It's true! Just when I think I have a set pattern........things change. Since I last posted, I have had pneumonia, I've gone and visited with old friends, I have been working, found out some interesting secrets about my ex boyfriend and most of all I've just been in a funk.
Actually funk might not be the best word. At first, when I discovered my little brother, DJ, died from Pneumonia and not SIDS, I felt lied to and betrayed. Then I felt a tremendous amount of regret. I'm told I loved my little brother immensely. I was 2, so lets face it, I don't remember anything. What I have been told my entire life is an absolute lie and where I was sad, I became mad and now I think i'm learning to understand and try to forgive.
What I was told:
My little brother died because our "shack" was too cold with little to no heating and that my little brother was not in any way sick, but that because he was a baby, he could have been wrapped too tightly in the blanket for warmth and that could have contributed to his death. In this story, my Father is a lazy bum, who refused to work and because of this our housing was substandard, making my brother's death his fault.
The truth, or what I can prove anyway:
My little brother passed away June 4th, 1971 in Corpus Christi, Texas. He was sick. He was 6 months old and he was sick. Period. That's what the medical examiners report says and since he had no reason to lie, that's who I believe. Here is the newspaper article in black and white:SIDS existed back then and that's not how he ruled it in either this news clipping or the actual death certificate and autopsy report. Besides all that....i know weather patterns change, but I am fairly certain that In June, in Corpus, heat is not and has never been a concern.
At first I was livid. All I could think of is how someone could lose their baby and use it as an opportunity to run someone else down and make it their fault. It hurt me more than I can ever explain to search property records for the time, to see the dates and and realize, there was no truth to anything except that he existed and then he was gone. I decided that because of the horrendous lies that maybe my little brother was never really loved and was probably unwanted or neglected and that's why the lies came to be. I decided they were a cover up for the truth.
Now........after talking to some parents who have lost their children........I think I might have discovered more of the truth. A child's death is something you cannot comprehend unless you live through it. There are self recriminations that can be completely true or totally unfounded that a parent puts themself through. "Did I do something wrong?". "Should I have gone to bed when I did?", "Did I do enough?", " Did I do too little?", "Who else can I blame?".
That last question is where my story becomes painful. I don't remember anything. My brother could have been very well taken care of but he died anyway and in an effort to grieve, in an effort to try to go on, my Father became the scapegoat years later.
I don't know if he was a bad Father back then. I know later he wasn't given a chance to be one to me and my sisters. What I also know is that in June, in Corpus Christi..........it's not cold. I know that in a very detailed search of property records, the house we lived in proved to be perfectly adequate housing. In an employment search, I show my Father has worked most of his life, So in my estimation, My Father is cleared of blame and because of what I have learned from other grieving parents, so is my Mother.
I'm still angry over the lies, but i think I understand better and i'm working on the forgiveness part.
Over the past weekend, I released balloons. One for each of us. My Mother, My Father, Myself, My Brother and my 3 sisters, Traci, Becki and Shannah. I wanted to show a family united by love and healing even if it's only through a wish rather than reality and it felt good. As the balloons floated away I felt more peaceful and hopeful that someday things could be as they should. Truthful and without unnecessary pain. I hope DJ smiled that sweet little smile and knew he was loved.