My son will 24 on Sunday 26th March 2006. Unless Fox opens his heart to a miracle, we will be still estranged; I will not be welcome to contact him, or to wish him a happy day. Sometimes I think he wishes he had never been born.
I remember the day I found out I was pregnant with him. That morning I'd used an EPT.
That afternoon, after extensive tests (my doctor had confirmed a year earlier that I shouldn't be able to concieve, during emergency surgery for a ruptured ovarian cyst, and couldn't believe that I could possibly be pregnant any more than I could) and a physical exam, his nurse rang and asked if I was sitting down.
(In 1977, when I had come around a week after the birth of my daughter, the doctors told me the damage due to complications during prenancy and delivery was such that I would probably never become pregnant again; I was told how lucky I was to have A-a living child, and B-my own life. Toxemia, eclampsia, 21 1/2 hours of hard labour.)
To me, boy or girl, I was carrying what to me was an absolute miracle child, albeit a deeply troubling one-I didn't want Crusty to be the father of a miracle!
When the nurse quietly told me the doctor had already made arrangements with a safe private clinic in New Orleans-"Just tell us when...", I told her no thank-you. I said my people don't murder our children no matter how inconvenient. And I told her the baby was a miracle, a gift from God.
I meant it then and now.
When Fox was brand new, and Crusty was trying with a better face to make us look like the normal American family on a shoe string, he took several photos. At first he took a lot of pictures of Fox and me.
(When he finally left, sixteen years later, I destroyed every picture of Crusty that I found, cutting him out of the photos with Fox-there weren't that many, but one I couldn't cut as it was a Polaroid. Fox found it, and burned it; the picture was of Fox at about twenty minutes old, and Crusty was holding him.)
Pictures of Fox and me in the hospital; at home; on holidays; oh God, my beautiful boy.
Yoko Ono had sung a song about her love for her's and John Lennon's son, Celine Dion covered it last year or so; when I heard it I had to pull off the road and cry. I'd sung it in my heart every time I held little Fox.
"Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boy..." I never ever let Fox know that. Maybe I should have, but maybe not-he hated to be called by any term of endearment, although we were close until he was about 11.
I sang him a lullabye-"You are so beautiful to me; you're everything I dreamed of, everything I need; you are so beautiful, to me."
Another song that when I hear it, if I am driving, again I need to pull off the road.
I know women who have lost children to death. I know women who prayed, longed for, tried everything, but couldn't carry and deliver a child.
My children are alive. But I have lost them, and on their birthdays I am overcome with grief, more than any other day of the year-when your family has turned away from you, you learn just how many days there are in a year that you really, really hurt-Mother's and Father's Day, Christmas or Passover...but their birthdays, if you are their mother, hurt more than any words can convey.
All I ever wanted was to be their mom. All I ever wanted for them was what all real mothers want for their children. A safe and happy home, a good education, and healthy adult relationship; memories...
When I realized that I didn't love my daughter's father, I left him. He didn't take it well.
Hey, he tried to pick-up my best friend's then 16 year old sister, he'd been caught having an affair with his commanding officer's 18 year old daughter; he slept with two of my three sisters-one of them a full sister, the other a half-and he gave me an STD back when they were called VD and the military doctor would treat the wife without telling her what was going on- Put that with the night he knocked me down the flight and a half worth of stairs in our apartment a month before the baby was born, and you might be able to figure out why I had trouble loving someone like that.
The marriage was a mistake, and I bailed after trying from 15th March, 1975 to 18 November 1977-when our daughter was two months old and he gave me the STD.
On paper, we were married until 4th April, 1980, but he was shipped out three weeks after the wedding, and I didn't join him until October, then he was underway most of the time, and I had a habit of leaving him for a month or so after catching him in some squalid mess until my oldest sister-a former nun would guilt trip me into "trying to save my marriage;" cumulatively I think we figured out we actually lived together a grand total of something like 11 whole months out of the two years we 'tried' to make a silk purse out of the sow's ear...
I told him she would figure him out one day, and that I felt sorry for him.
Little things, like Crusty not wanting to have Fox baptised-Anglican (my preference), or Roman Catholic, (Crusty's); my not wanting to marry Crusty at all-Fox was nine months old when I finally agreed; Crusty making sure his schedule was second shift-I just knew somehow it was so that he wouldn't be home to help with Fox's homework; his reluctance to be around Fox...I would lose it and beg him for a divorce-"You don't love me, you don't love Fox; Let us go!"
He would threaten if pleading didn't work; he also did things to the car or bank accounts if I was determined to leave.
I would beg him to either be a father and husband, or let us go. I knew that Fox needed a real father in his life to teach him to be a good husband and father one day.
I begged God to rescue Fox and me, to send me help-a man to treat me with respect so that Fox would grow up with a healthy model of how real adults treat each other. Not a new husband so much, although I did hope that one day I would be free again, but more importantly I begged God to put a good man into our lives so that my son would see how a real man treats others-other men, women, children.
Fox didn't like God's answer. Neither did I. No-one stood up against Crusty to help us, and Fox believes God could have, should have, and chose not to.
I did and do understand why there are those, including Fox, who believe either God 'let' Crusty do this, and therefore is a real crummy god, or that there simply is no God at all.
But I understand why His answer was what it was.
I don't think Fox likes that I don't blame God.
Oh, my beautiful boy, how I wish I could explain it to you! But your anger stoppers your ears.
You are such an angry young man, but you are a good one. No matter how hard you try to prove otherwise.
So, I miss you.
Maybe next year, mi'jo, mi 'Tteo.