LLOAS 002: Family Secrets

Hi Friends! Welcome to episode 2 of the Life Lessons on a Sunday podcast. I’m your host Jaimeson, and you are in for a treat today! As I mentioned in the last episode, I had to call my Mom to see if it was okay to share some of the family secrets. Today, you will hear two personal family secrets and we will discuss if it’s good or bad to have them. Are you ready? EEEKKK … I’m a little nervous. Here we go …

Happy Sunday!  Today is all about Family Secrets – and if we should have them or not?

Did you keep a secret in your family?

Were you asked to keep a secret?

Did you ever find out what that secret was?

Were you the last to know?

Well, today I’m going to be sharing two family secrets … one that was about my brother, Seth, and one that was about me!  And they were both told by my MOM!  Now, before I even start and share what they are … because they are doozies, and you are sure to have opinions about them, I want to prefaces this very clearly … MY MOM LOVES US and WE LOVE HER! Make no mistake about it … there WAS and IS a ton of love between all of us! (I’ll share more about how our bond grew so tight in future episodes, but please just know that the LOVE is there)

Okay, now to the good stuff … THE SECRETS!

I’m going to start with mine for a few reasons …

  1. It’s more sad and I always want to end on a happy note
  2. The secret wasn’t hidden from me as long as my brothers was (yes, I’m talking multiple years here people!)
  3. I honestly think his is hilarious and I literally laugh out loud every time I think about it, hear it or share with a friend, so I’m hoping it will bring you just as much joy … sorry Seth!

Up first … my secret …

Let me set the scene ….

I was about 9 years old, my parents were going through a divorce, we were having to move from our home to an apartment, change schools, meet new friends, you get the gest … a whole life change.  I was a mess as any little girl would be. So, my mom bought me the sweetest, prettiest, most lovable Shetland sheepdog … I named her PATCHES.

We became quick best friends. She would sit right by me as I wrote in my diary, she was with me on good days and bad days – we played and ran outside, I would brush her hair for hours – she had the most beautiful tri-color coat.  She was there waiting for me everyday to get home from school – she was just simply the best!

A few years later (I had to be 12 or 13), we move into a new neighborhood, with new surroundings.  There is a park at the end of our street and lots of other dogs in the neighborhood, so we were feeling right at home!  Every summer, my brother and I would go visit my grandparents on my Dad’s side in Western Kentucky for about a week to 10 days. They ran a farm with cattle and tobacco or soybeans (depending on the year). I would have the best time – lots of land to play on, 4-wheelers, going to “The Bluegrass” with my Granddad to have coffee and catfish with the other farmers … but you better get there early, or there wasn’t a seat at the table for you. Such good times!   I digress …

Well, you can imagine when you’re away from your Mom for a week or more, you talk on the phone – which we did. Everything was just fine … so she said!

When we returned home, I was devastated to find out my beloved Patches had run away … or in my mind, she got lost and someone picked her up because she was the best dog ever!  I was so heartbroken. I immediately started searching the neighborhood all day and into the night. The next day I started making missing flyers, asking my Mom to take me to shelters, posting said flyers … this went on for almost two weeks!  TWO WEEKS!

One day, my aunt shows up with a dog – not just any dog, but an old, overweight, basset hound … I’m not even kidding.  I was so mad! I said is this dog supposed to replace Patches?  Looking back as an adult, it was a nice gesture (wrong dog to do it with) but a nice gesture none the less. From that point on, I realized that everyone else had given up hope that Patches would ever come home and that they probably wanted me to start to “move on”.  I quietly did. I put my favorite picture of Patches in my wallet and carried it with me everyday … just in case. When I was 16 and got my car, I put her picture in my center console – In fact, her picture is still in my center console to this day.  I’m not kidding – I really bonded with this dog and she was truly my best friend.

One Christmas, I must have been 20 years old because my son, Beau was just an infant, we were all wrapping gifts and sitting around the Christmas tree in our pajamas at my aunts house. A good portion of the family was there … my grandmother, mom, brother, niece, aunt, cousins, my son.  For some reason, we were talking about the “family secrets” – I don’t know if your family has them, but it seems like almost all of us cousins had a secret that our Mom’s kept from us. Well, we were laughing and talking about Seth’s secret because he had just found out about 6 months earlier.  Seth, of course, did not think it was funny that we all knew his secret and never told him, so he started mentioning some of our secrets that he knew. Well, I must tell you – I honestly, never in my wildest dreams – would I have thought that my Mom would keep a secret from me, even though I knew she had kept one from Seth.  Boy was I wrong …

Someone said it – I can’t even remember who said it, but I remember the words … Patches didn’t run away – she got ran over!   UGH – Knife through heart … I started crying like I was that 13 year old girl again … all the pain, heartbreak and devastation of not finding her came flooding back. Deep breath out, shoulders drop and sadness just came over me.

Then I got mad … WHY? Why would she lie to me? Did she think I couldn’t handle the truth? WHY did she let me search, make flyers, and everything else I did to find Patches? WHY did she let my aunt bring a “replacement” dog?  WHY – WHY – WHY

Deep Breathe … Yep, so that was my family secret … sad, right? Oh, and everyone at the house knew about Patches but me …. All of them kept the secret – which is I guess the point of a secret!

Now onto my brother’s secret … It goes all the way back to when we were just toddlers … that’s right – this was a life secret!

Seth and I are only 18 months apart, so to be fair to my parents, they didn’t have a break … Just as soon as Seth could walk, I was born. 9 months later, they have two kids running around under the age of 2 – shew, I’m tired just thinking about it.  And to top it off, they were living in Texas, away from their families in Kentucky.

My Mom used to cook and bake when we were little.  One of my favorite things she would bake would be brownies! I don’t know why, but I just loved them and could eat a whole pan myself – probably because she rarely let us have sweets or sugar.  Anyways, my poor brother couldn’t have any because he was allergic to chocolate.  At the time, I didn’t notice if this bothered him or not because I was just too young.

When I was 8 and Seth was 10, we moved back to Kentucky. We were reunited with family and we couldn’t be happier. We spent weekends, overnights, birthdays, holidays – you name it, we were all together. This also meant that we were introduced to new foods and sweets!  Every meal was a production – family style – plates passing, conversations over conversations – oh how I miss those days.  Anyways, everyone was always super conscious of Seth’s chocolate allergy, so they always had something for him as well – mainly Strawberry Shortcake.

Fast forward to Seth’s 20th birthday! We were, of course, having another family gathering to celebrate! We had the best time – I think there were 15 to 20 of us crammed into my grandmothers two bedroom apartment, but it was perfect!

Cake time!  My aunt walks in with the cake and candles light all ready for us to sing “Happy Birthday” … Seth noticed something …

He says … “Ha, Ha, very funny … you know I’m allergic to Chocolate!”

My aunt, very casually says … “No, you’re not!  Happy Birthday!”

You should have seen the look on his face!  Side note: Everyone there had known the secret for years and never told him (just like mine).

I can still picture the scene in my head and I still laugh out loud about it!  For pretty much 18 years Seth thought he was allergic to chocolate … I mean I can’t stop laughing.

Okay, Okay – I’m sure you are ready for me to tell you the WHY’s … why would my Mom lie about Patches and being allergic to chocolate.  Well, the plain and simple answer is because she didn’t want us to suffer.  She didn’t want me to suffer because of how Patches died and she felt if I thought Patches ran away, then I would always think that she’s out there somewhere alive and as I got older, I would just understand.  For Seth, and I need you to know this is completely honest here, she did not want him to suffer as a teenager with acne and she felt that chocolate caused acne. (please remember this was the 70’s and 80’s and she just knew that she didn’t want her baby boy to have a tough time in high school, so she was trying to prevent it).

See, she did it all out of LOVE!

Now, what do I think?  Well, I honestly think she shouldn’t have done it – BUT and this is a big BUT – hindsight is always 20/20.  I was just a child, dealing with lots of other factors at the time – I have to trust that she was making what she felt was the best decision for me.  Do I think about this situation when something arises with my children … of course – and I can honestly say that I have struggled at times with how to “break the news” to my kids. So I get it.

What does Seth think? He does not think it is as funny as I do and he says that this caused him to have trust issues with women – which, I can totally see. Again, I’m still laughing – I have a theory –  yes, my Mom may have been trying to shield him from acne, but what if the real reason is because I was eating all the brownies, she wanted some and just told Seth he was allergic so he wouldn’t eat any … ha ha! I guess we could come up with all sorts of theories.

Out of these secrets, I do have a few take aways for you …

  • When you have children, you will do whatever you think is right to shield them from pain.
  • But remember, it doesn’t matter when they find out, the pain will still be there, so my advice is to deal with at the time it happens, then maybe everyone can heal together.

What are your thoughts? Did your parents ever keep something from you trying to shield you?  Is this common with families or are we the odd balls out?  Let me know your thoughts – drop me an email, leave a comment or find me on Instagram at Life Lessons on a Sunday.

Next episode is a special one … It’s my Birthday! I will be sharing 40 Life Lessons for my 40th Birthday! Make sure you check it out.

Until Next Sunday …