I remember nail polish.
The kind that comes off with water but I didn’t know that so I put my fingers under the faucet and was so sad as the pretty pink color peeled off.
I remember chickens.
They had a coop and their kids would gather the eggs. The mom asked one of the kids to go get the eggs and I watched from outside the fence, shaking my head when they asked if I wanted to hold a chicken. The beak and feet scared me.
I remember a big front yard.
A tree. A dirt driveway. A valley in the backyard. Lots of room to play.
I remember chocolate pudding in the bathtub.
Finger paint that I could eat. It was delicious.
I remember sitting at their dinner table and their grandma was there.
The dining room chairs were heavy.
I remember there was a canopy bed in the kids’ bedroom.
I remember a book was read at night time and there was a cat and I fell asleep in a sleeping bag on the floor.
I remember waking up in my parent’s van, looking up at the dark night sky and noticing the stars were brighter than normal.
I remember my parents saying it was okay, go back to sleep.
Those are the things I remember.
The day everything changed.
I was six years old.
Funny how the simplest things are what the brain remembers. There is nothing important about nail polish or chickens or heavy dinning room chairs. Yet they are held together in deep significance because of what they mean to me – they were the last point of normal before my world stopped.
As a young kid I really didn’t know what was happening. I knew that my aunt stayed with us some nights while my parents went to meetings. I knew that we spent a lot of mornings at my mom’s friend’s house (which I liked because she had a piano and it was fun to pretend I could play all my favorite songs) while the adults talked about things I didn’t understand. I knew both of my parents loved Jesus so much. I knew our church had fun kid’s classes in a basement that smelled of cardboard and damp concrete.
There was no way I could understand the deep, dark battle that was brewing. The evil that was slowly coming to the surface. The centuries of family history that would come to light. The curses. The demons. The betrayal. The wounds.
Our family lived through this. It is our story.
I think it’s time to tell it.