Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Open Season

There’s no love like a mother’s love. This adage may be old but it is so true. When my mother was murdered, somehow it became open season on my siblings and I. We became a forum by which relatives and others could exercise their demons on. I’ve never seen anything like it. I came to realize that when people know that you have no parents, they look upon you like you are a piece of nothing. I learned so many important aspects of human nature from a child’s perspective first hand that some people never learn or care to learn about in their lives. For example, people for the most part have different faces. They have a face for work, a face for friends (depending on the friend) and a face for family. For some, the only time their real face is revealed is when they have to look in the mirror and that’s only when they are not lying to themselves. For others they reveal that true face to kids like me who they couldn’t give a damn about because they had no one to answer to. As far as they were concerned, I had no protection. But little did they know that I had the highest form of protection; God’s love.

When we became Wards of the Court, I was so thankful when my maternal grandmother won custody of us. After a whole night of interrogation in the police precinct, Child Protective Services waited to take the three of us into separate orphanages because we were so apart in age. My favorite uncle stepped up though and begged for us to at least spend the night by my grandmother’s house. Fortunately for us, we never saw the inside of an orphanage as Protective Services, after examining my grandmother’s house agreed for us to live there. I thank God for this. On the downside, when we made our entrance into my grandmother’s house about 3am the next morning after the police precinct, people were plastered everywhere in silent awe just staring at us and I was greeted with a hug from an aunt on my mother’s side with the quote, “I’m going to make you guys rich.” Very comforting words indeed especially when your father just shot your mother to death in your presence. Little did I know that this was just a preview of the greediness we would face at our grandmother’s house(more on the specifics later).

At any rate, my father has four sisters who are successful according to the world’s standards. One is a world renowned doctor and the other three have their own businesses. I have five adult cousins, older than me from that brood and a grandmother. When my mother was alive, they didn’t have much contact with me or my siblings. When mom died, it got worse. They supplied my father with a lawyer and didn’t have any contact with us for years.

Last weekend, I missed a telephone call from one of those aunts on my father’s side. So I listened to the voice mail and she said, “Hi. I wasn’t sure if this is still your number but I tried calling your grandmother and she wasn’t available so I called you.” (Well of course I felt special…Not) “I am in California. If you want to call me back, here is my number ______.” When I got the message, I called her back 2 days later and when it went to voice mail, I left her a message confirming that she did call the right number and she could return my call whenever she liked. Of course she never returned my call. I think in her mind, she already did her part. The way my father’s family looked down on my siblings and I used to make me feel very low. Now, I don’t care as much but I must admit there is that tinge of pain that I would feel for anyone that is rejected by their own family; anyone enduring little pity calls and pity hand outs now and then from a set of people who share the same blood as you but believe themselves to be better than you. I actually pity people like that. Thus one of the lessons I learned was- sometimes water is thicker than blood.

Anyway, my mom always taught me to never ask anyone for money. She pounded this lesson of self-sufficiency and independence in my head a thousand times over. When she died, I ended up in a position where I needed financial help fast for school. I was always an honors student throughout my entire educational career. When I started college, less than two years after mom died, I still wanted to keep that record shining. My new family circumstance was one that Financial Services took a while to understand. Every time I applied for aid, I would have to provide 50 million documents including my mother’s death certificate. This was heart-wrenching every year I had to do this and even when I provided everything, it took forever for Financial Aid to understand the urgency of the situation. So although I was able to take classes for my first year of school, I didn’t have money to buy books. I asked my grandmother and other relatives on my mother’s side for help but all I received were rejections. So I bit a hug bullet and out of sheer desperation, I got in contact with my doctor auntie, thinking she would understand my situation. Well! I have never been so screamed at and accused of atrocities in my entire life to date! She accused me of being a thief trying to steal her money so I could use it to gallivant around town with. She called me a liar. She said that when she was going to school she didn’t have to pay for books therefore I am lying about wanting money for books (mind you, she went to college in the 1960’s). After a couple minutes of ranting and raving she hung up the phone on me. That was my first and last conversation with my dear aunt. A year later, out of the blue, one of her sisters sent a non-refundable plane ticket for me to spend the summer with them in California. I turned it down immediately when my maternal grandmother tried to give it to me. I saw it as a pity hand out. When my grandmother emphasized that it was non-refundable, it didn’t make a difference to me. My little sister took the ticket instead. She regretted doing so afterwards (another story).

Anyhow, I got through my first year of school relying on notes from professors and photo copies of chapters from fellow students. By my second year in college, I was able to get a job to support my schooling habit. The most important message that I want to convey to people is the same throughout all of my blogs. If you are in an abusive relationship and children are involved, please, if you don’t want to think about your welfare, think about your children. Take Heed: Children without loving parents or Wards of the Court are open to the world and its many vices and faces and they are not pretty. Believe me, I miss my mother more than words can ever begin to describe.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

your words were very powerful i cried like a baby but due to the fact the circunsantance your not alone ive been there everyone gave me there back but i reach to the most powerful GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LETTY

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