Image via WikipediaGhellow Road
A literary diary of
a young girl's
By T. H. Waters
There's no doubt that we each must walk our own life roads. For many, the roads run parallel to those walked by our family, our peers and while unique, we never learn the full story of that journey. The road traveled by T. H. Waters was not similar to ours. "Compelled to write this book based upon the unique experiences of her youth, she is grateful for the privilege of finally being able to live out loud." (p. 291)
Ghellow Road is Theresa's story, written in novel form. It flows from the time she was a child, happy with her mother and father and older brother. Her father was a teacher at a local school and spent much time with his children, sharing and exploring.
She was 5 when the first trauma occurred--finding her mother sobbing, her mother starting to withdraw from the family and their activities, spending most of her time in bed. However, when her mother needed to be hospitalized, it started a change of life for the entire family.
For a few times when her mother went to the hospital, her father's mother came to stay with them and take care that the children's life remain fairly stable. But a time came when that wasn't possible and both children were placed in foster care--the worst kind--where the parents were in it for the money and did little to actually care for the children.
Even when her mother came home, she was not the same woman. In fact, she had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and would never be the same again. "My mother...forever the delicate rose of spring, the youthful flower caught in a late, unexpected frost before she ever had the chance to unfurl her velvety petals and become the beauty she was meant to be. She remained eternally lost in the prison of her own mind...she remained eternally lost to me." (p. 263)
Fortunately for a number of years, their father was able to hold the family together. But then he lost his job, taking any job he could find to keep them going, but he also became despondent. He started spending all his time in the basement, forbidding anybody to invade the area where he said he was building a boat. Theresa one day coaxed her brother to go see the boat while their father was out. When he came back unexpectedly, Theresa childishly blamed their invasion on her brother. He was beaten horribly and soon left home, never to return.
And thereafter began a nomadic life for Theresa as she was shuffled from family to family or to friends' homes, rarely to have a location she could call her "home."
Readers will see a young woman who grew strong, yet defiant. One who was brave, yet afraid of what was going to happen next. Her story takes us through those traumatic teen years where finding and having friends to her meant the only family environments in which she was welcomed. Her mother had moved and left one grandmother behind, moving to live with and then near her parents. While her grandfather was wonderful, her new grandmother was not interested in developing a loving relationship with Theresa... And then her mother started dating and finally remarried. But that did not result in a new, loving home...
T. H. Waters writes her losses, her life, in beautiful words that compell readers to continue reading. However, this is not a heartwarming story even though there are parts that will touch your heart. This is a story of the spirit of children, of hope, of endurance... There is much you can learn from Ghellow Road if you open your heart and mind. Perhaps the most important being "to live out loud..." Highly recommended.