Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Setting the Stage for Departure

My mama was sick with cancer those first five years of my life. I grew like a bad weed in the shadow of her dying. I was left unnoticed and neglected, left to run wild with the hillbillies from down the end of the street. I never left the yard though. I was a daddy's girl and clung tightly to him. I was uninformed to many things in life. Little things like kittens. That Fall after mama died, I went to Busia's house with my brother's wife. (Busia means grandma in Polish.) She lived in a farmhouse with a stone front and back porch, rickety barns, and an outhouse, a two-seater. I remember walking down the back steps and seeing these little furry animals sitting on the ledge of each step. I had no idea what they were. I was fascinated with how they were sitting there sleeping with their heads up, yet sound asleep. I don't think I was intentionally sheltered, uninformed, or neglected. I was just overlooked. Cancer took precedence. It sucked the life and light out of our lives. The exposure to death at such an early age was a black cloud that hovered over me, affecting me in ways that took years to acknowledge. The next six years I lived with different relatives whose lives could accommodate me at the time. No matter how loved and cared for I was, I couldn't feel it. I was always extra. I didn't belong and I felt it. When my dad remarried, I was ecstatic to have a mom. She was twenty years younger than my dad, and married into a ready-made family. The following year my much anticipated and loved little sister was born. My new step mom started showing some resentment toward me. I felt unwanted and those familiar feelings of not belonging returned.