Cherished Cherries

The modern maraschino cherry, developed by Oregon Agricultural College professor Ernest H. Wiegand in the 1920s, gave cherry farmers a way to preserve their sweet Royal Anne cherries without alcohol. They are colored a vibrant red.

I loved these cherries as a child. Every once in awhile, you’d get one on an ice sundae or some relative would share this treat during the holidays. When I saw them as a child, my heart lite up with anticipation and I waited patiently to receive this wonderful delight.

There wasn’t much I waited for as a child. Actually, I tried not to wait for anything. The only thing that was coming was rape or rejection. Why would I wait for that?

I tried to steady my mind on anything but reality. That bleak home I grew up in was a misery waiting to happen. If the beasts that ruled the house grew impatient and their wicked ways unarmed them with a dull moment, they would fight with each other.

They hated each other, right? Wait, they loved each other enough to abuse their children together. That’s love, right? That takes dedication to walk that path together. You must be in sync with each other, right?

Bonnie and Clyde got away with all they got away with because they calculated together. They had to have some form of bond or it just wouldn’t work.

Anticipation as a child was something that was dead in me. I didn’t want to have hope. Hope just made things worse. The inevitable abuse was coming and I could nothing to stop it.

I even out grew my love for the bright red maraschino cherry. I still don’t like them today.

Neglect and abuse year after year changes the layout of a person. Forever. I’ve undergone so much rehabilitation to get where I am. I had to learn trust. I had to beg for hope. I had to disarm the alarm in my soul that was constantly blaring.

Today I walk with a few limps, I have multiple scars that remain and a heart that is full of love, hope and mercy.

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