May 25, 2020

Late in the afternoon on March 4th, 1976, five children’s lives would be changed forever…

As my siblings and I waited for our mom to pick us up from football and cheer practice, I could hear the sounds of sirens in the distance. I didn’t know exactly what was happening, but I felt a feeling inside of me that I can’t explain.

A feeling of worry.

It started to get dark and I began to worry because my mom never was late to pick us up. No matter what time of the day or what was going on in her life, she was always on time to pick up her kids.

Then it happened.

The feeling of worry became a reason for worry. We were told that our mom was involved in a car accident. We couldn’t believe what we were hearing. But then it only got worse from there.

We then got the news that our mom passed away in the accident.

Something I didn’t want to hear or accept.

Here are five kids now left with no mother and their parents separated. I was 11 at the time, my sisters 9 & 5, and brothers 8 & 6. With my parents being separated and my dad in a new relationship, we were looked after by our uncle (my mom’s brother).

His caring for us didn’t last long.

As he left us sometimes for days, with no adult supervision. He thought he was going to benefit, financially, from our mom’s 3rd party insurance. Yet, when he found out that he wasn’t going to receive it, he decided to pack up all of his things and leave five children, in an apartment, to fend for themselves.

One morning there was a knock on the door. It was child safety. My dad and his partner were standing there with government services to take us to live with them.

Now, remember, there were five of us. And now we are moving into a house with four other children. Three boys who came from my dad’s partner, and one boy who came from my dad and her.

Thinking this was going to be a wonderful family experience with nine children and two adults in one house was an understatement. My dad’s partner became very abusive to me and my siblings, both physically and mentally. Yet, she wouldn’t act the same way towards her own kids.

We don’t need to go into too much detail into this situation, but let’s just say the stories of the wicked step-moms are true in real life! Her abuse towards my younger siblings was horrific as she did unspeakable things to them.

This family tore our family apart.

As a result, I was forced to run away from home at the age of 16, during my junior year of high school. My dad’s partner was forcing me to go to school, and work a job to bring money in to help the family. It was a responsibility I was too young to deal with. I then left the house and went to live with another family.

As for my siblings, one of my brothers was admitted into a boys home for “troubled” kids. And for my two sisters and youngest brother, ended up in hospital, stemming from the abuse in the house. They eventually had to be placed into foster care.

I went through my teenage years with no mother to give me advice or teach me things about the world. So yeah, I made many mistakes along the way, as anybody else would. Some mistakes I regret, but all and all, I learned from them to be a better person.

Becoming a mother at the age of 29, with no mother to turn to for help was a very challenging time for me.

Just asking for advice or trying to work out why the baby was crying or how to feed them properly were things I managed to work out on my own; eventually.

I wanted to give my daughters all the things I missed out on as a child, not material things but love, laughter, care, and friendship. I feel I did this and I have a wonderful relationship with my girls.

Through all this adversity growing up, I am a strong, opinionated woman who has raised two wonderful women who are amazing mothers. It shows that “moms” have that natural instinct and ability to pull through those harder years and make it through!


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