My mom had been diagnosed with throat cancer in January of 1987 she had a tumor the size of a grapefruit in her throat and it was not good. I was with her that day along with my brother in-law and all I felt was the pain for me,the pain for her and my brother and sisters and my dad, such a great heartache for all us all and there was nothing she could do she had let it gone to far. I new at the previous Christmas something was wrong, she could not talk and all she did mostly was sit around and hold her neck, not the happy mom of Christmas’s past. Here began Our journey of pain and heartache and the helplessness involved. This journey took us on the road of reflection and hope with our constant visual on a daily basis. My sisters and I and dad my brother and brother in-law or there by her side to do what ever was needed or not needed. But there was one thing about this tragic journey that my mom had taught us all, that the love and strength and her commitment to her life gave her the strength to endure the endless pain and weakness of body and to battle forward to the end with great dignity and resolve. The examble of this was a week before she passed she was up making chicken noodle soup for the family from scratch or when she could not lay comfortable on the bed and she always chose the recliner to rest on and how when the pain had gotten so bad that in the darkness she would make her way to the bathroom when the pain became unbearable to cry..as witnessed when I had spent the night and slept on the floor in front of the recliner in case she needed anything and again I was in the way just like all sisters and brother. There was one night that would be her final night, after work I had stopped in and stayed to about 10 she was really restless and uncomfortable she was by then down to about 50 pounds all skin and bones I did not want to go home but did because the house was full of my sisters and I figure I would be in the way. I left and before I had went to bed about 10:30 or 11:00 I had called my sister to see how my mom was doing and my mom had asked with her raspy voice who was it my sister told her it was me and that she was doing about the same as I saw her earlier I went to bed then. It was about maybe 2 or 2:30 in the morning I was awoken by the phone and I answered it, that call still haunts me to this day.I had picked it up and said hello I did not hear a voice but alot of static I kept saying hello hello but it was all static I heard ,it sounded to me like someone was calling me long distance. The phone I had was a land line phone I eventually hung up and went to sleep. The next morning I woke up and had gotten dressed to get ready to go to work and stop in to see mom and to pick her up the usual, her coffee and bacon… still trying to eat. I had gotten there to a scene of commotion and pain to where my mom had passed. Both my sisters who had stayed with my mom were both woken up at the same time in sync they both had said that someone had brushed there forehead and they both had jumped up together only to find mom finally given way to the fate that had waited. I had related to them about that call and we all looked at each other.
I had lived and grew up in Chicago for the most part of my adult life and in the 1970s the places to hang was at Addison Rocks or Diversy Harbor where you could walk the lake front and enjoy the sounds of the Hari Kristnas who always had nectar to hand out or you could go to Addison Rocks where all Artist seem to be..adding their voices with paint to the Rocks that lined the shore line, I always felt the Artist should have charged admission to visualize their works of Art made of chalk. Montrose Harbor was the place to be in early part of January for smelt fishing…(I am pretty sure that was the date). I had been invited to go with my oldest sister and her husband as well with my other sister and her husband at that time I had brought my live in boyfriend I had never been smelt fishing and I thought it odd in the dead of winter to fish and so late at night.. about 11 or 12. All along the lake front you saw the fishermen with their nets and little fires burning. We had found a lace set our site and fire had gotten our poles as we all gathered around the fire and that was when I burned the soles of my shoes just to keep warm and the moon was shinning brightly. My oldest sister and I had made our way to the wash rooms and me always the always looking around for potential harm on our way back as we made the turn to get back to our spot there I saw a man leaning against the tree as the moon seemed to just shine on him…that is when I saw him dressed in a black coat that seemed of European dress with tails a shirt that was white with ruffles and like a top hat… he stood staring back at me and I kept looking and then I turned my head away and back he was still standing there up against the tree. I thought to myself this is strange maybe he is a killer or stalker and I thought to myself does my sister see this? I was afraid to ask because she would of thought me to be nuts! or a scardie cat. As our fishing trip ended and we all headed home.. I had finally went to bed about 3:00 in the morning and that is when I had a weirdest dream and in a deep sleep, where I had a of a battle off the rocks aimed at the lake shooting at ships, the dress of the uniforms were that of like the revolution and to this date I had always wondered if a battle was fought there or were there dead soldiers buried around there.
It was a hot summers night as my mom tried desperately to keep all of us cool, back then we had no air conditioners and not even fans the window were our only way of cooling off. It must have been late August and as always the bay windows were open using coke bottles,(imagine that) it was very quite inside as I tried to sleep but outside in the darkness was the jungle right outside those bay windows of cricket sounds that echoed through the night. Thoughts of alligators drawing nearer and nearer to our second floor window waiting to come in and eat us all in the darkness of night instinctively I ran to the window and pulled that coke bottle out to close their point of entry to where I found myself stuck thumb and all between the ledge and window screaming once more in the deadness of night. To this day my left thumb has a crease at the bottom knuckle. My poor Mom!
When I was young I had alwas had a vivid immagination, I was around the age of six…I had a big family a total of eight siblings and my parents our ages ranged basically about two years apart. When I first felt that I could vision things that were not truly there was a time my brother our only brother was trying to scare his sisters. We lived in an old fashion type of apartment on the second floort they had still the old pull chain for the toilet..we had bay windows in the dinning room, not to mention that is where all us girls had to sleep in bunkbeds that were placed up against the two oppisite walls, we had our toys in racks in the center of the floor to where it was an open area of play. As this day goes, it was a Saturday and like always my mom trying to clean with all of kids running around to where she chased us off into our room(the dinning room) to play with none of us knowing that my brother had snuck under the bottom bed of the bunk beds laying in wait for the big scare. It was me who had been witness to this type of terror to where as I went to place my doll back into the rack I had heard a growl.. and as I looked in the direction of where it had come from there it was this menacing monster bearing fangs as I had screamed bloody murder and ran for my mother as she stopped all cleaning running in the same direction looking for what had terrified me so, and there he was my brother laughing his head off mission accomplished. You see at that time I was aware that even though it was my brother… it was a monster I saw!