Do you ever wonder what life would have been like if the trajectory of the course changed ever so slightly? I think about it all the time. Today I am going to celebrate the marriage of my cousin Rachel. Her very existence was based on a few unsaid words.
Back in the 1960’s, a doctor gave my grandma a relatively new drug called the birth control pill. My grandma was in her 40’s and already was the proud mother of 7 children. Her oldest daughter was married and soon to be expecting her first child, so why would my grandma want more children? The doctor failed to mention one important fact. You can still get pregnant the first month you are on the pill. That is exactly what happened, my grandma got pregnant. It was a rough pregnancy and my grandma delivered a baby girl right before Christmas. My mom received a phone call that night. A voice choking back tears said “she’s dead”. The baby? No, mother.
During this time, my grandpa had 5 children at home. He recently got a new job and was in the process of moving the family across the state. They knew no one. My grandpa was heartbroken to have lost the love of his life. He needed a new wife to help him raise 5 children and a newborn. But who in their right mind wanted to do that? He got a mail order bride. But she was crazy. Rumor has it that she tried to poison my grandpa in attempts to kidnap the baby. That marriage was annulled and my grandpa found another wife. She was cold and unloving.
During this time baby Monica grew up. She was always a wild child. She made horrible decisions with her life. I’m sure her siblings often asked why they had to lose their mother for a sister who did everything she could to mess up her own life. Really, why? Monica got married and settled down for a little while. She had 2 children with her first husband. Rachel, the girl getting married today and a little boy. When they were little, Monica tried to be a big sister to me as she was a few years older. We were close for awhile. I became Rachel’s godmother. Monica took me out for my 21st birthday and we stood up in each other’s weddings. Then I moved further away and had kids of my own. We stopped talking. Monica got a little wild again, she started sleeping around on her husband and ended up getting pregnant with her third child, Becca. She dumped husband number 1 and enjoyed a brief marriage with husband number 2, Becca’s father.
This is the part of the story where things get very bad. Monica started dumpster diving for husband number 3. She seemed to like the bottom of the barrel. One of the guys molested little Becca. That wasn’t the worst part. She fell in love with a younger man named Bobby. This guy would have sex with anything that moved. Teenage babysitter of Becca? He was on that. Then he started sexually abusing Becca who was 7 at the time. Then my aunt did what every loving mother would do, right? Nope, she married the guy. Who in their right mind would do that? I can see if he was the father of her child. Ok, no, I can’t even see that. It just makes me sick. Things got worse, Bobby was teasing and touching Becca inappropriately in front of Monica’s teenage son. Bobby ended up incarcerated again as a repeat sex offender. He is in prison right now. I hope his sick ass rots in there.
So, Rachel is getting married today. She has lived a hard life. I have always loved her like my own. She spent a week every summer with me. She has always been an over responsible firstborn like me. She makes good decisions. I haven’t met her husband yet, but I am sure he is a good man. Rachel and her younger brother joined the military out of high school. They are doing well, but I haven’t been able to see them often. Becca is now a teenager. She is struggling. At 14, she recently started having sex with older girls and is into drugs. Really, who can blame her?? I blame my aunt for all these things that should never have happened. Something that would have never happened at all if the doctor would have taken the time to say a few extra words.