KYLE Katz shows her claws…But don’t

take it purrsonally. Literati! You may recall that Kyle Katz and Peggy Dobbs shared a special bond, and a shared Thorning, one of the most coveted awards you can get from A Word with You Press.  Kyle had sent a Leonard Cohen CD in which he gracefully anticipates the conclusion of his own life and …

take it purrsonally.

Literati!

You may recall that Kyle Katz and Peggy Dobbs shared a special bond, and a shared Thorning, one of the most coveted awards you can get from A Word with You Press.  Kyle had sent a Leonard Cohen CD in which he gracefully anticipates the conclusion of his own life and the spiritual awakening that is preceding that event to help Peggy who was grieving the loss of her life-long companion and husband, Homer.  It was a cathartic moment  and earned them each the stem of the rose, aka Thorning. You can get the loving details here:

http://www.awordwithyoupress.com/?s=thorned+kyle+peggy&submit.x=0&submit.y=0

 

This is Kyle’s entry into our story

Twenty Sisters

by Kyle Katz

 

Dec.12th 1990

 

Dear Santa, You are full of shit!

Please don’t take this the wrong way. But every letter that I ever sent to you since I was a little girl, came back. What kind of Santa returns a young girls dreams, unfolds it in her lap and says, “Sorry, I’ve reached my limits?

Please understand you weren’t the first fat guy with a white beard that used his magic cape of deception, passing out gifts…pretending you didn’t want anything in return.  Father Donavan drank too much holy wine. We were glad he left.

Is not that I’m mad at you or anything. Madness only corrupts the already blurred images of myself.

The thing that really cut deep was the ‘return to sender’ stamped in red. Those harsh words scorched my soul as if I were some street tramp. That really hurt! Its flame blinded my vision, but its fire made me want to fight back.  Hope you like the sign I made.

St. Nicks a Prick!

I taped it next to the Mother Superior’s picture tilting slightly crooked in the hallway.

Couldn’t you have been more inventive than “Not at this address?”

But I forgive you. Girls can’t stay girls forever.

 

Dec. 10 1992

 

Dear Santa,

For a long time, the snow blinded me with its frigid happiness.

I walked down the icy streets of downtown Detroit… right before the holidays hearing those tortured greetings of Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. That damn bell danced with sounds of prosperity.  Constantly demanding attention…up and down in the hands of fur lined black gloves… your salvation army guards of red terror– smiling– swinging that bucket on its squeaky hinges. I waited for the cold coins to make its deliverance to needy charities.  But our bellies were never full. My sisters waited for their presents.

The Holidays were fertile with Yule tide broken promises for us!

Oh, watching the beloved glows from the crimson cheeks of children carolers, gathered around the storefront. It made me nauseas.

I watched them for hours, until the bucket was full.  I pulled my ski hat over my face. They never saw me coming.

So Santa, thank you for the donations through –out the years.

I was determined not to live in poverty.

 

Dec. 16th  1996

Dear Santa.

The orphanage wasn’t bad. I mean I didn’t know anything else.  We didn’t have much, but I had twenty sisters. I learned to love them all…except Isabelle. She was bossy and criticized everything I did. We fought a lot. Easter, I gave her a black eye… But it turned out okay.

I bought her a fancy coat from your donation funds. I cruised the thrift stores. It was a lucky find. Camel hair with a brown furry collar and a soft hood that protected her long wooly locks from forming into icicles. She cried.

She had never been wrapped in warmth before, or had something soft caress her  angel face.

I told her it was from you.

 

Now Madeline was a different story. She had nightmares.

She chatted all night in my ear, while I was trying to go to sleep.  She’d make up songs and sing in whispers…to me only, holding my hand as she slipped away into the darkness of her dreams.

She got an IPod with a set of earphones that year. She never was the same after that.

 

I searched a long time for Connie’s antique tea set and a pair of French laced white gloves. She always wanted to wear white gloves so she could pretend she was a proper lady. You’d have to make an appointment to have high tea with Connie. She was such the drama queen.

 

No one changed more than Belinda. We all had to be on watch so she wouldn’t cut herself again. If she continued they would institutionalize her. When she was at her worst, she’d sit in the dark corner and rock back in forth for hours She’d hardly talked to anyone.

“Santa Is resourceful” I told her.

Her computer was second hand, but what came from Belinda’s heart was the deliverance of God’s poetry.  I swear to you, it’s not too late to find your voice. Belinda blazed the darkness with her words. She stumbled into love’s arms and made us realize our worth.

We were sisters.  The unadoptable. We weren’t thrown away or forgotten.

 

Dec. 24th 2012

Dear Santa

I hope you like the new place.  We named it,

Twenty Sisters of St. Nicholas Orphanage.

Belinda is in charge of our reading and writing program.

Connie teaches proper etiquette. All the young ladies wear white gloves. They love it.

Madeline teaches opera and acting from the classics. She’s so serious at times, but when she’s with the children, her life’s curtain opens, launching a toothy smile that defies all gravity.

Darling Isabelle, my most faithful friend is in charge of fundraising and our scholarship programs.  Oh my is she bossier than ever. But she fights the good fight and never gives up.

 

Even though it was wrong to steal, your donations and the HOPE that there is a Santa, one that didn’t forget about the outcast, the sick, the old, the poor, the desolate, the down trodden.

Believing… gave us strength. And helped us to understand there’s something greater than ourselves.

And for me Santa… you gave me the gift of perseverance, compassion and forgiveness.

If only you could see this place and what my sisters have done.

If only you could see the faces of our children on Christmas, as they write poetry,  prepare arts and crafts, bake fresh cookies and pour hot chocolate– on Christmas eve–waiting for you Santa.

I swear to you, it’s never too late for a happy childhood.

 

P.S. Sorry I cussed at you.

Merry Christmas. Keep up the good work.

 

To one of our sisters Peggy, who passed peacefully in her sleep. You were right…There IS a force greater than ourselves.

 

53 comments

  1. Diane Cresswell says:

    I get the be the first…yippee. My dear you have done a major accomplishment with this story. I could hear Peggy whispering the words of the story in my ear as I was reading it also. I heard her say one word when done – PERFECT. And I agree with her. You take us on a wonderful soul searching ride from that place that all of us have been at one time or another – hopeless to hope. You gave us the way to find it although stealing might not be the best way. Peggy is laughing as I write this. However, you did it your way and that is the best honor you could have ever done to not only Peggy but yourself as well. With tears – love you.

    • KYLE Katz says:

      I opened these comments and was humbled by your words. I didn’t know how to respond. So I say thank you for reading my story…everyones story. It became a very deep journey for me…thoughts of Peggy…thoughts of how one person can make a difference…how God wants us to rely on each other, because after all LOVE IS LOVE! Love you too Diane.

      • Diane Cresswell says:

        I know…it was a painstaking journey for me to write my story because I wanted to do something that would be honorable to Peggy. Nothing came…nothing. Then in a flash…I saw a quote, a pottery jar I have that says MAGIC on it and suddenly it came flowing out. It was remembering her words to me that helped me to write mine. She made a difference to us – you and me – and to everyone. That’s the power of love. Isn’t it interesting (or magical) that both of our stories are posted at the same time, and both of them contain hope and believing. I think we had help!!!! LOL

        • KYLE Katz says:

          I know…I read yours after, came back to mine…but couldn’t comment. I wasn’t going to submit, because of my book. But something moved me and it seems you at the same time. We had the same theme sorta -speak. I actually have the final edit of Twenty Sisters still in the cue and ask Thorn to hold off. Maybe Peggy said “post it she’s stalling” Funny I was concerned about the swear words as not to offend Peggy. of course i have a sailors mouth at times. Then sweet Thorn post ours together. Yeah, she was involved allright. Oh BTW way…a detail you
          would have caught. ipods wren’t introduced until 2006. Edited piece uses cd players for the journal date entry.

          • KYLE Katz says:

            You’re my word girl. I remember when you pointed out about the red boxing gloves in My write off entry “Knockout.” No red gloves in that time period.

          • oops…sorry. You would be AMAZED at how many of you send me in a story only to send me the amended version the next day…and then another…and another. Also backlogged with stories so it’s a little hard to keep track. (huh.huh, huh huh…hey, Beaviss? thorn said a little hard..huhhuh..huhhuh. )

          • KYLE Katz says:

            No Worries. I know how hard you work and how much time is required in maintaining this site that so many of us get to play in. I’m a twerker…oops I mean a tweaker. When i say its done, it usually means my first best draft. I will stop twerking in your presence, and fine tune off site.

  2. Parisianne Modert says:

    Stunning, blunt and honest story of turning the hypocrisy and false stories of meant-to-wells into loving sisterhood tales. Here is a story rendered from a fierce heart of deep forgiving which is so much more than the true meaning of Christmas. You have remembered a sister who was an angel for all seasons. I would like to believe; although I was never fortunate enough to meet or converse with Peggy, that Peggy and Homer are honored, touched and moved by your fiery elegance of emotions. I would like to further have faith that their love is upon you today for the gift you have given us all be we sisters or brothers of a loving God.

    • KYLE Katz says:

      Dear Sweet Parisianne, you are truly the constant change, of teaching the struggles and the light. Who we become in the end can be a divine expression. I believe we all reach for that…but the road at times is a weary one and without one another, we can sleep and be angry till the end. God sends people in our lives at a certain time. That is when we get to blossom and smile, laugh and create from that space of Love, no matter what it looks like– If even for a brief moment. When I first came to this site I used to peak in at Peggy’s stories and thought,”I’ll never be able to write like that.” But like that girl writing to santa…I found my voice, my emotions, my gritty style softened by poetry. “Thats me” I said…and you knowing my background….you undersatnd what a transformation that is. Love heals everything. Love You and thank you for knowing me!

      • Parisianne Modert says:

        The honor is mine dear lady. You have given us a vibrant pleading for justice where justice has been forgotten, where people, precious little girls have been left to minimalism and neglect of warmth other than the bond of twenty sisters sharing the same fate of abandonment. The little, robin hood angel is so selfless that she has no name in the story which is brilliant to her character. All those she gives to, all those who abuse little girls and the fraud of promised lies in the form of Santa have names. She forgives her enemies and in the next generation gives back what she herself never knew. My God that is the best of Christianity. That selfless girl growing up to be a fine, giving woman begins as the least of us and becomes the greatest. That’s what Jesus was telling us to be and not hypocrites to remembering the least of us. You belong in the finals. I loved Diane’s story and Diane as well as a person, but your story will be basically impossible to better in my opinion. None of my three are anywhere near your heart rending talent. I curtsey to your humanity and bow to your writing skills.

        • KYLE Katz says:

          Thank you for your support and kind words. I remember first coming to this site and reading one multifaceted entry after another. I was like a little girl looking through the glass window at a candy shop. I would unwrap a story and knew each time I did…it was certainly a winner. Some genre’s didn’t appeal to me as others did, but were always teachable moments for me, because I needed a lot of experiecce in crafting a story, editing at least 20 % and sometimes pages of work I thought was the bomb. Oh the letting go. Every form of art is subjective. That gave me more freedom to really lay down a story. So I thank you for liking mine. There are so many great writers here to choose from, Diane being one of the top story weavers I have had the pleasure to read for some short years. So its anybody’s win here. Shhhh. We could bribe the Judge. “I know his real address.” Chuckle.

    • KYLE Katz says:

      Well…Hello Babe. Jumping? Punching the air? crying? You run out of Buttaci scotch again? Of course I always think of you in that long red jacket waiting for me. I wanted to be like Mikey. Hard hitting story lines peppered with poetic imagery where each word was filet mignon. I was a girl but I wanted to write with the emotion of a tidal wave when necessary…wanting to burn your face a liitle bit, and cool it down with a cucumber salad in the garden. (there i go again talking crazy). Anybody hungry? Thank you for mentoring me. Understanding my quirks, my fears, recognizing my voice before I did. Behind the curtains… always being there for me. So my Dear Santa Stang, thank you for the gifts you have given me. I will pay it forward..thinking of you always Mike. I love you. Now my tears…Where’s the scotch?

  3. Miryam says:

    You are so creative Kyle… Very rich… Full of flavors & colors! It’s always great reading your work.

  4. Glclark says:

    I swear – it’s NEVER too late to write a letter to Santa and that’s what I love about this story. As the years have passed, I have grown older but in true Peter Pan fashion, I refuse to grow up. I have more fun at Christmas than all the grandkids put together. Thanks for this beautiful story of true love and belief. Love y’a a bunch!

    • KYLE Katz says:

      Hey cowboy. I’m with you. I have so much fun on Christmas. I act worse than the kids. Like Diane says, finding that magic, hope and belief…because we know no matter what, its never to late! Love ya too.

  5. Sheri Strobaugh says:

    Well I have to say this brought tears to my eyes. Absolutely loved the story. Having a character do so much to make her sisters’ lives that much better….is a perfect magical story. Thanks Kyle.

    • KYLE Katz says:

      Thanks Sheri. I purposely didn’t name the protagonist, because i wanted to make it everyones story. The story of what would we do? What could we do? In our trials and tribulations of life…and God knows we all have them..do we lay down? Or do we rise?

  6. Bronwyn says:

    very inventive and surprising. I love the reclamation of Christmas tropes by real-life characters/ situations, as well as the format and tone. definitely laughed out loud.

    • KYLE Katz says:

      Thank you very much. I’m glad you received the humor, that was a strong contrast to the storyline. I tried to underplay it, as not to be-little the gut wrenching seriousness of a situation these children had no control over. I’m so glad you caught that. Because in the end these sisters did have control…through the spirit of Christmas.

  7. Geriatric Gypsy says:

    I love your fearlessness of being pissed off at Santa.You’ve shown us it’s never too late to speak your mind when it comes to the dark side of Christmas.

  8. I like how this reminds me of Little Match Girl and Anne of Green Gables, but with a hint of Barbarella and the Old Lady who Lived in a Shoe. Another classic, Kyle. Rock on sassyboots!

  9. Stars Fall On My Heart
    Stars Fall On My Heart says:

    I honestly thought it was just going to be a slam in the face on Santa…but it wasn’t. It was more. So much more. A story of broken innocence, survival, and growth. Lovely writing Kyle <3

    • KYLE Katz says:

      “I love Santa” stickers may be appropriate for this season. My best lies and acting performances for my kids came through around Christmas. Oh the drama, the laughter. Oh how I could manipulate at least a month out, getting them to be good, do more chores, cooperate to the max…Now it’s all about the money. LOL. Santa’s been good to me. I’m so glad you cruised in. I’ve read many stories and now have some time to post more comments. Thanks.

  10. Suzanne Morse Liy says:

    This was very powerful and gripping. The imagery was clear and concise. Each letter drew me in. The best part was how a negative situation was turned into something so positive. I really enjoyed reading this and felt the hope in it.

    • KYLE Katz says:

      You know about transformation Suzanne, living the dream, that is no longer a dream. Now we get to show others through our passions. Thanks for reading this. It was so good to know that you chimed in.

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