I was packing things up to return to my children and I found a poem and a little note written by my youngest daughter.
The first one is titled:
“Things for Mom.” (This was written when she was 15. It was going to be a birthday present.)
• “When I was in girl scouts, we had a Halloween party and there was going to be a costume party. So mom dressed me up like a motorcycle mama, like she was when we were younger, and I won the contest.”
•• “When we lived in Texas, and I liked Cabbage Patch Kids, mom made sure I had the sheets, the curtains and even painted a ceramic Cabbage Patch Kids lamp for me to have.”
••• “When I was in middle school we had to do a project where we had to carry around an egg everywhere we went for a week and mom painted a pretty face on mine and bought a basket with lace on it and made a satin pillow to go in it. I had the prettiest egg.”
•••• “When I ripped my face open, mom made me laugh the whole time.”
••••• “She always listened to my dreams (and still does) no matter how long they were (are.)”
•••••• “When I was having a really hard time, not knowing what was wrong with me and thought I was going crazy and freaking out, mom let me rant and cry and told me ‘you’re going to live to be and old woman and are still probably still going to be beautiful’.”
Her writing was based on these events.
• I dressed her just like my costume (I won best costume too, years earlier.) She had on jeans, a t-shirt with a pack of Losers’ cigarettes rolled up in the sleeve, rings on every finger, spike bracelet, a Hells’ Angels’ bluejean jacket with the sleeves cut out, a chain for a belt and I drew tattoos on her arms.
•• Her room was all Cabbage Patch Kids. Sheets, bedspread, curtains, pillows and the lamp I made. She loved it.
••• I remember painting a face on her egg. I bought a basket, put lace around it and made a satin pillow. Her egg was voted “prettiest.”
•••• She was out riding her brothers’ bicycle and started showing off for the neighborhood boys and face-planted in the ground. I had just cleaned up and put on my pajamas when she walked in and said “mom.” I thought my son had called her a name or something so I didn’t even turn around…I just said “what?” Then I heard something hit the floor…like water or something.
I looked over and she was standing there with blood pouring out of her mouth. I got up and laid her down. She had grass and dirt all over her face so I started cleaning it off. There were no cuts or abrasions and then I thought “oh shit. She has knocked every one of her teeth out.” I checked and all of her teeth were there so I couldn’t figure out where all the blood was coming from. I pulled her lip out and it came all the way down. I could see her chin bone. I told my son to go get me some socks, jeans and a t-shirt. I put her in the car and headed to the emergency room. On the way, she turned her whole body around and said “oh, mom. I think I broke my neck.” I laughed and said “silly, if you broke your neck, you wouldn’t be able to talk.” (Not true of course, but she didn’t know that.) She breathed a sigh of relief and I made a joke like “this isn’t going to get you out of going to school.”
I got her to the hospital and called Loser. He showed up just as they were getting ready to try to sew her up. He left. They had to take stitches and wrap them around her teeth. She was tightly holding my hand the whole time and I made sure that she saw nothing but a smile on my face. As soon as the doctor said “that’ll do it” she threw my hand down. We used to laugh about that.
She had “de-gloved her mandible.”
••••• She would always call me and tell me about her dreams. I call her son “Shoe” because she called me one morning at four o’clock to tell me she dreamed he was born and she didn’t tell anybody. When the doctor gave him to her, he was a tennis shoe with big red lips.
••••••She has panic attacks and her sisters and Loser made fun of her. I understood.
This poem was written when she was 22. She had just found out that Loser had betrayed me.
Run, run, run away
It’s coming, it’s coming
Don’t give in today
Don’t let it win
Be determined to stay
Force your mortal skin to
To stay alive today
Force your mortal skin
To die another day.