bus life.

I am currently sitting on a bus. I left from western South Dakota early this morning, and will be arriving at my Nana’s home in Ohio tomorrow afternoon. Twenty-eight and a half hours on a bus. My ass hurts already. It’s admittedly a small price to pay to visit my Padre’s mom, whom I haven’t seen in over four years.

I spent the morning reading a book of short stories by Nabokov, getting caught up on the latest news (and snarky commentary) via Twitter, making new bus buddies, and listening to sad indie music.

The majority of my time, however, is spent looking out the window. The deep green fields littered with bales of hay are echoes of Home. Kansas. The collections of windmills are my most favorite scene. They are magnificent and majestic against the azure skies, and I itch to climb one.

I drift in and out of sleep. My mind wanders to the bags at my feet. All The Things I Must Travel With. So much of it is technically useless. A more practical soul couldn’t have spared the precious little space in two bags for such items, but they’re of more value to me by far than my pretty bras or toothbrush or running shoes.

A ring my little brother made for me in jewelry class a few years back. A book my Madre used to read to me when I was a wee one. A framed photo of my babe brother that I’ve had since fifth grade. So many little things that my life has been reduced to. Twenty years, and this is what I’m left with. I’ll take them with me everywhere I go for forever.

I begin to feel frustrated by the woman a few rows back who’s loudly playing some random anime soundtrack. The flies that continually land on my already-bug-bitten bod. The lack of air conditioning and outlets. The grumpy bus driver. My sister sleeping beside me. I hate it all.

But mostly, I fucking hate being separated from you. I hate that I’ve disappointed you and that I can never take back any of the hurt. I hate that I can’t tell you all the ways I love you and miss you.

A Hans Christian Andersen quote comes to mind:

‘But if you take away my voice,’ said the little mermaid, ‘what is left for me?’

I may as well be mute, for all the effect my voice has. I’ll have to employ every other force I possess to make my love realized by those dearest to my heart.

And I will. I’ll do it.

My heart feels a little lighter. I find new purpose in this bus trip.

– grace elizabeth.


61 thoughts on “bus life.

  1. Lorelei says:

    This is beautiful.
    You are so amazing and so strong.
    I’ve never met you but for what it’s worth, if I ever have children I will tell them about you and Megan and hope that they will aspire to have half the courage, curiosity, love and strength of mind that you girls have.

  2. God Bless you both on the hard and challenging journey you have entered, may you find strength, courage and wisdom in the Lord xxxxx

  3. Why is it that you cannot communicate with your family, if you decide to leave home and believe differently? What scriptures do they use to justify this? What a shame and loss for them. May your life going forward be one of joy, hope and love.

  4. Tricia says:

    HOLY! WOW! You have quite a talent for writing! I loved reading it! Keep blogging! Keep writing! Never stop because you were meant for great things and you are only just being able to perform them. You never know what those great things are until you have lived them. This blog may be the beginning. Positive vibes and love to you and your family. 🙂

  5. Philip Karlsson says:

    Grace, that was beautiful. I can’t imagine what you’re going through after all these years with your family next to you. It seems like the nature around you is very exceptional and beautiful. Please, have a great trip and best wishes to you, your sister and your Nana from Sweden!

  6. Grace, you are an absolutely beautiful writer and, more importantly, a beautiful soul both inside and out. One day, your voice will carry to the ears of those you love dearly and they, too, will see that you’ve paved the way for them to find a greater truth. And they will thank you for it.

  7. Nat (nocaffnat) says:

    A beautiful and well written piece Grace. I hope that you and your sister both find peace in the path ahead.

    I know what it’s like to be separated from those I love. Even if our reasons are different, I too will never walk through that old familiar door again. Both you and your sister are strong and inspirational women and please know that there is a non-biological family of people across the world supporting you each and every step of the way.

  8. Stephen says:

    What a beautiful piece. Only a talented writer can send the reader on such an emotion filled imaginative journey. I wish you the best of luck Grace, you are an inspiration to many and I can only hope that someday soon it won’t hurt as much every time you think about those you can no longer be with. Looking forward to reading some more from you 🙂

  9. Rachel says:

    You write well. I’m so sad for your pain, but I want you to know that families that act the way yours did are very far from the norm. I know you miss them, and that’s natural, but I hope that in time, you will come to realize just how unloving and hurtful they were to you, as well as to all the other people that they’ve targeted with their campaign of hate, hubris, and arrogance. Hang in there, kiddo. Things will get a LOT better for you. I guarantee it.

    • @Catziiis says:

      God has called her in a new direction. He saves those He will-she, Megan, Josh, Lauren, Bill & Nancy, Nate…how many other have left and been saved too? How many more will leave and also follow the call to true Salvation?

  10. JimmyJames says:

    Thanks for sharing Grace. Hang in there. Time has a way of healing that is beyond our understanding. 🙂

  11. Kit Detwiler says:

    Grace- this is pathetic-you are so self focused! This world won’t ignore this princess act like your parent did. The real world will use this to grind you up. The “pretty bra” comment is nothing less than a mating call. Nasty!

    • @Catziiis says:

      Kit-STFU. She is glad to be gone, while you remain in WBC. Your group forgets YOU don’t call the shots, GOD does. YOU may condemn her to Hell for leaving, but it means NOTHING.

    • Josias Menzel says:

      “Foul language” is simply a perception by people among the English language and nothing more. She’s not trying to advance anyone, she’s trying to express herself.

  12. Kit Detwiler says:

    Hey catz111s- Get your facts straight. I don’t remain at WBC. However I did go there a few months and got to know Grace. She was somewhat of a princess, however all your slobbering over her new found life won’t help her. Her keeping her pretty bra to herself will. You people of this world are nasty. What is sown of the flesh will reap it’s reward. God will sort the goats from the sheep.

    • You seem quite focused on her ‘pretty bra’ more than anyone else! Why not leave all judgement to the Lord, the ONLY RIGHTEOUS JUDGE (not WBC). You may be surprised what is said to YOU on Judgement Day. “He that is without sin, cast the first stone” Stop thinking of Grace’s pretty bra is my advice!

    • @Catziiis says:

      Why didn’t you stay, Kit? Rejected for baptizing? One wonders why you would leave voluntarily. Unless you yourself was determined to be one of the goats by Shirley, et al?

      C’mon son, cry aloud and spare us not the reason(s)!

  13. Kit Detwiler says:

    Kim-you seem to be judging me a little don’t you think! Put down the stones and give Grace some advise that will help.

    • Grace has done the right thing by leaving that wretched doctrine behind her. My advice to her would be to seek the Truth. It is not found at WBC. So sad that her family cannot love those who disagree with them.
      Your first post to Grace was full of judgement. I only quoted Christ, and then said you MAY be surprised what is said to you on Judgement Day. I might be surprised too.

  14. Kit Detwiler says:

    Kim-there you go again judging the WBC. Here is a quote from Christ:” Even so ye also appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”
    Kim your mouth reveals your heart condition. No more pearls for you.

    • @Catziiis says:

      It is no judgement against WBC, but raw truth.It is now up to all who would leave WBC to find their way to the light:

      WBC: your coming was foretold in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12, (I used the English Standard Version) to wit:

      9 The coming of the lawless one (disbarred Fred Sr.) is by the activity of Satan with all power (lawyer children) and false signs (“too late to pray”) and wonders (Planes crash; God laughs),

      10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing (WBC pickets funerals as “friends”), because they refused to love the “truth” and so be saved. (God hates everyone, unless approved by WBC).

      11 Therefore God sends them [WBC] a strong delusion (only members are ‘elect’), so that they may believe what is false, (God H8s everyone else)

      12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the TRUTH but had pleasure in unrighteousness (WBC refuses to see God is LOVE; they bask in the public spotlight proclaiming “His” hate).

      I can only hope the younger generations of WBC read these words, and-despite the elders’ attempts to “blind their eyes, stop up their ears and harden their hearts so that they cannot see, hear or understand, and be converted and receive salvation”, the youth of the group will break free as Megan Phelps-Roper, et al have and truly be saved. Any ‘church’ that demands you don’t question its teachings, and condemns you if you do, is one you should ask yourself if it is truly teaching God’s Word (Matthew 7:8).

      Kit, don’t even tell me it’s not true someone has to get APPROVAL to be baptized into WBC. I’ve read Jack Wu’s story-

  15. Kit Detwiler says:

    Since you long my story ask Grace and Megan then can give the departure details. I reserve pearls again.

    • @Catziiis says:

      “I reserve pearls again.” Ah, WBCspeak for “I don’t want to admit to the truth”. Your other refuge is silence. Pinned ya again, Kit.

  16. Mary says:

    No one can know what the members of the WBC are like unless they live among them. I have read Jack Wu’s story also. I have met him in person and lived among the members of the WBC. You shouldn’t make judgements about people you know nothing about. Seek truth.

  17. @Catziiis says:

    Mary-again, show me my ‘judgement’. I never said anything bad about Jack Wu, but I am well aware of the approval needed to be baptized. Why are you no longer among them? Either you found something lacking, or they did. Which is it?

  18. @Catziiis says:

    Kim-I have never met any WBC member in person, or been up close to one of their protests. I have only ever been to Kansas once, about 30 years ago. What God wants known, He reveals. That’s really all I can tell you 😀

  19. Nick Dellorto says:

    I think it’s great that you were brave enough to do the right thing and to leave that cult of the WBC. I hope it all goes good for you with your nana. If you ever need anyone we’re here for you, talk to me on facebook or something. Good luck, we’re praying for you but, real, peaceful, loving God, not the imaginary one fred phelps told you to believe in.

  20. Friend request me, on facebook, when you get settled with your Nana. I would love to chat with you. I am a lot older than you, I am a Nana too. I was a foster parent for 10 years and loved it. Please get in touch with me. Thank you & God bless

  21. Phill Lamson says:

    Im not sure Im even religious. But I know that has to be a painful choice. And I believe it is the right one. Take strength in your brothers and sisters that have already left. And know that your courage will bring more of them onto the path of love. Not hate.

  22. LeLe says:

    I’m sorry that some people on here are filled with hate and nit pick anything they can about you to make themselves void of their own sadness. I don’t know you. I just happen to run across this blog from some random person’s page on fb. However, that being said and in no position to judge who you are, I think your words were very well spoken (worded). Sometimes it’s hard to convey feelings into words, I’m in envy of how well you do. Wherever you are headed in your journey I hope you grow. Happiness is what you make it so please don’t let other people’s harsh words, sadness or hatefulness have their effect on you 🙂 have fun in Ohio 🙂 we travel there often.

  23. Magpie says:

    You’ve shown great courage, and sacrificed so much, by leaving the only family you’ve ever known. I applaud that, and thank God for your strength and determination.

    I hope you’ve found a relationship with the REAL Jesus, the one who died to save all of us, rather than the cruel, arbitrary killer WBC promotes.

    I’m certain that He has a plan for you. Sometimes it’s those who suffer most that bear the most fruit…

  24. Patty says:

    I can’t imagine how hard it was for you to escape from the cult of the WBC. I admire your courage to seek God’s REAL truth, that He alone is Love, He alone judges. The further you are able to move away from the hate filled doctrine of the cult, the more free you will feel, & the more you will know you made the right decision. Listen not to those who judge you, & seek only to love God by loving ALL of his children. May God bless you on your journey.

  25. Sarah says:

    Beautifully written. I hope you know how many people across the world are routing for you and your sister to thrive and succeed. Every blessing for the future. Sending love from England. Xx

  26. Jezebel says:

    Fuck the haters. I left a fundamentalist Xian cult upbringing and survived and recovered and found joy and you will too. Strength and love to you, and ignore these ill-behaved commenters.

  27. Courtney Thompson says:

    Your words are beautifully written. I in know way want to offend you, or Grace, so I’m not going to say I’m proud of you, it doesn’t fit. I’m also not going to say I’m happy for you, because that’s not right either. What I will say.. Is I’m happy that you both have opened your eyes and hearts to learn different things and see both sides of thing. I’m happy that you both get to be your own persons. I’m happy that you’re both very much supported in your endeavors. I can’t begin to imagine the bullshit criticism you guys get, but the positive you guys do receive has to be amazing. I’m so incredibly sorry there’s that deprecation from your family. My heart reaches out to both of you. I had the privilege of going to high school with grace, she’s a wonderful person, and Megan, I’m sure that you are just as wonderful. When things suck, people suck.. Psalms 37: 1-2 gets me through it. My words aren’t the greatest, I can never fully say what I mean, but I hope I didn’t come off as a jerk. Please if you can, relay this message to Grace. I’ve wanted to talk to her but I didn’t know if I should, and if I did, what I would say… You guys are continually in my prayers, and I wish you the best in all of your endeavors. =]

    I left this message for Megan, BUT JUST REALIZED that I misspelt my email. I’m too stupid tired to retype it to you. You get the gist. Love you dude. Keep going and don’t you fucking give up.

  28. Hartage says:

    Oh wow, I am stunned by the power of your words. The feelings put down on paper has not lost the intensity of emotion. The power of your writing speaks for itself. 🙂

  29. A Beautifully-written cry for redemption and the hope for healing. I don’t pretend to know what you are currently and have-been going through. I only know that you are not alone. Hold on, my Friend-Un-met-Yet. God is still on the throne. Hold on.

  30. ruth says:

    kit, john 3:16 says for god so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes shall not perish but have everlasting life.

    by the words THE WORLD, we are talking about everybody. not just you or me, or the wbc, or the people we agree with or the people that we are close to. it means ALL PEOPLE. people that we disagree with are not exempt from this. too bad we people cannot learn to have such a love for fellow man, after all it was a commandment from god. (by commandment I do not mean one of the 10 commandments….because it is a greater commandment than those). I cant speak for you but I know I should be more diligent in obeying said commandment. I will start with you, because it is my opinion that you are seriously deluded, and attention depraved (why else would you feel the need to verbally assault grace and reprimand anybody that shows her support, why else would you be trolling here when you clearly are filled with such hatred for her and such spite for “our world”…..but hey to coin your phrase….”I reserve pearls”….

    grace, you will find your way. don’t lose hope, don’t be discouraged. and remember that god does love you. when its difficult, he loves you. when you feel alone, he loves you. when you are fearful, he loves you. in all things, he loves you. we may fall short of the mark, but we aren’t perfect and he never stops loving. in our doubts and questioning and shortcomings and times of rebellion, he still loves. just be you, you are blessed and if you look for the blessings, you will see them.

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