Welcome to Simply Jalene the biography of a young girl whom overcame the obstacles of child abuse and poverty to experience domestic violence, estrangement and homosexuality as an adult.
Jalene’s journey began as an infant, toddler and young child in northern OH. Her carefree days as a child were changed at the young age of 5. By then her family of 3 had increased to 7. Jalene’s life and upbringing would never again be classified as normal. Certainly it was far less than average.
At age 5, Jalene’s parents, Glenn and Jayne had enlarged their family with a son, Glenn Jr. 4 years younger than Jalene and a daughter, Louise 5 years younger than Jalene. Additionally, the family of 5 of had become a refuge for Jalene’s maternal grandmother Rose, suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and Jalene’s paternal uncle, Don whom was homeless.
During this time of transition from a family of 3 to 7, Jalene was befriended by a kind, matronly neighbor whom had lost her only daughter at age 5. Jalene became a substitute daughter to “Auntie Alice” as Jalene so lovingly called Mrs. Shaw. When life became unbearable at home, Jalene would grab her roller skates; key around her neck and “skate away” the 5-6 blocks to Auntie Alice’s home.
The colorful seasons of OH provided an opportunity to gather treasures to share. From bountiful, fragrant lilacs to the colorful and bright, large, maple leaves or the buckeyes from the native trees, Jalene made each skating journey a memorable one.
Upon arrival to Auntie Alice’s, Jalene pulled off her skates, tossing them in the screened porch of the early 20th century house, which was her “second home.” Auntie Alice would greet Jalene with a huge, warm, hug and offer of cookies and milk. On occasion the treat was a homemade banana split or sundae. Jalene’s heart raced eagerly when she saw Auntie Alice remove the “special” ice cream dishes from the china cabinet. Jalene’s mother never provided homemade goodies. Such treats were experienced only from the kindness of others, such as Auntie Alice.
Following the short visit and partaking of the treats, it was time to strap on the “rolling” transportation and return home. Jalene never knew what to expect upon her return, but never was it an abode of love, kindness or peace.
Please join me again as we travel with Jalene on her journey.