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26 - white - female

 Entry Two    2007-03-25 18:04:27 ET
My second set of memories don't really exist in any particular order though where they take place could be used for reference. All my many homes were in Markham, IL.

I know we lived in the same house after my mother died for awhile. I remember some of the women my father dated afterwards. Marilyn... a waitress. I would see her years later and realize how much of a mother figure she had been to me. I still keep in touch with her son Jason. I remember one time he "ran away" and took me with. We ended up just sitting at a bbq house on 159th street until dark. My sister from another father actually had a crush on him. Today he lives in Colorado with his long time boyfriend. I also recall having strawberry shortcake sheets at this time.

Sometimes my memories from that house get confused with when my uncle moved in there. See this house was actually a parsonage for the church next door. My grandfather was song leader there, and him and my grandmother were pretty much the caretakers.

At some point we lived with my father's parents, in the basement. There was a fireplace in the basement. My father told me a story once about how he left his dog in the basement, and when he came back the fireplace was lit. Suddenly the fire went out, and there was a devil head etched in the stone and his dog was gone. The devil head still remains there to this day.

We also lived in "the house with the horse on the door". It was on the next block up from the parsonage. I remember really enjoying this house because I had a huge toy box and a balcony that was really the roof of the garage. I remember telling my dad one day I would be rich and live in that house. Looking back at the house now, I am reminded of the wonderment of childhood.

This is the time I remember my dad hitting me... I was slurping the milk from my cereal or something of the sort, and he whacked me into my bowl. I remember him giving my cat away because it peed in the house. It's crazy how I can remember the pain. I tried to hide the kitten so he couldn't find it, but he did. Someone came to the door, animal control I believe, and took it away.

My dad actually worked for animal control. He used to have to take stray dogs out to the forest preserve, put a cushion over them, and shoot them in the head. What a horrific job. My sister says she remembers him shooting one of his own dogs.

And then there was my mother's parent's house. My refuge, my comfort zone, the best place on earth. After taking up some art therapy last year, I uncovered how much that place meant to me. After my grandmother died, things changed, and the house is no longer in the family.

 Entry One    2007-03-06 09:27:45 ET
If I close my eyes and try to think back as far as I can remember a few memories come to mind.

1) sitting on the toilet in the Markham house, drawing on the door in crayon, knowing my dad was going to be upset.

2) picking and eating cat food out of the carpet upstairs.

3) the pull up bar, and hanging upside down from it.

I imagine these were all around the age of three or four. I try to remember time before that, hoping I can somehow remember her face or hear her voice but my mind is already tainted with stories that I've just used to create a picture that has become my truth.

My mother died a few weeks after I turned two years old. The stories differ a little but from my understanding it was the night of December 20th, 1982. She was applying her make up in the bathroom, getting ready for a Christmas Party at the VFW. My uncle fondly remembers times when my mother would drop her make up bag on accident causing a "make - up explosion". My father recalls her complaining of a headache and lying down... the details aren't clear at this point. I remember my father telling me a long time ago that the couch started shaking, maybe some vomiting, he rushed to take her to the hospital, leaving me and my sister behind.

My mother died in my fathers truck. She was DOA according to the doctors. She was revived but with severe brain damage. My grandfather was there, maybe her brothers.. My father made the decision to take her off life support. From what I know of my mother, she would've appreciated this decision.

Only last year when I showed my father the website did I really think about his loss. The love of his life died right there next to him as he drove as fast as he could, overall powerless to the situation. He said he couldn't get through all the pictures. He did sign the guestbook.

Like I said, most of what I know of my mother is from stories. Usually sugar coated, selective memory renditions. My grandmother was very protective of my mother's reputation, and only later did I find out why.

After my grandmother's death... a story of its own, my sister and I found my mother's journals. One was completely marked out with black marker. The other was readible and contained the story of an educated woman, locked in a very small world.