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Tuesday, September 14, 2004

The Saga That Is My Family Part II: My Mother

So I'm a little behind...

Well, I originally wasn't going to write much about my mother but I felt it necessary because no matter what has happened she's a part of me and I'm a part of her. Her name is Judy and that's what I've called her for years. To some this is odd but to me this is life. My parents divorced when I was about 4 so I have not known any different since then. Judy has never been "mom". The words "hey mom, I'm home" have never come out of my mouth. I'm sure I used "mom" or "mommy" as a baby but as time passed Judy came naturally. I believe a mother is a biological title but "mom" is an earned one. Judy didn't earn it.

Before I go on I want to make one thing clear. I do NOT hate my mother. I truly have never known her well enough to hate her. I do mourn for myself and my brother, that we didn't have a mother that wanted to be a part of our lives. In the same token I mourn for her loss, that she doesn't know us and that it was by her choice. I have learned that she has a lot of mental issues with illness and a need for someone to take care of her. She was a lost soul who still hasn't been found.

This entry is already longer than I thought it would end up being. I mean, I may be 24 years old but a good 20 of those have been spent without this woman in my life. I can honestly say I have no memories of her as a part of my life, and that's sad, for both of us. After my parents divorced my father brought us back to Indiana and my mother rarely made an attempt to contact us. Every few years (that's right, YEARS) we would get a phone call or a card. I can't tell you the countless birthdays and Christmas's that have gone by without so much as a card or a phone call. As a child you don't want much, just to pick up the phone and hear "I love you" and "I'm thinking of you" would have been enough.

At the age of 15 I finally got to meet one of my half sisters - Mandy, who is about 20 months older than me.

*Side note - yes, my sister's name is Mandy. Actually, it gets worse. She is Mandy Michelle and I am Brandy Michelle. We are not twins. I'll just say my mother was twisted and leave it at that. Okay?

Back to the subject at hand. Meeting my sisted was awesome. I still remember it like it was yesterday. My father loved seeing her again, he was a part of her small life for quite a lot of it. At that time I also got a phone call from Judy, the first in about 3 years. A lot has happened since then. I graduated high school and got married. I would have invited Judy in a heartbeat had I known how to get a hold of her. Of course I didn't and she wasn't there for any of it.

I didn't speak to my mother again for 7 years. In September 2002 (just weeks after losing dad) I got a call from Mandy (she always tried to call when she could, she's a good sister) which was nice. I was of course still grieving and it felt so nice to hear her voice. A few days later I came home and there was a message from Judy. That's another one of those things I won't forget any time soon. It said "hello, this is Judy, Brandy's mother. I was told she wanted to speak with me. My number is -----. She can call if she would like to speak to me." It was almost like a slap in the face. It wasn't "hi, I wanted to talk to you" or "I was thinking about you." It felt cold and unfeeling. G told me I should call her back or I might regret it. I had just lost my father just weeks earlier and I didn't think I could do it. I needed to shut that part of me off and not think about it. Two nights later I didn't get a choice. At about 11:00 at night I got a call from Mandy. Judy was in the hospital, she'd had a heart attack and it was bad. I told her I would pray and then I just stood there trying to figure out how to feel. G of course did an "I told you to call her" and I wanted to strangle him. I started to cry and he couldn't figure out why. He asked why I was upset if I didn't want to talk to her in the first place. I couldn't explain it fully then and I still can't but I was sad. I was sad because I had just lost my father to a heart problem and now my mother had had a heart attack. I was sad because the woman who gave me life was possibly dying. I was sad because I had never gotten to know her and now that chance could be lost forever. I was sad because death is no respector of persons and I felt like it was hanging around my house too much.

The next night I called her in the hospital and we talked. It was weird to say the least. She was extremely familiar, much more than I could be. She said things about being my mom and I said nothing. I just told her I had a great life and how blessed I am. I told her I would be praying for her and she gave me her email address. She emailed me once and that was November 2002. I have not heard from her since.

I don't believe I'm the person I am today because of her, she didn't have a lot of influence in my life, but I do know I wouldn't be here without her and for that I am thankful. She has also shown me the kind of mother I will never be and has given me the desire to be the kind of mother I longed so much for as a child, and I am thankful for that also.


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