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.