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Karen C Vanderlaan

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By Karen C Vanderlaan
Saturday, December 06, 2008

Rated "PG13" by the Author.

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a true story--a few details have been changed but it is, nevertheless, a true story


    Her skin was a soft and creamy white, and her hair was as dark as the night. She was an unusual beauty, but a bit of a loner nevertheless. She always felt that she didn’t fit in, with the Girl Scouts, or the Junior League girls. She wasn’t even sure that she ever wanted children. She just didn’t seem to like them and never had any desire to hold any baby. The cries of her baby sister, eleven years hers junior, cut through her, she wanted to scream.

    This worried her, it set her apart because all the other girls seemed to be looking forward to having their own children. She once asked her own mother if there was something wrong with her because she didn’t like children. Her mother only replied that when they were hers, she would feel differently, and, of course, she would get married and have children, that is what women did.

    Well, Diane didn’t want anything to do with it! Her mother’s home was featured in Better Homes and Gardens. Every shirt, skirt, sheet and pillowcase was ironed and folded perfectly. The house was perfect and so was dinner, Diane was expected to learn the same.

    Her father was an important man, he was a physicist, working on “The Bomb’ during WWII. In his spare time he did really cool and interesting things like woodworking and building things. Many were the days that Diane ran for the woodshop to avoid having to cook, clean or do housework.

    Diane’s great interests were country music and horses. She learned to play the guitar and read all of the Western’s she could acquire. Will James’ “Smokey” was a favorite. In time, and after constant begging, her father built her a stable and purchased a horse.

    Years passed and Diana made it through high school and looked forward to going out west to college. Her horses went with her as her dad drove across county to the wide open spaces of Fort Collins, Colorado.

     She was soon to be wooed by an older classman, a strong sturdy man with dreams of his own. Both of them shared classes in animal science, and spoke of similar dreams of running a farm. He said he loved her, she wanted to be loved. Before the second year of study was over, Diane found herself pregnant, then married in her parent’s house, and back to finish the year. The baby came, breech but healthy. Her husband was delighted, Diane felt nothing but pain and distance from this thing that seemed less than human.

    With baby in tow, and pregnant again, they decided to pursue the dream rather than to finish school. A farm in the east was affordable and came with a herd of champion milkers, a barn and a hundred year old home. It seemed perfect. So baby number two came, both girls. Diane, in spite of her lack of feelings for these babies, agreed to try one more time to have a boy, such an important thing to her husband’s family, to carry on the family name.

   They did indeed have a boy. Within 4 years time, Diane had three little ones in diapers. The love her mother said she would feel never came to her. She just figured that there was something wrong with her. Thankfully, her husband was happy to take up some slack and keep an eye on them when Diane’s patience wore thin. Many were the times he stepped in when her temper flared.

   With so much work to be done on the farm, both were insanely busy. Babysitters were often hired so that Diane could not only get some relief, but also so she could be involved with what she loved, being outside with the animals, or the hay fields or the garden. Fixing fences, squashing potato bugs, or running the tractor were all preferable to the household chores.

    When, just as the oldest daughter was off to school, and the other two were almost classified as human, Diane, to her horror, discovered she was pregnant.

She could not bear the thought of going through this misery again. She became despondent, morose, and miserable. Diane could not be consoled. She blamed her husband and sank into deep depression. It didn’t help that it was winter and she hated winter. She felt trapped at every angle. The never ending ice and snow, the young children, their climbing debt, and now-this.

    So, Diane did the only thing she could in order to get some relief. There were many layman’s veterinary type tools at the barn and she knew how to use them. 


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Reviewed by Janice Scott 7/17/2011
I feel for Diane, especially with the chilling ending - makes me feel for her children too! Great writing.
Reviewed by CJ Heck 5/15/2011
OMG, what a sad ending. Excellent writing, Karen. You bring your readers on a journey that they become enmeshed in, devouring every word, and then they're slammed to reality in the last line. Excellent!
Reviewed by MaryGrace Patterson 3/23/2010
SAd to feel that way , but I think it does happen to some....I guess it has to do with what one feels inside. My kids were a gift , even tho I had the first four so very close together. Then six years seperated the next two.. Life is often what we make it, but not always ....M
Reviewed by Jerry Bolton 1/4/2010
Horror story!
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 5/13/2009
Great write, Karen; well done! Please do more stories! :)

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. ;D
Reviewed by Larry Lounsbury 4/5/2009
I was spell bound from beginning to end. I like the way you ended the story with a cliff hanger.
Reviewed by Randall Barfield 12/13/2008
He should've had a vasectomy after the boy was born, that's for sure. There are men who would have 20 or 25 kids if it was only up to them. They wouldn't feed & clothe them very well, however. This story has a strong impact. Keep writing.
Reviewed by Felix Perry 12/6/2008
Stark write but sadly all too possible and with anyone who understands or has experienced depression either first hand or close at hand easily understood.


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