Tightening her fists into balls of rage, Veronica keeps her word and begins to scream. “God damn it, mother, shut up!” Elizabeth’s chin quivers as smoke from her cigarette crawls around her sweaty face and fills the air between her and Veronica. She begins coughing violently, and gets up and moves to sit at the old card table that serves as a place to eat and her holy altar. She shakes out the embroidered scarf—a gift from her favorite nun, Sister Veronica—and replaces it beneath the wood crucifix. Next, she snaps on her Lady of Fatima night-light and opens her Bible, a move she hopes will leave her daughter feeling guilty for her sharp tongue and lack of faith.
Despite Veronica’s lack of faith—by Elizabeth’s standards, at least—less than twenty-four hours later, at the crack of dawn on July 4, she is finally delivered of a 10 pound, 4 ounce baby girl. I’m not sure if she wanted to give me a name to match my size or the length of her pregnancy when she filled out my birth certificate. Nevertheless, she names me Veronica Dawn Nadeau Laskavitch.
Seven days later, weak and anemic, my mother is finally released from the hospital. It was a rough delivery, to say the least, and for the next month she is completely bedridden. While recuperating, Veronica vows she will find a way to remove the bastard stain from this child she has suffered so much for to bring into the world.
Endless tales prevail about what a horrible ordeal the experience was for my mother. The most often-repeated version describes how I was born right in the hospital bed with no doctor in attendance, and how the delivery ripped my mother open, causing her to lose massive amounts of blood. Of course, with my mother unable to care for me, my grandmother would step in to take her place—a situation that never changed for the rest of my life. (P.g, 10) To be continued…..
Ragdoll Redeemed: Growing up in the Shadow of Marilyn Monroe at www.Amazon.com