My story: The Tale of the (not so silver) Spoon

April 7, 2013
Baby Jessica and a photo of my son and I

Other than the details of my brothers murder, I have refrained from painting anything other than the beautiful details of my life.  It hasn’t even been a highlight reel of the chaos and ugliness that I have witnessed.  I love my southern roots, but the reality is southern women are raised to hide their problems.  Cheating spouses, abusive husbands, and deadbeat dads are easily masked with a smile and a Sunday visit to the church pew.  We are raised to fix our bleeding mascara, slap on some lipstick, put on our big girl panties, and pretend to the world that everything is okay.  This might seem like the best option in a non-idealic situation but when it starts to eat away at you.  The grief, pain, heartache, and unhappiness will eventually start to consume who you are.  There is no amount of masking it.  It will twist and contort your soul, and sooner or later you will become your problems.  Little did I know, my pain began long before I was born.  I am not just a product of a broken home, a broken childhood, or a broken heart.  

If you have ever read my previous posts, you know my father comes from a coal mining family.  Coal miners can often be like the black coals they dig from the ground.  It shouldn’t diminish from who they are, but if you spent most of your life in the dark miles below the surface of the earth you would change too.  They can be cold, hard, and rough.  How many years does it take for a piece of coal to become a diamond? How many pieces of coal never make it that far?  Long before the change occurs they often crushed and burned by mankind.  Coal miners often endure a similar fate.

My father was a coal miners son.  He was desperate to overcome his circumstance.  Growing up in a coal mining camp can’t be easy.  I have heard in high school he walked miles or hitchhiked to football practice.  It is a reality for many children in southeastern Kentucky.  The ultimate struggle to overcome poverty and circumstance.  There are

My dad and Phil Simms in the Morehead yearbook

very few ways to get out, and for my father football was the only way out.  It might seem like an insurmountable feat, we weren’t from a region of incredible football teams or players. The public high school he attended was in a rural area that didn’t always have the best fields or equipment.  He made the best of circumstance.  He became a football “Kentucky Headhunter” and eventually earned a scholarship at Morehead State University.  If you aren’t from Kentucky and that team doesn’t sound familiar, my dad played on the same team as the future Super Bowl MVP Giants quarterback Phil Simms.  You would think his life would change drastically but did it? 

I think that this enough sharing for today.  I’ll continue my story tomorrow.  I am hoping my readers will slowly get a sense of who I really am and how I got here.  

Happy Solemn Sunday,

6 comments on “My story: The Tale of the (not so silver) Spoon”

  1. My family comes from coal miners too – Pennsylvania. This summer, we had a family reunion in the old home town and toured an inactive coal mine that’s now a museum. I was struck by how much anxiety we all had being so far underground. Anxiety runs deep in my family too and it says a lot that people from such an anxious tribe had no other way to support their families than to go deep underground and dig coal in dangerous situations. The ways they coped with that stress were often less than admirable.

    I can’t wait to read more of your story!

    1. Sue, it is interesting that you brought that up. Do you think after so many generations it is no longer a product of circumstance but more of an inherited trait? It is even more interesting you used the word tribe because the other side of my dads family is Cherokee.

      I look forward to writing and I hope you enjoy!

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