Chapter 20 - Growth

Growing up felt strange. I was supposed to grow up with the other childeren when I was young, but instead I was growing up in the later years of my youth. I grew up fast, quickly realizing even without memory that I had a dark past which would be challenging to overcome. I didn't have many friends in or outside of school because I was so different, but still I was learning quickly. I was fascinated by toys like legos, thinking one day I would learn to build things professionally. I always had a soft spot for nature, and I developed a taste for origami as well, spending my days outside regardless of the cold weather or inside folding new origami models. I loved origami because it had such simple rules, start with a square and end with a model by only folding. I even began to make up my own geometric origami shapes, folding flowers and fish of my own design.

Despite getting shot by Jerry, I was still in his foster family. He blamed the other foster family that was visiting for the injury, and because it was our word against his, he was successful at keeping me in the family. I don't know why he wanted me there. He liked to hurt me, and beat me sometimes, but it didn't make sense to me. I couldn't understand why he did these things to an innocent person with a fading disability.

My foster family paid for private music teachers, which I was not opposed to. I enjoyed piano lessons and playing the piano we had at home, though I quickly switched to violin as my grandaughter began to play and it was clear that it would be much easier for both of us to play the same instrument. We could go to the various musical events such as groups and concerts together, and we learned from each other as we played the instrument. We quickly passed the beginner lessons and began to play and preform more and more complex pieces. I thought I would be a classical preformer as I was learning to read music, but later on I found the joy in composing my own pieces, even if all of them didn't sound perfect. My piano teacher had encouraged me to improvise my own chord progessions and melody, and I was learning to do so on the violin as well.

I grew up fast when people filled me in with the details of my life. People told me I was different at school, told me I was lucky, and some of them even filled me in on the gruesome details of what had happened to me.

In second grade, we went on sabbatical with Jerry to rural Indonesia. Indonesia was very different from the United States. People rode motorcycles everywhere, there were few busses and almost no cars. We stayed in Bali, Kupang, Kalabahi, and even the small island of Kepa near Alor. Staying at hotels and bed and breakfasts, we enjoyed the warm ocean and piercing sunlight while Jerry worked, studying the endangered languages of the area.

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