In this part I will write about my family members and give a little of their background histories.
First I will begin with my mother. She was born on March 3, 1922 to Italian immigrants. My Grandfather came over sometime in 1919. I suspect that he wanted to get away before Mussolini came into power, but I don't really know his reasons for coming to America. Maybe like most immigrants he wanted a better life. My Grandmother and two uncles came over in 1920. My mother married her first husband in the mid-forties. He was an alcoholic and was abusive to my mother and older half-brother. He died in 1962 and about a year or so later my mother met my father. They married on January 4, 1964 and I was conceived about a year later. My mother later said that I was an accident, because she was told that she wouldn't be able to have more children. She was forty-three the year I was born. She told me that during the pregnancy she almost lost me. She started to spot blood. The doctor made her stay off her feet. She also said that one of her friends wanted her to have a girl. I also think that my mother wanted a daughter. Little did she know that she had a daughter that was born with a penis. My mother decided to leave the factory where she worked since World War II. By doing this she lost out on her pension, a fact that I was reminded of all through my life.
I was spoiled by all of her friends. I was doted and fussed over. My mother spoiled me rotten. As a result of this I was not walking by the age of one. According to my mother one day, my Aunt Connie (my mother's younger sister) was over and had some keys. My mother said that I wanted the keys and my aunt refused to give them to me so I walked over and got them. I guess I was strong willed even back then. My mother also said that when I was being potty trained I would only follow her into the bathroom. I have a vague recollection of learning to pee sitting down. Around the time I was 2 and a half my mother had to take in her parents and blind and deaf mute brother. My Grandmother's doctor did not want her taking care of her house at eighty-seven. They stayed with us for about a year before they died. My Grandfather died first on January 1, 1968. About six months later, my Grandmother fell and broke her hip. This started her downfall. She then had several mini-strokes. I was the only person she remembered so I was taken every day to the nursing home where she was so that she could see me. I was looked after by the nurses there, who found me sweet-tempered and easy to look after since I stayed where I was told to stay. My Grandmother died in October of 1968. I took their deaths hard. I remember being at a train station with my father and younger brother and my dad telling me that I was making enough noise to wake the dead and I said that was good because then Grandma and Grandpa could come back.
Next comes my father. I really don't know too much of his background. He hardly talked about his childhood. The only things I know were his parents were divorced and he was raised in several foster homes. I wish I could say a lot of nice things about my father but he is not a very nice person. When I was younger I thought the world of him, but I was a disappointment to him, since I was quiet and gentle. He was happy when my younger brother was born so he could teach him all his rotten tricks. My father was a sneak drinker. He would buy the beer and hide it in the trunk of his car. He liked it when I was old enough, say about six, so I could go up to the movie teller and buy the movie tickets and take my younger brother into the theater, so that he could stay in the car and drink.
My Uncle Patsy was a smart and brilliant man. Although he was blind and deaf, he could do many things to take care of himself. He caned chairs, he walked our dog, he shaved himself. He was kind and always remembered birthdays. He knew what day of the week it was. He was also great at woodworking. Anything he built could last a long time.
My older half-brother was born on April 30, 1944. He joined the navy in 1963 and two years later he left because they would not send him to Vietnam. He was just out of the navy when I was born. He always would comment on anything that I did that was not masculine. For example he disliked when I wanted to play with dolls and toy stoves. He would force me to play with my matchbox cars. I rarely played with them, that is why they were in good condition until my younger brother played with them.
My younger brother was born on May 22, 1969. I helped my mother take care of him. There are many pictures of us together where I am hovering over him and/or holding him so tight. I guess I was an over-protective older sibling. He was the one that was hard on toys. He would like to take things apart to see how they worked. I on the other hand tried to keep my things as new looking as possible.
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