Am I Cursed?
My name is Ashley, and I have a story I would like to share. I grew up in Wichita, Kansas. I once had a family I loved very much.
My dad was a drummer in a band, and was rarely home. He was the sweetest guy when he wasn't drunk. But when he was drunk, he was abusive. He would slap my mom around. He would say nasty things to me and my sister, Amber. I hated him when he was like that.
My mom was sweet, but she too was rarely home. Since my father was mostly out on his own, my mother saw no reason staying home with us. We were mostly left home alone.
Obviously, their marriage didn't last, and they were soon divorced. I was eleven then, and my sister was ten. We went back and forth, sometimes staying with dad and sometimes staying with mom.
A few years after my parents' divorce, I celebrated my 14th birthday. It was July 27, 2001. My sister and I were supposed to spend the weekend with our mom, but our mom wanted to go out to a bar with her boyfriend, Greg, so we ended up heading to our dad's. Incidentally, it was his birthday too, and he wanted to spend the night with his girlfriend, Robi.
Nowhere to go, we decided to watch a movie, so Robi then drove us to the cinema.
We were late; the movie had already started. We decided to kill time and wait for the next run. Since we had friends staying at a trailer park just across the street from the cinema, we decided to hang there. We spent some time with our friends, Sasha and Sarah.
After some time of chatting and playing on the makeshift swing, we realized we had better go back to the cinema before the next movie began. Sasha and Sarah then decided to join us for the movie.
The four of us walked over to the busy Greenwich Road together. Just as we stepped on the tarmac, we heard a loud screech. BANG! Amber flung through the air. She landed quite a distance away from where she was hit, but still on the same side of the road. We dashed over to her. She was curled around the pole of a street sign and wasn't moving.
I rushed to the movie theatre screaming hysterically for help, but everyone just froze and looked at me like I was crazy. Somebody later did call for an ambulance, and Amber was taken to the hospital.
My friends and I were worried sick as we waited for someone to come out and tell us about her condition. One doctor came out and told us Amber had a broken leg. We were so relieved, thinking that was it. But later, the doctor came out again and told us there were more serious injuries. He disappeared and came out again with more bad news. He said Amber's brain had swollen up and she was now in a coma.
Amber didn't make it; she died. She was only ten years old.
I was depressed and didn't feel like starting the 8th grade, but had to. Kids in school kept asking me about Amber. They were so nosy about how she died. Some of the kids' parents even made snide remarks about how my family was irresponsible, and that we had got Amber killed. My mom couldn't take the torment, so we moved to another town.
Two years later, I had another bad news. My father was diagnosed with having Sarcoma—a rare cancer or tumor—in his right leg.
I kept telling myself he would be alright, that god will not take him away from me. The doctors said they could not treat the tumor, and that they had to amputate. After amputating his leg, the doctors found cancer spots in his lungs.
I just couldn't believe it. I felt god was punishing me for something. I became more depressed. But I was resolute, and prayed and prayed.
In the fall of 2004, they operated on my father's lungs and removed his cancer spots. He was cured. I was elated, and thanked god profusely. I stayed by his bed side and watched over him. I talked to him and tried to make sense of what he was saying. Sometimes he spoke in a strange way. Later it became worse. It was almost impossible to make out what he was saying, so the doctors took him off his medication. Even without his medications, he did not improve; he was seeing and hearing things. He said he saw my dead grandfather. He was having conversations with him every now and then. He even couldn't recall my name at times. He was behaving strangely.
The doctors decided to check his brain and did a CAT scan. They came back with really bad news: he had a tumor in his brain. The doctors wanted to put him through a laser treatment, but they couldn't get his white blood cell count high enough.
One morning, I lay my head on his chest, and I started to cry. He asked me why I was crying, and I said I didn't want to lose him. He assured me that he would never leave me. He said he wasn't going anywhere. But the next day, he left me. He left me forever on 30 th October 2004.
My life seemed to go from bad to worse; my step mother, Robi, kept my dad's social security from me. I couldn't get any financial help because of it. She even began to date other guys. One day, she came and told me that her new boyfriend was moving in with us. I was so disgusted by it that I left the home I had grown up in.
I had nowhere to go. I didn't want to go to my mom's because I hated her bringing home guys after guys. Every guy she brought home made a pass at me. I didn't feel safe at all around them. To me, my mom was as good as dead.
I remembered a friend I once had who liked me. He later had his girlfriend pregnant and was now living with his daughter. His girlfriend and he broke up right after the baby was born.
He was exhilarated to see me, and I felt the same. He liked the idea of having me around: cooking, cleaning, and playing with his daughter, Debby. I got along really well with the three-year-old. Jeff later said he loved me and we became a couple.
Things were great for a year or so, but later turned sour. Jeff started to beat me up. I bore him for as long as I could because I adored Debby. But it came a time when enough was enough. I left him and moved in with my old grandmother in the summer of 2006. I was a depressed wreck. Life was so difficult for me, and I thought things couldn't get worst. But, it did.
One day, a couple of weeks after moving in with my grandma, my grandma came home from the doctor's office looking very down. I went to her and asked why. She looked at me with the saddest of eyes and put her hand on my cheek. She smiled and said, “It's time.” Then she walked slowly to the kitchen and sat down at the dining table.
I looked at her with my mouth wide open. I didn't need to know more, I knew it was cancer or something like that. I walked to her and held her hand. “Tell me grandma, please.”
I found out she had lung cancer. I felt my world fall apart. Why is this happening to my family? I yelled in my head. Are we cursed? I was crying inside but I hid it from my grandma.
In the next days, my grandmother was coughing blood and vomiting whatever she ate. She became thinner and thinner everyday. It was so drastic; I could see her flesh literally disappearing. She became a walking skeleton. I was so afraid to lose her that I took her to the hospital even though she objected.
After only two days in the hospital, she went into a coma. The doctors were deliberating pulling the plug. I screamed at them, “Noooooooooo!”
At this point, my evil step cousin, Adrian, arrived. She had often visited my grandmother at her home just to be nice to her to weasel her way into my grandma's will. Adrian asked me to buy her a cup of coffee while she went inside to see my grandma. Before I left, she asked me if I wanted to be in the room when they pull the plug on my grandmother's life support. I said, “No, I didn't think I could bear to see it,” and left for the cafeteria. I went hurriedly because I wanted to say goodbye to my grandma before she passed. When I returned with the coffee, I pushed open my grandma's room door and saw that her face was blue, and she was in an arch, as if gasping for air. Adrian was standing by her bed. She didn't look disturbed at all. Seeing my grandmother like that made me scream, so the hospital staff pulled me out of the room.
Adrian was so cruel not to wait for me to say goodbye to my grandma before pulling the plug.
At home, I cried uncontrollably. Adrian came shortly after. Instead of comforting me, she began to remind me that I was an orphan even though my biological mother was still alive.
“You are an orphan now. You don't even have a grandmother. You have absolutely no one to turn to now, Ash. Do you realize that? You have nowhere to live. Do you know that your grandma had always wished that you had died instead of Amber? Do you know that?” Adrian said, a slight devilish grin preoccupied her face.
I cried even more hearing those piercing words. I knew she was lying. My grandma loved me, and she would never say things like that.
I didn't ask my grandmother if she had written anything for me in her will, so I don't know what was left behind for me. I took it that I had nothing. I had never thought that I would be driven out of her house, but it seemed Adrian was clear; she didn't want me in the house. I was homeless, so I called Robi and asked if I could stay with her in my father's house. She said she would check with her boyfriend, Mike.
Check with Mike? Who the F#@K is Mike? That's my father's house! That's the house which I grew up in! I shouted in my head. I was angry, but had no control over anything. I told her to forget about it, and slept at a friend's, leaving all my stuff in my car.
Some months later, I managed to get a job and was able to rent a place of my own. I thought finally things were going good, even tough there were times I was so broke I had no electricity. But, it was better then living in my car.
In 2008, I met and married a Marine, and moved to California. I had never been so happy. I thought my life could only get better from here, but I was so wrong.
Shortly after we moved to California , Jake began his training, and would be deployed in September 2009. I tried to spend as much time with him as I could. When Jake left in late September, I took it pretty roughly because I was alone in a new state without my husband. I felt lonely and vulnerable. Then, as if that wasn't enough, on the night of October 5th 2009, I received a phone call. I remember looking at the phone and saying how is a 4 digit number calling me? I thought it was Jake.
“Hello,” I said.
A grim voice replied, “I am so sorry for your loss.”
“What do you mean?” I said.
“The loss of Lisa Bailey,” he said.
I dropped to my knees and screamed. “PLEASE GOD NOOOO!”
When I was a little more composed, I called my aunt Kelly. And when she answered, I screamed, "MOM's DEAD!"
She didn't believe, and began calling all the hospitals. I was hoping also that it was a nasty prank, but it wasn't. We did find out that my biological mom had really died.
She was mixed up with the wrong people. She was dating an evil and cowardly man named Garry. He had given my mom some drugs and she overdosed on them. He was too scared to call 911, so he let her lay there foaming from the mouth. If he had called 911, my mother could still be alive.
It just kills me everyday that I'm the only one left. Although I have a half sister, Jessica, from my dad, I've never met her.
I miss my family everyday. I'm thankful that I have my husband. All I have ever wanted after losing my family was to have my own family, but even that I can't; I've been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). It costs a lot money to conceive artificially, so that route is impossible. It breaks my heart.
I feel like I am being punished. I have lost everybody and I can't even have my own family. I don't know which way my life will go now—up or down. I can only hope and pray to god, Jake doesn't leave me. If he does, by dying or going for another woman, I will end my life. It's just pointless to live on after that.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story.
Freelance Photographer. USA.