If I were to write about this daily for a long time, daily for a long time I could write about "The Moment Everything Changed For Me". Today my brain is running like a gerbil on a running wheel, "which one" it's crying. Which one? I tend to be linear. So I want to start at the beginning. But that's too wordy. Too much content. So now I sit, where do I start.
The moment everything changed for me was almost 40 years ago. I was on a vacation at a summer recreational river with my kids. My 3 children. The loves of my life. they lived with my Mom, and although that relieved me so that at 26 I could work and play (that wasn't mom's intention), I played hard at night. I used every waking non working hour that I could, so Mom took my children so that they were being raised in a healthy environment with a loving Grandmother, rather than a kid who wanted to play. I worked hard, I was a waitress in a tourist spot, I made a lot of money, and I worked hard. With my hours after work I barely got any sleep so I took "diet pills" to help me get up in the morning, and more diet pills to help with the hangover I most assuredly had, and then a few drinks before work to balance out that affect of the speed or diet pills as they were called in those days. And then some more drinks before work, and another diet pill, and I'd be off and running for the night at work. I kept that combo going as I worked. I worked hard and fast. I was praised for the hard worker I was, and I felt like a phoney because it was with the aid of pills. What would I do without them. I had a boyfriend who had a job as a business agent for the longshoremen's union, in those days being a longshoreman was synonymous with being a thief. So my pills were supplied for me as were the tranquilizers I needed to sleep with.
I went on a much needed 2 week vacation with my kids. My mom decided to come, she wasn't welcome, not in my heart. I wanted to be the mother to my kids, and she always took that roll. I wanted to be more than the wallet carrier, not my Mom's little girl, not my kids big sister. I really wanted to be alone with my kids. I never got to relax and be alone with them. At Mom's house I was required to clean, and cook, and every move I made with my children was scrutinized by my Mom and or my Dad. I was corrected or scowled at. I was nervous and unsure of myself the whole time I was there. I felt like I had to ask their permission to do anything. I fetl as if I were a dumb little kid that needed their approval to even leave to go home.
So Mom decided to come, and I was angry. It was hard to mask my anger. I pretended to be happy that she was going to be with us. I needed her to drive us the 75 miles from SF to Russian River Ca. I didn't have a car. After that I needed her for nothing. We could walk everywhere we went. Our cabin was on the river, with a porch that overlooked the popular beach and river. It was fun to sit and watch what was going on. To watch the people that had a life. I felt as if i didn't.
Mom left ater 2 days, and said she would return in about 9 days. That was great. I could be alone with the kids, and she would be there to watch my kids when i drove to Novato to meet Frank on that particular Sunday night.
I relaxed and played with the kids, I got to know the neighbors, a pair of sisters who had the other part of the duplex. I sat outside with them, and their kids. I fished with my kids, swam with them, ate late without anyone to say we were eating wrong or too late, or it was past their bedtimes. No one told me I was parenting wrong. I was but didn't want to hear it. And she hadn't been the best parent in the world. Not by a long shot. I loved her, and wanted her approval, but I'd learned it was hard to come by if not impossible.
On July 6th of that year, 1972 to be exact, she was driving me crazy with cleaning and manipulating and being a marty. I went outside in the late night wind, I walked down to the river where no one could hear me, or notice me cry. I screamed at the heavens with my whole heart "God get that woman out of my life, I don't care how you do it".
God didn't ask what I meant. Spirit had other ideas than I did in mind.
On July 7th at about 11:15, as I sat outside with the neighbors, smoking, drinking coffee, and watching the kids, I heard a loud "BANG" come from the cabin. I thought my mom was being dramatic and showing me that she was the only one cleaning and preparing to go home that Sunday, instead of asking for help, it was her way to slam doors, and say things like "Why am I the only one doing anything....Why do I have to do all the work" . Because she put herself in that position. Who said it was time to go? She did! Who said it was time to clean? She did! And I hated that behaviour because I fell right into taking it personal.
I decided it was time to go call my boyfriend who would be at my apartment waiting for my call, I got up to go into the cabin and get some change to go to the office to the pay phone to call him. I entered the cabin barely remembering the bang, the door slamming. But I saw that door closed and when i opened it I found my mom hunched over the bed. I said "Mom what's the matter? What happened?" And with these words my life changed for ever.....She said "The gun went off" And then collapsed writhing in pain face up on the floor.