Friday, October 20, 2006


As I read Bev's Blog this morning it reminded me of my own family's dysfunctionality and I thought I'd share some of it with you.

Mom was 19 when she and my dad were divorced. She was pregnant with me at the time. He claimed, a couple of years ago after mom was dead and couldn't deny it, that she didn't bother telling him that she was expecting at the time. What he doesn't know is that I have court papers that prove otherwise.

It doesn't matter, though. She was 19 and pregnant and self-will run riot. Then I was born and immediately got cast in the role of "emotional football" for the next, oh, rest of my life. The rule was laid down that under no circumstances was I to have any contact, whatsoever, with my father. His parents, my paternal grandparents, were on the approved list. Dad remarried and had other kids, my half-brother and half-sister (whom I adore). Through the years, at holiday time, my paternal grandparents would take me out for awhile and whisk me off for a surreptitious visit of an hour or so to my... well, whoever those people were. Then, on the ride home, I would be sworn to absolute secrecy about the visit.

I was 8 or 9 or 10 at the time. Pretty sick, eh?

Wait, it gets worse.

I found out, years later, that my mom once became so pissed at my maternal grandmother (the other one), that she entered into secret negotiations with my father and stepmom for them to take custody of me, simply to deny access to me by my dear nana (mom's mom). This was the sort of brat my mother was. For whatever reasons, the deal fell through and when it did, so I've been told, mom uttered "he'll probably spit in my face someday because of this."

If she were alive, I wouldn't spit in her face. But I would ask her some very serious, sober, adult questions. The sort of questions which were never discussed in the house when I was growing up. The sort of questions which I wouldn't permit her to squirm out of answering. The sort of questions which would make her very, very, very uncomfortable.

The sort of questions a child is entitled to have the answers to, whether the adult wants to answer them or not.

But mom had it her way, right up to the very end, by which time it was too late for questions and answers. She managed to slide into dementia before I got uncomfortably sober. Then it fell to me, as her only known child (there is an other one, born out of wedlock two years after I was born, who was immediately given up for "off-the-books" adoption and whom of course was never spoken of, especially to me -- until my aunt blurted out the truth while she and I were planning mom's funeral -- and in front of the funeral director, at that), to take over the administration of her life and place her in round-the-clock nursing care for the last five, pitiable, years of her life, until she expired in February of 1995.

I was totally bombed through her death and funeral.

I should probably be ashamed to admit this, but the fact is that there isn't a day that goes by that I miss her. Not ever.

What a sad testament to a very sad life.

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