My mother was a beautiful, classy, gracious lady, who was also a model and award-winning fashion designer, was married to my physician father, who was very well known internationally, in his field, and she happened to have 11 children. I am the oldest and smallest of the bunch and prone to run-on sentences. Since Mom had so many kids and I was the oldest, I was there beside her taking care of my sibs until I left home for college, got married and had my own family.
From then on my relationship with my mom was spotty. My husband moved a lot and I went with him caring for our kids. She didn’t like my lifestyle and I did the best with what I had. She wanted my life to be nicer and not hard like she remembered her grandmother’s life.
You see I’ve lived in places you have to drive through the river 3 times to get to our place. And our place consisted of 2 camp trailers and a wall tent. Or tents and a house that was condemned after we moved out because the electrical was original, when electricity, was first invented. Wires ran across the ceilings and down the walls. I’ve taken care of my family with no running water, or only running cold water I had to heat for everything; cleaning, laundry, bathing, washing my waist length hair, etc.
Then at times of extreme camping, we used a two seater outhouse, or the like, as we didn’t have indoor plumbing. Then we lived, at times, 7 to 30 miles from the closest traffic light and even paved road.
I always acted like it was a big adventure, but it was hard.
I came from money and prestige and a well-educated background, full of talent and opportunity. Thinking I married the same, for all time and eternity, I might add, the gypsy life, of living under the poverty level, was nothing I was prepared for. It took the intelligence to learn new skills, and the perseverance to keep going, and the constant check on my attitude to keep my shifting household positive.
I have never owned my own home and only this last year was I able to own a vehicle free and clear.
I’ll get back to the part where we were at least, finally able to stay in one spot for 5 years. When my husband wanted to move once again, after 60 moves I said, ‘No, ‘ and sunk roots down in eastern Utah.
So he left and I began my own adventure of raising 7, then 6, then 5, then 4 kids. It gets creative at this point as my older kids came and went with and without their families, friends and pets. In 2007 I supported 17 people, mostly related. Now I have my 2 youngest, of 9 children, at home.
Fairly soon life could be easier. Danica starts sophomore year of high school next fall, Adam graduates in a year, Josh just finished his 2nd year at Westminster College with a 3.92 GPA. And all my other grown children are in 3 states working and following passions and have interesting interpersonal relationships with each other.
So why this post?
Mom died before I came anywhere near getting my life in any kind of even occasional peace and she knew it. I was still married when she left and struggling greatly. She said things to me like, ‘a child who was never loved, will grow up to be an adult with no capacity to love,’ to explain my loveless marriage. She said in an abusive marriage, the better of a wife I was, the more I would be punished. That people who hate themselves, despise those who love them, or at least will disrespect them.
I thought I could love my husband enough and surround him with amazing loving children, and it would melt his chilled heart, and open it to love us back. To their credit, my kids are loving and reach out to others, which is a huge gift to me to watch. But the marriage ended and badly and it has been a long road to regain self esteem and some modicum of periods of feeling safe.
But Mom left 12 years ago today and I miss her. I go to call her and she isn’t on the other end of the phone, and I need her and she isn’t there. I have never in all these years, had the time to mourn her passing. I didn’t even get to go to her funeral. My own mother’s funeral. I never got to say goodbye. I still don’t have the life she wanted for me; living in my own home, with a loving husband, kids and grandkids gathered around and actively participating in the church she loved so dearly.
What I do have today is, I am surrounded by my kids and their kids, even through social media and phones. And I have amazing women friends of all ages all over the country. I’ve reconnected with my school chums who remember me fondly and I have a great love for things that flower fabulously and growing food plants in hanging baskets with food. (See http://www.youtube.com/roxycrossdesigns)
I also have a burgeoning ability to process things that bubble up to the surface. It may take a bit, but things do resolve better for me now. I am able to sort info and handle crisis at the time. And I really hope this continues to improve because it doesn’t look like my life will be difficulty free just yet. I will keep listening to The Listening Program as it is helping and I’ve added weekly therapy sessions for professional guidance to sort through all these years of stuffed stress, trauma and emotions.