It’s a Love Story . . . Discovered

I’m falling in love again with a little girl named Patsy. I’ve lost touch with her since I grew up. You may say I abandoned her, when I moved on to what was accepted and required. She grew pigtails, climbed trees and built houses in the dirt. We used to play and had a loving, imaginary friend that was always with us. (You’re right ― that’s me.)

Patsy as a baby

Patsy © Pat Ruppel

They were happy, carefree days with warm summer breezes and cloudless skies, where she played with cousins and ran barefoot in the dirt.

Cousin Phyllis and Patsy

Cousin Phyllis and Patsy © Pat Ruppel

Years passed and I left her to learn the necessary functions of the world: obey the rules, read, write and learn how to be responsible. There was less time for imaginary play in my evolution of fitting in and growing up. I was no longer a child and slowly turned away from what I thought were childish things.

I found new friends and new interests more to the liking of what was then going on in my world. She never left me, though, and was not far away. I could always feel her presence awaiting my return to take her hand and go on adventures, like when her mother walked her to kindergarten.

It’s taken almost a lifetime for me to reconnect with her. There is so much catching up and explaining to do, stories to tell. When I close my eyes, I can see her clearly standing in front of me looking for me to come and play, only now I’m grown up and she’s still a child.

Before I moved on to the mental and physical phases of my life, Patsy was the innocent expression of my freedom and creativity. She held onto my emotions, when things happened I didn’t understand or feelings I didn’t know how to face. It’s like I left her holding the bag.

It’s strange how we go through life with fragmented pieces of what may be determined as accomplishments, beliefs of how people think of us and what we own, only to discover who we are. When we do, it’s as if we’ve traveled, full circle, fitting all the pieces together perfectly.

My heart is warm and full of love having rejoined Patsy, that part of me I left long ago. There’s playfulness in the air, as we recapture the innocence of our childhood to pick up where we left off.

There’s also unfinished business to attend to, as we partner up and open the bag she held onto for so long. Together, we’ll take each feeling out, one at a time, be with it until it fades and allow our hearts to settle in peace.

We all have triggers that send us into emotional orbit. I used to think talking, with an open mind, was the answer to any reconciliation. But, I’ve since learned that talking doesn’t diminish the real issues. It only puts a band-aid on them with mental analysis. The key is not to ‘kill the messengers’ of the triggers on the outside but to note the feelings they bring up on the inside and where they’re the strongest. Then, feel them through, however long it takes, for closure.

I have so much time to make up. I want to take Patsy in my arms, hold her and tell her I’m sorry I left. I feel her love and tender forgiveness, as I write this, with excited anticipation for what may unfold, free of many energies once trapped for so long.

Pat from the ol’ kitchen table

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42 thoughts on “It’s a Love Story . . . Discovered

  1. Pat, that is absolutely beautiful. Some of the best advice I’ve been given, is to view your mind as a crying child sitting on the curb, when it goes into a state of fight-or-flight, or emotional turmoil. It’s been a journey for me, too, to comfort my mind in that way, and to see and love that little girl.

    • Thank you, Bethany. I know you understand in processing these types of things. It’s a journey to be sure and, indeed, a comfort when discovered. I still have much to learn and happy to hear how it works for you. 🙂

    • Aww, thank you, Susan. That means a lot when one of my stories touch the heart. I’m glad you were able to relate. I don’t know why we circle around and make things hard. I guess maybe it’s the path we need to take to learn. Not everybody gets to that point. It’s just something that’s not going to be on their radar in this lifetime. Seems like it’s taken my whole life to arrive where I’m just beginning to get it. It’s interesting to think about. 🙂

  2. Beautiful, Pat! What lovely story! Oh, yess! Life surely does take many twist and turns and good friends do get separated and sadly even lost sometimes. I certainly know travelling to over 70 countries and living in several of them in a time before computers became common place and communication infinitely easier in so many ways. Thank you awfully much for sharing your well written, beautiful story with a happy ending with us, Pat!
    Granny Kari

    • Thank you, Granny Kari. I can only imagine the tales you could share with all the experiences and places you’ve been. Oh my, what a time we’d have sitting around the kitchen table. I’m happy you enjoyed reading my story. It means a lot that you stopped by to share. 🙂

  3. How beautiful this is Pat. Love the photos of you as a little girl. Oh I relate so much to this, to the little girl still inside. Being able to reconnect with the child-likeness within is a blessing indeed. It gives us a new sense of wonderment of the world around us again where maybe we became jaded (is it any wonder?) and once again we can capture that light-hardheartedness and joy that only a child can know. I’m skipping with joy alongside you my friend 🙂

    • Thank you, Sherri, I’m glad you enjoyed it and could relate. That means a lot to me. It was hard to explain the feelings, so others could understand, of what I was experiencing with her and still am. It’s a process. For so many years, I either ignored, discounted or chastised her in me, whenever I felt stupid or didn’t think I measured up. I think I’m beginning to understand. It’s like a heaviness has lifted with an innocent joy.

      Sure, come on out. I’ll skip along with you. LOL 🙂

          • Haha! I know what you mean!

            Pat, when I read this post, as I said I really resonated with it. I remembered a post I wrote last May when I had been blogging for only 4 months. You might be interested in reading it as you might see just why. Here is the link, if you would like to take a look when you have a spare minute or two, ha! http://sherrimatthewsblog.com/2013/05/15/what-has-your-blog-done-for-you/
            Thanks so much my friend, I hope you are having a wonderful day 🙂

          • Yes, remembering the skipping part may take me a moment, Sherri (LOL). I’m glad this resonated with you. I didn’t quite know if the words were clear enough on what I was/am feeling and trying to convey. I didn’t want it to come across as some “woo-woo” thing with a lot of heaviness.

            I read your post and it was the same as you said — resonated and struck a chord. It’s like we’re on the same page and get where each other is coming from, though times and circumstances are different. I could feel you pouring your heart out with all the fears and apprehension yet courage in moving forward and loving life as it unfolds. It touched my heart, Sherri, thank you.

          • I’m so glad Pat. I just knew what you meant when I read your post and it reminded me of my post written almost a year ago, I can hardly believe it! Blogging has helped me remember the little girl I thought I’d lost and when I re-read what I’d written I realised that this is just what you are feeling. It’s a wonderful thing isn’t it? I love this connection we have. Bless you my dear friend.

          • I know, Sherri. I felt the same, when I read what you wrote. It’s like we were right there at the same place, together, and feeling the same things. It’s amazing what a difference a year makes when we look back over on what we’ve done and what has transpired. I’m just learning how to reconnect with Patsy. There’s been so much time passed. She’s helping me to remember so we can bridge the time gap.

            Thank you again for sharing your story with me. It touched my heart. It is wonderful and I love our connection, too. Sending you hugs and many blessings to you, my friend. 🙂

  4. Such a moving post Pat. If only we had some sense as we were growing up not to lose those more childlike qualities that would help us to appreciate life more. I love that you’re now able to re-visit Patsy to give her the love and comfort she needs and for her to bring those same things to the adult you.

    • I know, Andrea, it’s hard to make sense of it. But I think, at least for me, the problem is that it can’t be understood in the head; it has to be felt. I agree that we would appreciate life more if we retained those childlike qualities. Seems so simple.

      Yes, Patsy is a kick. I used to hate her pigtails with the bun on top of her head (how my mom fixed my hair — she liked buns) but I’m now even feeling that is endearing.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post and it touched your heart. It means a lot to me, my friend. Thank You! 🙂

  5. A beautiful and resonantly heartfelt post Pat! It’s funny because this idea of a post around ‘conversations with my younger self’ has been on my mind as well. Enjoy your time with your inner child.

    • Thank you, Karin. I’m happy you enjoyed this post and understood what I was trying to convey in connecting with my younger self. The words were difficult to express my feelings. I didn’t want it to come across as too heavy or “woo-woo”.

      It’s one of those things that’s a process and challenging, at times, because you never know what’s going to show up. I love the feeling of being real and the warmth I get from making this connection with her and she’s helping me to remember. 🙂

  6. Pat, this is lovely. I looked at those pictures of you as a child and know we would have enjoyed playing together. I was always barefoot, never far from a tree either. Enjoy your moments reconnecting to Patsy.

    • Lois — I’m so happy to see you over here and that you enjoyed the story and photos. It would have been fun playing with you, kicking around the yard in our bare feet, playing tag and chasing each other — absolute glee. I can imagine the joy and happiness we’d have together. Thank you for stopping by and sharing some childhood memories with me. Patsy is loving it. 🙂

        • Mmm, yes, Lois, that sounds nice. I would have shared “kick-the-can” and “red light/green-light” with you, my grandparents and the shore. You would have loved them. 🙂

          • I’m sure I would have loved your grandparents and having grown up along Lake Erie the shore would have been perfect. We taught the grandchildren to play red light-green light. They think it’s fun but I use it to make sure they don’t get too far ahead of me on our walks. 🙂

          • They would have loved you, too, Lois. Hubby grew up in Toledo, OH, so he’s familiar with Lake Erie and has told me how it’s much like the ocean. The beaches aren’t the same, as in Virginia, but the waves are and the unpredictability of the storms.

            It’s good to hear those games are still being played. They were such innocent times and so much fun. We don’t have lightening bugs or the sounds of the cicada because of the altitude. I miss that. 🙂

          • Yes, the Great Lakes are much like the ocean, minus the salt. 🙂

            We have plenty of lightening bugs here, I still enjoy watching them even after all these years. We also have a large bat population and it’s fun to watch them snatch the bugs out of the air. One flew down so low to my head one evening and my friend informed me there was a mosquito about to land, the bat got it instead. I sent a thanks up to him for saving me. 🙂

          • We do have bats here and watch them in the early evening in the summer catching bugs. Sometimes, at night we can see them flying around the lights people have put up in their yards.

            It won’t be long and the swallows will be back, too. I love watching them zip around and soar. 🙂

  7. This is a real journey the two of you are going to undertake together. It sounds as though it may not be easy. I very much believe that you have a variety of people in side you – your child Patsy, your adult Pat and there is probably a critical parent and nurturing parent. Get rid of most of the parents, particularly the critical one and let your adult and child go where life takes them. When you encounter hurdles remember there is a lot of cyber hugs. Cheers Irene

    • I love those cyber hugs, Irene. I can feel them. Thank You! 🙂

      It has been a real journey and one I’ve “self-actualized” most of my life (if I may use that New Age term). After so long, finally connecting with Patsy is a true love story for me. What began this discovery and the writing of this post was when I tried to remember the first 7 years of my life. Most of it I had blocked out and I’ve never been able to understand why. There was no abuse, drugs or alcohol like what you hear from most. I’ve had good times (“Happy Happy Happy”) and parents that loved me. But one thing I’ve learned is that, in all the spiritual paths I’ve walked, I couldn’t have arrived to where I’m at today any faster .

      You’re right about the critical-parent part and I’ve looked at it from many views. I’ve written some stories, if you’re interested (“My Dad Now Here Is A Man”, “The Picture”, “Crafting My Story”, “Young Love to Old Love” and “Letting Go of Love Lane”). I think, now, what I will be able to do is view it and feel those times through the eyes of a child. There is much more to understand and discover, lovingly and with tenderness, as I take her hand and she leads the way.

      Hugs back to you and thank you, again, for your warm words of encouragement.

      • Pat I’m definitely going to read your stories and look forward to Patsy’s stories. I tried as an experiment writing the same story one in my child’s voice and one in my adult voice. They are two very different stories. If you want to read them Leper 1 and Leper 2
        http://irenewaters19.com/2013/08/27/the-leper-1/
        Like you I had a happy childhood with no trauma yet it was my reaction to it that made me who I am today. The journey through the maze is an adventure but worth the rocky ground for the view out the other side.
        Many hugs.
        Cheers Irene

        • Hi Irene – thank you for the link to your 2 stories. It was interesting to read how different the perspectives were. The child’s voice was direct and innocent in what she felt at that moment. The adult’s voice was heavier bogged down with a sense of responsibility and concern of what others thought.

          I like this exercise. It certainly shows how complex we become as adults putting most of our attention on the future or past rather than now, in the present. It will help me explore Patsy’s voice. 🙂

  8. I love this. The timing is perfect to have found you! I just turned 50 and it has given me the opportunity (OK, I decided to take it) to want to reclaim some of my memories and put them to paper, so to speak. So looking forward to reading yours.

    • Hi Dale – I’m loving the synchronicity and happy you came over. It’s a good feeling when you get that calling to recapture your memories. I’ve written a number of stories remembering but this is a new chapter with the voice of my inner child. It’s a work in progress and I’m still not quite sure how it goes but I’ve been given some direction in the comments from my fellow bloggers.

      Thank you for stopping by my kitchen table and hope to see you again real soon. 🙂

      • Indeed! Don’t you love the interactions between bloggers as well! They don’t just read, they offer insight and great comments.

        I will definitely be stopping by regularly!

        • I do, Dale, love it. They take me on photo trips with them to other parts of the world, encourage me, give me tips. I have such a variety of fellow bloggers. It just blows me away, sometimes, what they are doing and their knowledge. 🙂

I would love to hear from you. . .thank you for stopping by.