Say It Visually, Say It With Feeling

I Believe in You!

This world is a cold and lonely place
But in my dark moments
I see the light shining from your face.
And in this lonely world
I found a friend
That friend is YOU!

I look at you and feel your pain
And everything you're going through
I see your fear, I know you're scared
But I see your courage too
The road ahead will be rough
But you will make it
For you are tough.
And through it all
I will be there
To catch you should you fall.
Times may change my friend
But our friendship
Will never end
Because through it all
You'll still be you
And I believe in you!

Carolina Johanna Hanlon
Copyright@2003 Carolina Johanna Hanlon


It was a marriage that never should have happened. He married to get revenge against his true love for leaving him to marry someone else. She married to escape an unhappy home life and because she felt, at age 23, she was getting old. There was never any love between them.

Without love, what hope is there for a marriage? It consisted mostly of arguments and not speaking to each other, spiced up with a trip to the hospital for him when she hit him with her shoe, and a broken window when something thrown at him went sailing through the glass. The arguments were mostly on her side. He rarely said anything - just left and went over to his parent's house until things calmed down.

They stayed together just long enough for a son to be born. Separated for a few years. Got together just long enough for me to be born and then separated for good. Their son was four years old at that time. And to him fell the fate of being the pawn between his parent's anger.

When Junior was 5 years old his father went off to war. Dad came to say goodbye to his family. Junior pointed his toy rifle at him and said, "Get away from us." So Dad went off to war with that memory. He also found out something else that made him furious. He found out it was his wife who had told the draft board that he was not living with his family (as he had claimed). They said, "We just love to get men like him." He was shipped to Parris Island to be trained as a Marine before he knew what had struck him.

Dad served in the Pacific. Was wounded and came home. When he came home he refused to support his family. Mom took him to court to get support. He told the court that he had served his country and he was not going to give his wife any money. The caseworker told him to empty his pockets right there. She asked him what he needed to get back home and gave the rest to his wife.

As we grew up my brother tried to be a father to me in some ways. He taught me to ride a bike and helped with my schoolwork. Some days when my mother left for work, and we did not have to go to school, he took out his bike. I hopped on back and we went off riding. I can still remember racing a bus down a hill near our home in Philadelphia. Or riding across the Schuylkill River and stopping on the bridge and sitting on the stone railing. I thought of the danger as I looked at the water below but felt safe with my brother. Music runs in my family. My brother played the flute and other instruments. He tried to teach me but, with poor hearing, I could not learn.

I also tried to protect my brother. One time when a gang of boys were beating him up, I jumped in with my fists flying. I started hitting one of the boys, grabbed his shirt and ripped it. He put his hand on my head to hold me off, looked at me and laughed. Knowing I was no match for them I then took off to get my mother. She was coming home from work for lunch and we both ran back and rescued my brother.

But my brother had no one to be a father to him. I did not realize it at the time, but I know now, that he wanted a father so badly. It hurt so much that he turned that hurt into hate for his father. I had no feelings either way. When my brother graduated from High School his father came to see him. He was going to refuse to see him but, that time, Mom said he should respect his father for coming. And he did.

My brother always seemed to be "pushed to excel." From a small boy who felt he had to protect his mother and sister from his father. To a teenager who felt he had to be holding two part time jobs and going to school at the same time. To an adult who, at one time, was holding a full time job, a part time job, putting himself through college and serving in the marine reserve. All at the same time! I never felt that not having a father affected me emotionally. Today I'm not so sure.

When we were little Dad would come over a few times a year and take us to visit his family. I got to meet all my cousins and other relatives. As we got older, and moved to New Jersey, the visits stopped. But one day as I was walking to High School I saw a man standing in front of my school and realized it was my father. I pretended I did not see him and hurried into school. After I wondered "Why did I do that?" I hoped that he had not noticed me. It would be almost 20 years before I would see him again.

After my brother got married our father contacted him and they became friends. The hate my brother had for his father was transferred to his mother. He seldom saw her.

I lived with my mother and did not get to know my father until I was about 35. Someone told me he wanted to see me so I went to visit him. My mother, no longer angry with him, did not mind. As I got to know him I was very much amused at how we had the same personality. I am nothing like my mother. Like me, my father loves people and has many friends. I don't think my mother has ever loved anyone except for her children. My mother hates to be touched. My father and I are huggers. Mother (and son) are hard workers. Father (and daughter) would rather play and be happy.

After I started visiting my father (and his second wife), my father would sometimes stop over to visit "us." And he would call my mother to talk. It amused me greatly that my parents, in their twilight years, had become friends.

My father passed away at the age of 80. But not before he had told me many stories of his youth and how much he had loved me since the day, when I was born, and he saw me for the first time.

When he died his family, and second wife, did not want my mother at the funeral. I took her to see him when no one was there. To say goodbye!

Elaine Procida


Oh, Mother, you never understood me, because I could not talk to share my feelings. Something deep within me held me back. Only tears in frozen silence stained my expressionless face. My tongue didn't move to utter the words that screamed for release from my choking throat.

Anger and frustration you heaped upon me mercilessly - calling me stupid and worthless, and oh, many more inflammatory names.

I was pushed aside - not worth a second glance. It hurt very much yet – I never uttered a word of resentment. I let the rain of your fury wash over me - silently.

I loved you nevertheless - only wondered - why you could not understand me. I saw how you doted on my sister - adored her, praised her to others, while at the same time - cutting me down.

Everything on her, which was small and tiny - was beautiful, whereas the same things on me - were too big and ugly.

You only saw the outside, you had no capacity to encounter inner depth, and there was nobody - who made you aware of the difference. I promised myself, that I would not treat any child of mine the way I have been treated.

I did my best to raise my son properly - under difficult circumstances, but alas! He also was an introvert - and I - very young and inexperienced, tossed about in War times, and poor times with no strong arm of one man to lean on - yearned for my son's open demonstration of his love for me. I knew he cared for me, respected me, was very thoughtful - but did he love me? Or have I been too strict with him therefore, dampened his love for me?

I knew he had his own inner life as I had mine - not sharing feelings; but have I really treated him better as I have been - when young?

Only he has the answer. Will I ever ask him? I doubt it, because I am still an introvert - age has not changed that!