My name is Jackie Morin (Lambert) or La-a-a-a-a-a-a-m-b-ert as I used to be teased as a young girl. But, I have always been know as, Jack. A nickname that has always stuck with me, since I was young to now as an adult. I grew up in Chicago, Uptown area, between Wilson and Montrose on Magnolia Street. I lived in the heart of Gaylord Nation… literally! I had a mother, step father (more on that asshole later) and two brothers. Growing up, my childhood was quite a bumpy course to say the least. I was served up a plate of constant fearfulness, negativity and prejudices and, yes, along with a heaping side order of abuse on the side… mentally and physically. I would hate to go through such pain again or wish any of this treatment on others. But, I consider myself a survivor, serving up my own plate that consists of kindness, love, understanding and an extra helping of optimism! What I went through in my life didn’t teach me bitterness or hatred; it taught me how to be hopeful, how to love and kindness. I’m a self-taught optimist and believe that everything that happens in our life is for a reason; my life included. Of course, I didn’t think this way when I was a child. Surely, one may not agree about certain choices being made at the time or moments that are out of our control, but I believe there’s a higher power that dictates our life’s path. I believe these “life lessons or encounters” as I like to call them, are there to interact with us as possible lessons that are to be learned along the way. There’s always a message within a situation, in some form or another that we can take away as a learning experience, whether it’s good or bad. For example, growing up, my family’s refrigerator never stocked a mass amount of food; barely the essentials, eggs, milk, lunch meat, bread and, sometimes, not even that. It was a rare treat that we saw ice cream or cookies in the fridge.
Our apartment building on Magnolia was right next door to a school called, Stockton Preschool. It was a school where little tots went before heading off to kindergarten. After the school was closed for the day, my mother and I would rummage through the big garbage bags behind the school that were tossed in the trash. We knew that the school always threw away lunches that weren’t being eaten. Perfectly good lunches in the trash! But, state law dictates that any unused food has to be thrown away, regardless if it was eaten or not. Lunches were served in tin trays like a TV dinner with a cardboard peel away cover. Going through these bags, we were able to pull out quite a few of unopened lunches that, in our eyes, were perfectly good to eat. That day we were lucky enough to find chicken nuggets with tater tots and peach cobbler for dessert. We took the lunches and brought them into the house for that night’s dinner. Digging through the trash for food this way, was our family’s dinner on more than one occasion. When my belly was hungry, I was thankful for those tater tots, knowing that it was going to fill me up; thankful that I wasn’t going to go hungry that night for dinner; thankful that I wouldn’t have to wait for the next day’s meal at school in order to eat. This particular “life encounter” taught me to be thankful for anything I got. And, for those rare occasions when chocolate chip cookies did grace the lower shelf of the fridge, it taught me appreciation. I was so thankful to have such a treat in the house. Going through my own personal life lessons like this, it made me into the person I am today and, you know something, I truly like and enjoy who I am. When you don’t have something in your life, you learn to respect it when it does come your way.
I have always enjoyed writing about life’s experiences, whether life is going your way or totally in the opposite direction and heading south. I try to find the enlightenment and positivity in every situation, as I have written above. Early in my life, I have lived through everything from being hungry and poor and then having the Black Panthers bring bags of groceries to our door, to growing up on welfare, having the buildings we lived in being set on fire and then continuing to live in them afterward, fighting an attacker from a potential rape, not to mention living with physical and sexual abuse. Later in my life, I had to find the courage to survive a horrific motorcycle accident, where I would learn to walk again, as well as the passing of several cherished loved ones, as they went home to God, leaving my life forever. If it wasn’t for the love and care of two of these special people, my two grandparents, Raymond and Esther, it would be hard to say where my life would be today. I also had the love and friendship of two other people in my life who had led me in the right direction, especially knowing how I grew up and what shit my life consisted of. These two angels were and are my friends, Bill and Donatta.
Sharing my stories, it’s my hope that others will find inspiration, courage and strength, if not a little laughter to show that we all can get through a terrible time that our higher power may have planned for us. I truly believe that everything in life happens for a reason and I believe that everything that I have gone through in my life WAS for a particular reason and I believe there’s always a positive to every negative. So, here it goes; I am testing the writing waters and have decided to share some of my life stories online… via my new blog… Raynedrop Kysses.