Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Slamming Of Doors

Last Friday was Amy's graveside service and burial. I think the entire maternal side of the family went through many shades of grief. My Aunt Terri seemed to be in bitter denial all week till the day of the funeral where she was completely inconsolable. It was the first time that I really saw my, grandmother, Mom and aunts rally like that. But before I stray from my narrative, the guilt of how Terri treated Amy the majority of her life finally settled in. To put it bluntly, my Uncle Mike and Aunt Terri are not typically nice and can be obnoxious. They also treated their children with disrespect and cruelty. Amy got the brunt of the physical and verbal abuse. I would not be so inclined to respect my elders either if all they did was scream and demean my very existence so naturally there was tension. However in the last several years, Amy had taken on most of the household chorse and duties since Terri's health has declined greatly. Mind you, my aunt's slippery slope of diabetes was self inflicted as she ignored all her doctor's orders for DECADES. You see, Terri was a juvenile diabetic and simply disregarded everything she was told. Now she is wheelchair bound, lost sight in one of her eyes and receives dialysis 3 days a week. My aunt needs help constantly with the simplest of things like getting something to eat or getting to the bathroom since it is not handicap accessible. Amy did all of this.

They berated Amy for not having a job but how could she when she was expected to look after her Mom? How was she supposed to keep a job when they only had one vehicle for the entire family and lived outside the city? When they moved outside the city, that's when her life really took a nose dive. She developed an addiction to prescription painkillers a couple of years after the birth of her son. I think she just kept herself lucid so she couldn't feel the anguish of her life anymore and to keep sane in light of the abuse Mike still rained down on her, even as a young adult. Someone may ask "why didn't she just leave?" Because she couldn't afford to with being a single Mom and welfare is pretty picky when it comes to helping people in bad situations. She eventually did lose custody of Brandon a year ago. That's when it all came to a head I believe. She never had an easy life and there was lots of dysfunctionality involved. Her father, Mike is a conniving, compulsive liar and opportunist with sticky fingers. They have also always been very poor. It's just been worse since Terri couldn't work any longer and her disability wasn't quite as much as what she made having a job. If it wasn't for Section 8, they probably would be homeless as well. It just seemed like no matter what choice Amy would make, a door was slammed in her face. It wasn't fair.

Now she is gone, resting in a plot with my late maternal grandfather who died years before I was born. All the dreams of having a better life on her own and hopes of reuniting with her son, are lost. Instead of being curled up in her bed, she is laid beneath the earth in a small box on a hillside in Thurmont. According to Terri, the autopsy is in pending status right now. But based on superficial examination of her skull, they found something on the back of her head and they think it may have been an aneurysm. But they are waiting on the results of tissue and blood samples taken. I hope there was no foul play involved but there were whispers that her fiance was unstable. There were also murmurings that her father struck her hard enough in the back of the head a couple of weeks ago, that it left a knot.

I don't like to talk about fate because while I do believe we're gifted with a great destiny, the course our lives also take shape accordingly. There's a balancing act between the control you have of your life and the lack of it when life occurs. It's our choice whether we accept a destiny or make another. I think she wanted to break the cycle but was never given the chance to. Now her BFF and cousin of the same age, is continuing a self destructive cycle. Nicole is married to a physically abusive alcoholic. I wonder how long it will be till she ends up in the hospital or worse? Nicole has never listened to anybody but I hope she does soon.


Sharfa said...

I'm so sorry, how very, very sad.

Denise said...

Thanks. Last week was kind of a blur. I felt a lot better after I got that off my chest. But huzzah to see that you are regularly apart of the blogosphere again!