Why write a blog?
My friends on Facebook tell me I should do it for myself–even if no one else ever reads it. I hope others read it, but I think they are right; I’ve needed to purge my story for a long time.
My son has never read any of my writing. He has heard me share some of my stories however out loud, but its painful for him. Some day he will be ready to read this though, and maybe, just maybe, he’ll get answers to important questions he never knew he had. Can you imagine if your mom or dad had written down their life story? How much fuller your visions of them–your understandings of them would be!
My daughter, on the other hand, has read some of my Facebook stories over the last year and said recently, “Mom, you are such a good writer. I like how, even though the stories are sad, you write with such optimism. You could help a lot of people. You need to write your blog.”
So here goes…and if you decide to stop by once in a while, or better yet- SUBSCRIBE to my blog, I will be thrilled! My plan is to share the stories of my journey (both past and present) of a little girl who learned fairly early on that the only way to survive and thrive (in spite of life’s imperfect situations) is through grace; forgiveness and mercy, in all matters, come easier if you can summon up even one drop of grace.
WHO I AM…
I had just gotten the job at Warner Bros and the admin department told me I needed to order a name plate for my desk. Simple enough task right? Just list my name, and hand in order form. Yet, I hated having to think about something so many others took for granted.
My name has always been Renee Lynn DeMont.
But very few knew that. My adoptive parents thought it was Dobranich, and then later my husband thought it was Duenas.
A writer on the tv show I was working on walked past my desk one day and said, “Renee Duenas…Duenas? That doesn’t sound right.
What’s your maiden name?” Dobranich. “No, that doesn’t sound right either.”
I smiled, trying to solve the puzzle for her and offered, “Well, my birth name is DeMont” … “That’s it! Renee DeMont. Sounds like a movie stars name! You should go by that.”
I liked Jeannette. She made me smile. But she didn’t realize how hard it was for me to say no to my parents, my husband.
I remember looking down at that form again and thought maybe I could just enter my initials “RLD” and leave the rest off–that would cover all my bases right? Make everybody happy? After all, through birth, adoption and marriage the one thing that remained constant were my initials.
But I wanted to write: DeMont. That’s who I really was. Or was it?
When I was little girl I had fine hair, which meant I had fine eyebrows. They were a disappointment to my mother. She would sigh and say, “Nee, come here”. She’d lick the back of each of her thumbs, grab hold of my face, reach up and slick the tiny hairs above my eyes back into place–and then one time (while still holding my face) she said something I’ll never forget:
“Remember, you are a ten month baby. You won’t understand that now, but some day you will. ” Um, okay.
Years later, I was sitting on my grandmother’s couch in her cozy, warm home in West Tennessee having a heart to heart when I shared my mother’s odd remark, “Do you know what she was trying to tell me?”
(I didn’t realize until that very moment how much I desperately needed to know the answer to that question).
Gram took a long drag off her cigarette, and with a nod of her head gave herself permission to say, “I think I might.”
“You’re mother ran away on Thanksgiving day. I know it was Thanksgiving because the police officer knocked on my door during the dinner, “Ma’am we found a red mustang registered to you. It was abandoned down in Los Angeles.”
She told me my mother had run away with her car and apparently drove it till it ran out of gas. It was at the impound. Gram couldn’t afford to go down to LA and pay to retrieve it, so she just let it go.
She was angry at losing the car, but she seemed to soften when she recalled what prompted my mother to run…
Mama had been a senior in high school, getting good grades, had her drivers license and had fallen deeply in love with a soldier stationed there at the military base in San Luis Obispo. A week before the holiday he was in a bad car accident. “Your mother spent that whole week by his side in ICU. She never left the hospital. ”
I asked her, Did you know him? “No, not really. I worked nights then, but I knew she cared for him. When he died, it was, I think, more than she could take. She ran away just a day or two later. I thought she’d come back but she met Dick pretty quickly and that ended that.”
The junior detective in me started to put it all together and my heart ached for my teenage mother: November she lost her true love…I was born in August…ten month baby. Her soldier was probably my father. She must have been heart broken and terrified. I wanted to hold her; I wanted to hold my mom because I knew no one had.
I found out later his name was Richard Lewis. But thats all I knew.
Am I his child? Maybe. Maybe not. I wish I knew.
I will keep a warm place in my heart for him though because my mother loved him deeply. I’d like to think I was a product of true love.
But since I don’t know for sure, and that little girl in me has always liked the sound of the “movie star” name listed on my birth certificate, I’ve decided that while I am grateful for those who wanted to share their surnames with me during different chapters of my journey, its time for a new chapter in my book of life — a chapter written by: