I’m 41 years old. My mother died when I was 5. My father was in prison at the time, and I never saw him again. He died in 1993; I didn’t find his address until 2 years after he had died.
I was adopted by a woman so vile I rarely speak her name. When she died in 1989 I was glad of it, partly because her long illness and decline was destroying her, as well as my adopted siblings and I, but mostly because she was evil. The six years I spent in her care, from age 6 to age 12, were, with some brief interludes of normalcy, largely a period of pain and anger brought on by abuse it took me years to get over. Her husband, who left her when I was 12, and with whom I briefly lived when I was 15 (the time between 12 and 15, I was a ward of the court), was ok, but weak vs. his wives, and he abandoned me when it got rough between my stepmom and I (who was also crazy–clinically, not just because she didn’t like me).
My aunt and her husband took me in when I was 15 (I’d been disowned by the adopted family), and they were great. I love the hell out of my aunt and uncle. I really, honestly, do. Even though I disagree with them on both politics and religion, sometimes massively, I am so very glad they are a part of my world. In almost every way, they are the best parents I could have asked for. The only thing they can’t do is be my actual parents.
People I know say it’s the same thing, that it’s just my perception, but the truth is, it feels different. Maybe it wouldn’t have, if I’d grown up with them from day one, but I remember my mom. Nothing can replace her.
I still have days, like today, when I really wish I could call my mom. I keep remembering the only memory I have of her voice, just barely. And I feel like I’m on the edge of tears. Actually, writing this brought on tears. I’m ok now, but still sad.