My earliest memory is of leaving church with my Mother. Mass was FINALLY over and I was dragging my poor Mother as fast as my two little legs could carry me to our local store to buy penny sweets and whatever toy or comic book I could sweet talk her into getting me.
Most of my childhood memories are of my Mother. I was like her shadow. I wanted to be mini me or mini her as the case may be. I would dress up in her clothes, go shopping with her and my favourite memory is driving to my Grand-Mother’s house. My Mother would turn up the radio full blast and we would sing like screeching cats to Buddy Holly and Shania Twain. I thought she was so “Cool” to have the volume the whole way up.
My Brother is fourteen years older than I am. He would play fashion show with me, which was basically me dressing up all my Barbie dolls and giving them a number, we would pull numbers out of a jar and one by one they would be eliminated until only one Barbie remained. Mind you this game would have been a whole lot more fun if I didn’t have a clear favourite and every time she didn’t win I would be moody.
I also remember being on my Father’s shoulders and playing in the fields out back. I would catch butterflies and grasshoppers, put them in jars with air holes and look at how pretty they were.
It wasn’t until I got older that I realised, looking back on my happy memories as a child, none of them are memories of my family as a unit. They are all separate memories of me with my family as individuals. That is because although they all loved me, there was no love for each other. I still had my unconditional love. My family, all fourteen plus years older than I, had lost theirs.
What seemed normal to me back then would largely shape my entire life.