Chasing Sunsets – Part 1

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By Lucy Winn Fuller

Awakening. Healing. Purpose. Drive. Strength. Inspiration. Power. Warrior.
These are the seasons of my life.
It’s all coming together. Every word and every feeling. Every past conflict and battle. It’s time to release it. It’s time to put it in black and white. It’s time to be real. I’m ready to show off my scars and rip off my bandages. Strength arises through growth. Wisdom occurs through trials and journeys. I have a story within me, and its running through me faster than the warm, scarlet blood in my veins.
It’s time to write.
The following words may seem scattered and jumbled, but to me it’s how I survive. Writing is my outlet and telling you my feelings and trying to get you to feel what I feel would be my greatest accomplishment with this task. Memories to me are life reflections of the past. I block some things out, and I know I shouldn’t do that. Maybe if even one person can read this and understand or relate to it, if I can somehow gift someone understanding or peace through my words, then my mission is complete.
Here is my gift to you. Slowly untie the bow of each paragraph and take each word out of the box carefully, one by one.
I frequently look back at my life from 2010 until now and am absolutely amazed at all I’ve been through and survived. That’s just eight years. Then I remind myself that it’s “okay” to have off days. Healing takes a lifetime and believe me, I know from firsthand experience. I am still healing from 1985.
Everyone goes through hard situations in their lifetime. I am not trying to discredit anyone’s journey. I’m just telling you my personal journey with hopes that maybe it will touch someone who is struggling right now. Maybe you. I want you to know that life is hard for everyone. You aren’t alone.
I was born in Georgia in the summertime. Americus. A tiny southern town.
We lived in Sasser for the first three years of my life. Sasser was smaller than Americus. If you sneezed, you would miss it. The long and short of that time was this; it was two weeks shy of my fourth birthday and my dad shot himself in the chest with his hunting rifle. It was late spring. He went to a beloved piece of hunting land and took his life in the only place that felt like home to him, the outdoors. He had been reported missing and his body was found three days later by a search party that was organized by the local sheriff’s department. This was big news in a small town.
Mama and Daddy were splitting up for their own reasons. Mama packed us up, and we moved to Auburn to live with my Mema and Main (my grandfather). I remember when she got the call that my daddy had been found. I remember her holding the newspaper in her hands and shaking her head in disbelief. I remember Mama and Mema standing in the hallway between the kitchen and family room. I remember Mama crying and Mema trying to console her. I didn’t have a clue what was going on . I was in the living room sitting by the window, waiting for my daddy to come home, like I had been doing for weeks. That’s what I was supposed to do. Little girls wait for their daddies to come home.
The divorce wasn’t final but his death was. I didn’t attend the funeral. I don’t really remember much about that time except that it was around Mother’s Day. There was a constant array of flowers and sympathy cards that filled the living room of my grandparents’ home. Being a mother, presently, I can’t imagine what Grandma (my Daddy’s mama) was going through. It would be a very long time until I would be able to discuss it with her. 30 years to be exact. (I didn’t have contact with my Daddy’s family for a very long time, but that’s another story.)
That was the beginning. The first 4 years of my life only primed me for everything else I would experience in the coming years. Losing my father in such a tragic way was tough. It was the talk of the town, and I remember some of the kids at school talking about it. Children can be cruel. I never really understood it.
I held my pain inside and released my frustrations in bursts of crying fits and temper tantrums. Children aren’t supposed to be able to handle situations like that. I understand that now, but back then, my little mind was telling me it was my fault and that maybe there was something wrong with me. My anecdote was playing by myself outside. In the woods. In the creek. Exploring the old silos that stood on an old cattle farm that was located in what is now Town Creek Park (in Auburn).
Even though I did see a therapist a few times when I was young, those hours in the woods healed me more than therapy ever did or would. Mama and Mema even started taking me to horseback riding lessons. I seemed to connect with the horses at a very young age and being outside was the added bonus. I didn’t have a very good attention span. Focus was never an issue when I was riding. In fact, it’s one of the few things to this present day that still holds my concentration without fail.
Even now, my concentration only holds for so long. The word count on this article is nearing its limit and so is my attention span. Please meet me back here next week for Part 2 of my narrative.
Lucy Fuller is a lover of nature, animals, gardening, and old houses. She is a full time mother and wife. She currently resides in Opelika with her husband, two daughters, 3 dogs, and cat. She can be reached at fullalove2017@gmail.com

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