One month from yesterday will mark the 23rd anniversary of my mother's death. It's hard to believe it's been 23 years. I was 6 years old.
My brother sent an email out me and my siblings asking us to share our memories of mom. It's been really nice for me to read. As the youngest, I don't remember a whole lot. So it's nice to read about her as a mother of a teenager and adult women.
My oldest sister is 25 years my senior. My youngest sibling is 6 years older than me. I have 9 siblings in all. 6 sisters, 3 brothers. All half-siblings.
My mom was married twice before my dad, and my dad was married once before my mom. I am the only product of the two of them. My mother brought 5 kids to the marriage, my dad 4. All but two were out of the house already when I came along.
I had an older sister (10 years older) and older brother (6 years older) in the house growing up.
All of these emails going back and forth have reminded me that I used to have a "normal" childhood, however brief it lasted. I had a married mom and dad, we lived in a house with a yard, I had older brothers and sisters who played tricks on me and each other. We ate dinner together at night. I got in trouble when I did things wrong, and praised when I did them right. There were neighborhood kids who I was friends with and we would play all day. There were quirky sitcom-esq situations and serious "special episodes". We had Christmas trees and presents were purchased and wrapped without my knowledge of what they were. Everyone got together for the holidays. There were Easter egg hunts and Santas. People slept in beds. Birthday parties were had.
Then she died....and that all went away.
My "real" childhood consisted of a never ending rotation of 1 and 2 bedroom crappy apartments. Since my brother and sister were technically my mom's kids, dad threw them out. It was just he and I. Dinner mostly consisted of TV dinners. Sundays we had pot roast. I was already cooking for myself by the time I was 8. Well, heating crap in the microwave. Once I turned 9, I spent after school alone fending for myself (I had a daycare up until then, but dad pulled me out. If I remember correctly, there was a scandal with the provider's son. I was better off at home alone). I was never scolded or punished. I was spoiled rotten, in the only way poor people can be spoiled. My dad spent every extra dime he had on me. He never spent money on himself. He was a drinker, though. He would go out a lot, especially when I was younger. I spent many nights home alone. My mom's kids would come get me for holidays, I didn't see much of my dad's family. He kept to himself. He would get a Christmas tree then take me shopping and have me pick out several items, then he would choose from those and wrap them. After awhile, he just took me shopping. He did get me the biggest Easter basket every year. Depending on whether or not we had a 1 bedroom or 2 bedroom, sometimes my room was the living room and I would sleep on the couch. I think I had one real birthday party after she died. My dad always acknowledged my birthday and would buy a Dairy Queen ice cream cake and presents, but I never had a real birthday party.
I won't get into my teen years because that is just way too much craziness.
I guess I'm just suddenly feeling very angry about my childhood and I never felt that way before. I was never the kid who was mad at their parent for dying, but now I kind of am. Or maybe I'm mad at my dad for not doing everything he could to give me a normal childhood.
I don't know. I should probably go to therapy.