The Kindness of Strangers

I have continually been amazed by the Kindness of Strangers.

Being the adult child of an alcoholic and the eldest child in a very fucked up family,

has made it very hard for me to be vulnerable.

I am a good caretaker;

not so great at accepting care.

The comments from everyone on yesterday’s post have moved me deeply.

I planned on listing all the advice and the words of wisdom and insight.

 I realize the wisdom and insight are there and more importantly,

they are in my heart.

Something Kathy said really got me thinking:

“You are taking care of your self, right here. Everyone is just giving you permission to do it,

 an invitation to take your engine apart right here, if you want,

and clean and grease every part, and put it back together,

and if you cannot remember how it goes together, to get the owner’s manual right here.

That IS taking care of yourself.”

Kathy, you are right, as usual.

I need to take my engine apart. I need to take it all out, greasy and dark;

 lay it on the table and face it.

I need to clean those parts before I rebuild my engine.

This will take time.

The owner’s manual will need to be written as I go.

As I was pondering this metaphor

and looking at the dark messy parts of my Heart Engine,

  I realized that I am angry;

really, really angry.

I am also very sad.

Why I am sad is the tricky part.

My mother is dead; got it.


Thing is, she was not a good mother.

 She was not kind,

or helpful,

or present.

She was also abusive.

I waited for this day all of my life it seems.

*Just being honest while cleaning my engine*

I am angry and I am sad and my engine is in pieces.

Thank you to all of you for helping write this owners manual;

for helping me piece this back together anew.


The sky.

Walking and Breathing and realizing that all is illusory;

All of these things           will help me to right myself

When it is time.

I have time and an old engine in pieces.

And I have support.

I can do this and it won’t be easy but I can do this.

Messy, sad, angry, confused.



Thank you ALL for being here and for carrying me through my days.

I can be vulnerable here, and who knows;

I might just learn while cleaning this engine

to be vulnerable in the World.

You guys;

Are special.

Peace,   really.


(Kathy’s very cool  Blog:

Life is Weird. When we moved into our house a long time ago

we found, of all things, an engine block in the attic.

It is a thing of beauty.

It lives in our garden beneath the ivy next to the roses.

Who knew that one day that old engine block would be

more than just a cool old piece of junk;

who knew?

~ by Step On a Crack on January 3, 2012.

4 Responses to “The Kindness of Strangers”

  1. Go, girl.
    And thanks for the link, Dear One. 😉
    I know you can do this big thing with all the big help you have at your elbows; it won’t be so bad once you get going. ❤


  2. The Winkel girls can take apart and engine and put it back together. I KNOW you’ve said that before! SO i know you’ve done it before. Get greasy and hold steady! 🙂 love, mel


  3. Jen, I think a big part of your grief is mourning the loss of the mother you never had. That certainly complicates those feelings. I love there was an engine block in the attic of your house. No coincidence, my friend. God plans ahead 🙂 xo


  4. I am coming up on 8 months since my mom passed. It took me months to realize that a big part of my grieving is for the mother I never had. The notion that now, she will never get a chance to be to me what I always yearned for, she’ll never get to parent me. I now truly have no chance of being a daughter to a mother. That notion carries a weight of its own. Hugs to you Jen, your writing is beautiful.


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