Diaries Magazine

Stranded Or Not Stranded: Who Decides, Anyway?

Posted on the 22 October 2013 by Juliejordanscott @juliejordanscot


StrandedIt was last Friday afternoon when my daughter, Emma, and I talked about the times my siblings and I were left behind at various parks and shopping centers. It was never intentional, naturally, but my dear mother was often preoccupied. This wasn't surprising given her rigorous schedule, her personal expectations for herself and the fact she had six children, one with special needs, and a husband with a drinking problem.

This all came into our conversation when I asked Emma, quasi-rhetorically, "Who was it who designed Central Park in New York City again?" She blinked at me, as if her eyelashes were asking. "How do you expect me to know this?"

"You know," I continued, "He also designed the Smith College campus and that really cool park in Hartford, surrounding the capital?"

More blinking. I actually pulled over to look up his name: Frederick Law Olmsted.

What did we do without google and smart phones?

"He also designed Brookdale Park, a park we used to go to when I was a little girl. We sledded there and fed ducks and we played on the playground. Once Nana left John swinging on the swings and went home and he just kept on swinging!"

John, my dear younger brother, had Down's Syndrome. His secondary diagnosis was autism and I can see many of his unique qualities in my own son who has autism.

The thing is, John never felt like he was stranded, he simply continued doing what he loved doing, in a place he loved doing it, wrapped up in love of his family -  even when we temporarily disappeared.

I most often got lost hanging out in the toy department of Newberry's or.... I can't remember the name of the other department store, but I could drive there from my childhood home.

Who decides we are stranded, anyway?

I think it is our beliefs coupled with fear makes us feel stranded.

I'm grateful John didn't feel alone that day or probably anyday.

He probably isn't feeling alone now, either.

I imagine in a couple decades I'll see him again and he will be able to speak, to tell me all he told me non-verbally when we were both here, alive, together.

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I oftentimes use BlogFlashDaily prompts for writing warm-ups or as a break from the writing I Blogflashdaily image"have to" do at any given moment. Some days, like today, bring up content I never imagined writing. I try to keep my posts right around one hundred words, but sometimes there is more that needs to be contained. Perhaps you will join us soon at BlogFlashDaily?

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Plain ol happyJulie Jordan Scott is a writer, performance poet, Mommy and mixed-media artist. Her word-love themed art will be for sale at First Friday each month in Downtown Bakersfield. Check out the links below to follow her on a bunch of different social media channels, especially if you find the idea of a Word-Love Party bus particularly enticing.

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