Monday, May 11, 2009

Mothers Day and My Cousin Belinda

Yesterday was Mother's Day. It started off with a 8am phone call from my Mom telling me my cousin, Belinda 44, had died that morning around 6am. She had been in a nursing home for a year or more (don't recall just how long it was) with MS. Late last week, she had developed Pneumonia and it had been touch and go all weekend. Its funny how you can sense things, but I knew before I even saw who was calling that it was my Mom and what the phone call was about.

Chris and Harrison were camping with the boy scouts, so it was just Maia and me curled up in my bed snoozing away. I have to say, that while I will miss her, I have not known my cousin in a long time. I grew up pretty close to her. She and her sister lived two houses down from us all our young lives. Their Mom, my Mom's sister, passed away from breast cancer when she was 40 years old. The daughters were just teenagers then. (It seemed fitting that Belinda went to be with her Mom on Mothers Day. ) Belinda coached several local swim teams as a young adult and introduced me to my first boyfriend when I was 14. I remember a lot of fun times with her as a child and teenager.

Then she met Dale. First class loser that he is. Belinda has a son, Ryan from a previous relationship. He now has young kids of his own. Dale's presence in their lives just totally turned things upside down. They had three kids, who are now young teenagers. He was a drunk, unemployed and pretty much a worthless freeloader who took my cousins life and basically destroyed it. Destroyed the relationship Belinda had with Ryan and those around her as well. I could write a book with things I know of their life together. Long story short, he abused her and the children, both verbally and mentally. Not sure about the physical part.

After Belinda became bedridden from the MS, the kids were removed on several occasions by Social Services. Dale is not fit to be a parent. I must say, they did better in the system than they were doing at home. After she was placed in the nursing home, he was able to clean up his act enough to fool the Social Workers and get the kids back for a short time, but a few weeks ago he disappeared with them for a couple of weeks. They were not in school at this time. He broke all sorts of laws when he took them. The kids are now back in the system. The were notified by the social worker that their Mother had died. My heart broke for them. Family members cannot contact them at this time. They were alone, with strangers, when they were told the news. I just cannot imagine. Dale will not be told that his "wife" has died. He will read it in the paper along with the rest of Lynchburg. He is not worthy of being told. We are hoping a protective order will be in place to prevent him from attending the funeral. What a mess.

I was able to have a good Mother's Day, despite all of this. I felt for my Mom and Grandmother, as well as Belinda's immediate family. My heart aches for her children, who have suffered so much in their short lives. I hope that they will be able to go forward from this and grow into productive, strong adults. I hope they learn from what they saw as children and take that with them into their adult lives to make a better life for themselves and their families to be. It made me thankful for my husband and children. They are not perfect but they love me and I love them. We work through our troubles and are committed to being a family no matter what. I hope that my cousin had a wonderful first Mother's Day in Heaven with her Mommy. I hope all of you reading this also had a wonderful Mother's Day.

1 comment:

Karen said...

I am so sorry, Jennifer. ((HUGS)) My deepest sympathy to you and your family.