take it purrsonally.
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:
This is Kyle’s entry into our story
by Kyle Katz
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
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
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
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.