August 19, 2006
Well, I suppose I've finally done it. Mother gave me this journal what was it 5 years ago? And after her death I never really had the heart to write in it. Now I've finally written in it, aren't you happy?
My mother, who was she really to me? I don't think I have the faintest idea. She died the day after my birthday, the day after I got this journal, when I was ten. I guess it was really her birthday present for me, her death I mean. No more taking care of her. No more pampering, no more of the strangers in my house to help her eat, sleep, and even use the bathroom. I never really knew my mother. She was as much of a stranger to me as the others that came and stayed at our house.
She was diagnosed with ALS when I was 5. The disease teased my mother out of the use of her legs, her arms, her hands and eventually her voice. Finally after 5 years of suffering, my mom was laid to rest on June 3rd, 2001.
Really, I never knew my mother. My fondest memories of her were her yelling at me to get her something to drink, her laughing at me when I asked if I could go out with friends. I did not cry when she died. I did not mourn her. I was happy when my father told me of her passing.
But that was 5 years ago. I suppose that my mother had appreciated me though. She gave me this journal. This lovely light lavender book. I've always wondered where she had gotten this book; she spent all her time indoors because she was always cold. She hadn't been outside since probably the summer of 1999.
But that was before I had opened it. The pages felt lovely when I first I looked through them. The front page had in it a poem:
The lovely trees poked through the lovely forest.
Everything is as lovely as you.
The world is so frightening,
I wonder what I would ever do without you.
The ocean is beautiful; its waves are powerful,
And all I can do is swim along, swim until I reach the shore.
Life is timeless, there is not much time left,
All I can do is live and wish, wish for more.
The wind whispers as if giving me a secret;
I love you, I love you…
And these words mean so much to me,
Because I can't ever help but think of you.
When I read this poem, I thought for a second about where it would come from… did my mother really think of me in this way? That's when I turned the page. In my mother's pen she had written:
This poem was written by your father. He gave this book to me and wrote this poem for me. The author's name is Mitchell Robertson. I'm sorry for never telling you your real father's name, but now that you're old enough, I think you have the right to know. He was a poet. If you ever want to know the real story, find him. He will tell it much better than I can.
At the moment that I read this, my jaw dropped. The man my mother had married was John Trotter. He was not my father. Did he know? Did he even care that the onewhohad been calling him father and dad for fifteen years was not his real daughter. I wondered about my siblings, I have a younger sister and a younger brother,arethey my half-siblings oram I fully related to them?
A million thoughts ran through my head… what was this world coming to? Did my mom hate me that much to never tell me my real father's name?
So here I am, writing this all down. I looked up his name when I got to my computer today... he is a poet alright, not a very well-known one, but a poet none the less.
The good news from my search on the internet: He is still alive.
The bad news: I haven't the faintest clue where he lives.
I read through the other poems on his website and I've decided something. Every time I write a journal entry, I will start with one of his poems. He had enough to do so, and enough even for me to pick and choose according to my mood.
Mitchell Robertson, I thought for a second. Yes, that is my father. I guess that makes me Victoria Robertson… but that doesn't really fit. I like Victoria Trotter better. I think it actually fits. But maybe that's because I've lived my whole life as Victoria Trotter.
My quest: To learn more and more about this Mitchell Robertson fellow and to eventually meet him. He is my father after all.
I've always wondered why I was so different than my family. Why I had become a vegetarian when I was 13 and eventually a vegan.
My family never cared about anything I did. They didn't care about my amazing marks in school. They never came to the school plays in which I seldom didn't get the main part. They never paid much attention when I wrote a poem that went to the school newspaper and that someone eventually published for me.
I've always thought that the reason for the ignorance on my family's part was because of my perfect sister. My younger sister's name is Samantha. She is fourteen years old and is perfect in every way. Although I get 90's she gets 95's or 100's. When I'm in the school play, she's in the math contest and wins. When I have my three good friends, she is the most popular girl at our school. She is the one with the perfect curly reddish brown hair, blue eyes and lips that never fail her. She is the one who is good at any sport she plays; she's the one that can paint a painting that will sell for several hundred dollars. She's the one with the long-term boyfriend that thinks she's the most wonderful thing on this earth (which she is). She's the one that is the nicest person at our school. When no one would sit with Robbie Johnson on the first day of school, she was the one who made him popular by inviting him to her table. She is my perfect sister.
Although I'm the eldest, I've always been in Samantha's shadow. So what if I can sing and act? She can do everything else. My art with words mean nothing. She is artistic with everything else. Her sketches are the ones that sell at art auctions. She is the perfect one with the perfect boyfriend.
Maybe the reason why I'm so different from everyone else in my family is not my perfect sister, maybe it's the fact that I'm not really related to these people at all. Maybe my sister is only my half-sister. Maybe the reason I'm blonde-haired and green-eyed is because my family is not where I belong. I belong with my real father, and I'm going to find him, if it takes me the rest of my life.