Today, I continue my personal journey of the A to Z Challenge with the letter D. For me the letter D represents death, devastation, denial, and destruction. Join me as I journey back to the beginning: from a fifteen year old girl where it started with the loss of my father to where it ends; a fifty-three year old mother who lost her child.
Before the Spring of 1976, I was a happy, carefree teenager until death knocked at my door. Soon devastation, denial, and destruction followed me wherever I went. My idyllic encased world was shattered and afterward my life would become a living Hell.
At fifteen, death came into my life with an unyielding force that would shape who I've become today. My father, the only person who loved me unconditionally died. I was devastated by this unwanted event.
My father had been sick for awhile, but I didn't grasp just how ill he was until he lay in the hospital dying. I watched as green poison oozed from his body. I watched my once strong father wither into nothing.
I couldn't cope and was in denial. All I could do was run and hide within myself. A once vibrant teenager became rebellious, out of control, uncaring, and hateful. I became a ticking time-bomb waiting to explode.
The time after my father's death was difficult, so my mother decided we needed a change. We packed our meager belongings into a beat-up Ford Pinto and traveled 3000 miles across the country into the unknown.
At this junction, I detested my mother. The hatred inside my soul seethed and the ticking time-bomb exploded. During this time, I fell in with the wrong crowd and once again my life would change. Death payed an unexpected visit.
It was late summer of 1977 that I became pregnant. As soon as my mother found out she abandoned me, my boyfriend was on drugs, so I became a ward of the State of Oregon. I was sixteen, alone and scared. I didn't have any choices. I had no rights. Sadly, I was forced to terminate my pregnancy at nine weeks. My destructive lifestyle had snatched the life from my body. Death and devastation won. Denial quickly set in and as soon as I could, I left the horrible memories behind.
Eventually, I moved on with my life. I got married and had other children. It would be many years before death, devastation, denial, and destruction paid another visit to my happy existence. Twenty years had passed since I lost my father and finally lost my mother.
She and I never mended the rift between us. There was so much denial and destruction that I was actually relieved when she passed away. My mother wasn't an evil person, just a mean drunk which caused me a lot of pain for twenty years. I was devastated of course, but glad death had taken her.
The next 17 years, death stayed away from my life. There were times when destruction and devastation came knocking, but in 2013 death came back. It hit with a vengeance so powerful, I lost control.
I received the devastating news my youngest daughter was dying from AIDS. I went into my denial mode, but it was to no avail. I couldn't stop the inevitable. My youngest child was going to die. In April 2013 she came home to die. It was a painful process to watch my once beautiful child suffer. Before she passed away we had five memory filled weeks together. We had Mother's Day one last time. She died in my arms and waves of devastation and denial washed over me.
During the days that followed her death, I closed myself off from the world. I couldn't cope with or comprehend the reality of her loss. It was too painful to bare. Eventually, I slowly came back to reality. It hasn't been easy. Still, there are times when I want to hide deep inside myself.
For the last thirty-eight years, death, devastation, denial, and destruction have played a major part of who I've become. These tragedy's have actually made me stronger. At last, I finally understand why death took those I loved. It wasn't to punish me, but to help me understand life is filled with death, devastation, denial, and destruction.