I was born November 1st, 1968 to a very young set of parents (each 20 years old). Mom was a long, slender woman who just loved my father. He loved his Harley, drum set, parties and apparently, other women. I can’t really say how much he loved me or my little sister since he died tragically at the age of 24 on the job. I was 4, lil sis was 2…mom was a 24 year old widow. With the help of her mother, mom got up, brushed the dirt off her knees, and moved to a small cauld-a-sac of townhouses very close to gram and pap. We lived there for a few years until mom met my step-father.
Dad (#2) married my mom when I was about 8. He was a beautiful man, and from what I gather….a great one too. He came in like a knight in shining armor….whipped us up on his white horse and bought a house for us in a really nice neighborhood. Mom and Dad gave birth to my youngest sister when I was 10. My step-father was taken from us also to an illness. I was 12, sisters were 10 and almost 2. She buried her 2nd husband pregnant with his only son. Luckily for my mom, my dad, prior to passing, had the basement of our large house turned into a “mother-in-law suite” where my gram, pap and Uncle lived. My gram, once again, took care of us so my mom could go back to work. I dont’ remember much of my childhood prior to age 12. I mean, I think I remember some things, but not sure if they are memories….or stories that family has told me. Either way…by 12……..I was already on a roller-coaster in life.
I went to Catholic schools most of my life. Although we had a really nice home/neighborhood, the school district was less than good for us. City schools were not the educational life mom wanted for us at all. I had a very small, tight-knit grade school class. We were all friends. All 28 of us. We went through 1st through 8th grade together. It was no major deal. Typical grade school life. I was involved with the cheerleading squad (co-captain), CYO (Catholic Youth Organization), Brownies, Girl Scouts, etc. I never really experienced much in grade school, we were very sheltered children. All through grade school I lacked something. I couldn’t pin-point it. I was unhappy but happy. Confused but focused. Just lacking.
In 1983, I was tossed into a private high school. My class size went from 28 to 300 over one summer. Ah, 9th grade….I was a “grown-up”. My high school years were not what I imagined growing up. I thought I was going to be popular, prom queen, straight A’s. I mean really, I had what I thought was a hard life up until this point, I deserve it, right? Wrong! None of those little dreams ever came to fruition. But then I also realized, I never really needed them. I wasn’t popular at all, everyone knew me, but only a few were lucky enough to get to know the real me. I wasn’t prom queen, but the important people thought I was pretty! Not many A’s, but I got through it with little to no effort at all. I had ideas of going to college but something kept me from it. I knew I wasn’t ready. I wanted to explore the world around me. Find me. At 17, mom found a new boyfriend. I didn’t like him, he didn’t like me. We didn’t make it a secret at all. In March of my senior year, mom’s boyfriend and I decided to have it out. I lost. Out the door I went and never went back. I lived in a cheesy motel until graduation, even went to my senior prom from the hotel. Well, at least I had a room already! I was waiting for this little, dilapidated shack close to my boyfriend that they were “getting ready for me”. It’s now 1987, I am a high school graduate. Now I’m grown up! NOT!
I moved into the shack which consisted of a tiny kitchen, with a 1940 style fridge that never stayed shut because the floor slanted down hill. I had no stove but I purchased an electric 2 burner unit to cook, mostly mac-n-cheese. My living room was small too, but it did fit some furniture that I picked up out of someone’s Wednesday night garbage. There was a small bathroom that had a toilet and bath but no sink. There was a hole in the floor of the bathroom that I kept my trash can in to close up. The bedroom was the largest room, but with no bed or dressers, it was just the dump for all of my clothes and shoes.
I got my first real job at a title agency. I really don’t, to this day, know what I did. People called me and I entered information that they gave me on properties. I had no car so I missed a ton of work because I couldn’t find a ride and there was no bus system to the place. I made a few friends. Broke up with the high school boyfriend and got my first real apartment with 2 friends (one of them had a car!) I met through work. To say the least, one-by-one, we lost our jobs and ended up trying to make ends meet with the parties we threw, the extra money we made from beer at least kept us fed. It even got me a date with one of the cops who busted our parties. He said I was really pretty and wanted to take me out to a dinner and movie….as he emptied our barrel of beer. I met a few boys here and there. Of course I was “in-love” with every one of them….until they moved on. I bailed the apartment (as we all did) and moved closer to my family home. It was a little efficiency basement apartment. Living room/kitchen, a closed and a bathroom. I got a job at a local bar cooking and bartending/backing. It barely paid the rent. I got really skinny, pretty fast. That’s when all the fun began! I had a really good guy friend, about 5 years older than me. He was really fun and had a really cool convertible car. Before I knew it and after an evening of rum and coke…..My son was on his way.
He did the “right thing” and asked me to marry him. I did the “right thing” and said, “yes”. We were married on my mother’s front yard by a Justice of the Peace and the reception was at one of his friend’s apartments. We found a really cute apartment and moved into it. It was just a one bedroom, but it was good enough for us. We actually moved next to someone I knew from high school. He was big shit on campus. No one messed with him. He was a scary kind of guy. I’m glad he got evicted shortly after we moved in. You will hear about him later in this story. ugh! I was 20 years old and pregnant.