Thursday, January 30, 2014

The making of a princess

Tomorrow is the day that my mother drove around the block 3 times making my dad nuts, then into the hospital to push me out like she was a pro. My father barely got into the waiting room before they called him to say “It’s a GIRL”. I remember it like it was yesterday, no just kidding my dad loves to tell it. My brother loves to say how pissed I was a girl while my sister was so happy equaling yet another fight between them. The day of your birth is so significant yet it has taken me years to really feel good about it. A good breastie and I were taking about why I do not talk about my mom’s death here and I said it was because it has nothing to do with cancer. She told me I was wrong (she does love telling me that), that her death has shaped me into how I am and how I took on cancer. And shit she is right, that damn downstate girl! There is 9 years between my sister and 10 between my brother and I so while I may have been an opps baby I know there was a miscarriage between the siblings and me which means I was their hope for a baby. That being said I can image how happy they were to
 have a real princess born. My first birthday must have been a celebration, just wish I could
remember. It was days after that my family was hurt with the most devastating, life changing event. momma

I always hated the term “I lost my mother” I didn’t lose her at all she was taken. Although as a child I would pretend she had amnesia and was living in Solvay and I would run into her and she would see me and all her memory would come back. Guess Grandma Jennie should have eased up on the “General Hospital”. I have a friend that died from drugs, a friend that died from a boating accident, an uncle that died from bad health and 2 grandmothers that died from age related deaths. While those were all hard to deal with they are life lessons that I could with time understand. But there is no explanation for evil.

 I always hate when people ask “how did your mom die” because they expect car accident or cancer something “easy” (this is sarcasm there is no easy death). I hate it because the look on their face after I tell them is so intense and they feel so bad. I have found that blurting it out seems the best way. My mother was murdered, taken from us by an evil man. Literally kidnapped, rapped and thrown away
like trash. There is never an easy way to say that, never. There is not enough therapy in the world to help my family get “over” this. We will never get over it, we just get through it. I will never believe
that everything happens for a reason that is bull shit to me. I do not believe that god had a plan for us because this was evil there is no plan for evil. I have no room for humor here and find no joke in this. It is the one thing in my life I will never be able to laugh at. What I do believe is that how we get back up after we fall defines us. And trust as a one year old this was like falling down 100 flights of stairs. I will not speak for my father, sister and brother as they had to see this daily while volunteers searched through cold waters for days to find her. This was 1973 and these things did not happen or better yet our media didn’t talk about it. So it was in fact in the paper 2 times a day while being broadcast on the TV all the time. I think their pain is obvious and that is their stories not mine. But please do not think they ever got over this, ever. Hurt this deep shapes us into who we are that compiled with our genes makes us the people we become. It makes or breaks us and that is just a fact.

I do however believe that we are all part of the nature/nurture effect, you know psych 101. I was raised in the most loving home where my siblings fought over me and who loves me more. Where my father, grandparents, godmother, cousins and family friends treated me like a princess. That was the best way to nurture a child whose mother was stolen from her. However, there is no one in that group that was a hard ass, tough, smart mouthed, strong willed person because that was my mother. She was the one who organized Sunday dinners, smacked my siblings with a wooden spoon (she was so cool), gave her piece of mind and was strong yet loving at the same time. I became her through nature, I got those genes. Had she been able to live her life I think we would have butted heads A LOT. It was her way or the highway and you did not by any mean mess with her. I know that I am her because every single person in our family and her friends tells me so and every time they do I get strength from that. So while this part of my life isn’t about cancer it without a doubt has been why I choose to deal with it this way.

My mother was a community leader and that is something I am so proud to have inherited. I did not know her or how she handled herself, so I could not learn through actions. This is just who I am my mother’s child. Had she been her to hold my hand well I refuse to go there because she wasn’t. What I can do is feel her angel wings flutter by my side hovering ever so close (ok that part made me cry). Now I have no idea if she loved glitter or stilettos (she was way tall and my father is way short so I am guessing not) or even if she would love a tiara. That’s ok by me cause after all there really can only be one sparkly princess in the family and I am gladly taken that role.


  1. This is very moving Anne Marie. Thank you for sharing it with us all so openly. The connection between you and your mother seems to radiate off of this page. ~Catherine

    1. Thanks that means a lot from someone I admire! XO

  2. I am continually amazed by your Perseverance..........................Life is Beautiful, Life is Very Unfair, Unbearable and Tragic. I can't find words to console you or your family, just know that you have a way of lifting us Ann Marie.

    1. Life is life has nothing to do with fair:)

  3. Oh Ann Marie, I had no idea... What your family was put through was/is so incredibly horrible. I admire and respect you for sharing about this life-long heartache that you have been forced to live with. No doubt about it, you are your mother's child. Hugs to you...

    1. Thank you Nancy a very good downstate friend encouraged me xoxo

  4. As my mother lies in the hospital unable to speak to me now, I take comfort knowing I am very much like her. Comfort and pride. Thank you for this moving glimpse into your private life. I see how your mother and her death have shaped your response to cancer.

    Kate, of Kate Has Cancer

    1. I am so sorry you are enduring this. Being motherless is very hard. So finding comfort is key xo

  5. Ann Marie you have been through so much. What a horrible thing that has happened to your mom. I appreciate that you shared this as I am sure you have inherited some incredible things from your mother. She was stolen from you in such a horrible way by a very evil man. I am sure your birthday is bittersweet but I hope you have a great birthday. Hugs and xoxo - Susan

    1. Thanks honey. Honest its all good! We live through life xo

  6. You Rock MY World, AM. I'm stunned that you had the guts to write this and once again, astonished at everything about you. I love you, upstate sis. Love you TONS. xoxox

    1. Thanks for the push to write this. It was a great release xoxo

  7. Every time I think you are strong beyond imagining, you raise your chin and show that you've still got more of it hidden away.

  8. dear am,

    this amazing tribute to your mom is so touching, and as you are prone to do, inspires me - your strength, integrity, and sheer grit in how you have handled cancer and it's aftermath. knowing you are your mother's child in every way must be your greatest comfort, especially on your birthday. I hope you felt those angel's wings of her's and all they mean to you, gentle and close to soothe and reassure you.

    much love and light,

    Karen XOXO

  9. No words. I know from me huh? Hard to believe I'm at a loss for words. I can only say I love you, You are my inspiration, my mentor, I know why now I'm being lead by an Angel through you. Your mother still radiates.
    Thank You for trusting us enough to share this very personal tragic story. I love you my strong ass warrior Friend, Mama Bear <3

  10. I couldn't agree with you more Ann Marie! This definitely did not happen for a reason. Pure evil for sure! I have no doubt she has been an angel by your side and you have made her and your whole family proud. It sounds like you are most definitely your mother's daughter. You took a horrible situation and made it the best it could possibly be! What a tribute to your mother! Love you <3

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