Reflections on Past Pain
Written By: Mark Smith
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Culver trip day. Once a year my kids have a cross country meet at Culver Military Academy and today is that day. The trip north requires me to drive through my home town of Kokomo. I'm flooded with memories as I inch my way way through stop light city. I remember bussing tables at the King's Crown Inn (it is no more), I remember playing basketball at Foster Park, kissing cute sophomore cheerleader Sara under my make out oak tree, my mom yelling, my step-father hitting, only having macaroni and cheese to eat, cockroaches, my friend Joey's cute sisters, delivering papers, watching MASH and Sonny & Cher, weighing 138 pounds, my mom yelling, getting kicked out of school three years running for fighting (1 win, 2 draws), having an encounter with God in a church parking lot, the prom, my poodle Pete, my Grandma's tricycle, my mother's fudge, driver's education with coach Carl, a very awkward kiss involving braces with Karen, dreaming of and achieving basketball glory, my boy Birch and a million other thoughts flash through my old brain cells. My old teammate Tommy Rethlake stares down on me from a billboard. He gave me the only cool nickname of my life...'Smitty Gun'. I shot a lot.
I'm passed by a fourth luxury bus. My heart leaps out of my chest whenever I pass one of them. I want one bad. A symbol of my coming retirement. No dogs at the meet this year. Why the hell not? My oldest doesn't feel well so she barely beats my youngest, who PR's. It is sunny, cool and crisp. Fall is here. My only other association with Culver is that some of my therapy clients ship their wayward kids here to get shaped up. I am always against it. It is a beautiful place! I'm the only one left here. Sail boats, porta potties and lots of grass.
Therapy is a trip through memories from childhood, good and bad. We were all wounded. Love is all about re-staging the way that we were loved growing up. If you have been in a relationship more than seven years you know that this is true. Embrace all of your life...your molding past, your at times painful present and your unknowable future. What I do is jump in the car everyday and drive with my clients back through the old roads of the past. It is such an honor. And it is a lot of fun as well. But many times it is quite sad.
That is all of got on this wonderful day, a day just like life.
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