Breaking the Cycle

by J. J. Cannon


I mentioned earlier that I would be sharing some of my Gram’s personal writings, which I stumbled upon after her death in 1996. The dysfunction in my family goes way back. My Great Grandmother Martha “Dee Dee” Titmus found herself alone raising six girls after the sudden death of her husband during the Great Depression. To say that she did not have the time or maternal tools to give them what they needed would be a huge understatement…

“A tiny beautiful baby boy entered my life. Wondering, hopeful, trusting, innocent, and I didn’t know what to do. How totally he gripped my heart and I didn’t know how to show it. Why was I always so afraid? A perfect little soul to guide and help grow and I didn’t know what to do. I had something to say. Why was I afraid to say it? Babies don’t just grow into happy, well adjusted adults. Each moment, each day, leads them to a life that can be lived to its fullest, or one of fear and insecurity. I did not know how to guide my trusting, loving son. To be so blessed and lose, I did not deserve to have him for even the short time God let him be with us.

God, can I thank you for leaving my girl with me? I do not deserve her either. My beautiful, sharp baby girl! She knew that I didn’t know how to give her the right answers. She knew even before she could talk. I still see her eyes…knowing I did not know.”

There is so much more to this story, the story of how my Gram was somehow – and thankfully so – able to give to me what she was unable to give to her own children. If you haven’t read any earlier posts, I spent the first eight years of my life with Gram and, in my mind, they were blissful. She played a pivotal role in shaping my life…I am so thankful for her, yet sad that she carried so much heaviness in her heart.

It is because of our bond in life that I still feel so spiritually connected to her now. I believe she is an angel watching over me always and when I see a lone yellow butterfly flutter by, I say hello.

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