This is going to be hard to write but my mom has been on my mind so I’m going to write about it. On top of that, 11/16/2020 would’ve been her 52nd birthday, RIP mother rose!
I’ll start from the beginning.
Thinking back to one of my first memories of her, she was beautiful and angry, but she always tried to keep us safe in her way.
Unfortunately my earliest memories of her are not happy. We were running. From what, I’ll never know. My sister is gone and my brother can’t remember much. I must’ve been 3 or so. I just remember being in an old brown impala or something like that, squeezed together in the back seat with my brother and sister, wrapped in a blanket that I dragged with me out of bed when I was rudely awaken. My mom had told us to grab blankets and some shoes and hurry up. She was mumbling to herself and reversing quickly, “Motherfucker”. I don’t know what she was pissed off at, but she was mad. I was exhausted and so were my siblings but we always did as we were told, so there we sat sleepily, with our blankets wrapped around us and our shoes barely hanging on our feet. I doze off and never knew what happened that night. We woke up the next day back at home. I don’t know where we ended up that night. I would like to say the neighbor’s trailer but I’m not positive on that one, I know we definitely made a pit stop there. Regardless, it wouldn’t be the last time we were running when we were with our mom.
A fonder memory was my mom watching Barney with me one morning, my brother and sister were off to school. I was upset that I couldn’t go with them but I remember her sitting there with me to watch TV, telling me to stop crying. I heard that a lot when she was around me. Suppress the cries, always.
The first time I remember getting in trouble by my mom was when I climbed out of my crib using a toy box because I wanted more milk. My mom was upset I didn’t go to sleep, so she yelled while giving me milk and sent me back to bed, telling me to figure out how to get back in the crib the same way I did to get out. I cried then too, but I figured it out.
As I’m writing, more of these memories are popping up. It’s crazy how many things we can lock away.
When I was 4 and in pre-k, my brother and I were riding our bikes one morning before the bus came. I didn’t tie my shoe and my shoe lace got caught in the chain. If I thought my mom was angry before this, I was wrong. She definitely screamed at me because the bus was waiting and the rhetorical questions started, why were we even on our bikes, nobody told us to do that. She cut my laces and told me to go, not changing my shoe or helping me tie it. I ran out of the house and ran for the bus as I silently cried. I struggled with trying to tie my shoe, but with one lace nearly gone, the long lace wouldn’t tie. The bus driver assistant eventually helped me tie my shoes and told me it was okay. I didn’t believe her but I sucked up my tears because I didn’t want her to see me cry. The bus finally drove away and I closed my eyes, fighting back the tears. It was time to go to school, my favorite place of all.
As I grew older the memories become more clear obviously. Like when my mom took us to Taco Bell to get food, and when we arrived at home, my dad was there unexpectedly. They were already split up so he shouldn’t have been there and the moment my mom saw his truck I heard that same “Motherfucker!” phrase I heard before. An insane fight broke out that landed my mom behind bars and my dad in the hospital.
When I say my mom was angry, I mean she was angry and acted like it. She was a fighter for sure! Not only did she hit my skinny ass dad in the head with a pan, she threw a hammer dead at his face. Thankfully, I saw the pan only and not the hammer. Once the fight got physical, my brother and I dipped out, I have no clue where my sister went. We ran to the back of the fields behind our house and my brother left me there to go back and check on what was happening. At the time, I was six and he was eight or nine but he was braver than I. I cowered in the field waiting for him to get back. Not much time had passed before he came running back and he didn’t stop at me, he was crying and running towards the neighbors across the half acre of land. I followed him foolishly and got lost as I couldn’t keep up. I decided to turn back and finally found my way through all of the trees to the fence line which I followed back to the gate. By the time I made it back, it was getting dark. I walked back to the house, joined my sister who was standing on the porch, and waited for my brother as I watched my mom going psycho. “Hide the beer!“. That’s all I remember doing, taking the beer and throwing it in the closet before going back outside. The sirens were nearing and my mom joined us on the porch. My brother was back and we were silent as ever. I watched my mom tell us sorry as she was handcuffed and put into the cop car. I heard the ambulance sirens rushing my dad to the hospital (turns out my mom threw a hammer at his face, which my brother and sister witnessed). That explained why my brother was running through the field, he later recounted that he heard dad tell my mom’s brother to take him to Shannon’s. We waited there with the police officers until my grandmother got there. I think my uncle waited there too. The ride to her house, I remember questioning myself, thinking the reason my mom was taken to jail was because I had told the cops where the beer was. I felt like I had failed her. She had tasked me with one thing and one thing only, hide the beer. I hid it in the hallway closet, but I couldn’t lie to the police. I was little, scared, and as I continued to think about it, I shut down.
So that’s how life started with my mom and that’s how it stayed.
It was forever a rollercoaster, who needed the adventure park when life was an adventure.
There were good times and bad times, but there was never a boring time.
Truth be told about my mom, she was abused as a child. Her mom was from Thailand, came to America by marrying my soldier grandfather, and spent her life drinking, smoking, and cheating. I don’t really know what to believe of the stories I’ve been told over the years, but I know what to believe based on what I’ve seen. I only knew my grandma Nan as the lady who we did not want to disturb when we went over and who sat and drank, smoked, and played lottery a lot. If that’s the same version my mom got as a child, I’m sure my grandma Nan did not put up with anything that would disturb the peace.
All I know based on my mom’s unaccountable stories of her as a child is that my grandmother beat her a lot and she spent a lot of time fighting in school. She’s also mentioned playing with monkeys and riding elephants before coming to America. That’s all I know about her childhood.
To say I don’t believe it would be a lie, I spent years watching my mom fuck people up! Mainly my stepdad but she was never scared! I went with her to a parking lot one time so she could pick up a gun. She got mad I kept asking where we were going, so she told me she’s getting a gun with silencer because she was tired of the neighbor’s keeping her dad up. I don’t know what she did after getting the gun, but she also could’ve used that as a cover to picking up drugs. I don’t know. I also saw my grandmother pull my mom by the hair once and it was the only time I’ve ever seen my mom cower as a grown adult. So it’s not hard to believe the stories my mom told as I did see her trauma when her mom was upset with her. I just believe there was plenty of variations to it.
Anyway, the years weren’t all bad but there’s never a good memory without a bad one. We spent summers going to the river and beaches. Outdoor activities were cheap and my mom loved fishing.
Those summers were fun. My sister left to Dallas with her dad at some point so most of the time it was my brother and I just roaming free with no parents! We survived and that’s kind of surprising. We learned to stay out of our mom’s hair. Some days she was patient and loving, she bought us things, we went out to eat, I could talk to her about stuff and she would listen, sometimes give me a little bit of knowledge, then be on her way.
As a kid and teenager, my mom really fucked with us. She told me my dad wasn’t my dad, she wanted to sign her rights over to my grandmother, always giving her legal guardianship when she felt too overwhelmed. She would go missing sometimes, but we had our grandma so we were fine. When she showed up around holidays, sometimes she was beat in the face, making excuses for one of her sorry ass boyfriends, I ran into a pole. Sometimes she looked absolutely amazing and I was proud of her. During those times, she would get us back from my grandma claiming to have changed and that she was ready and stable.
The stability lasted until my stepdad landed in jail. Until she couldn’t afford the bills alone again. Until we had to move, back to my grandma’s, until she was on her feet again.
By the time she got well, I was already gone. Obviously making poor choices of my own but never failing in life because of them. She had a good 1-2 year run where she had met a man and I hated him but he was good for her. Then drugs came back. She was gone again.
I learned to live pretty independently, only relying on people for things I absolutely needed to. Only trusting my brother and sister.
Even as an adult with my own kids, my mom’s patterns didn’t really change. In and out of jail and rehab. Jail charges for fraud, drugs, assault, burglary, etc. I had to find my own way without worrying about her.
My sister stopped talking to her for years before my sister got cancer and needed someone to help her. My mom did step up and take care of my sister while she was dying. They made peace with each other and my sister made me realize that I had to learn to forgive. If my sister could do that, surely I could. She fucked my sister up way more than the rest of us, although my sister told me that my mom wasn’t always this person. She told me that my mom used to be a PTA mom. I laughed so hard thinking of her as a PTA mom. She said that she used to show up for events at school and that she was there up until she was like 5. My mom was 15 when she had my sister. My grandma threw my sister out of a window of a car to my mom, to make my mom take care of her baby. My mom didn’t have a choice at 15 but to be a mom so she tried and that makes me feel a little better. She wanted to try.
Somewhere along the way, drugs took over and never left fully. Eventually, my mom was diagnosed with cancer, like my sister. She was diagnosed in November of 2017 and died in January 2019. Literally months before she died, I forgave her. She told me in December 2018, a month before she died, that she was proud of me and that I was a better mom than she ever was to us. It was in that moment that I realized my mom was just a broken person my entire life and that she did try her best with the resources she had. She made sure we had the basic needs and when she couldn’t do that, she found other places for us to go. If she couldn’t do that, we figured out our own ways because that was how we had to survive. We watched her survive, be innovative, creative, so we could do it too.
To this day, that’s what we do. We survive no matter what!
This is long and there’s so many more memories I could talk about. My mom was crazy. She was broken, but in the times she was okay, she showed us love in her own way. I can’t say I’m not grateful that she was my mom because I wouldn’t be half of the crazy person I am today without her.
I wish I would’ve forgiven my mom sooner and helped her a lot sooner instead of cutting her off. I can be glad she got right before she died. I know she’s somewhere with my grandpa, her dad, because he loved her so much and never gave up on her. I know the one thing my mom had to live with was not being able to tell her dad bye. My grandma wouldn’t let her in the house when he passed away and that’s because of my mom’s choices. She struggled with this but never talked about it.
Anyway, I guess my mom is still around and heavy on my mind lately. She was a strong woman who succumbed to addiction and mental illness. It can really affect a person and the people around them.
Make sure you take care of yourself everyone! Don’t let your mental health mess with your life so bad that the choices you make are regretted.
Forreal, speak up if you need help. There’s people out here who don’t judge and want to help you! I wish my mom would’ve done it sooner.
Rest In Peace Mother Rose! Thanks for always trying your best and accepting me always even when you yourself didn’t agree with my choices, how ironic.