I have always had a love/hate relationship with the Cosby show. I went through times of watching it all the time to vowing to never watch it again.
During the times I would watch it all the time they seemed so perfect. I wanted this kind of family so badly. From the outside looking in we looked like them.
I spent the first 3 months of my life in the hospital. After that I went straight into a foster home with a neglectful foster parent. After that back to the hospital due to severe diaper rash that left permanent scaring. At about 6 months old I was actually returned to my birth mother for a couple of months. Then I lived with my maternal grandmother and due to her 1 bedroom apartment not meeting the social workers standards I went back into another foster home until I was three years old. I entered my last foster home at the age of 3.
You knew I was being molested repeatedly. You knew.
One of the hardest things about being in foster care and being adopted is that nobody looks like you.
CoOL (Congregation of Liberation)
Skit Name: Conversations with Mom
By: Merika Reagan, ,MA, CDW
May 3rd, 2015
Opening scene: 78 year old Merika introduces her self to the audience
78 year old Merika: Hello everybody. I am so glad yall could make it. They told me there would be a lot of people but wow, aint nobody told me they all was gonna be fine. Hell naw, aint nobody told me yall was gonna be this damn fine. (laughs) ok. Let me get back to why we are here. This year I made 78 years on this planet. And look at me, looking good, feeling good, healthy as an ox and aint going no where no time soon. I am the same age my mother was when she passed. My 78 is much different from her 78.
My poor mother was a sickly woman at 78. She had a weak heart. Not me, though. I have done so many things in my 78 years. When I made 40 I started studing to become a medium. You know, somebody that can talk to the dead. All this studying I been doing so I can talk to my parents. I really want to know that they know that I am doing fine. I had many bumps along the way but I am doing fantastic. I think I am ready to try to make a connection with my mother and yall get to witness it!
My dad was perfect! When I was a little girl I was Daddy's little girl. I was so special and amazing in my Daddy's eyes. He was strong, good looking, stern but fair. He was fun. He had a great sense of humor. He was perfect.
In November 2005 my mother was in the hospital with chest pains. She was there for maybe one week, I really am not sure. We had Thanksgiving dinner at the hospital. She was having trouble breathing but still in good spirits. She smiled, laughed and complained about hospital food. She was her normal self outside of difficulty breathing. She told me that she did not have long to live...
“Five severed fingers do not make a hand”. Daniel Quinn If a family is a hand this has fact has haunted me my entire life. As an adopted person I lived in a constant state of denial wanting to forget the fact that I was torn away from my biological family and added to my adopted to family because we looked like a family is supposed to look. We had all the right components of a family; a mom, a dad, kids, even a dog at one point. We looked right on paper and in photos. I did everything I could do to be the perfect daughter for my parents, the perfect sister for my siblings. A small price to pay to hold onto being able to feel like I had a real family, that this is my family. I really believed it. I really believed that being adopted made no difference. Sure there were times I questioned my parents and their choices and if they would have done this thing or that thing differently if I was their biological daughter. They were honest that they did not know for sure but liked to believe that they would not have done anything differently because they loved me as though I was their biological daughter. But considering they had no biological children it was all speculation and aspiration. I wanted a real family and they wanted a real daughter. We agreed collude in the delusions, ignoring anything that may shatter our world by pointing out where the fingers were not connected and the stitching was showing. It worked beautifully for years, nearly thirty years. I like to believe it never fell apart for them. My adopted parents were so committed to the allusion that I was not really able to get to know any family members outside of them. The picture began to fade for me in 2005 and really became hard to see in 2008. After my adopted parents died I realized the people that came to the home going celebrations were strangers. I did not know them and they did not know me. Not really. I heard whisperings of “foster daughter” here and there and my heart was crushed. I did not know how to ask for help with making final arrangements and did not know who I could ask for help. I was all alone within this huge family that was supposed to me mine. I told myself it was my responsibility. They were my parents. I did not have contact growing up with my biological family. I decided to try to reach out to my biological family and experienced much of the same thing. They are strangers and almost all attempts to connect are difficult, odd, strange, and painful. On paper and in pictures I have 2 families. One biological and one adopted. But in reality I have no family at all. I have attempted to create my own family with friends and the families of romantic partners but the truth of the matter is when a relationship ends so does the new delusion of family and friends have their own family. I have grieved this fact for years. I am done grieving. Acceptance and gratitude for the connections I do have is where I focus. I am my family and that is enough. I am enough.
In November 2005 my mother was in the hospital with chest pains. She was there for maybe one week, I really am not sure. We had Thanksgiving dinner at the hospital. She was having trouble breathing but still in good spirits. She smiled, laughed and complained about hospital food. She was her normal self outside of difficulty breathing. She told me that she did not have long to live and I laughed. She had been in and out of the hospital my entire life. She always recovered no matter what. I called her “Energizer Bunny” because she kept going and going no matter what. Sometimes I called her “Timex” because she could take a lickin and keep on ticken. She told me she was dying and I laughed. The doctor told my father and I that she could go home. I thought this was great news but then he added "we have done all we can do for her; There is nothing more we can do". My mother asked the doctor in her sometime very dramatic way “Doc..Give it to me straight..How much time do I have left?” The doctor told her “honestly..I don't know how I am talking to you now”. She just stood there and nodded. The doctor said that a hospice nurse would meet us at my parents appartment. I just smiled because he did not know my mother and I really did not know what hospice meant. We got home and my mother struggled to get out of the car but was able to get out and into a wheel chair so we could wheel her from the car in the garage to the elevator up to the forth floor and to the apartment. Once inside we helped her to her bed. She was still able to go to the bathroom on her own and even get to the kitchen and tinker around. Her mobility did not last long. I watched her get weaker and weaker right before my eyes. On December 15th, 2005 my mother took her last breath in my fathers arms. They had a life insurance policy for her but since they had borrowed against it for traveling to Texas to visit family there was not quite enough left for final expenses. For over two weeks I called any and everybody that had ever laid eyes on my mother begging for money to help me bury her. I did not eat. I did not sleep. I lost a lot of weight and had bags under my eyes. Some people where concerned about me but I was the beneficiary and it was my responsibility. She was my mother. For two long weeks which felt like several life times I missed her. She was laying in wait at the mortuary. I could not see her. I could not touch her. I could not hear her voice. I kept busy to keep from disappearing into depression. Every day it rained. After 58 years of marriage my father was a drooling zombie. Many well meaning people suggested that I put him in a home. Many well meaning people suggested that I start planing his funeral as well since he most likely would not live long without her. When finally everything was paid for and I went to the mortuary to see her after all this time I could not wait for my dad's in home care worker to help him out of the cab. I looked at my dad and said “I can't wait..I am going in” he nodded because he understood. I ran as fast as I could into the mortuary and up to the casket that held my mothers body. As much as I though about this day over the years I still couldn't believe we were here. I was so sad. I was so alone. And it rained every fucking day. This was so hard because I had always loved the rain. I was the girl that did not care that my hair was pressed and would run around in the rain jumping and splashing in rain puddles. I missed feeling happy about rain. All I could feel was sadness. For years after that everytime it would rain I would cry. The rain would always bring me back to how hard it was to give my mother a beautiful home going celebration. Which I did. Today October 16, 2017 is the first day I really felt good in the rain. Rain is beautiful.