kids to slide off), the Barrel of Laughs (rotating walk-through wooden barrel), the Moving Bridges (connected gang planks that went up and down), and the Rocking Horses (attached by strong strings to a moving platform creating quite a galloping sensation). Finally, the three-story climb up to the top of the 200 foot slide which was “the longest, bumpiest indoor slide in the world.” It is here that these two teenagers crashed together at the bottom. The obstacles that they passed through could have been a metaphor for their future life together, but they weren’t to know that at the time—it probably wouldn’t have stopped them anyway. The only thing that they did know at that moment was that they were falling in love. Could this wonderful night continue on to a life together? Could it fill the love-empty hole in each of their hearts that had been scarred over and over with the abandoned hopes and dreams of being ever loved and cared about? Now two good people-- but oh such dysfunctional souls-- forge head long into marriage. How much actual thought went into that decision (beyond the fact that they were very much in love) is hard to ascertain, but given the difficulties that they would soon experience in their young lives together, they really hadn’t thought things through at all. It is easy to long after a glass of cool water in the middle of a desert; less so on a cold rainy day in San Francisco. Unfortunately Joe found it all too easy to have his emotional thirst quenched and my mother was not the only glass that he drank from. Sweet Jackie was now expecting, even though she was still in high school. Dashing Joe, meanwhile, was having a fling with the charming French girl down the hall. He had needs and just because his wife was silly enough to get pregnant, why should he do without his fun? She was left in a desperate situation. What could a small pregnant girl to do against a Navy boxing champion? Suddenly a light bulb went on inside her dark thoughts—the kind of thoughts that we all have but would never act upon. There comes a time when even the smallest and most fragile person understands that they can make themselves powerful, even if that means pulling a gun or a knife on whomever is making them feel badly. Those may not have been Mom’s weapons of choice but the weapon that she did wield was every bit as frightening to Joe. She waited until Joe was asleep and she then tied him down. At first it was just to talk, but when he laughed at her silliness, she turned around to see what was at hand—something that would wipe the smirk off his face and make him sit up and take notice of what she was saying. Aha, a broom! One whack, then another; she could hardly stop the fury that welled up inside her. Each of those furious whacks from that broom spelled out that she had once again been betrayed by so-called love. It was a bitter taste that she would never get used to, no matter how many times she was exposed to it. That beating may not have knocked much sense into Joe and it certainly wasn’t as effective as Mom had hoped, but it did bring them closer together for a while even if it was only long enough for Joe to work out a safer way for him to cheat on Jackie. The war had ended, and with his war injuries Joe’s Navy days were brought to an end as well. It was a worrying time for the couple. There was none of the hero worship that Joe had become used to in the early days of the war, and everything in life became a struggle. To top it all off, little Sandy was born close to the dreaded Christmas season, so a job was desperately needed. The Greyhound bus driver uniform looked great on Joe and he did like the people that he worked with, from the other drivers to the customers. He was especially helpful to the ladies. Jackie did not have to be a rocket scientist to figure what was happening. She had that gut feeling wives get with a cheating husband. It seemed that he had a woman at every bus stop! The infidelity just got to be too much for her. While sitting on the beach alongside roving eyed Joe, out of the blue Jackie pulls out a small pocket pistol and warns him if he looks at one more girl she would shoot both his eyes out. A light bulb went on in Joe’s head this time; “She is really serious!” In reality, there was only one true love of Joe’s life and that was his daughter Sandy, with her wavy dark brown hair and big blue eyes. When he looked at her, he saw something that no one else could see. It was like seeing himself; not in a mirror, but in the face of a child who loved him unconditionally with all her tiny heart and who, in turn, he loved back with just as much passion. She was the better part of him; the part that he could leave to this world with pride. The very mention of divorce was enough to drive fear into Joe’s heart. “I’ll change!” he promised, while at the same time he was thinking, “Who am I kidding? I have tried. Only God knows how much I wanted to stay faithful; it just isn’t in me. I’m a strong man on the outside, but mush when it comes to the dames.” This very simplistic understanding of his situation was the best Joe could manage. There was a hole in his heart that he was so desperately trying to fill in the arms of any woman who would give him the time of day. It was the outward manifestation of a very troubled and damaged soul. When all the love is gone from someone’s life when they are very young, that person can spend the rest of their life trying to get it back. Some turn to drink, some turn to gambling, and some, like Joe, turn to short term, meaningless relationships. Joe searched endlessly in all the wrong places for the one thing that he could never find—a love deep enough to fill that empty void in the center of his being. This was all that he knew. It was all that he had, and it was a destructive impulsion that made him look beyond even his beloved Sandy. If only a compassionate person could have come along side this troubled young man, and introduce him to Someone who would make his life complete much earlier. Maybe everything would have turned out so very differently. The young couple separated. Not having Sandy to hold whenever he wanted and the sobs and tearing apart of her clinging little arms as she held so tightly around her daddy’s neck was more than Joe could take. He gave up that life. Although it was not an easy decision to make, he did not realize that it would be so permanent. What’s a father to do? After preparing a hiding place for them, Joe came around to the family home and took Sandy out for the day with no intention of returning her. Run, baby, run! The police finally caught up with the two on-the-run-vagabonds. Oh what a heart-wrenching scene. It was as if you were watching a very sad movie where the hero is mortally wounded in his heart. Social Services pried a screaming child away from her loving father and put her in a strange car while both father and child were crying uncontrollably. Jackie did not want to bring kidnapping charges against the father of her child. So forcefully, Mother Helen, with her cold and hateful mindset, insisted that Jackie show the snake of a man who was in control. Even though she, herself, never raised her own child, she intervened and brow beat Jackie while she was in an emotionally weak state of mind to do something so regrettable. The verdict was in. Joe was sentenced to prison for a year and then he had to leave California. He could not have any contact with his little girl again until she was 18 years old-- a lifetime away. Little Sandy did not understand and cried all of her waking hours. She had restless sleep and didn’t eat for days after her father was taken away. Jackie was fearful that her innocent child was going to die of a broken heart, over the actions of the “protectors” in her life. The day after the divorce was final, both parents remarried new partners who played unique and not-so-friendly roles in Sandy’s life. Baby Sandy forgot all about her father, much to her mother’s relief. Not until much later in her life would Sandy find out that two days after her third birthday she was replaced by a sister named Sherry. Her step mother would later inform her that Sherry had been intentionally born to take Sandy’s place in her father’s life. She had been replaced, so get over it. “Get over it,” will seem to be the theme of Sandy’s life.

 

About the Author

Sandra Groven

Sandy is retired from the Government, and works part-time as a substitute aide in school. She lives in Richmond, Virginia with her two cats, Gunther and Fluffy. She enjoys having four generations together cooking family recipes, sewing and doing crafts.