THE HENRY PLACE (Written November 7, 2013)
by Susie Belle Seggar
When she revisited the Henry place in her 60's, she cried when she saw the old house was no longer there. That felt as if part of her life had been destroyed—it was where she was really first aware of being herself. At six, she was so new in this world, still untouched by many earthly experiences.
There were some sweet experiences at the Henry place she will always remember—her gentle mother teaching piano to her, playing with little cars in the soft dirt of the old driveway, swinging on the tire swing on the old tree in the yard, the new kittens born on her bed, receiving get well notes from her first grade class at Maple Grove School when she had the measles.
One memory always comes back when she thinks of the year they rented the Henry place. It was of an early morning when she must have been “hiding” in the tall grass outside and saw a bird fluttering up into the air as she moved. The world was glorious to her at that moment.
Other memories and sounds that come to her are less poignant and cause her grief for her mother, even now. During that time of her six-year old life she was confused by her father's declarations of love to her mother contrasted with the cruel and punishing actions that frequently followed. The one thing she couldn't say then was “Damn you for hurting her!” Later in life he seemed to be genuinely puzzled by her anger in defense of her mother.
Forgiving is almost impossible.