I have said it before.
We have moments in our lives that simply defy forgetfulness-no matter
how hard we try.
I do not remember why it was my mom was so angry with me, but
indeed she was one day. For reasons unknown, she decided to punish
me in a rather odd way.
She refused to acknowledge me as anyone she knew. Mom may have
been pretending, but it was very real for me. (Mind you I want nobody to
get angry at my mom. She's great and I love her dearly. She was just
young and made a mistake.)
"Mom ..." I said, walking into the kitchen.
"What? Who are you?" she asked, pouring herself some coffee.
"Mom?" I recall repeating myself, tears beginning to stream
down my face. It went on like this for a day or so.
I recall it vividly to this day. I was utterly confused by what she was doing.
After all ... "I could and did recognize her! How and why had I become
a stranger to her?"
Well, as the expression has it, it left a bruise, actually a permanent
injury, a disability if you like.
From that day I trace the origins of my speech impediment, my stutter.
As a kid I found myself in the most embarrassing of situations when my
speech failed me in countless instances whether in school or out.
Stutterers have it rough for not only do they suffer the indignity of
involuntarily sputtering out a syllable for varying lengths of time, but
in their frantic efforts to enunciate the word they wildly contort
their faces. Other kids think it rather amusing, and, yes, they can be
I was in speech therapy as a young boy. For how long, I really do not
know, but my guess is not for too long. I say that because the problem
still afflicts me.
There have been stretches of time when I was stutter-free. Yes, there
have been occasional recurrences that happened uncannily at the very
worst times-on dates or when I taught.
They were always really bad instances too when i couldn't hide it
with a feigned cough and a look of surprise. On such occasions, had
there been a large enough rock nearby, I would surely have crawled
under it. The coroner's report would have read: Cause of death:
UTTER HUMILIATION. (And you thought it might have said: Crushed by
weight of a boulder.)
(more to come on this ...)