Yesterday, I was hyper-aware of all the ways I live that I have my mom to thank for. As I pass another car, I hear my mom reminding me should see both headlights of the vehicle in my rear view mirror before I pull into their lane. I heard the old song, “Flowers on the Wall”, and remembered mom explaining satire (“he doesn’t really want to be alone, he’s singing to the people who leave him when they go out and he has little to do but stare at the wall”). When making dinner, “wash the dish as soon as you use it, then you have a clean kitchen when you eat!” (Genius, by the way, I do it every meal now). Explaining religion in class, I thought of mom’s explanation that people need structure, so they create rules based off text, and make it fit their agenda. Then, a few sad people use that to boost their self-righteousness as they gossip. When reading about another country sacrificing their Christians, I think of mom reading the books about martyrs in history. When Ky found a scorpion, I distinctly remember mom telling me how they had to check their shoes to make sure no scorpion is enjoying solitude in there, and will be upset if you stuff a foot into their space. Every time I seea California tree covered in blossoms, I think of how mom would love it, and want to take a photo, and I have a whole bunch of pictures just to show her one day. I saw a knife being thrown in a movie, and recall mom recounting how her first husband wanted to pierce my baby ears with a knife, to which her response was to go to a doctor and have it done professionally, knowing full well the wrath she faced once Brian found my ears already pierced. Her mother’s love motivates me to be the fierce protector for my future child that she was for me.
My childhood, so full of dark evil shrouded by my adopted dad, shines with the long talks and secrets mom and I shared. She showed me her weaknesses, and didn’t acknowledge her strengths, but I saw them and I loved/love her for them, and even though we had a really rough period with the uprooting of our Christian roots and seeming destruction of our family, we both came around and are growing a healthier, safer relationship. The fact that she not only possesses the drive to face each new health issue, trauma, and criticism, but has in fact become an icon of survival and new beginnings for other hurting women inspires me to stay my course and fight, like the Bennett/Garrison/Reichard/Chamberlain women do, and become a powerful advocate for helping people transform from past wounds, to strong independent women with hope for a brighter future.
I’m so thankful to all the generous souls who have given to her cause and supported her fight to keep our home and indirectly helped my younger siblings keep the roof over their heads and enjoy their own childhoods. Mom is over 70% of the way to saving my childhood house. I can’t ask for more, and mom is not asking anything, but I will keep awareness going as long as I can because I feel like this movement is boosting my mom’s confidence in herself and helping her realize the impact she has made on so many worldwide. And that is a beautiful thing! Thank you, all you who are making thus a reality! I love you always, mom. Thanks for being my hero first!
Angel and her husband, Gabe, are currently stationed in San Diego, where Gabe is still working in the Navy and Angel is using her Veteran’s benefits to attend the International Professional School of Bodywork, and working on her undergraduate Psychology degree. They adopted a rescue puppy, Ky, who they are pretty sure was a human in a past life and acts more like a son than a pet.