My mother had always asked me to write a book and share her story. Even though we had our differences, I know she loved me. And I love her and miss her terribly. In honor of my mother’s request I am sharing some passages that I found in the tattered pages of an old notebook, as well as a few excerpts from my memoir. Her heart was to help others understand the plight of being an orphan.
I often listen to This Is My Song by Petula Clark, as my mother often did. It made her cry. I understand her tears now. It was her song for Danny, the mechanic, a man she could never have, but who had made her happy for the short times that they spent together. I know this because I watched her with him when we went to Sears to have our car repaired. And, once, I saw her kiss him.
My father went to Taiwan a lot on business, and I heard my mother tell him he “should not be with that woman.” Dad’s affairs and cold treatment of Mom made her cry a lot. She was so lonely and desperate for love. Danny temporarily filled that void in her life.
Mom has been gone since May 2004. I long to hold her head against my shoulder and tell her I understand. I now realize how this lost orphan tried her best to mother me.
I am thankful that the last words I said to her were, “Mom, I love you.”
Legacy to My Children – Dee (Delores Ged) Moore
“How do you begin to let your children how you really are? How do you get them not to judge you harshly? All I can do is write this book and maybe someday they can understand and learn to love me for what I am and not what they expect a mother should be like.
I love them all; maybe not in the same way most mothers love their children, but in the only way I know. I pray this book will give them some foresight about how I am and why it is.”
“I felt abandoned. I spent most of my time reading. I guess you could say I formed a shell so nobody could hurt me . . . It was unpleasant. I guess it is like anything, if you do not have a person to encourage you, and how could the nuns in that home give you that encouragement? They had so many children to take care of. How did I spend my years in the orphanage? I would pray to the God I believed in at the time, begging him to find somebody to love me. Crying many a tear and nobody even hearing me.”
At the age of thirteen, my mother’s sister Charlotte removed her from the orphanage.
“It was not the best arrangement for me,” Mom said. “She could not understand my bewilderment of being out in the world after having been sheltered and protected all my younger years. I had even contemplated committing suicide at the time because the dream of having a home of my very own and people to love me was thoroughly disillusioned. I can recall my social worker asking if I was sure I wanted to go live in my sister’s home. My desire to belong to somebody overcame any other problems I might run into. Oh, I was sadly disillusioned. It never worked out. I guess you could say she literally threw me out.”
Mom ran away from a foster home with a man when she was seventeen to Manhattan, NYC. She did what she had to do to survive. Then, she met my father.
“There were two men who stand out in the episode of my life. One was a musician that I fell madly in love with and the other was the man I was to marry and bear four children for him. They were both almost old enough to be my father. Both were so good to me. I did not have to pick up men anymore because both were giving me money to live on. The musician was sort of a renegade. He had other activities going on which he wouldn’t tell me about but I suspect he was in a lot of crooked things. He was Italian and he brought home a watch for me that had diamonds all over it and I don’t think he bought it. I’ll never forget that watch. Someone had clipped it off me when I went to Radio City Hall.
I spent most of my time with the musician but the man whom I was going to marry kept chasing me trying to get me to go out with him. I really didn’t feel anything for this man. The hotel employees kept kidding me saying he was my bodyguard. Everywhere I went he would pop up.
He would leave love notes galore in my mailbox . . . it certainly flattered me. He even proposed to me in the lobby of the hotel. I thought this was very funny. I really had no intention of marrying him but it was fun and flattering to have so much attention. I wanted to be a singer and he would help me get auditions.
Meanwhile he was chasing me; I was eating my heart out for my musician. He would come and go in my life. He never would tell me when he was leaving and I never knew when he was coming back. This went on for a few months and I guess I got tired of my musician doing this to me.
So my future husband said he wanted me to move in with him and I did. My musician came back again and wanted me to come with him to a better hotel and live with him so I left my future husband. My musician put me up in a better class hotel then he took off on another one of his jaunts. I got scared not knowing if he was coming back or how soon.
I couldn’t stay by myself, which has been a hang-up with me all my life. I called my future husband and he came over and got me. I went back to live with him.”
EXCERPTS FROM MY MEMOIR – SHADOW IN THE MIRROR – FROM SEX SLAVE TO WARRIOR
She ran away from the orphanage and tried to pursue a singing career. Good or bad, she did whatever she had to. I sometimes wondered why my thirty-one-year-old father handpicked this vulnerable eighteen-year-old-orphan to marry. Perhaps it was easy to control the pretty teenager nobody wanted. He pursued her relentlessly, setting her up with auditions and showering her with gifts and adulation. But she never made it in show business. Daddy’s financial stability provided Mom the sense of security she craved, and she grew into a statuesque raven-haired beauty who stayed at home. Their age difference seemed to quench her desire for a father figure as well. But my disapproving grandmother never mothered her, had little use for an orphan, and rejected her from the start.
My mother named me after a song, “Nancy with the Laughing Face.” When I was two, I wandered from my mother in a department store and stumbled into a kind elderly man. He led me back to her and bought me a fluffy stuffed kitten that I treasured for years. I started out so innocent, so friendly.
Not so my parents, whose upbringing strangely portended my future.
Discontentment with Daddy and his verbal abuse combined with four noisy children kept her overwhelmed. My father grew increasingly harsh, insensitive, and mean when he was drunk. Mom never quite overcame being the little orphan girl who longed for security and a happy family. When she and Daddy were in the bedroom with the door closed in the daytime, I sometimes heard her cry, “Bob, no! Stop!” I knew he must have been hurting her. I was too young to know what spousal abuse was, but I could see her childhood dream slipping into a nightmare
Neither of my parents hesitated to take out their irritations on Bobby and me. When I ran to hug my father as he came home from work, he brushed right by me. Mom grew cold toward me. The sting of their rejection haunted and drove me for years. I desperately tried to be the obedient child, hoping to revive their love and affection. It didn’t work. When I look in mirrors, I can sometimes still see the confused sadness in that little girl’s eyes.