Category Archives: family

My Life In Puzzle Pieces -Marcella Shrock

My Life In Puzzle Pieces


Marcella Shrock

My blood, my cousin, and my friend. Growing up the age difference between the two of us kept us from growing up like some other cousins I have but I love her just the same. She has always been protective of me and I am thankful for that.

We are like minded even though we are spread farther with age difference. We are alike in many crazy ways. I always viewed her as wild in her youth…I was wild too.

We lived. We learned. We grew. We live far apart but are always connected by blood and that loyalty doesn’t get severed easily. I love you Cella and will always cherish you being my blood.


Dear Dad,

Here we go again…16 years…

I’m missing you badly. I just wish I could call. I have so much to say to you…so much has gone wrong. I need your fatherly advice. I need to hear your voice. I need you to tell me I know what to do…to myself stay true. I’m still broken inside dad…I don’t know what to do or how to repair what was stolen. I wish upon stars I see, hoping that magic exists…like in the fairy tales I read as a child…that the Lord above helps…temptation I need to resist. I look for ways to fill this void in bottles and self destructive ways…that I know would break your heart…but the world is so heavy on my shoulders dad…I can’t bear the weight much longer…I need to be stronger but lack the energy to sustain…it’s so deep…the pain.

Where have you gone? Do you have recollections of me? Have you been born again? Are you my pain? I thought I was winning the fight…I thought I gained insight…on who I was, where I wanted to be…then I looked into the mirror…I still don’t recognize “me”…

I would gladly die if I could have just one more day…just one more to hear you say…Rachel I love you…and you are going to be fine…try to look beyond…beyond the minuscule stuff…I raised you tough. Never carry the weight of others….

Dad you were a light in my world. A light that guided me through the darkest hours…and you have been gone for sixteen years and with thoughts of you still bring on tears. I’m still broken…for how long?

Dear dad,

It’s just me again. January 1, and alone, here at the keys… Wishing you was here. I wish that everyday. So much has happened. So much to endure… Mom is not so good right now, even though she sounds herself. You had wisdom when it came to loving her. You had a way to take care of things and make it all right. Sometimes I just cry at night. Trying to find you in the wind, or the stars. My heart still aches even after all these years. Sometimes I think it might have been better if we had not been so close. Maybe if you had not loved me I could have let you go without solace. Then I realize that without the pain of your loss I would not feel alive. Without the memories of you I would be much less of a woman then I am now.

I’ve had to let go of so many loved ones. I try hard to think of what you’d say. Something wise to wash away, the hurt and the burden on my heart. I wish we didn’t have to be apart. Curt has joined you now. That was hard news to hear. It was hard to see him to the other side. Memories flood my mind daily. My loss is not only you, but you are the only one I wish to ask for help. Some understanding, some reasons why, some closure to all the loss. What is the point of this life dad?

Deep inside under this facade I am lonely. It is loneliness I’ve never known and it grows as time passes by. The more I love the more I must say good-bye to. I don’t know what to do with this loneliness except write it out. Shout to the heavens with words of rhyme that soon will be my time, my time to heal; my time to understand it all. Understand it all in this crazy messed up world where we live life. Where we occupy ourselves with miniscule tasks to get through. Where we work and strive for a life of material things. Where we pace ourselves so fast that we seem to lose sight of the very thing knocking at our door. Death. Where someone somewhere takes for granted a quiet time with a loved one…

So many times I took for granted when you were here. So many times I should have just stayed to talk more…instead of rushing out the door to skate, to watch a movie, or to hang out with friends. I guess that regret is a part of the loneliness I’ve felt. Maybe I will never get rid of it as long as I live.

I’m not afraid of joining you one-day dad. I know things are golden on the other side. I worry about what I will leave behind. Will the same loneliness that fills me, fill those left behind when I go? What can I do to change that outcome? What can I say to make that not hang heavy on the hearts of those I leave?

Some die young. Some don’t even get to experience high school dad…

Some die when things don’t seem finished…you were 50 years old with a boy left to raise for five more years….

Some live until they are eighty…

What is the rhyme and reason to this dad? Why do some get cheated? I have to have an answer to this…where can I find it? People tell me well it’s God’s will.

What IS THAT exactly? How can he freely cheat those who deserve more time? People tell me it isn’t punishment on anyone left behind…

Well it certainly FEELS THAT WAY! Twisted inside with the loneliness is an anger that never diminishes. I’m angry that the ones I seem to love are being cheated out of time. It just doesn’t make any sense to me dad…

Perhaps there is never enough time with those you truly love…I think that is what you would tell me. Even if you had lived to age eighty my loss would have been just as great as it is now. You see when I am here at these keys…you are here with me, and I can work stuff out inside my boggled mind. The loneliness isn’t so great, and the anger always fades. Man I just wish I could hear your voice, and see your face. I wish I could hear you yell at me, talk with me, or just sit silent with me.

I loved you so much. Did you know that? I wish I knew for certain that you did dad. My heart is so heavy with the memory and loss of you that sometimes I think my heart will explode from the ache I feel when I think upon your memory. Do you have any idea how hard it is for me to hold it all together? It gets harder as time passes by. 2010 just ended and it hurt to ring in 2011…because it was yet another year I would live on without you. I would have to live one more year without Eve…one more year without my father n law…another year will pass that I will have lived through missing Curt…and another year that I will probably have to say good-bye to another loved one.

Survival = One day at a time…I know dad. It adds up to survival. I remember you saying that. 2011 is finally here…I wish you could be here to experience what it holds. I’ll carry you on as I have done all these years.

Love your mourning daughter,
Rachel Ann

Project Roaming Rachel

Why am the way I am…

I’m 32 now though mentally I feel much younger. Emotionally I’ve lived such a long life already but know it is a short length on this earth. I’ve gone through so many changes through my life that most from my youth wouldn’t recognize me this day. I sort of feel as though I’ve morphed into many different Rachel’s throughout the years. There is a crisis facing me all the time, but somehow I survive. I often wonder why am I so blessed? I curse like a sailor. I foul up all the time as a parent. I stumble within my days with decisions I make, things that haunt my mind…I am a terrible Christian, yet I am still blessed.

I have a wonderful husband, two beautiful girls, I have a beautiful home and my bills are paid every month. I have physical limitations but I’m not fighting cancer, or some life threatening illness at this time in my life. I see these as all blessings being stowed upon me from a higher power, God. Is it true that my simple belief in him allows these good things to come my way? I wonder why I am worthy sometimes of the goodness in my life. That is one reason why I think God is absolutely awesome! To give me what I have and to bring me this far in my life and allow me the ability to live a good life, what an awesome God!

I’ve done a lot of things that I am ashamed of still today. The guilt from those things still lingers in my heart and I think it will always be attached to my soul. Those things certainly shaped me into a part of who I am today, there is no doubt that life changes you. It can make you hard, cold, bitter, loving, giving, selfish, and peaceful. I bet if I were to sit and think about all the different Rachel’s I’ve been through the years I’ve been every single one of those I just listed. I believe pieces of those different Rachel’s still reside in me somewhere and venture to the surface as a survival mechanism when I need to survive.

I’m thankful for what I have had. I’m thankful for what I have now. I know I’d be thankful for whatever I receive in the future. I do try to see the good over the bad in every situation…there was a point in my life when I didn’t do that. Those days were tough…those days made me bitter, cold, and broken for a long time.

It began when my dad was diagnosed with cancer in my high school years. I tried to see the good in that situation but I failed. How could I see good coming from my dad dying? What child could do that during teenage years, or at any age even? I thought it was so unfair that he was going to die and not know so much of my future. I was so angry and bitter that I basically gave up on my own future. I thought what was the point of me doing what I had dreamed of doing if he wasn’t going to be there to share in the thrills and success of me? For that I lost many years of my life that could have been a lot better then they were.

I dropped out of high school shortly after he died in March of 1996. It took me quite a while to fix that major error in my life. That error was made because I became the bitter, who gives a shit Rachel. I quit writing my poetry for a while too. I basically went into survival mode. How was I going to survive with my dad gone? How was I going to be that Rachel? How could I go through life being she? It took me five years to finally figure that out. Over those five years I dabbled in drugs, I drank my sorrow away, and I made some of the worst mistakes in my life.

Then one day I knew how to be the Rachel whose dad died her senior year. I finally figure out that the hole I was trying to fill would NEVER be filled again. I figured out that I had to just learn to live with that piece of me gone. I began to write again. I began to write myself out of the pit I dug myself into. I finally figured out that being angry and bitter wasn’t going to bring him back no more then it was making my life easier. I left the biggest mistake in my life behind and divorce papers would follow one day. I left the drugs and alcohol. I fled my hometown in search of who I needed to be. I was on a journey to figure out how to be this “new Rachel”.

I started to realize that I could have not had any time with him as a dad. I realized how lucky I truly was to have him for as long as I did. I started to appreciate things I had not thought about. I took time to forgive people, I took time to forgive myself, and I took time to start the healing process and to find God again. It was an interesting journey that I still travel today. I still search for a better way to be me. I want to perfect this project of mine I call Roaming Rachel. My feet are planted but my soul searches every day.

Through the journey I severed ties with many people, some included family. Sometimes in life you just have to let the baggage go. Forgive, don’t forget and free your soul of those obstacles. It wasn’t easy to do in any case. It hurt like hell. At times it still hurts like hell to think back to what was, and now see what things are. I always have to constantly tell myself that those images I think back on are an illusion, and they are there to tempt me back to a life I was miserable in. The fact remains that the illusion is something I WISH was there but it isn’t.

For the most part my hometown is like a mirage in the middle of the dessert. Picture this…

I’m out there in the dessert searching for water; I need water so my mind tells me that the water just lies ahead a few feet when in reality it doesn’t exist. It is the same sand I walk on in this hot dessert. I only want the water so badly that my mind creates the illusion of it existing to sooth the pain of the thirst.

My hometown is that for me! I want to be in a place where I have roots. I want family connections. I need family. I want to good peaceful fun times with family and friends. I want to have the white picket fence there with my kids being there with cousins. My mind creates this illusion but it isn’t like that…it wouldn’t be like that one bit. Picture this…

There I am in my hometown. Old friends show up. Drugs are everywhere within a phone call I could get any drug of my choice. Jobs are nowhere to be found. My family is full of drama and baggage that would drive me to that world again…before I know it I’m smoking weed, drinking every weekend, living check to check barely making it. I’d be hanging out at the grave site with my Aunt Eve driving myself crazy talking to her tombstone…I’d be seeing dad everywhere I’d go and that would drive me deeper into drugs and alcohol. Yeah I’d have some good times in all that mess but in the long run it would kill me physically, mentally and spiritually along with my marriage, and my children.

That place is just that to me now….a mirage. Visits are nice but to live there…NEVER, NEVER again. I love myself more then that and anyone who loves me would understand that and urge me to not return there.

I’m facing loss of my father in law very soon. He is dying of pancreatic cancer. I’ve been with his son for 11 years and I’ve grown very close to him. I look at him as my own dad. I love the man. The doctor’s say he only as a few weeks left. I am trying to deal with his death in a better way then I did my own dads. I keep reminding myself how lucky I have been to have him in my life, in my daughter’s lives. I keep trying to see the good in this terrible loss. It’s tough. It is still unfair. I just have to try to stay the Rachel I’ve become this day…not become one of the Rachel’s I’ve left behind after this is all said and done.

In this crisis I face I have this mirage again returning in my mind of my hometown and I must continue to remind myself that it is just that A MIRAGE! I don’t know why I envision a place that doesn’t exist…I appreciate my hometown and the people there I have ties too. They helped shape me in some way or another to be the woman I am now. For that I am grateful even in the bad things that have happened. Today I know those things happened in order to enrich me now.

So this project Roaming Rachel will continue and I will work everyday to perfect it until it will be my time to leave this earth, I will welcome the old and new people into my life and remember that in one way they will shape me. It will be my job to not allow it to shape me in ways that will bring bitterness, selfishness, anger, or hate. That is the ultimate test of life…to live life leaving all the negative stuff at the wayside. I thank God everyday for his helping hand in this project.

I give all I am to the world and walk away with more pieces of myself that were lost but eventually found. Life is why I am the way I am.

Now you want in my life? Why?

I wanted you to care long ago but YOU refused. You made me feel small so many times over the years. Now you want to enter my life again when I let you go long ago. I was forced at your hand and actions to LET YOU GO, it ripped at my heart but I did it. I survived it even as lonely as it started out I SURVIVED. Now you want to know how I am and be my friend? WHY? What is your hidden agenda here? Am I supposed to believe you are being genuine now after all these years of being a snob to my feelings and me?

My life was so chaotic with you entwined in it that I had no other choice when you shunned me but to cut you loose. I needed a quiet mind. I found a quiet mind. Now you show up at my feet wanting me to accept you back into my life…contemplating this decision is agony because you were like my sister I thought so long ago. You ended up being just another family member I had to let go of. I started to think of myself better then the treatment I received and the love I really was lacking from you. The closeness I tried to hold for so long yet it was always one sided wasn’t it? Yes it was and when I finally realized that I knew it was time to cut you loose.

Why couldn’t you just let me go as well? Why do you need to become part of my life again? What is the motive here? You are not a trustworthy person in my eyes any longer…you hurt me and forced me to let you go…

A huge part of me wants to accept you back but I know I’ll only be burned. It has been that way since the beginning of us my dear and you know it if you are honest enough with yourself. There was a time I was kicked so badly when I was down…some of the kicks came from you…you shunned me at a time in my life I NEEDED you. I even tried to encourage you to be in my life after that…still I was trying to force something you did not share feeling with…if you had I would have not been forced to cut you loose when I did. Why couldn’t you love me then? Why couldn’t you have just been there for me then? Why didn’t you wonder and worry about me then? WHY NOW!?

I think of you often…I wonder how you are doing. I wish you all the happiness and wellness in the world even though I cut you out of my life. The hurt you have caused however is unforgettable and the scars show every time in my eyes when I do think of you. When I wish I had that sister to talk too it shows in the tears that run down my cheeks because you didn’t want me, you didn’t love me unconditionally like family is supposed to do…

Now I have to grieve the loss of you all over because you stepped up to want to be in my life again for a reason I can’t seem to see…why do you play these games with my heart and loyalty? Why must you hurt me the way that you do? Why couldn’t you just let go of me like I done you?

Oh how I’ve longed for the relationship with you…oh how I’ve needed it over the years of my pain, loss, hurt, and trials. You were not there ever. I did nothing to deserve the treatment…I never deserved to be ignored and hurt the way you done…I don’t deserve it now and I know this now. I am worth more then that dear…I am worth more then being your lap dog to kick while I’m down to make yourself feel better about your own life.

I’m afraid I will deny your access even though I want to hug you and take you back into my life…I would be a fool to listen to my heart this time…NO I will listen to the logic in my brain and words my dad spoke all the time…”Burn me once shame on you, burn me twice shame on me, it should never be a third time.” I love you. I always will love you and the memories I have of the two of us I will always cherish…I have to go on without you I believe. No matter how bitter this decision might make you just know it is not made out of hate for you. I could NEVER hate you.