This part and the upcoming parts get more difficult to write.
Today, I called my beautiful and brave sister, Karen. I didn't know Karen even existed or that I had a little sister until I was 40 years old. She was given up for adoption before she was a week old.
The Welfare Department made my mom give her up for adoption.
Anyway, I called her to see if she would be a support system for me to go out to the old farmhouse where all of this took place and be my "wing-man."
Of course, she says Yes!
I want to go see the old place but could never do it alone. I would ask my son, who would go but I'm afraid the thought of him and his 3 babies much the size and ages that we were, seeing me possibly fall apart, didn't sit well with me. I was happy Karen agreed. She will be there for me and I know I can draw strength from her.
I want to take pictures of the place. Maybe film it for YouTube. The house and if I could muster up the nerve, ask the owners if we can go inside.
To see the layout would be such a good but scary visual.
I'll do what I can to make it happen. Going back there will be tough.
I am sure the skies will cloud over and the gates of hell will open if I see it again....
As I said, our mom had contacted the Welfare Department and asked to see us. I have no idea if she got to see my brother or how Barbara and Bob explained his absence. All I know is that we were told mom wanted to see us. This nightmare was going to stop.
I could hear Bob and Barb discussing it. They hated my mother. Hated her even more than they hated us kids if that was possible.
They wouldn't allow us to ever say her name... Zoraida.
We were made to call her "Her."
"Her" wanted to see us but she had an absolute fear of Bob and Barb and for good reason.
She had lived with the man. She knew his evil heart and of his abuse. His need to control and to hurt. Later I learned that Barbara had said some pretty vile hurtful things to our mom once, before we went to live with them.
All I knew was somehow, someway, we were going to get to see our beautiful mother.
The day arrived. She pulled up in the driveway but didn't leave the car. The windows were rolled up tight.
There was a man behind the wheel.
Inside the house I was completely polarized by seeing her.
There she was! Just outside the door. Sitting in a car! I could see the smoke from her cigarette swirling inside the car. Behind the window.
Beautiful hair and makeup. I have never felt so relieved and happy. This was all going to be over soon. I could crawl in that car, push my sister in and slam the doors. Escape!
Barbara comes up behind us. Her thick fat hands grab us by our hair. One in each hand.
She wraps her hands deep into our hair and twists. Hard.
Barbara is a big strong woman. Her hate for Zoraida and for us seemed to make her stronger still.
"I'll go with you. You will do as I say, do you hear me?" As she twists the hair of the back of our heads as tight as she can and jerks upward until our faces are looking into hers. Our necks twisted and our hair keeping us locked to her as we feel her body pressed close behind us.
"You tell that Mexican bitch puta you don't want to see her. You tell her you like it here with Bob. You tell her to go away and never come back. You tell her you hate her and you never ever want to see her again. Tell her she's a bad mother. You tell her that she's not your mom. Tell her you don't call her mom anymore. You tell her that you call her "HER."
Norma and I are crying. Sobbing.
How can we do that?
This is our MOM.
I am silently pleading... Mom, get out of the car and get this horrible woman away from us. Make the hurting STOP!
Get out and help us.
Barbara jerks our heads and the handfuls of our hair tighter.
"You either do as I said or when that bitch/whore leaves, you will pay the price."
We begin to walk towards the parked car. My feet barely feel the ground as I am propelled forward. Barbara has me by my hair in her fists so tightly that I am held up by her clenched hand in my hair.
I can see my mom seated there but her face is facing to the front.
"Look at us. Do something!"
I feel as if I am about to face a firing squad.
She doesn't see us until we are right at the car window. The window rolls down and Barbara's grip tightens to the point of being unbearable. I can feel my hair ripping out of my head, her grip is so tight, her hand twisted and wrapped around it for better control of our necks.
"Say it", she hisses at us.
I feel like a puppet on a string.
Together, Norma and I do as we were told.
We look into our mom's eyes and repeat what Barbara told us to say...
"We never want to see you again. We hate you. You are not our mother any more."
I remember standing there and my heart felt like it has just been shattered by the look on her face. We have crushed her.
Zoraida hands each of us a tiny box carefully wrapped in silver paper with a neat little bow.
"Open the boxes and always remember that I love you. Always." she says as a tear rolls down each rouged cheek.
"No matter what, I love you kids," she says in her heavy accent.
Barbara jerks our heads even tighter as she sees our reactions to our mother's words. Her hands behind our heads and unable to be seen from the front.
The car window rolls up and our chance at being with our mom is gone. All hope of her saving us vanished.
The car pulls away.
Barbara's grip finally loosens on our heads and pushes us to the ground as she lets go. Her hands are filled with our hair as the wind blows it away in wisps. Gone.
Our mother is gone.
We each have the tiny box she gave us in our hands. Forgotten.
Barbara hasn't forgotten. She grabs them away from us.
"You don't need these!"
"You won't be seeing her again so I will see what "Her" gave you.
Probably shit. Just like Her. Shit.
Boxes of shit."
We watch as she opens each box. My sister has a beautiful necklace on a chain with a matching bracelet. A pretty blue stone on a delicate silver chain. Mine the same only in pink. The most beautiful necklace and bracelet I had ever seen. The translucent pink of the stones so soft and pretty like my mom. Tears run down my face.
How hurt my mom was at our words.....
I will never forget her look of sadness as long as I live.
In my heart, she was never "Her."
She was never a bad mom.
I didn't hate her. She was my mom.
Barbara sees our hurt, but for her, she's not finished. She has the pretty blue stone necklace and bracelet and pretty pink stone set in her hand. The silver of the dainty chains glittering bright between her fingers.
"What a stupid woman. You don't need these," she grunts as she walks outside to the trash barrel and throws them into the fire.
For the one minute that I held those beautiful, carefully wrapped gifts from my mom in my hand, I knew.
I knew that no matter what my mom had been through. No matter what words or hurt Barbara could inflict, I knew my Mom loved us. Barbara could never take that from me. She could never burn the love from my heart. Never.