Why didn’t I ask? It never occured to me to ask my mom more about her life and her upbringing. It never occured to me to ask her about my brother and what it was like finding out her son was a murderer. Why didn’t I think to ask these types of questions? Is it because I was self absorbed or because I didn’t want to upset her by asking questions.
I remember my sister saying to me, well you know Linda is our sister right? I was like HUH? Yeah, dad told me when I was in high school…. I was shocked. I called up my mom that very night and was like um, how come it was kept secret all these year? Mom says, well it wasn’t a secret we just didn’t talk about it. Yeah mom, that’s called a secret. Then we didn’t talk about it for many more years. Somewhere down the road when grandma died we started talking about it. Not a lot, more like “yeah I’m leaving Linda some money when I die.” Her sister never let her forget how she ruined their lives… Cousin and Aunt laughed and made fun of my mom and it hurt her until the day she died.
What was my childhood like? Why don’t I remember any of it and who can I ask? No one… well maybe I could ask my brother, but I just don’t know how honest he’d be and what he may have actually known.
Stand out memories….
Somewhere between 3 and 5 years old. We had this big fancy lighter that was always on the coffee table with the matching ashtray. I took it into my mom’s bathroom because as I recall I wanted to see what the lighter would do to toilet paper. It caught fire and it caught fast. I remember trying to spin the toilet paper from the roll into the toilet to make it go out. Then it caught the wall on fire or maybe a towel and I panicked so I left. I went into my shared room with my sister and started playing with my barbies. The next thing I remember is my sister saying, it smells funny and people moving around quickly. My mom was most angry that I had melted her good pantyhose and her display towels. I didn’t have much in the way of eyebrows or lashes, I was told. My dad fixed the bathroom. I remember the story told to me more than I remember the event. I distinctly remember the warmth and how fast it spread.
Camping, we went camping a lot. Great times, went with the neighbors often. Muffin had to ride in the cabin of the truck because she’d get sick. Hot springs, swimming pool… Later on first experience with smoking pot.
My dad was hurt twice, once when he fell out of a tree while cutting branches at my aunt’s house. It was “great” because he had to miss work and was home. The next time he just about cut his thumb off while fixing the spring on the garage door… again “great” because he was home. Mom was home for a bit too when she hurt her back.