Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I Remember - Abigail, still in my heart and thoughts


I was dutifully cleaning up files on my computer when I opened, "Document3," an unnamed file in Amaranth, an organization which had meant a lot to me when I was active. It was a letter of condolence to a friend who had lost her son.  

Memories came flooding back.  The letter is dated November 11, 1997.  At that point in time I was spending most of my time with my son, Edi, who went back to using Arthur some time later.  

Shelley was having a bad time.  I knew it.  All of her friends understood.  The pain of others hits us, renewing our own times of grief.  I hand-wrote the letter, mailed it, and it stayed, untouched on my computer, transferring with other files through a varied succession of machines.  

Today I am so glad I opened Document3.  Instead of Delete, I put it in a special file, one dedicated to the little girl I lost in 1989.

In December of 1989 I went for what I believed would be one of the last visits to my obstetrician, Mr. Solomon, before giving birth to the baby I had already named Abigail. 

Her layette was ready, along with her crib and a collection of old and new toys to keep her occupied and happy.  Each of my children had a layette I made for them myself, along with gifts from friends and purchased items.  Abigail's baby book was already being used to chronicle my trips to the doctor and my thoughts about this baby, kicking and wiggling inside me.     

All of my children were breast-fed.  Abigail would be, too.   I was looking forward to this wonderful phase of mothering.  

Then my world fall apart.  Dr. Solomon put on the ultra-sound for a look at Abigail and she was not moving.  He asked when I had last felt her.  With a deep sense of panic I said I could not remember.  Tests followed, each one killing another bit of hope.  No heart beat, no anything.  Abigail had died. 

The next day I went to the hospital.  Yet another nightmare followed.  I wanted to have her buried but forgot to mention this with the rush to get me into surgery.  Later, I learned I was having problems which made this essential.  And after surgery Dr. Solomon told me he had had a hard time stopping the bleeding.  I would have to stay over night in ICU and suggested I take something to make sure I slept.  

I felt a rush of fear.  I knew if I went to sleep I would die, leaving my other children.  Undefined ugliness seemed to press in on me. I felt a stab of fear for them.  I refused to take anything.  Dr. Solomon, never dramatic, did not press it.   

Around 2am I felt myself lifting out of my body and had to focus on keeping myself connected.  I struggled to get the button to call the nurse and pressed it over and over again.  She came in, asking if I wanted the sleeping pill.  I told her to check my blood pressure. 

It was so low they called Code Blued me, calling in Emergency.  I was lying in a puddle of blood. 

Dr. Solomon later told me it was a very close thing.  In the upheaval I was told it was not possible to have Abigail's body to bury. 

I shudder with the horror of what my life would be like if Abigail had been born and raised by Craig, my then husband, who I now know wants nothing more than to have a baby girl he can raise and then rape and destroy.  I did not know what evil was until I accepted it can come hiding behind faces we believe in and trust.

I love you, Abigail.  I understand, now and forever.   



Letter to Shelley (Last name withheld) 


November 11, 1997


Dear Shelley,

Forgive me for not hand-writing this note. I was so sorry to hear about your son’s death and have wanted to get in touch every day - but honestly I did not feel equal to talking to anyone - taking your advice and making life as simple as possible, perhaps. 

I know what you are going through - not only did I come close to losing Ed, but I lost a child at birth and it took me a long, long time to recover from that. It was as if I kept looking around for some part of myself that was misplaced only to remember that I could never have it back again. I did not go through her clothes for a full two years and when I did, it was a renewal of the pain. The pain passed, not with time but with acceptance and gratitude for the short time I had her. I taught myself to remember the times I had sat, entranced at her movements within me, the joy I had experienced in making her clothes and her little bed. 

Eventually I arranged a memorial service for her. I lit a candle to her memory and thanked God for the time we shared. It did help. Then I started to see her in others and that helped most of all. 

Our children are not supposed to predecease us. It is unnatural, wrong, and unbearable. Every night, now that Edi is home, I slip into his room to look at him sleeping. I listen to him breathe. 

I don’t know what I can say to lighten your burden. He lived the life he wanted? Scant comfort. But some part of Abigail is still with me and I know that some part of your son will always be with you. Love is the most enduring thing that we, as humans create. It is really the root of everything and takes us back to our home, no matter how far we may stray. 


God bless. My thoughts are with you. 

Melinda 







 




Wednesday, October 01, 2014

The Incident of the Gas Cap – Craig Franklin, Remembered

 A snippet from the book, Psychopaths – A Guide to Survival by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster
Eight Psychopaths, Ten Chapters 

NOTE:  Of course, Craig gets one whole chapter for himself but the other seven certainly know who they are.  

 

Let me say right now Craig Franklin, my former husband, was not stupid, not in the least. He continuously informed me and anyone else who he had known for as long as 90 seconds that his IQ was 180. Therefore, those looking for a reason the following incident took place must look for some other explanation. I have a few ideas myself, rest assured.

The Incident took place on a Friday evening after I had picked Craig up from work. He would have liked to drive himself but since he had, again, had his driver's license suspended for good and sufficient reasons, this was not possible. 

Endangering the lives of other people is not a victimless crime, take note. Issues of increased liabilities if he was caught were foremost in my mind.

Despite my pointing these ominous possibilities to him, and the impact on our already creaky finances, Craig did not see the need for a license to drive. It might seem to this was stuffy of me, but I understood, all too well, the problems encountered by individuals who decided to dispense with these small pieces of plastic.  So, although I do not think licensing of the right to drive is appropriate and affirm it is a v have one myself because the failure to do so is too high a cost in money and aggravation to contemplate. 

Craig and I had met at a Libertarian Convention in 1977. Most Libertarians disagree with the rules, grudgingly perhaps, but because it is easier to follow those which you cannot safely evade than paying the costs of ignoring them.

Craig was different. If I had known just how different my life would have been far more serene and less chaotic.

Craig also thought it should be unnecessary to file a tax return, evidently not minding a bit this ensured he would never receive an intact paycheck from his employer, Green Hills Software, Inc. Such is life. If you are interested in THAT story just read the link. It happened.

On this particular evening my former husband, Ron Foster, whose maiden name was Kellett, had been allowed to come to the house to play Dungeons and Dragons with the children he had allowed Craig to adopt so he would not have to pay child support. They were huddled around the dining room table peering at small pieces of cardboard when I drove in with Craig in the passenger seat.

The disagreement had started in the car just after I picked him up from his work at Green Hills Software, Inc., then located in Glendale, California. It had been a long journey home in rush hour traffic to North Hills. I was tired and still needed to go to the grocery store and shop so I could make dinner.

But first, the house needed some picking up. As I walked through the place, reassembling order from chaos, Craig accompanied me so he could continue to argue while he gulped down a snack.

As usual, he had made a bee-line for the refrigerator for some yummy concoction which would sustain him until dinner was ready. The epicurean delights he assembled included Cheez-Whiz, purchased just for him since no one else would eat it. This was slathered, or by preference extruded, on any kind of cracker or not too squishy thing which presented itself. Sometimes it joined globs of Ketchup on a thick slice of meat loaf.

But he really preferred very large portions so we never knew what would emerge as his most recent treat. Cheeze-Wiz was a frequent condiment on all of these constructions. He said it helped hold them together while he consumed them. This is probably true.

I wish I could remember what had started Craig off. Despite his claims of being the most ardent of Objectivists, and being the only living man to have stalked Ayn Rand, sitting for days in the lobby of her apartment in New York with orchids at the ready and a math treatise in his hands, Craig's arguments were never rational.

I kept picking up and straightening. Craig kept talking in louder and louder tones.

It suddenly occurred to me this would be an excellent time to go to the grocery store. Interrupting the flow of verbiage I told him I was leaving and went to get my purse.

When I re-emerged into the dining room a few minutes later the Dungeons and Dragons Saga had paused. All eyes were staring out the window. There, next to the back of the car stood Craig clutching something in his hand.

Ron laconically informed me, “He took off the gas cap.” Odd, I thought, dismissing this latest evidence of Craig's erratic behavior as I walked out, climbed in the station wagon and swung out of the drive way. In the rear view mirror I could still see him standing there, gas cap raised inquiringly.  

When I returned about 45 minutes later the D & D had resumed and Craig was firmly locked in the bedroom. He refused to emerge for dinner, which I left in front of the door for him.

It seems after I left Craig had walked back in the house looking perplexed. He then asked Ron, “How could she drive off when I have the gas cap?”

The question had been answered by the six year old in the room.