My dad died when I was 6.
At that age, it really didn’t affect me. I was mature for my age, and I kind of sensed it was coming. Looking back, he had undiagnosed Alzheimer’s with a slight case of dementia, and he was an alcoholic. He would sit on non-sitting furniture and accuse me of stealing the chair cushions (and no amount of ‘Daddy, you’re sitting on the end table!’ worked) or he would drive drunk to go pick Mommy up from K-Mart.
About 3 years after that, in 1989, My sister talked Mommy into moving closer to her in Pennsylvania. By this time, I was almost 10. I didn’t want to move to Pennsylvania. All my friends were in New Jersey. I had the same classmates every year, and I loved my teachers. I had friends in the church, and New Jersey was the only place I’d ever known.
But money was tight, and expenses in New Jersey just kept going up, so Mommy sold the house and bought a trailer in Montrose, Pennsylvania. We moved about 2 weeks after my 10th birthday.
While I didn’t realize it at the time, Moving to Montrose would be the best thing that could have happened to me. I made new friends. I was actually treated like a human being and mainstreamed with an IEP, something I don’t think I had in New Jersey. Life was pretty awesome, actually.
Then, in 1994, Mommy got sick with an infection. We almost lost her. But the COMPLETELY AWESOME doctors at Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, Pennsylvania saved her. But she wasn’t the same after that. She was in a wheelchair after that, and then bedridden for the last year of her life.
In June 2001, Our doctor put Mommy into the local nursing home. His reasoning was for physical therapy/rehab. I think Mommy had something to do with it, since I was 21, had a fiance (who was completely fine with me caring for Mommy) and she didn’t want to be in ‘our’ way of having a life… getting married, having a family of our own, etc.
By this time, ‘Mama Melissa’ was living with us as well, helping me with the housework and cooking while I cared for Mommy.
Mommy came home for a home visit/inspection on July 11 of that year, and while I was busy with the social worker and the physical therapist, showing them the house, Mommy pulled Melissa aside…
‘Melissa, I know I’m not coming home. Take care of Becky for me. She has too big of a heart, and people will take advantage of her. Make sure that doesn’t happen.’
Melissa agreed, and I give her credit; she tried to prepare me. She tried to tell me Mommy wasn’t going to make it. I stupidly blew her off; Mommy was getting stronger by the day. She’d be fine, And she’d be alive for many years to come.
18 days later, Mommy died of a heart attack.
At that point, I became Melissa’s daughter. I was her sole priority. She can’t have children of her own, so I became her child.
My Two Moms -- (R) Mommy & me, 1989 and (L) Mama Melissa & me, 2012
When we moved to New York, she introduced me to her family as her daughter… and her family accepted me. Her brother and sister-in-law calls me their niece, and their daughter Nicole lists me as her cousin on Facebook. Most all of Mama Melissa’s family accept the fact that Mama Melissa considers me her daughter.
All but her father. (Are you really surprised?)
He takes EVERY OPPORTUNITY to remind me that my mom is dead… and it hurts. OMG, does it hurt.
He even went so far as to say that if Mama Melissa ever gets a boyfriend, it’s not fair to the guy to have to accept me as well. If the guy wants Mama Melissa to move in with him, it’s not fair that I’m ‘part of the deal.’
Who in their right mind would say, 'Hey, It's fine you want to date John Doe, but you shouldn't MAKE him accept your kids by James Smith. It's not FAIR to him.'
Mama Melissa loves me as her daughter. I’m the closest she has to a daughter.
Mama Melissa and I… We are Family, no matter WHO likes it.
Thank you for reading a story from #BehindTheBlogger Hop. Every 2 weeks a group of bloggers is given a writing prompt. These prompts are very open ended, so our bloggers can write about whatever they desire. The main rule is that their blog post directly relates to the topic of that week. The point of this hop is for our readers to get to know us on a personal level.
Please hop along and read all of the blog posts in this weeks hop. Just click the links below. If you want real and raw emotion, then you will find it here. After you read each post, please comment and share. We want to get to know you too!