The Healing Horse, Chapter 4: Resentment and Reconciliation with Reality, Scene 2: Making Dinner for Mama

As Chapter 4 proceeds, Kitten thinks about her Mama’s suggestion that she walk to the Pier on her own, and then she puts it into perspective by recalling the last time she had tried to become more independent.

Scene 2: Making Dinner for Mama

Karen recalled a scene they had just the week before. Perhaps Mama’s suggestion about the pier was coming from it.

Late one afternoon, before her Mama got home from work, Karen decided to make a special dinner for the two of them. She filled a three-quart pot with water, added a little salt and put it on the stove to boil. While it was heating, she opened the refrigerator to see what was available for a salad. Emptying the produce bin, she aligned the vegetables on the white tile counter, close by the sink, so she could wash them.

This was the first time Kitten had ever tried to prepare a meal on her own. She was excited and filled with an electric enthusiasm. Exuberant, intoxicated by her own independence, she not only wanted to surprise Mama, she wanted to do this for herself.

“I hope Mama likes this,” she said, as she walked to the stereo. Click—the speakers hummed for a moment, before the music came on. She sang along with The Four Lads’ 1956 song Standing on the Corner. Singing and dancing, she pretended she was Julia Child creating a gourmet dinner on her TV show. The Marvelettes’ 1961 song, Please Mr. Postman began. Karen interrupted her work to twirl with the music, as she sang louder.

Even as she enjoyed the music, she picked up each vegetable and washed it separately, as Mama would have done. She laid them on a terry cloth towel to drain, before putting the romaine into a pretty bowl. Holding the veggies with her weak left hand, she cut them—carrots, celery, cauliflower and broccoli—precisely dicing them into bite-sized pieces with the French knife she held in her right hand. She scooped some avocado into the bowl on top of them. When it was full, she put her salad into the fridge to chill until dinner. She would dress it, then. The water for the spaghetti was coming to a boil. She had timed everything, perfectly.

#cerebralpalsy #inspirational #childhood

©2020, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

The Healing Horse, Chapter 4: Resentment and Reconciliation with Reality, Scene 1

Chapter four is all about the relationship between Kitten and her mother, and how they grow together past a potentially disastrous conflict.

Even though Mama encouraged Karen to walk to the pier, Karen had her doubts as to whether Mama would actually let her do it. She started to think about her own decision on the subject and decided it was too good an opportunity to pass up. She would find a way.

Scene 1: Karen Reflects on Mama’s Suggestion and Feels Resentment

In her room, Karen sat on her bed and thought it over. Even though Mama had said she could go to the pier, she had her doubts about Mama’s sincerity. Mama always told her that she must become independent, but then stopped her from doing everyday chores out of fear about Karen’s handicap. Mama might change her mind about the pier at the last minute.

Why is Mama always doing this to me? Can’t she hear me? Can’t she tell I need to do things for myself? Can’t Mama see my need to grow, and how much I need her encouragement and emotional support? It’s so painful that she can’t understand this. That’s what my need truly is. I feel guilty every time I try to do something on my own, and then it comes across like I’m defying her. I wish she could see that she won’t be here forever. What am I going to do if I can’t cook my meals, tie my shoes, or count my money? What am I going to do then? Am I going to need a keeper? But going to the carousel is too good an opportunity to pass up. It sounds like lots of fun, going to the carousel. I would love to go on the merry-go-round and show myself that I can do this, not just in my dreams, but for real. I know it’s difficult for Mama to let me try things on my own, but I think she sees how important it is for me. I can’t let her down. I need to show her by my actions that I can do this. Then she will trust me more and give me more opportunities.

#cerebralpalsy #inspirational #childhood

©2020, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

The Healing Horse Chapter 3, Scene 7: Mama reflects on her suggestion that Karen go to the pier

Along with encouraging me to become more independent, I’m sure my Mama reflected a lot on both my progress as a child and her own progress as a parent.

Scene 7: Mama reflects on her suggestion that Karen go to the pier

As Mama watched Karen leave the kitchen, she thought over what she had just said.

I’m nervous suggesting that Karen do this by herself, but I can’t let my fear stop her from growing into an independent person. She needs to learn to feel good about her daily activities and accomplishments, as well as her schoolwork, and she needs to do something extraordinary, at least in her own mind, to show herself how capable she really is. She took me by surprise, when she said she wanted to ride the horses. Why didn’t I think of that? Of course, she wouldn’t be content with just walking to the pier and watching other children have fun. Not my Krana Layala. At least I kept my mouth shut and didn’t interrupt her or disagree with her. She’s making progress, and so am I.

#cerebralpalsy #inspirational #parenting

©2020, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

The Healing Horse, Chapter 3, Scene 6: Mama Suggests a Journey

My mother always encouraged me to develop myself in every way. In the story, she suggests that Karen walk to the Santa Monica Pier and ride the horses on the carousel. It was at the pier that magic entered the little girl’s life.

Scene 6: Mama Suggests a Journey

One evening after dinner, Karen’s Mama winked at her and said, “Why don’t you walk to the pier and see the pretty horses sometime? There are lots of them at the carousel, Krana Layala.”

Karen looked up at Mama, too surprised to speak for a moment.

“You mean you’ll let me go like other children? You’ll give me a chance? You’ll really let me go?”

“Of course I’ll let you go, sweetheart.” Mama said. “I can’t overprotect you forever. The time has come to let you grow and learn from your own experiences.”

“It sounds like lots of fun, going to the carousel. I’d love to go on the merry-go-round like everyone else, but aren’t the horses too wild for me, Mama?”

“No, Karen. They’re lots of fun! I thought you might enjoy going for a walk to the pier. It’s close to the house, and it’s not too far for you. It would be wonderful going to the big carousel with its fine horses, especially after all the exciting stories you’ve been reading. Just promise me that you’ll get someone to help you onto the horses. Otherwise, you’ll make your Mama worry, and you don’t want to do that, do you, Kitten?”

“Okay, Mama. I’m sure they’ll have a helper there! I’ll try pulling myself up by my own strength, but if I can’t, I promise to ask for help. After I’m up on the horse’s back, I’ll hang onto its mane with my right hand. It shouldn’t be too difficult. I’ll do the best I can, and I’m sure that will be good enough.”

“I’m happy to hear you talk like this. You’re developing self-confidence, and you’re making me proud. You keep on shooting for the stars!”

They smiled into each other’s eyes. Kitten felt something she had never felt before.

“Thank you, Mama, for the compliment. It makes me feel really good to know that you are truly on my side and in my corner. Now, with a new understanding in my heart, I’ll get ready for my bed and bath.”

 

#cerebralpalsy #inspirational #carousels #horses

©2020, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

The Healing Horse, Chapter 3, Scene 5: Spring Arrives. K Develops Internally but Struggles Externally

As a child, I worked hard on myself. I consciously strove to development my independence, even though I often felt lonely. I knew I would have challenges in every area of life, but I did not let fear of them stand in my way. I was determined to make my outer life as rich as my inner world.

Scene 5: Spring Arrives. K Develops Internally but Struggles Externally

May had sprung, and these dreamy thoughts promised new hope for Karen. As she became more secure in her own being, she took her first steps into the larger world that her development opened to her, a world of acquired independence, interdependence, self-determination, and courage, a world in which Karen would follow and develop her own instincts.

While her internal world was expanding, she still had difficulty with the outside world. Though she managed most activities, her right side did the work, as she could not do everything like other children. Her right arm was strong like a lion; her left, as weak as the kitten she was named for. She walked with a syncopated beat and a rhythmic pattern to compensate for her tendency to drag her left toes. She learned to bend her left knee and to pick up her leg, but sometimes her left foot would still drag. The strength of her right leg could not mute the clank of the steel brace she wore on her left.

As her abilities grew, so did her expectations of herself and her drive to succeed. Reading, homework, and everything else took more time and effort than they did for other children, but rather than letting herself feel discouraged, she resolved to devote every waking moment to becoming the best person she could be.

Karen knew that there would be struggles and challenges in every area of her life. This insight prompted her to seek support wherever she could find it. More and more, she was growing to be an advocate like her mother. So, too, was Mama becoming a better advocate.

Being shy and timid did not help. Her lack of confidence kept her to herself more than she wanted. A quiet child with few friends, she went to a nearby elementary school playground for fun, and usually played alone. Her outward appearance was always bubbly and cheerful, and she never let anyone know her inner loneliness. She quietly kept these emotions to herself.

#cerebralpalsy #dyslexia #inspirational #loneliness

©2020, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

The Healing Horse, Chapter 3, Scene 4: K Reads About Carousels and Gigi, and Then Wonders What It Would Be Like To Visit the Pier.

Horses began to fascinate me, in real life, so I studied them and researched where I could ride one. In the story, we are getting close to where the magic begins. 

Scene 4: K Reads About Carousels and Gigi, and Then Wonders What It Would Be Like To Visit the Pier.

After months of delicious reading, Karen realized that her favorite topics were horses and amusement parks, especially amusement parks with carousels. She read everything she could about them. She went to the reference desk at the public library on Robertson and asked the librarian to help her find information on the Santa Monica Pier and on Griffith Park. She learned that the pier had opened in 1909 after sixteen months of construction. The pier’s art deco hippodrome housed the carousel. That was only one part of the pier, but it was her favorite part to read about. It was Santa Monica’s first historic landmark. Griffith Park, in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, had been donated by Col. Griffith J. Griffith even earlier, in 1896. He had donated over 3,015 acres of land to the city of Los Angeles. Both places had world-famous carousels.

Her favorite book was Gigi: The Story of a Merry-Go-Round Horse by Elizabeth Foster. She imagined a stunning Thoroughbred carrying her wherever her heart desired. She dreamt of becoming not only the best reader, but the best rider she could be. She would not be afraid to reach for the gold ring. She would not let her fear of falling stop her. She knew in her heart that if she could get to the carousel and up onto a horse, then she could reach all her other goals.
In her mind, she watched the handsome horses prance and whirl around her imagined carousel. Though nervous about going to a real amusement park, she knew that in time she would realize her vision, and that time was becoming her friend. To someone else, going to a carousel might seem trivial, but not to Kitten. She knew that, for her, it would not be easy, but she also knew that she would persevere. Many people believed Kitten’s partially paralyzed body was incapable of riding a horse, but Mama and Karen did not go along with such a barrier philosophy.

“What if I went to the amusement park and met the horse I dream of?” she whispered to herself, as she held a book in her tiny hands and gazed up at the stacks in the middle of the seemingly boundless library.

#cerebralpalsy #inspirationalwriting #carousels

©2020, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

The Healing Horse, Ch 3, Scene 3: Karen’s Reading Routine And A Trip To The Library

For me, the years between ages ten and twelve were when I immersed myself in story and imagination. The books I read inspired me to attempt things that my doctors thought I would never do. The inspiration empowered me. And I began to do those things, including the all-important walk to Pacific Ocean Park, where I met my mentor.

The Healing Horse, Ch 3, Scene 3: Karen’s Reading Routine And A Trip To The Library

By age twelve, Karen had become more comfortable with herself as she was. Her school lessons and her life became easier for her. Nevertheless, Kitten sometimes found herself gazing deeply into the heavens of her own heart, escaping from her present. These daydreams, like her slumbering dreams, had a strength and benevolence that captured colorful images, which would eventually paint the picture of her whole life.

After having listened to so many fanciful stories, she now let her imagination light up her curiosity. Using her rapidly developing ability to read, she wrapped herself in books of wonder, sometimes creating sequels in her own mind.

At least once a week, she had Mama take her to the library. As she rode in Mama’s blue 1952 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe, she felt especially elegant. Mama had learned to drive and had bought the car specifically so they would not have to ride the city buses. Kitten knew that taking her on the bus was a hardship for Mama, since her brace made climbing up and down the steps impossible, and Mama had to lift her.

Upon returning home, she rushed into her bedroom to take off her shoes and favorite pink overalls and to put on her robe and cuddly slippers. Propping herself up with pillows, she opened her book and allowed a sense of surprise to transport her to fascinating and mystic places that captivated her heart. The more self-assured Karen became with reading, the more she engaged in the basics of learning, such as sounding out new words, looking them up in the dictionary and improving her spelling, which accelerated her reading competence. With growing childhood expertise, Kitten read more stories on her own. She practiced reading every chance she had.

It was an impressionable, informative and revealing time for Karen; a time to grow, to learn, and to experience life; to expand her thought processes, and to illuminate her mind with knowledge as she built her world through the books she read. It was also a time to be a child, free from care and worry.

She was ten years old when she began reading the carousel books. The spring air was cool, crisp and comfortable. It was a time of peace and tranquility. It was a time when she found herself enwrapped and enveloped in the protective, comforting retreat that the books she loved gave her. These books were her compass and her inspiration. They embraced her, enfolded her, and encircled her with a richness that gave her both an imaginative inner life and a direction in her outer life. It was a time when she allowed herself to master her dreams. The effects of reading gave her the courage to keep seeking. She would glance out of her window occasionally, gain strength from the earth’s presence, picture herself climbing onto her horse’s back, and riding toward her dreams.

#cerebralpalsy #dyslexia #inspirationalwriting #reading

©2020, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

 

The Healing Horse, Ch 3, Scene 3: Karen’s Reading Routine And A Trip To The Library

For me, the years between ages ten and twelve were when I immersed myself in story and imagination. The books I read inspired me to attempt things that my doctors thought I would never do. The inspiration empowered me. And I began to do those things, including the all-important walk to Pacific Ocean Park, where I met my mentor.

Scene 3: Karen’s Reading Routine And A Trip To The Library

By age twelve, Karen had become more comfortable with herself as she was. Her school lessons and her life became easier for her. Nevertheless, Kitten sometimes found herself gazing deeply into the heavens of her own heart, escaping from her present. These daydreams, like her slumbering dreams, had a strength and benevolence that captured colorful images, which would eventually paint the picture of her whole life.

After having listened to so many fanciful stories, she now let her imagination light up her curiosity. Using her rapidly developing ability to read, she wrapped herself in books of wonder, sometimes creating sequels in her own mind.

At least once a week, she had Mama take her to the library. As she rode in Mama’s blue 1952 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe, she felt especially elegant. Mama had learned to drive and had bought the car specifically so they would not have to ride the city buses. Kitten knew that taking her on the bus was a hardship for Mama, since her brace made climbing up and down the steps impossible, and Mama had to lift her.

Upon returning home, she rushed into her bedroom to take off her shoes and favorite pink overalls and to put on her robe and cuddly slippers. Propping herself up with pillows, she opened her book and allowed a sense of surprise to transport her to fascinating and mystic places that captivated her heart. The more self-assured Karen became with reading, the more she engaged in the basics of learning, such as sounding out new words, looking them up in the dictionary and improving her spelling, which accelerated her reading competence. With growing childhood expertise, Kitten read more stories on her own. She practiced reading every chance she had.

It was an impressionable, informative and revealing time for Karen; a time to grow, to learn, and to experience life; to expand her thought processes, and to illuminate her mind with knowledge as she built her world through the books she read. It was also a time to be a child, free from care and worry.

She was ten years old when she began reading the carousel books. The spring air was cool, crisp and comfortable. It was a time of peace and tranquility. It was a time when she found herself enwrapped and enveloped in the protective, comforting retreat that the books she loved gave her. These books were her compass and her inspiration. They embraced her, enfolded her, and encircled her with a richness that gave her both an imaginative inner life and a direction in her outer life. It was a time when she allowed herself to master her dreams. The effects of reading gave her the courage to keep seeking. She would glance out of her window occasionally, gain strength from the earth’s presence, picture herself climbing onto her horse’s back, and riding toward her dreams.

#cerebralpalsy #dyslexia #inspirationalwriting #reading

©2020, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

The Healing Horse, Ch 3, Scene 2: Karen longs to be smart and discovers ways to learn

The magical feelings I got when my Mama read stories to me eventually turned into a new-found ability to understand and recall academic material at school. The power of imagination and the magic of story opened a new world for me. 

Ch 3, Scene 2: Karen longs to be smart and discovers ways to learn

Karen longed to be smart. She wanted to learn like other children, and she wanted to read as easily and as effortlessly as she breathed. She wanted this for herself more than anything else in the world. During her tenth year, the words from her school lessons began to live with her just as the bedtime vocabulary did. She not only recalled all the new words she had heard in school, but she lay in bed repeating those words, until she fell into a deep sleep. During this precious slumber, everything sank dreamily into her powerful subconscious.

The more she listened to her inner voice, the more she grasped her school subjects. In time, new words flowed into her speech without effort. Her academic vocabulary expanded, and she retained most of what her teachers taught in class.

She discovered her own special ways to help herself learn and recall. She repeated names in her mind, right after the teacher said them. She took notes and tried to visualize what the teacher had said; however, this did not work like magic for her because she could not see pictures and numbers clearly in her mind’s eye. Kitten did not have a photographic memory. She was not a quiz show contestant, although she and Mama loved watching The Price is Right, I’ve Got a Secret, and To Tell the Truth. Learning was hard work, but she did it gladly.

#cerebralpalsy #dyslexia #inspirationalwriting #reading

©2020, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

 

The Healing Horse, Ch 3: Her Developing Imagination Thrives on Horse Stories and Leads Her to Its Manifestation

In this chapter, the tension begins to build as Mama pushes me to go out into the world, where I will soon meet my mentor. In this first scene, I introduce my friend Tammy (not her real name), who had much more severe CP than I did. I was happy to find someone I could really help, and her determination inspired me to see my own challenges as gifts.

Scene 1: Tammy Struggles, too.

As the primary school years passed, Karen found she was far from alone in her learning troubles. For their own reasons, her classmates also struggled with academics.

Her friend Tammy needed someone to turn the pages of her book when she read, and someone to write answers for her when she took a test. She could not hold a book, nor a pen. Karen was thrilled as she helped her friend, whose CP was much more severe than her own. Her friend Tammy’s struggles reinforced her own will to never give up, nor to flee from any challenge. She resolved to tackle everything head-on. She knew that her own challenges were gifts, and that she had been given each one for a specific reason.

#cerebralpalsy #dyslexia #inspirational #friendship

©2020, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.