I never will stop

November 9, 2008
By Kimberly Franklin, Vernon, VT

"Hey, mom I’ll be back, going for my run, ok."
“Ok sweetheart have fun."

Ok what song do I want to listen to? Hmmmm... This one is good. Let’s go…Brrrr....little chilly...As I begin to run I start to feel the breeze run right through my neatly combed hair that is tied up in a tight pony tail. The breeze lightly moves my turquoise tank top and black Nike shorts, gently against my body. As I get going my feet get into the right rhythm of the beat.

While I am running I notice a two hundred acre dairy farm with miles and miles of lush, green grazing fields for cows to go and chew their cuds as they wish. It has red and grey, new and old barns all around the acres. When wind goes through the old barns it creaks and the wind howls through all the cracks and crevasses. The new barns are warm but the wind is eagerly trying to get in and cool them down. The one and only green house shields the baby calves that yell for food from the cold and the chilly wind. In the (mother cow) Dam barn there is a thick, comfy layer of sawdust that’s spread all through the barn, for the mom's that are anxiously waiting for the day they can push out their slimy, wet, breathing kicking baby calf. The cows that are done giving birth are waiting at the gate with their teats dripping milk on to the heated cement floor of the newly built milking parlor. The rest of the Holstein cows that are in the middle of this cycle, or those that are too old to even do much, are out taking a vacation in the lush green fields.

My dad and I usually would wake up right when the sun rises, putting on my dirty pink cowgirl boots and putting on my coveralls before my dad could even notice, I was ready before him. When we got to the farm he went and got the cows that needed to get milked as I trotted right behind him with my little pony tail moving back and forth as I tried to walk in mirror form of my dad. Getting dirty as I went, on purpose to show to my dad that I was just like him; I can get filthy and yucky and not even care. I would stand by him and be Daddy’s little girl. He would look at me with the biggest hazel eyes and a big greasy grin. Then I would say, "Daddy I love you. I am going to be just like you when I grow up." he would chuckle and smile and say, "Sweetie no, you won’t. You are right now my little girl that is just like me, when you get older you probably will not like this anymore. You always will be my little girl either way." I thought no, I always will be Daddy’s little girl who loves to get dirty all the time."

I have these memories from the farm I will always remember and smile at. I won’t always be the same person I think I will be. I notice that. I used to be that little girl who loved being exactly like her dad, and if I ever want to go back to it I know I’ll be able to. I hate farming, but I do love hanging out with my dad for a whole day, if I can and if the only way to do that is to go to the farm and be that little girl who loved getting dirty all the time I will do so, I can make more memories with my dad.

The sweat begins to build up in my pores little by little, not quite wanting to pour out onto my face. I get past the farm I cherish. I keep going my lungs forcing me to breathe needing more oxygen than usual. Faster and faster I run more and more they erg me on to take more breaths. It’s like a dog panting to be able to cool down quicker. I need to breathe just to be able to survive. Come on, breathe in through the nose and out from the mouth and again. I need to keep going. I can do this. I’ve done this before. Keep going, good. As my feet keep up with the beat, my eyes begin to feel the cold wet wind hitting my face, that tries to make me slow down and walk. But I can’t, I won’t, I need to run. I am not giving up. As I push myself forward I notice the place I always go to, to be alone.

I keep on running toward that lovely white little gazebo. Peace and quiet that’s all I ever asks for. Peace and quiet to get away from the family drama, the fights, arguments; whatever makes me build up a flaming fire in the back of my throat or in the pit of my stomach. Such as when we had to put down my horse Penny, "Mom, no, she will be fine. She will get better. Won’t she?"

"Angel, she coliced. There is nothing we can do. I am sorry. We don’t have the money."

I ran, I was scared and I didn’t ever want to tell my mom how I felt, or how I felt about this situation. I needed peace and quiet that’s all. Where I can go to sit and curl up and talk to myself, to work out my problems that I am trying to solve, without anyone asking me what’s wrong or what I am doing. There is only myself there to talk to and figure everything out. It’s a great place I know I will always have that peace and quiet I can always come back to.

I keep going and the sweat begins to run out of my body like a broken dam that was opened up from a big rain storm the night before. Sweat coming from my face into my eyes burning a little but not too much trying to make me stop. My feet want to slow down, like anchors on ships trying to find a spot to stop. But the beat from the song keeps my feet in motion, demanding me not to stop, encouraging me to keep going.

While I am running I notice my elementary school; it looks so much smaller than it did when I went there. I had so much innocence. I always had to have my mother make all my decisions for me and always had to have my mom be there each time I did something. Going on trips and shows for the jump rope team called "tornados" she had to be there, I wouldn't let her not be there but she always willingly came. She would love it, seeing me trying my hardest to impress her. Jumping on rollerblades, or even dribbling a basketball during double dutch, she would usually have worry in her eyes that would build up immediately. But right when my routine was over, she would smile and cheer for how wonderfully I did and the worry on her face would vanish like a magician doing a disappearing act. My mother loved being involved in what I loved to do. I didn't care if I messed up, I loved impressing her. I tried so hard to make her smile and be happy. During elementary school I always loved following the rules she had for me and doing whatever she asked. But now I have grown up and I get in arguments with her and we disagree a lot more then we used to. But I know I am changing and right now it’s a little bit complicated with her not wanting me to spread my wings and try to find out who I am. I will always remember though everything we did together. We always were there for each other. Whenever I was happy or sad in elementary school she was always there to help me get right back up.

I keep going huffing and puffing trying to breathe and not stop running I just keep on running. The sweat irritate' me dripping off my nose and red, burnt checks. It moves on down my skin collecting little clusters of sweat from the rest of my body. It is cold when the wind hits it just right. The breeze is picking up; my clothes are moving fast; my feet are still going with the rhythm of the song no matter how tired or sweaty I am. I will not give in to my mind playing tricks on me that I am tired. I am not. I just think I am. I can do it. I need to.
As I round the corner heading back to my house I notice some kids playing. Making memories that they probably will be able to remember when they get older. They remind me of my friends who are amazing. I could never get through life without them. So many friends I have made in the past years. Helping me find myself in ways I could never imagine that was true.
This reminds me of my best friend Sara. She helped me realize so much since we began to be friends. Over the summer of 2005, we had something happen to us that was uncomfortable talking about to other people. But we talked about it all the time with each other no one else. We worried a lot about if other people would find out or not. So we only talked about it in the privacy of her room or mine where no one could hear us. We always talked about how she couldn’t believe that this big of a change could have affected her so much that she will have to change her normal tasks a little so she can get through the week without going crazy or just wanting to curl up in a ball and die cause the cramps hurt so bad. We always helped each other out encouraging each other that we would make it to see another day. That this curse will not control us we will control it. We always thought this came upon us only because we loved having fun all the time without getting hurt and having anything get in our way of what we were doing. But being so young back then, and then now looking back on this uncomfortable topic now I realize everyone goes through some kind of change. It can be good or bad. But the kind of change we went through was for the best. I know that now. I know I will hate when it comes once a month but it’s better to have it then now I have to say.
Sara, she helped me so much. If it wasn’t for her I think I would still be embarrassed to buy personal items. But now I don’t really care who sees if I have them or not. If they know I have it, well then they can be aware of my attitude change.

Wow! I am almost to my house, only a few more yards to go...I can do this. As I start to gasp for air...my IPod is almost dead. It can make it...If I can make it. My feet are still going with the beat of the rhythm that is still going strong. I’ll be done soon. Just breathe in from the nose out from the mouth. Yes! I did it. I made it back to my house. I am covered with sweat from my neck down to my lower back, from my face down to the wrists on my arms. I am relieved, happy to be back home where I began. Nowhere else but home will be the place that I will ever be so relieved to return to.

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