Arriving at More

The story of my life began on the plains of South Dakota in 1960, a location from which I had always desired to be windswept.  It didn’t matter where, just somewhere where there was “more.”

img_9181-1I was born to a handsome father and a beautiful mother.  They met when my Army dad was stationed in the South.  After 12 years, their fairytale romance went that direction as well, leaving a huge hole in my heart and life.  I escaped for hours at a time in the world of Beezus, Ramona, and tales of others’ lives in my makeshift clothesline tent; books were my best friends.

Missouri Synod denominational beliefs were instilled by my elders, and I attended Sunday school and church weekly.  I was confirmed in the faith as an eighth-grader, but as a result of the absence of my father, I retained questions about who God was and how I fit into His plan, unaware that I was adopting the belief that God was much like my parents – distant but loving, stern but caring, and always beyond my reach.

” … for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Deuteronomy 31:6

I welcomed the nearness of my paternal grandparents, just a few hours away, with whom I was very close.  My immediate family, along with my grandparents, eagerly awaited holidays when those who had blossomed and grown beyond the state lines returned.  There was a bond forged among us that to this day remains.

The distance from my mother’s family did not afford me the same opportunity, leaving me with a curiosity about my “far-away” family and life in the South.  During occasional visits, I learned that some of the stereotypical characteristics of the publicly-viewed South were well-earned, but most were not.  People everywhere have the same wants, needs, hurts, and dreams.

Traversing the state highways through Minnesota on a Greyhound bus each summer for visitation with my dad in Wisconsin, I became enchanted with the beckoning city of Minneapolis.  It was a place I could explore while I allowed the busy environment to envelop me.  With diploma in hand two years after arriving there, I began my gradual journey south to Nebraska.  Though I didn’t earn a degree — just a diploma — my court reporting career afforded me the opportunity to become a student of life, introducing me to a roster of characters whose stories were more raw and real than anything I had ever read about.

Despite nearly losing fingers — and my life — in what was known in South Dakota as the Blizzard of ’75, I traversed the byways of Iowa and Nebraska, using the God-given gift of stenographically writing faster than most people could talk.  Eventually, my husband was able to talk faster than I could process, and a wedding ring ended up on my finger.

The entirety of our marriage was spent in America’s heartland.   My name changed and my identity became camouflaged.  For years I exhibited the persona of the in-charge, invincible woman who could bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan, as the child nestled deep within my marrow yearned to be extricated.

Time stood still when dread showed up on the doorstep.  I repeatedly hit my head against the wall of enablement and codependence … until, one day, I discovered a support group at church which loosened the grip of unwanted beliefs and behaviors.  Realizing that God possessed a far greater love for me than anyone ever could, I was released from the clutches of long-held debilitating and damaging lies, which brought freedom to my Truth-seeking soul.

After 25 years and a brief six weeks into the one-year-prognosticated journey of lung cancer, my husband succumbed to the disease.  Again left floundering and wondering where I fit in, I continued the exploration at God’s leading.

A handful of years later, my heart became restless with “staying put.”  I still wanted more.  God began to open doors and I continued my journey southward.

Now hundreds of miles away — and just about as south as one can go — I am far from the life and routine that I had known for decades. My older sister and younger brother — both still in the upper Midwest — and I remain in close contact as they each own Bio1parcels of my heart. Unlike a lot of families who become disjointed, my mother never allowed us to fight with one another.

My days are currently spent exploring the Southern life …  I have learned I love grits, one-syllable words drawn out to two or three, and the closely guarded values of the South. I am charmed by the names of obscure roads and places, like Bee Line Highway and Backbone Creek.  The sunsets are colorful, and I see my horizon expanding each day.  My heart is more peaceful and my spirit more content.  And I am grateful for every experience God has brought me through to bring me to more. ~ Pam



If you liked this post, feel free to share it with your friends on FB, Pinterest, Twitter or Aunt Edna in Little Rock.  Thank you so much!





34 thoughts on “Arriving at More

  1. An interesting read; the entry proves the old adage, things are not always what they seem. It is good at times getting verification of one’s beliefs. Thank you for your honesty Madame!!


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