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Mum likes reading, decorating, shopping with the girls, and Starbucks. She also feels funny writing in the 3rd person. Papa (also known as Sparky) is currently looking at me with a blank stare having asked him to add something about himself to the blog. (Now he wants to say something) The only thing he loves more in life than music and Coke is his wife and kids. (Awww...) :) Little Lotte is a genius on the computer and makes me fall over laughing every day with her quick wit. She loves computers and animals. Sweet Pea abandoned her family and moved to Phoenix for work and is now married as of 2/28/06. She is beautiful and smart and the most nurturing person I know. She gave me the greatest gift ever when she made me a grandmother. I am the proud Mum Mum to Andrew Christopher. There are no words to describe the joy of having a grandson!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Coming out of the closet...

So I guess the three people who read this blog know that Sparky and I are (choking this out) former officers of The Salvation Army. I have been reading about a resignation of a top official and his wife (D.C.'s) because of a problem they had with their boss (T.C.) who is now the General (TOP BRASS) of the Salvation Army. I won't mention names but wow... reading the resignation letter was incredible. Over 30 years of service and they are resigning because they were verbally assaulted and basically blacklisted. Nahhh, the S.A. wouldn't do that! I have to keep this short cause I have life happening here but wow... I cannot tell you how this feels. I guess the blacklisting, the verbal assualts, I thought they only happened to the "little people" like us! To think that what I thought was petty all these years, happens in the upper ranks? Unbelievable.

In short - ours began the minute I stepped onto the grounds of S.F.O.T. (School for Officer's Training) knowing that my father lie dying in a nursing home. He had lung cancer. The S.A. was aware of that and assured me that I could get home to see him. I blindly believed them. I entered the school in Sept. '86 and left my father alone, dying. I left my mother alone to deal with it. I hate myself to this day for that. We had no transportation from N.Y.C. to Reading, Pa. We had no money. (You give up just about everything when you enter and PAY them for the honor of being isolated from the real world.)

Anyway - I know there are two sides to the story but here is my side. When Dad was dying, the nursing home called me in Dec.'86 and said to get home. We were able to borrow a friend's car and go. Dad rallied and we came back after 2 days. But we were told that we were going to have to make up the time somehow because it was KETTLES SEASON and we had MISSED 2 DAYS and it was UNFAIR to the other cadets (students) who had to stand kettles while I was off watching my father die.

Yeah. Unbelievable. So I get a call again in April '87. My dad is in a coma, come home. He will not make it through the night. Worried about the consequences of having to leave the school, I found myself asking my mom, "Are you sure he is going to die because I will be in big trouble if I leave for 3 days and he doesn't!" Oh yes, I was SO freaking brainwashed!!!!

Some people at the college (very high officials who are now in VERY high places, BOY COULD WE NAME NAMES!!) told me I couldn't go. I was in tears. You have to understand, we had no phones so the officers at the school KNEW it was the nursing home calling me! We had to get the call from a very high officer's office! And they looked at me and said, you cannot go.

My husband said, "We are going!" The officer said, well then you will have to pay the price. (I AM NOT KIDDING YOU ABOUT THIS!) My husband said, "Well tell me what the punishment is now because we are going!"

My sweet, meek husband - he stood up to this assanine leader because HE KNEW IT WAS RIGHT! They would again not let us rent a car so we borrowed from the friend again. WE got there on Friday night. (4 hours after the call) Dad was in a coma and I couldn't talk to him but I got to be there with my mom. Daddy died that night at 9:15 p.m. After crying, Sparky knew he had to call the school right away and let them know what happened. Their first words were, "When will you be back?" Um, can we get through the funeral please?

We held a memorial service on Sunday at the corps (church) and we got a call that afternoon - WHEN WILL YOU BE BACK? AS Sparky explained again, we needed to actually BURY my father and then we would be back on Monday night.

I buried my father on Monday morning. By Monday night I was back at the school. On Tuesday morning, I was taking an Old Testament mid-term exam. Gotta love the compassion of the Army.

That was only the beginning. I have stories no one would believe. The heartache both Sparky and I endured is so painful, we have tried to block it out. My skin is crawling just thinking of these experiences. WE have tried hard not to remember them.

There is another heartbreaking story that happened in the next year that I cannot even write about, it hurts so much. The next thing that happened to us was when we were commissioned (graduated) we had waited 5 years for another baby. (You didn't dare get pregnant in school because they frowned on it because it would take away from your studying!!!) so we KNEW we were going to try and have a baby right away. Sweet Pea was 5 years old now! AS we walked off the stage and went to meet our commanding officers (bosses) the FIRST words out of this jackass's mouth were "I am glad you aren't one of those pregos!" WHAT THE ?????? Yeah, again, lovely people in that there Army! He had seen a few girls who were pregnant - they had timed it so they would be pregnant but could give birth in their new appointments (jobs).

Oh there is so much more. I cannot type it. It depressed me, even after all these years! It's the ONLY THING in life that can get me down! It's been 14 years since we left and I still cringe to think of it all.

Ok, you just spent 7 lousy, horrible, abusive, messed up years in the Salvation Amry, what are you gonna do now?!

I am going to Disneyland!

No, seriously, I AM going to Disneyland! See ya when we get back!


Blogger Tom Dressler said...

Hi, Margie! Tom Dressler here. My wife has got me hooked on reading others' blogs. I have really enjoyed reading thorugh yours and "Sweet Pea's."

I would love to catch up. Please e-mail me at and give me your e-mail address. I will then contact you with my real address, and try to catch you up on the life and times of OUR tribe!

Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

~Tom~ (et. al.)

1:51 PM  

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