Tomorrow is the day that my mother drove around the block 3 times making my dad nuts, then into the hospital to push me out like she was a pro. My father barely got into the waiting room before they called him to say “It’s a GIRL”. I remember it like it was yesterday, no just kidding my dad loves to tell it. My brother loves to say how pissed I was a girl while my sister was so happy equaling yet another fight between them. The day of your birth is so significant yet it has taken me years to really feel good about it. A good breastie and I were taking about why I do not talk about my mom’s death here and I said it was because it has nothing to do with cancer. She told me I was wrong (she does love telling me that), that her death has shaped me into how I am and how I took on cancer. And shit she is right, that damn downstate girl! There is 9 years between my sister and 10 between my brother and I so while I may have been an opps baby I know there was a miscarriage between the siblings and me which means I was their hope for a baby. That being said I can image how happy they were to have a real princess born. My first birthday must have been a celebration, just wish I could remember. It was days after that my family was hurt with the most devastating, life changing event.
I always hated the term “I lost my mother” I didn’t lose her at all she was taken. Although as a child I would pretend she had amnesia and was living in Solvay and I would run into her and she would see me and all her memory would come back. Guess Grandma Jennie should have eased up on the “General Hospital”. I have a friend that died from drugs, a friend that died from a boating accident, an uncle that died from bad health and 2 grandmothers that died from age related deaths. While those were all hard to deal with they are life lessons that I could with time understand. But there is no explanation for evil.
I always hate when people ask “how did your mom die” because they expect car accident or cancer something “easy” (this is sarcasm there is no easy death). I hate it because the look on their face after I tell them is so intense and they feel so bad. I have found that blurting it out seems the best way. My mother was murdered, taken from us by an evil man. Literally kidnapped, rapped and thrown away like trash. There is never an easy way to say that, never. There is not enough therapy in the world to help my family get “over” this. We will never get over it, we just get through it. I will never believe that everything happens for a reason that is bull shit to me. I do not believe that god had a plan for us because this was evil there is no plan for evil. I have no room for humor here and find no joke in this. It is the one thing in my life I will never be able to laugh at. What I do believe is that how we get back up after we fall defines us. And trust as a one year old this was like falling down 100 flights of stairs. I will not speak for my father, sister and brother as they had to see this daily while volunteers searched through cold waters for days to find her. This was 1973 and these things did not happen or better yet our media didn’t talk about it. So it was in fact in the paper 2 times a day while being broadcast on the TV all the time. I think their pain is obvious and that is their stories not mine. But please do not think they ever got over this, ever. Hurt this deep shapes us into who we are that compiled with our genes makes us the people we become. It makes or breaks us and that is just a fact.
I do however believe that we are all part of the nature/nurture effect, you know psych 101. I was raised in the most loving home where my siblings fought over me and who loves me more. Where my father, grandparents, godmother, cousins and family friends treated me like a princess. That was the best way to nurture a child whose mother was stolen from her. However, there is no one in that group that was a hard ass, tough, smart mouthed, strong willed person because that was my mother. She was the one who organized Sunday dinners, smacked my siblings with a wooden spoon (she was so cool), gave her piece of mind and was strong yet loving at the same time. I became her through nature, I got those genes. Had she been able to live her life I think we would have butted heads A LOT. It was her way or the highway and you did not by any mean mess with her. I know that I am her because every single person in our family and her friends tells me so and every time they do I get strength from that. So while this part of my life isn’t about cancer it without a doubt has been why I choose to deal with it this way.
My mother was a community leader and that is something I am so proud to have inherited. I did not know her or how she handled herself, so I could not learn through actions. This is just who I am my mother’s child. Had she been her to hold my hand well I refuse to go there because she wasn’t. What I can do is feel her angel wings flutter by my side hovering ever so close (ok that part made me cry). Now I have no idea if she loved glitter or stilettos (she was way tall and my father is way short so I am guessing not) or even if she would love a tiara. That’s ok by me cause after all there really can only be one sparkly princess in the family and I am gladly taken that role.