My Dad, My Best Friend

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Crochet Tutorial: Knee-High Socks

Sometimes I see a photo and consider what it would take to design something into a crochet pattern based on just that-a photo. That is what inspired these floral pastel knee-socks. I was sent the s…

Source: Crochet Tutorial: Knee-High Socks

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Crochet Tutorial: Knee-High Socks

Sometimes I see a photo and consider what it would take to design something into a crochet pattern based on just that-a photo. That is what inspired these floral pastel knee-socks. I was sent the s…

Source: Crochet Tutorial: Knee-High Socks

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Married at 18…

Right out of high school, June 28, 1980, I married Dave.  Your wedding day should be joyous.  For the most part it was.  Dave was sick with ulcerative colitis.  He was diagnosed with this his senior year of high school.  The night of our wedding rehearsal he was sick and could not make it through practice.  A good friend of mine who we asked to be a usher had to fill in for Dave.  He made it through the ceremony the next day, but was sick during the dance. I had no idea what ulcerative colitis was and was not in any way prepared  for what the next 7 years would have in store for us.

My dad, of course could not be included on our day because my mom would never allow it.  He had another wedding for us in Racine the week after. I wore my dress and Dave wore his tux.  It was in held in my Aunt Gracie’s backyard.  My dad’s family and some of his friends attended.  It was very nice.  The morning of the get together, I had to fight with Dave because he would not get out of bed to get ready.  Everything seemed like a struggle.  From my mom dictating that Sara could not be at the wedding, Dave being sick, my flowers not being paid for prior to the wedding and me having to ask the owner of the flower shop if I could pay for them afterward, to my new husband who was really not too motivated in life.  I was always nervous.  Compared to when my own daughters got married, I tried to be involved as much as they would allow.  We would go dress shopping,  I made flowers, we made favors, doing invitations was a family affair.  I had none of that.  I was pretty much on my own.  Looking back at life today, I struggled at most of life to make things happen.  And then the struggle became  my normal life.  And taking care of everyone but myself.

We lived in a trailer house after we were married and Dave worked for a moving company.  We did ok at first.  Then he lost his job.  He got sick, lost his job and his way in life.  We weren’t married for very long and then things just went downhill.  We bought a newer trailer and we lost the trailer.  We moved what seemed like every year or more.  We moved to Rothschild and rented an apartment and lived off the system when he was sick.  When he wasn’t sick he drove semi.  Sara was about 3 and I became pregnant.  I was excited to have another baby even though our situation wasn’t ideal.  I  was about 5 months along when I had a miscarriage.  It was horrible.  Dave was home at the time and he took me to the hospital.  He brought me home later that night and the next day he went back on the road.  There I was at home with Sara and felt just horrible.  My mother wasn’t speaking to me for whatever reason again and I needed some help.  I called Dave’s mom and dad and they came and got Sara and I and took us back to their house in Athens.  I was so cold!  I remember sitting on the big heat register that was between the living room and dining room wrapped in a blanket just trying to get warm.  Dave’s mom went to work that afternoon and I was still not feeling the best.  I called Joan and she picked us up and we went to her house for the day.  He house was so warm and finally so was I.  I think just being at her house, which was my home back in high school, was all I needed.  She would continue to love me as a daughter for many years, until she passed away in 2015.

After a couple days I started to feel much better.  I decided to apply for a job in a factory in Medford and I got hired.  We moved back to Athens and I went to work.  Dave continued to be sick on and off.  And when he wasn’t sick,  he was driving semi for someone in Merrill.  I became pregnant with our second daughter, Erin.   Everything seemed good for awhile and then Dave got really sick.  He ended up having surgery.  They removed his large intestine and he came home with a temporary colostomy.  He absolutely hated the fact that he had the colostomy bag. On top of all this I had a police officer visiting me looking for information about Dave and his employer.  He was being accused of embezzlement and I was pissed.  I gave the officer his briefcase and Dave was mad that I did.  This officer would call me at work to talk to me.  He was actually very nice and I had no idea what Dave did on the road. Dave was actually arrested in his hospital bed and I could not visit him.  I was so mad that I was afraid if I did visit I would pull every drain tube from his body.  I was beside myself.  I was totally lost.  I had no direction.  I was confused, scared, and alone.  He came home and I had to help him with the colostomy bag, why I do not know.  I continued to work fulltime, take care of Sara, kept an immaculate house, and again put myself last.  Once the colostomy bag came off, he got an infection and they had to open the site and it had to heal from the inside out.  This meant it needed to be packed everyday and yes I did that as well.  And then we had to move!  I was as big as a house and we had to move.  All I could find to rent  was an old apartment above the hardware store.  It was huge, three bedrooms, but it needed a cleaning.  My mother did help me get it cleaned.  We hired movers from the moving company Dave worked at earlier,  as there were probably 20 steps to climb.  Neither of us could do it, him just having surgery and me ready to pop any day.  But we made the apartment home and this is here Erin was born.

Dave continued to be sick but worked here and there.  He went to trial for embezzlement and I had to be a witness.  He was found guilty because of  the way he took the money.  But in the end it was proven that they actually owed him 80 bucks.  It was exhausting!  It was stressful, and I was done!  We moved a few more times because of all this.  I had had enough and I started getting a social life.  I would throw darts and shoot pool as a sub.  I sucked at both but I still went and had one heck of a time.  Dave went his way and I went my way.  When we were home all we did was argue.  Things just fell apart, I did not trust him, and it was over.  I started seeing a guy that I dated a long time ago, before Dave.  We would meet up and I thought the dude cared about me.  I thought wrong.  But worse!  I got pregnant.   All I could do was cry.  And then I shut down. The same way I did when I was a kid living at home living with my mom and the pervert.  I told Dave I was pregnant, and just that.  I continued to work, stayed home all the time again, and just existed.  I know Dave knew that this was not his baby but I never said a word.  No one cared anyway is what I thought.  And because no one cared, I knew I had to make it on my own.  I just turned all feelings off.  And the other guy?  Well he knew and never ever bothered to call, to see if I was ok, nothing.  But that was ok because you see, no one ever did anyway.  I guess I didn’t matter.

My third daughter, Casey was born in October.  I had her via C-section, like her sisters.  Dave was in the hospital for six weeks and was still in the hospital when I had her.  He watched through the delivery room doors as she was born.  He accepted her as his own, no questions asked.  Her sisters had lots of brown hair and she was a toe head!  Blonde as can be, but beautiful.  Dave was discharged the day before me and the baby.  He was still very sick and was almost airlifted to Mayo.  The day after I came home, Dave and I and his parents drove to  Mayo.  Joan’s daughter kept the girls, all three of them.  And we made the journey to Mayo for yet another surgery.  Dave came out of surgery as well as expected.  Again we needed to move!!  So Joan’s daughter and her family had my girls, PLUS they moved me from our house to the new house.  I came home to a new baby, a house full of boxes, and I had just had a C-section a week prior.  My mother and my brother did come out to the new house and helped me get some what settled.  Dave was still in the hospital and would not be back home for another week.  Once he was home and healed he was back on the road.  I did not return to work.  I stayed home with the girls.  I was in no way happy over the fact that he went back to driving a semi after the court issue.  He would be gone for four to six weeks.  He would come home only to argue, shower and leave.  He was into things on the road that he should not have been into.  One day he came into town, parked his semi and I pulled up behind him.  I asked him just what the hell he thought he was doing and that’s when he threw a bag of cocaine at me.  That was the end.  I was more than done and we separated.  I am not perfect.  But my kids came first, I have zero tolerance for drugs, and I was not raising these girls with that life style.

Dave was not around for a long time.  He would see the girls intermittingly through out the years.  After Sara married, and some years after, Dave came back to the area and later lived with Sara’s family.  I was remarried to Geno by now and we had seen Dave at family functions for the grand kids.  At first I was uncomfortable with this and actually a bit mad because how was I going to just stop in by Sara on a whim to see those grandkids?  After awhile I was ok with it.  Geno and Dave would talk about stuff and occasionally I joined in.

No way in hell would my kids ever feel the stress I used to feel as a kid growing up.  There was no reason we could not be in the same room and get along.  And we did.  About 6 months before Dave passed away, he told me that he took full responsibility for what went wrong in our marriage.  Now I didn’t know he was that sick at the time but I believe he knew.  I stood by my three beautiful daughters the last six months of his life.  I held his hand and he looked at me and said my name.  Casey played classic rock from her IPhone as it laid on his pillow.  Erin barely left that room.  The three of them handled some tough decisions and Geno and I backed them all the way.  He died with his sister in the room with him because I told the girls he would not leave this world with any of them in the room.  They went home to shower and catch a nap and they got the call.  His battle was over and he was free from illness and pain.  I stood back and looked at those three girls and I beamed with pride because they handled this with grace and love and most of all respect.  Geno and I are proud that we could be a part of this circle of life.  We were allowed to stand by them, support them  and close that circle without question.

Nothing matters in the end.




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My Dad, My Best Friend

My dad is my everything.  We have a very close relationship.  He lives in my hometown of Racine, about four hours from here.  We talk a few times a week and our conversation is usually about what we made for supper, good movies to watch, and how Geno and the kids are doing.  He is a full blooded Sicilian who loves to cook and is one of the best cooks I know.  He has a wonderful sense of humor and all the grandkids, including my own love him.  He loves to shop and is known to go shopping once a day.  He is a vain man who likes to look nice.  At one time I think he had three closets full of clothes. I remember him getting ready to go out, looking in the mirror, singing “Do ya,  Do ya,  Do ya wanna dance and  hold my hand baby” lol.  He is known by many and loved by all.

My earliest memory of him is when we lived across the street from his parents.  He was doing his hair in the bathroom, slicking it back like some cool dude.  I was probably three. I also remember laying on the living room floor with my dad,  watching TV and eating chips and dip and drinking Pepsi in a glass bottle.  My parents divorced when I was seven years old.   I had learned that my mom made it almost impossible for him to see us.  Later in life, as I observed his dedication to his family, I am sure it was true.  He most certainly would have been there.

After my mom and step dad moved us up north we rarely saw my dad.  Then one day is was brought to our attention that our step dad wanted to adopt us.  And he did.  Our last name changed and we wouldn’t see our dad for years.  We were the talk of our school for awhile because no one there  had ever known someone at our age to be adopted.  I am not sure that any of us kids could tell you how we felt that day.  It was just another evil act from our mother to be rid of our father.  We never got to see him or the rest of our family that we were so close to anymore.  Except a cousin on my dads side of the family that my mother stayed close to for awhile.  I am sure for information about him.  And my dads godparents who stopped in once or twice to see us.  Later as an adult I realized that my mom sent our school pictures home with them so that they could give them to my grandparents.  I saw a picture of my Nana opening the box with the school pictures in it.  Why?  Why would my mom do this?  If we were not allowed to have contact with our family,  then how come she could?  How manipulative and ill minded.

One day when I was living with Joan, I was washing the kitchen floor and the phone rang. I answered the phone and it was my brother.  He never called me.  He called to tell me that dad had called.  And I was like, “So, what did he want?”  My brother said, “No, our real dad called.  He had heard that you were having some problems and that you had Sara and wanted to talk to you and see how you were.”  I said “Oh my God.  Mom would kill me.  What should I do?”  My brother gave me our dads phone number and said “what’s it gonna hurt if you call him.” And so I did.

It was in July of 1979.  Sara was 6 months old. Dave and I and Sara traveled to Wausau to the Holiday Inn where I would see my dad for the first time in quite a few years.  I was so nervous.  I knew my mom would absolutely kill me if she knew that I was seeing my dad.  When we got to the Holiday Inn, there he was.  A handsome man with dark hair and sideburns.  Dressed in a nice shirt and dress pants.  With him was my Nana, one of my most favorite people in the world. My godmother, Aunt Gracie who would become one of my best friends. My Aunt Bea and I think my Aunt Angie was there too.  I apologize if I left anyone out.  There were tears, many tears as we said our first hello’s.  There were gift’s for Sara galore, and one was a little brown teddy bear from my dad, that played “This Old Man, He Played One”.  I still have this bear.  He is a little wore out now but he still plays that song. We visited for a couple hours and then they all came back to Joan’s house on the farm to see where I was living. And I am sure to make sure I was in a good place.  After the visit they had no doubt that I was ok there.  Joan put on a spread of food that one of my aunts would talk about for years.  Especially the cool whip salad that she made.  Joan could cook, and when people were there she could make a meal to die for.

After we ate by Joan, my Nana gave Sara her bath.  I remember her talking in Italian to her as she poured the baby powder on her.  Nana loved babies.  And I loved my Nana.  After a bit, they all loaded up and went back home. The feeling I had seeing my dad that day has never left me.  I still get all excited to see him walk into my house.  There were times that he would surprise us and come over unannounced.  When he is here we plan the meals and it is not unusual for him to bring half his kitchen along.  Even bread crumbs!  Because you know we live in an area that doesn’t have bread crumbs,  lol!  Of course we travel to Marshfield, Wausau or Medford to the grocery store.  Or to our local IGA.  We sometimes stop for a beer at the local bar where he has gotten to know a few people throughout the years.  And we like to go out to eat.  Our visits are mainly about food.  As we eat dinner he wants to know what we should make for breakfast.  The kids just laugh at him.  And we usually try to get my brother and sisters over to the house for a family get together.  Sometimes it works out and sometimes not everyone can make it.  Its all good…no pressure from anyone.

I have a lot of history with my dad.  Dave and I would visit him quite often.  We would go out to eat.  We would go out dancing which was a blast!  We would go to one of my aunts houses.  Again to eat! lol  After I divorced Dave I would go to Racine to Dad’s probably once a month.  I would pack up my girls and we would drive down for the weekend.  These weekends included lots of food, movies, visiting with cousins and aunts and uncles.  I would not trade these memories for anything.

Later I found out that my dad actually came to the Athens High School looking for me after he heard that I was pregnant.  I was living in Wausau with the family I worked for the summer before,  and was getting tutored so I wasn’t in Athens at the time.

When I met Geno I was living in Racine and staying with my dad.  Geno called me out of the blue and it was so awesome to hear from someone from home.  Even though I was home, at my dads, my real home was back up north.  Eventually I started traveling back up north just about every weekend to spend time with Geno.  At the end of the week I would leave after work and travel to Fenwood. The kids and I would spend the weekend with Geno.  Not long after,  I got a job up north and I moved in with Geno.  My dad liked him and was probably ready to pay him to get rid of us,  lol.  Geno and I were eventually married October 23, 1993 and my dad gave me away.  He cried and I just melted.  He was so proud.  Dad even stayed with the girls while Geno and I went on our honeymoon.  When we got back the following week he was walking out as we walked in.  He was ready to go back to his life,  lol.  He did great with the kids and I think they enjoyed having gramps take care of them.  I had one huge pile of laundry when I got home, but dad had all his clothes washed and ready to go.  It was actually funny.

The spring before Geno and I were married my dad agreed to adopt all four of his kids back.  It was the first adult adoption in Racine County and maybe even in the State.  It was the most beautiful day.  All four of us kids, our kids, and my dad went to the courthouse and we got our last name back and a new birth certificate.  The judge was so nice.  And then Geno took us all out to eat to  celebrate the most healing moment that us four kids so deserved.

Every moment I get to spend with my dad is a gift.  His love is unconditional and authentic.  He has taught me a lot during the last thirty six years.  I can call him anytime for advice, for a laugh, for a recipe, or just to tell him I miss him and love him.  When I cry, my dad cries with me.  When I call and brag about my kids and grand kids he gleams with me.  He rarely speaks ill of anyone, unless they are republican,  lol. He would go to the end of the world for any of us and I would do the same for him.  He is a real gentleman and is never afraid to say I Love You or I’m Sorry.  He’s been my rock and I am so happy that I made that phone call way back then.

I love you dad!



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Do You Hear Me Now?

April 17, 1979, a day I will never forget.  It’s the day I was asked to leave home.  I turned 17 on April 13, 1979.  I had a 3 month old beautiful baby girl.  Yes, my life was not perfect, but I was bound and determined to make this work.  Again, I was not allowed to see Dave.  I returned to school for the last few months of my junior year.  But life at home was so up and down.  My mom would say “I could tell you something.”  And she just kept saying that.  She just made me feel like this dirty person who had committed the most dreadful crime.  Yes, I had a child out of wedlock.  Yes, it is not what we choose for our children. But if your kid is making the best out of her circumstance, you would think a parent would stand  by her child and help her succeed.

Not in my life.  Finally, one day I just burst out and said,  “I could tell you something too!”  I’ll never forget it.  I was upstairs in my room.  And she said you go first.  I told her, no! you go first…because in my mind I was scared to death but I knew in my heart that it had to be told.  And what I had to say would destroy the woman in front of me.    What she had to tell me is her personal story, one she would have to share.  And what she shared with me was in no way comparable to what I had to say.  I felt her pain and I understood her a little more, but I did not have it in me to care.  I did not deserve to be made to feel like a piece of dirt on a daily basis.  I did not need to see her on the phone with Dave, and me not allowed to talk to him.  I did not handle keeping score then and I do not tolerate it today.

Then it was my turn.  Scared to death and not knowing the right words, and hearing her rant, “I told you, now you tell me”, I blurted out “Your husband likes your kids more than you!”  It still feels awful to say those words.  Dirty like a rape victim. She was crying, angry, more than angry.  More like a raging animal.  Everyone hid.  She went screaming to her husband, flying from one end of the house to the other.  And I am sure any mother would react the same, but not every mother would make the decisions she did.  In my heart, I knew what I had just told her needed to be told.  And quite frankly, this was never going to happen to Sara.  I would kill!

A few days later, on April 17,1979, I was sitting in the wooden rocking chair, rocking Sara.  Tears falling non stop, trying to stay tough because I knew she was preparing to approach me.  And that is when she came up to me and said, “You have to leave.”  I could not believe it.  All that ran through my mind is where the hell am I going to go with a new baby.  A junior in high school. I did not even have a drivers license!

This is when I went to live with Joan and her family.  They took me in and made feel like a person.  She became my foster mom for legalities.  I will never, ever forget the day we had to go to court for me to be placed in her home.  She had bought me a mint green dress from K-Mart, (the same mint green color I will always cherish), and I wore it to court.  I actually wore this dress for my high school graduation.  I needed to look respectable and not like the piece of trash I was made to feel like.  I sat in the court room next to Joan, and my mom and step dad walked in together. They walked past me.  And as my mom walked past me, she looked at me, stopped, and spit at me.  She flipping SPIT at me.  I was devastated. I went right back to feeling like the trash she made me out to be.  She walked into court with the man that violated her children and spit at her daughter.  As if I had committed this ungodly act!  I could not tell you what was said in the courtroom that day because I just sat there with tears falling out of my eyes.  Of course, I was placed in Joanie’s care that day because that is where I went after.  That was the day my heart actually broke, because my own mother didn’t care about what happened to her kids or what was going to happen to her daughter or grand daughter.  It was all about her, and that was sick!

Up until I graduated from high school I stayed with Joan.  There were a few times that I went back home to my mom’s to live but those times were short lived.  Shit would start all over again and I would leave and go back to Joanie’s house.  Joanie always, always told me “She is still your mom” and I would return expecting to be loved and accepted.  But it never happened.  It would never happen.

As my mother told my siblings. “If he leaves (the pervert) then you won’t have pretty clothes to wear, or this house to live in.”  So, instead I had to leave, with or without having had a baby I believe I would have had to leave.  Sara’s birth had absolutely nothing to do with the reason I was not welcomed at my own home.  It was easier to blame a daughter who had a baby out of wedlock than to look at what was really happening in that house.

Through out the years I would hear that I asked for what happened to me.  My heart would sink hearing that and I would get angry. I would get letters from my mom, even after I was married to Geno, that it was my fault that he, the pervert,  molested me.  Letters I still have!  I would try over and over again to have a relationship with my mom but it was never a healthy relationship.  I would be left out of family functions, holidays and what not.  I had destroyed her mirage of happiness and so she blamed me, and kicked me out of the house.  And continued living with this sick man. For fourteen years after I told her what was happening, she choose to stay with him.  The sick part is that her children would continue to try and love her because this was their mom.  We went through life for those fourteen years numb and pretending.  There was never a day any of us were disrespectful to our mother. We feared the rath of her!  There were times she would get drunk, smoke cigarettes and make you feel unworthy, and I speak for myself.  It was like we ruined her life.  But dammit there is not one mother on earth that does not know what is happening in their own house, even behind closed doors, unless they choose not to know!  Tell me now if you disagree, but if your kid is in their bedroom,  with the door closed,  do you,  or do you not know what is going on in there?  For the most part you do.  And if you disagree I will call you out on it myself.

I guess what always bothered me the most is how blind society is.  How the system failed children then and still does today.  And how the hell a judge could remove me from the house of perverted sickness and keep my three siblings in it. Later in life, when I worked as a psychiatric technician and young kids who were victims of this sick act would be admitted,  I would have a hard time with it.  Especially when they were sent back home, to the same sick bastard that put them in a psychiatric unit.  It made me furious to know that not much had changed and it was thirty plus years later.

The guilt I felt and was made to feel ruined my soul.  My perception of others was wrong many times.  My self confidence depended on what I could do for others and how happy I could make others feel.  The thought of self happiness never crossed my mind until later in life.  I really tried to live life right but felt I was constantly judged.  I never fit in.  I made great friends who would include me in their holidays.  But I was still alone.  A unexplainable kind of loneliness.

I always, always thought being heard would be healing.  No one heard.  No one that could make a difference would ever hear me. I even wrote to Oprah for pete sake! lol  And then I realized that being heard wasn’t it.  And that making a difference would be up to me.  I learned forgiveness was necessary but forgetting was impossible.  You have to look at the things that happened but it is not necessary to speak of them.  And by what I mean of speaking is that it is impossible for me to sit and tell someone the details of what happened.  Four kids could not tell each other what was going on back then,  but we knew by the pain in our faces.  We knew,  and I wish we would have run away.  Called our dad to come and get us.  But the fear of our mother was sometimes worse than the fear of the pervert.

Do I miss my mom?  Yes.  I will always long for the love of my mom but I don’t believe she can respect the boundries that have been set.  Boundries that were set so we could move forward and try to live healthy lives.  So that we could stop surviving and start living.   The sickness of this world will never leave.  It is up to us to decide what we can and can not tolerate to be healthy adults and to raise our children to be respectable people.  All four of us kids have succeeded in being great parents and good people ourselves.  We do not however deserve to hear that we are misunderstood.  We get up each day, put one foot in front of the other and live just like the next guy.  We all have a strong faith in God.  We have become over achievers and have been  our own worst enemy.  But I can tell you this, we love others for who they are.  We continue to feel like the lost four souls as far as family comes.  We no longer really know our maternal side, and they have never really reached out to help us.  Our paternal side on the other hand has been remarkable, loving, accepting and I for one love every minute I can spend with them.  My dad is my everything.  He may not have been able to be there then, but he is here now and I love him.  He too was a victim of this craziness.

But most of all, I love my brother and sisters.  We have a relationship with each other that at times is invisible.  We may not always see each other but know that we love each other.  We always have laughter and silliness when we are together.  As our own children grow and become adults and as we have become grandparents we just gleam with pride. It was up to each one of us to make it and we did!

Listen with your heart and your eyes. Everyone has a story you may not always hear…




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You are my sunshine!

On 1/3/1979 I had a curly haired (lots of hair!) beautiful,  baby girl that I named Sara.  As anyone who has their first baby, my life changed.  Only I was 16 and unmarried and totally lost. Sara’s dad was 18 and had just graduated from high school. I didn’t tell anyone that I was pregnant until my 5th month and that is only because I had no choice as I was unable to physically hide it.  What I feared most was my mom.  Mostly because I would have disappointed her and also because I knew her reaction would not be good.  I was right.

They sent me to a foster home for pregnant girls in Lacrosse Wi.  I hated it there.  My roommate was 26 years old, pregnant and unsure what she was going to do now that she was pregnant.  I found it odd at her age that she could not handle her situation. All I wanted was to be home where I wished I would be more accepted.  I wanted to see Sara’s dad, Dave, but I was not allowed to.  In order to bathe in this so called foster home I had to remove the soiled diapers that the foster mom would throw in the tub from her own child.  There was no communication, not that I wanted to communicate. I walked around the city of Lacrosse in a daze.  Then one night I took a babysitting job.  I babysat for a inter racial little boy who was adorable.  His mom told me that she adopted him and that his dad was a professional football player.  My first thought, another adult who could not handle their situation.  Unreal to me at the time.  His parents left for the night and I just looked at this little guy who had the cutest, darkest eyes.  After he was in bed I called my mom.  When she answered the phone I simply told that if she did not come and get me I would find my own way home.  I told her I could not stay there.  I would not stay there.  Before I called her I had called a family that I worked for that summer as a nanny to their two little boys and asked them if I could stay with them since I knew I wasn’t going to be welcomed back at my home with my own family.  I told them I would continue to watch the boys at no charge because I really had no where to go.  It was not a problem.  So I told my mom this when I called her.  I had to have a plan, because I knew in my heart I could not go home.

In the next couple days,  my mom and my stepdad came to get me.  Only they were not alone.  They had Dave with them.  Really!  I thought I was never to see him again. Later when I thought about it,  I knew for sure that when I told my mom if they did not come and get me, and that I would find my own way out of there, she probably thought  I would call my real dad to get me out of there.  Actually I think I would have.  I knew if I called Dave he would be there.  But if I did that he would be in such trouble. And if I called my real dad My mom would be so mad because we weren’t allowed to see him.  So they came and got me and I stayed with the family I worked for that summer.  I was tutored most of my sophomore year through their school district until I had this little girl.

She was born via C-section because I was overdue.  It was so cold outside.  I remember the cars wouldn’t start and I actually changed my appointment because of the weather.  Dave took me to the appointment and the C-section was scheduled for later that night.  I called my mom and she was there for the birth.  It was in the Wausau Hospital on Grand Ave.  And I was in the maternity ward as they called it back then.  There were three beds and my bed was  closest to the door,  I was in the hospital about nine days and it was nothing but turmoil. I was suppose to give Sara up for adoption and at Dave’s parents request it was to be handled through Lutheran Social Services because they had adopted all three of their own kids through this agency.  I was not suppose to see Sara, but I needed to see her.  She was beautiful.  I just loved her. I held her for hours,  just staring at her. I may have been only 16,  but I knew I could raise her.  But I never said a word.  My mom would visit and get so mad at me. I could see in her eyes that she adored this baby girl, but yet she was so mad.  She was so frustrated when she would visit.  The one day she stood in my doorway and just yelled at me.  I was sobbing and if you have ever had abdominal surgery, sobbing is not easy. She finally left, and I looked at my roommate at the opposite side of the room and I could see she felt horrible at what had just happened.  Later I found out she was a social worker and I believe to this day she had my back.

The day before I was released my brother came to visit with my mom and stepdad.  He looked at that baby and looked at my mom and he said to her, “Can’t she just bring her home?”  My mom looked at me and asked me if that’s what I wanted.  I shook my head yes and I brought her home. I dressed Sara in the mint green and yellow baby clothes that I had bought for her, and wrapped her in the mint green and yellow comforter with a giraffe on it.  To this day those two colors for newborns are special to me.  And I brought her home, to my mom’s house.  We had nothing for a baby at home.  But it all came together real fast.  Many people brought gifts.  My girlfriends had a small gathering at my house and brought gifts.  People were so kind and I was so happy that my baby girl and I were going to be accepted.  Acceptance, something I would long for well into my forties.  And the happiness wouldn’t last long.  Life was not always good.  I will write more on it later.

Sara Jayne was my sunshine and still is.  I believe in my heart she saved me.  She defined me and gave me strength.  Because of this innocent baby girl I was reunited with my Dad and his family.  Because of this baby girl I grew into a woman who would get through many obstacles. And as this baby girl grew into one amazing woman herself.  She continues to teach me things,  and she has made me proud beyond words.  Granted I have two other beautiful daughters and they are just as important to me and I have stories to share about them as well.  But the story I share with Sara is like no other.

My mom handled this situation the only way she knew how, or the way she was taught as I would learn later and it would all be validated.  We all have a story and we all have to own our story.  I believe until you own it,   you will lie to yourself.  And if you are not honest with yourself and your feelings, life will be a lie.  My relationship with my mom is at a distance only because it is easier.  Some people have the ability to let go,  to grow.  To be healthier.  To figure themselves out without the conflict of others.  It is not easy by no means.  It is actually very sad.  But as you continue to read my blog you will learn things about me that you probably never knew.

I share only my story.





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