Hello dear readers, it has been a long while since I have had the time and mental fortitude to write a new blog post. Please forgive me for not finishing The Story of Boy~ the rest of the story will come....this I promise you......but today my heart needs to talk about a different subject: Lives, Legacy and Memories.
Gentle readers~ it is with deep and soul crushing pain that I was told on December 21 that my eldest sister had died. Details were sketchy and confirmation would not come for nearly 24 hours. But just like THAT she was dead, gone. My sister was never really able to escape the tragedies of our childhood.....the divorce of our parents....the mental and physical illnesses our mother suffered, the unspeakable horror of abuse at the hands of our step mother, my own mother's parade of abusive husbands.......it is a LOT to overcome. Never EVER have I, or will I, take for granted the fact that I *seemed* to have been able to make a better life for myself and my four living children. It is a battle with which I still struggle~ tho I have made better choices in my later years~ I *still* know that the demons of the past are there.....lurking and waiting.....and at times like these I feel like I am dancing close to the black hole of tragedy that is our family. I truly feel with every fiber of my being that if I dance too close to the darkness I will be sucked in and swallowed whole.
My mother was just 37 years old when she died......I was 14, my baby sister 11, my brother 16 and my eldest sister 18. She had a heart attack~ herculean efforts were made to save her~ but her heart just would not recover and beat normally~ less than 15 hours after she spoke her last words to me~ we, my siblings and I, agreed that enough was enough....when for the 50th time her heart rate went in to an unsurvivable rhythm~ we agreed that it was torture to keep shocking her back to life. My 5th stepfather did very little *right* by my mother or us....but I must give him props and credit him with allowing the 5 of us to talk about what was happening and decide together what our mother would have wanted~ and honor those wishes. As her heart failed for that 50th time~ we made a circle around her hospital bed~ and we hugged and laid hands on her~ and we watched as the monitors all flat lined....and a caring nurse turned off the alarms~ but you could still see~ her heart had stopped for the final time, the ventilator was turned off and she slipped away~ peacefully and painlessly.... especially in consideration of the torture of the last 15 hours~ trying to save her. We would all agree later that she did not die in that hospital room~ she died in her bedroom~ moments after she told me she had a terrible headache and she asked me to rub her back......when I realized she was not breathing ~ the herculean efforts began~ but she was already gone.....
When the call came about my sister~we all believed that she had suffered the same fate~~ because she was named after our mother, she lived her life almost identically to how mother did, she suffered glaringly identical medical problems~ at 45 my sister had already suffered a heart attack....but she had survived....she had nearly bled to death with a bleeding ulcer~ but she survived that too....she had high blood pressure~ her 23 year old son (after struggling for years to escape) hung himself 3 years ago ~~ miraculously she survived that too~~ she worked too hard~ smoked too much~ drank WAY too much coffee~ and she did not take care of herself. She was also married to a very abusive monster of a man who mistreated her and her children terribly....identical in almost every way to my mother's life. Don't get me wrong~ many times various people (myself included) tried to help her try to escape this man, the life, this fate..........and she would leave him for a time~~ and she enrolled in school~~ but she *always* went back.
Ironically~ she DID leave him three months ago....and she had stayed away.....and she was trying to sort out her life.......and I am told she was happier than she had been in years~ I pray this is true.
We have been told that she did not suffer a heart attack~~ she suffered a pulmonary aneurysm that ruptured and she drowned in her own blood~ this brought me terrible images of her choking~ struggling to breathe~ before succumbing to the relief of death. I pray this is not how it actually happened.
In the days that have a followed~ details of her final months and days have trickled in. Details of the life that she and her children lived. Details of the horrific sexual abuse the monster subjected her and her daughters to. Details I would rather have never known. Details that I am sure will be the source of nightmares for me in the future.
I have been asked to try to step in and take her children away from the monster. I am not sure I have the mental fortitude to do that~ especially given their ages and the trauma that such a fight would inflict on my OWN small children just 7 and 4. I am not sure I can invite the devil himself into my home~ I am not sure if I would be any help at all. I am sure that such a fight would take me closer to the black hole than I have been since I escaped my OWN abusive relationship with a man nearly 20 years ago.........I am sure such a fight would devastate me ~ hearing from her daughter first hand what the monster did to her~ I don't think I can survive that.
My brother (who is visiting me for Christmas~ he came just 1 day before we heard the news) wants to attend her funeral......I don't think I even have the mental fortitude to do THAT. You see~ that family, MY biological family operates on a level of dysfunction such as I have spent a lifetime avoiding. And EVERY SINGLE interaction with them is a test of my strength and my sanity.
When my nephew hung himself~ I raced to my sister's side~ and there I stayed for 10 long days~ and I did as much as I could to help her through the grueling task of burying her child.....financially, physically and emotionally. And in the months that followed I tried to help her get away from the monster~ and she did~ she was in a safe house~ he did not know where she was~ she had people from her church helping her out (the very same people who paid for EVERYTHING related to my nephew's funeral that I could not)......and she lasted 3 weeks......and she took the children and she called the monster and she went back.....for the thousandth fucking time: SHE WENT BACK. I washed my hands of it then (not of her~ I still had contact with her) but I stopped sending her money, I stopped paying her cell phone bill, I stopped listening to her complaint's of how bad her life was. And three months ago when the call came late in the night from her asking if she "showed up on my doorstep" would I let her and her children stay with me ~~it broke my heart~ but I had to say no.
My first priority belongs to MY OWN FAMILY~ my children, my husband and me. None of my children have ever experienced the terror and torture of being physically or sexually abused God willing THEY NEVER WILL~~~~ and for this reason and a thousand others I can NOT willingly expose them to that way of life.
My sister lived and died very much the way our mother did. Only in death did they escape the trauma and torture (some of it self inflicted) that was their way of life.
I have always chosen to try to live my life differently. And I don't always do it perfectly. I try very hard to always try to be the very best version of myself. I learned LONG ago that their are many dangers I am just NOT willing to subject myself or my family to~ it is self preservation, it is in honor of my mother and my sister that I try to learn from their tragedies.
It is my hope that my children will have different lives. That my legacy will be one of not only surviving but thriving even when life is cruel and unfair. That my children's memories will be filled with hope, and love and peace. It is the best I can do with what I have.
Love and light~ Ginger