Posted on Tuesday, May 11, 2004 by Rob Meronek
My mother passed away on May 5, 2004. I will remember that day forever. No matter what life and death is something that comes and goes, but none of us expected it to come so quickly. At 52 my mother achieved more in her life than most people will ever do in a lifetime. At the same time so many things happened in her life that I know of that I and she would never wish on another person, not even the most hated enemy. In my lifetime I remember a million memories that I could never expect. So much was accomplished and since her death I never truly realized how deep the rabbit hole went. I know that she was loved by everyone that she touched. And I want the whole world to know that she loved the world with every last breath she had. She gave her life to serve children. Not just hers, all.
I remember that at one time she took in 8 different children. She was a foster parent at that time and she had no help. Her husband, our "father", was a person that needed more help than anyone. Even though my mother had a heart that could move an entire country his heart was hardened to the point that he could receive no help. I have sorrow for him and that way he chose to live his life. We were all living together in one house and she took care of us all. She made gigantic dinners and in between cooking and cleaning somehow she managed to heal hearts. One of the children was abused so much that she would cry every time someone would go into the kitchen, because she was never feed for months and thought she wouldn't be feed either. I remember my mother would hold her every time she made a meal; she did everything to keep her from crying. And when she the dinner was finally cooked she was happy. It broke her heart to see any child cry, which is why I try my best to keep myself from shedding a tear. But no matter how hard I try they eventually come out. Eventually she couldn't take care of all the children anymore, both emotionally and physically it was too much.
One of kids she had to kept, the bond between them was so strong that she had to be kept. Giving up all of the children was so hard on my mother but it had to be done there was no choice. Julie was the worst off out of all the kids I remember. She was on oxygen tanks and heart monitors for two years. Doctors couldn't believe it when she was 3 and 4 and turned out as well as she did. She was never meant to survive like all of us, but Julie did and our mother gave her heart and soul for our lives. My older sister was 3 when she was about to leave us. But my mother wouldn't have it. She had spinal meningitis, and with most people it takes their lives. With her only her hearing was stolen. My mother slept on the floor of that hospital room for weeks until she was out. Immediately she learned sign language, many people don't know this but hearing parents with deaf kids don't learn to communicate with their children, she had to, how could she have been a mother if she didn't?
Throughout our lives she did everything to make it work. Sometimes it didn't but it was her undying love that got everyone through. We used to live in the desert and in a crappy home; because when my "father" left he took everything and left us with a foreclosed house. We barely had any money at the time and were doing everything we could to make everything work out. Everything was for us nothing for her. At one time she had only 3 pairs of pants and 5 shirts that was it. But she always made sure that we all had a good Easter and Christmas and birthdays. We always had food on the table and electricity and running water. It was so difficult for her to see us in the poorhouse. A couple times I caught her crying on the couch I couldn't understand why because I felt like we had everything we needed but to her it wasn't good enough. She wanted the best life for us and I hope that our family can provide the best for her, whatever it may be.
At 36 she lost a child, I could only imagine what its like to lose a child. Losing your mother is tragic enough, but your child is far more devastating. He was another one that shouldn't have survived, even though he didn't he lived as he should have. He had a mother that loved him more than anyone could have imagined. He died at age 3, due to complications with cerebral palsy. She would have given her life for his, but she gave enough, she gave her heart and soul just to see a smile on his face
My brother had many things happen in his life. Things that people wouldn't be able to comprehend. Most people that have been in his position end up being mentally ill, but he has one of the best minds that I can think of. I think we all see a lot of our mother in him, he has the patience and the compassion to deal with the cruel world that is out there, just like my mother, and like her, he refuses to accept what the world tells him, he will make it work somehow someway it just happens.
As for me I remember so much, so much that there's not enough time in the world to say. All that's left is memories and her legacy of love. It will live on because I and my family will pass it on to the world. It is the very least that we can all do to respect her memory and the contributions to the world that she made. My mother fought with everything she had to stay with us, and one more than one occasion she fought back and lived. But it was not a choice anymore; it was time for her to go because she fulfilled her duties. She raised us, and healed the hearts of many. She showed us the strength that is possible in one human being, and that is what matters most.
I was adopted as well as my little sister and my deceased brother, but we are her children. There was never any difference between us and her birth children. If we weren't told by her, we would have never known. Her philosophy was to help as many kids and she could. To her a child was never unwanted. If she could have she would've taken all of the lost children of the world and put them under her wing.
I believe that the things in life have been predetermined, that the choices have been already made. It is our duty not to make the choices but to come to understand them. Someday I hope that I will understand why my mother was taken. She was one of the last angels that are left on earth, but I know she will be missed more than she will ever know. Without the strength and love that she shared with us, my family would not be as well as we are. My heart bleeds for the world as did hers. I only hope to someday aspire to the greatness that she was. The whole world deserves to hear her story, the whole world should know.
Her son, Adam Bateham