Friday, October 5, 2012

A few thoughts on death, illness, and exhaustion..

I learned a few moments ago that my birth mother will most likely be passing away on Monday. She has had a hard life and now will have a hard death.

At 15 she was molested by a family acquaintance, and upon becoming pregnant was sent away to a home for unwed mothers where she birthed her eldest son - and was coerced, as was common in that era, into immediately giving up that son for adoption.

She returned home to an abusive step-father and substantial chaos. She struggled to survive over the years, dating and marrying and having three other children that she would raise as a merry-go-round of mostly dysfunctional men passed through her life. She lost one brother to alcoholism (he still lives, but is deeply troubled) and nearly a second. Another survived by distancing himself from the family. I know less of her sister and step-sister.

She honestly cared for all of her children, but through nature or nurture - or some combination thereof - she ended up with two children lost to recreational chemistry, and a third living a difficult existence in many ways paralleling her own. She took pleasure in later years in re-establishing a relationship, however cautious and distance, with her eldest son that she lost to adoption.

In the last years of her life, she distanced herself from her stepfather and as a result was largely prevented from communicating with her mother. Allegations emerge that she was abused by those co-resident with her - her meager possessions looted and her health sabotaged.

I am that eldest son adopted out at birth, and I am saddened by her imminent passing and that we did not have a closer relationship. We reached out, cautiously, to each other - with rather more caution on my side than hers. I hesitated to engage more closely for many reasons - but mostly because I saw nothing I could do to improve the situation, and much about the situation that was immensely destructive.

I don't know what comes next. We'll see. I don't expect it to be easy.


Old NFO said...

Truly sorry to hear that GC, and thoughts and prayers will be said for all.

john said...


Anonymous said...

So sorry. Stay strong and remember her kindly.
-- ARRognlie

DaddyBear said...

I'm sorry to hear that GC. We'll be keeping both her and you in our prayers.

Dragon said...

Man....sorry to hear that.

I will tell you this, tho....where you may have been cautious because you saw nothing to improve the situation, I'm sure that with the connection her sadness had been alleviated somewhat. And just in that one small connection, I'd wager that you improved the situation her heart. And in the end, thats all that really matters.

You have my deepest condolences, friend.

NotClauswitz said...

Sorry for your imminent loss and all the pain.

Wally said...

Very sorry to hear GC, and oh so very humbling.

Y'all are in my thoughts.

Strategy Consulting said...

So sad to hear about her life. I don't know how to react with the situation, but let's just pray that she's in good hands now.

Jennifer said...

So sorry. Thoughts and prayers are with you