Once upon a time, is how I choose to start this story, because as a parent I believed when my child was born that she was the brightest, smartest most beautiful princess ever born. As most parents do, we have dreams and envision how wonderful and grand our children’s lives will be.
Once upon a time in a not so far away land called Wisconsin a princess was born during an ice storm. Unknowing to us, storms came to symbolize her life. At 3am we tried to get to the hospital but could not get out of the driveway. The car slid from side to side and we could not move it out of that position. So, we made a call to the small town local police officer who arrived as soon as he could to pick us up. The usual 30-minute drive to the nearest hospital took about an hour. Along the way a semi-truck was jack-knifed in the road, and several cars slid off the road into the ditches. I was very scared and was unsure we would make it to the hospital, but we arrived safely, I knew for certain God was with us.
On the afternoon of March 8th at 3:17pm Princess Bobbi Jo was born. She was just so perfect; she had a full head of beautiful black hair and these gorgeous purple eyes. Life seemed so normal when Bobbi Jo was growing up. We gave her all the advantages we could, she took Ballet, swimming, tennis, and her favorite Violin Lessons. She excelled in her swimming classes, swam like a fish, and she played her Violin like an angel.
At the age of 13 she was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma. The weekend that she was in the Wisconsin University Hospital in Madison, getting a biopsy on her right femur bone, her confirmation class was attending a retreat, getting prepared for their upcoming confirmation. They prayed for her throughout that entire weekend, as did our family and friends. The next week we went back to see the oncologist to discuss the next step of chemotherapy regimen that he planned on giving her. The oncologist had her do her normal x-rays and blood work, then he came in to see us. He stated that he could not find any evident of cancer, he said it is like it disappeared. I say the power of prayer that this was one of God's miracles, I know that is why the cancer was no longer there. The oncologist may have not known, but we did. So, what wonderous things does the Lord have planned for this child? This was just one of storms in the life of our Princess.
When Bobbi Jo turned 15, she started acting differently. She would sleep a lot and was depressed, she grew angry very easily, and then would experience periods of time that she was so full of life. After several sessions with a psychologist, she was diagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder. This was one of the biggest storms in her life, it ruled how she was feeling and how she behaved. It was also the beginning of her life as an alcoholic and drug addict. She struggled with addiction up until the end. Addiction was the other big storm in her life, there were very little times when the sun shined in her life between her two big storms, bi-polar and addiction.
Bobbi Jo tried to be a great parent but she just could not control her mind at times. She was either sleeping or had uncontrollable anger issues. During her manic moments, she would be overly happy, then there were others when she was just too high to take care of a child. She was rarely with her family, and would rather spend her spare time with her friends who were also struggling with addiction. When she wasn't depressed, angry or high, she was suicidal and wanted to kill herself and her children. We protected the children by getting guardianship of them.
Bobbi Jo’s first child was a son, he was such a sweet child. Bobbi would have fits of jealously and anger toward him and us, because we loved him and took care of his daily needs. She was in and out of his life from the time he was a month old. He never depended on her for his needs, we were his "normal." We were there and are still there for him even as an adult, we are his go to people.
The next child came seven years later, another son. Such a sweet child and was such a handful. He started walking at 9-months-old and ran soon thereafter. This is the child she threatened to feed to the coyotes at 2 months old. She gave up taking care of him fairly quickly because he was just too much work for her. He interfered with her party life. 21 months later, her beautiful daughter was born.
We did not know if this poor child would even be born. Bobbi Jo was severely beaten by the child’s father who is also an addict. I had to drive across the country to rescue her and the unborn child in order for them to survive. She used very heavily during the pregnancy with her baby girl, much more then the two previous pregnancies. We were afraid the child would be born addicted. She was born with health issues due to the amount of drugs Bobbi Jo used while she was pregnant. However, thank the Lord she was not born addicted, she was and is a true blessing from God.
After two months of giving birth to her, she abandoned the children completely; she went to live on the streets of Tucson. We rarely saw her, and never knew when and if we would ever see her again. This is when we were awarded guardianship of our three grandchildren. I believe that there are some people that just should not be a parent. Not because they did not want to be, or did not love their children with all of their hearts, but because their state of mind just wouldn’t let them.
One of our church friends, set her up to go to a treatment center in Santa Barbara CA, she gladly went because she said she was ready. Of course, we were relieved, and we prayed this would be the treatment that help her. This was not her first time in treatment, she was in inpatient treatment twice during high school, two outpatient treatments before we moved from Wisconsin to Arizona. We prayed that this was the "one" that would change her life. This was the first of many she went to in the State of California. She also seen by many counselors and therapists for bi-polar. She would stop taking the meds and relapse and go back to using street drugs. She told me many times that the drugs took away the pain, she did not have to think or feel, she said to feel hurt too much.
Heroin was her drug of choice, this brought her soul to the deepest darkness depth. She did things that she could not even admit to herself. Her life involved around how, when, and where was she going to get her next fix. One night I woke up from a deep sleep to the voice of my child, it was like she was standing next to me, I clearly heard her say..."Mom, Mom." I knew wherever she was, she was in trouble, yet there was nothing I could do about it. During the last four years of her life she did not shoot up heroin she did use prescribed opium drugs, due to an automobile accident she had. She had surgery on her neck, the doctor prescribed the pain pills and so she gladly took them. This gave her free access to drugs, after all a doctor prescribed them.
Her children's hearts and our hearts were broken so many times; she could never be counted on, could not be trusted, yet we still loved her deeply. Our princess passed away in a car accident on Monday, September 2, 2019; she was 45 years old. She was a passenger involved in a head on collision and died instantly. Although we do not know if they were both high at the time of the accident, we just know that they are both gone. What I do know is that she is now at peace. God gave her to us, and we are grateful for that time. We loved her for who she was, and will always miss her. Her storm is now calm, no more pain, no more hurt.
We should not think of what it could have been, or what is should have been; we must think what it was, so we can use our experiences and our pain to help others that are hurting, Help others that need someone to hear their story. Our children's lives matter. They never seem to get the help they really needed to survive in this world. Many people think of them and view them as junkies, not worthy of our attention or time. The perception of these lost souls is what keeps them lost.
Happy 47th Birthday Princess, this is written in memory of our daughter Bobbi Jo may you rest forever upon the wings of eagles.
All my love...Your Mom