Photo taken November 2011 in England — 3 months after my stroke / Bell’s palsy and just before the overdose that nearly killed me
If she was alive, my mother would be 89 years old today. Although she wasn’t the best person or the best mother, and she might have been a narcissist or a psychopath, she was still my mother who brought me into this world. To be fair, she did have a hard life, and that was no lie. Then I finally confronted her about the things she’d done and hadn’t done to and for me, she denied and downplayed them all. But she did pleadingly say, “I did the best I could.” As psychopaths go, she wasn’t the worst of the worse, for I’ve seen that first-hand. I think she may have had genuine regrets at the end, but was too old and feeble to express them overtly.
Probably the kindest thing my mother said to me, around the time of this photograph and just before the overdose that nearly killed me, and knowing some of what I’d been through, was, “Is Paula treating you well?” I was grateful to know that her wishes were that I’d finally found happiness, but didn’t have the courage to say, “No, mom, things are not so good now.” So I lied and told her I was being treated well.
Hence, I will share a few photos of my mom, in honor of her birthday, because after all, she was my mother, and I love her dearly despite her bad choices.
My mom — ~1930, at hospital in Memphis, TN, after extensive surgery for her birth deformities that affected her feet, hips, and legs.
My mom – ~1932, returned to Arkansas after her surgeries and after her own mother had passed away
My mom – probably 1940’s
My mom – May 25, 1945, high school graduation photo – she would have been almost 20 years old
My mom – with her cousin Roger (the tall one) and her younger brother, Julian (the short one) – 1940’s
My mom – Union Station – Washington, DC – 1949
My mom – another photo from Washington, DC – 1949
My mom and dad – early 1950’s, quite possibly a photo taken near the time they were married in Arkansas in November 1950
My mom and dad, ~1954, two years before I was born, photo taken in front of their home on E. 11th Street in Little Rock
My dad, my mom, and me – December 1956 – I was not quite 2 months old
My mom – 1960, 2 years before my dad died – mom on left with siblings Lona Fay, Julian, and Katherine
My mom and me – ~1965, 3 years after my dad died – photo taken in the Ozark Mountains in northern Arkansas
My mother and her two older sisters with cousin in foreground – ~1960’s
My mom, me, and Shannon – July 22, 1984
My mom – ~1979 – typical face
Me with my mom and with my “other mother” Dova – 1991
My mom – 2000 – showing how “refined” she was by displaying her pinkie
My mom – another photo from 2000, her getting out of her car
My cousin Debbie, my mom, and me – September 6, 2003 – at my Uncle Julian’s funeral – I had just started transitioning from female to male, and this is one of the last photos I have with my mom
My mom – 2010 – with Shannon on right and cousin Susie on left, and Susie’s ginger-haired grandchildren
Mom, may you rest in everlasting peace, all your troubles healed, all your wrongs long forgiven. Watch over me, and I ask forgiveness for the wrongs that I have done. I know I’ll be joining you someday soon. I love you.
Your son, Terry
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