Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Interview

All photographs copyrighted by Wyatt & Rachelle Black 2007

So, I am so busy right now I though I'd just repost this interview from my dear friend Shrinky, (you can meet her at ( I love you Girl!!)

I promise to write a new and, er, fascinating post real soon, in the meantime- here goes!



Carol: Hello bonny lass,

Where are you hoofing it off to then? No fair, you were only gone a little while back ago, I'm only just recovering from the last time you up and left (abandonment issues) . Any-hows, thought I'd try and pose a few questions to make your brain bleed. (And don't flip the finger at the computer, I can still see you, you know!) Alright, pretend you still smoke and inhale deeply, here we go..
Good luck, bonny lass, I look forward to a good read! x

1) A nice, easy one to start, to lull you in to a false sense of security. I know both of your children are very musical, but I am intrigued as to how they discovered such a love of Celtic music. Is it in their blood?

Here they are both playing the Irish whistle together. They both play several different instruments in their Celtic group.

Well, certainly it is on their blood! :)) I am a Morrison by birth, and have researched my family line for my da who is just figuring it all out! LOL..... but I have always loved Celtic music, I played the piano as a child, composition, theory, performing, the whole ball of wax.
I tried to expose both of them to many different types of music while they were growing up, and hence they both have very diverse musical tastes. Cameron was my first, and he showed a very early aptitude for all things musical. His nickname is "Velcro Boy" for his ability to pick up an instrument, hear a tune, then commit it to memory and go on to play it perfectly. Codi has had to work a little harder, but she has a very good ear and has taught herself the fiddle and the flute. No small feat!

When an opportunity came up for my kids to join a Celtic group while learning their new instruments at that time (Irish whistle and guitar), we jumped at it, and it inspired me to learn how to play the fiddle. Which I do, very poorly LOL!! The kids have been in their group for 5 years now, and have won several awards for their efforts. My daughter also sings in a classic rock group, and my son plays guitar and drums in both a classic rock group, and in his High School Drumline. They took second place in their division this year!
As they grow older, they are interested in branching out beyond their Celtic roots, but they still hold a deep love for the music. It truly is beautiful and touches their hearts. As their little Celtic group has sort of dissapated this last year, as a family we have committed to continuing our learning, with me picking up the Bodhran to accompany them.

2) Are both of your parents still alive? Together? Can you reconcile your childhood experiences with your mother as she is today - was she a different person then, was it her illness that made her do the things she did, or do you feel she still could have made better choices?

Wow, well here goes- but remember, you asked for it!! Yes, they are both alive still. They were married young, childhood sweethearts from a troubled youth filled with boarding homes and foster care. They had my sister, who is much older than me. Then they divorced, and married other people. My father had 4 children with Maureen, his second wife. Two of them were little boys who didn't live beyond two days. The other two were my brother and sister, Jeff and Cindy.
My mother meanwhile, had no children with Ken, but formed a lifetime friendship with him and his subsequent family that lasted through the years, in fact just last week Ken died, and mo mom was there for the funeral.
Then they both got divorced from their respective mates, and they remarried each other.
They had me, and then as a last ditch effort to save their failing marriage, they had my little brother.
When I was 11 years old and my brother 5, they divorced again. My father remarried a woman just 6 months later, who had 8 children........ go figure.
My mother had a breakdown, and didn't remarry until 1990, when she met my Poppa- whom I believe saved her life.
My father has apologized many times over the years for not being there when I was a child, and has tried to make it up, we have a very nice relationship now.

Whew..... so, there it is in a nutshell.

Mother was a very different person then from who she is now. She really didn't have the skills to be a parent, and then she was forced to be one alone for years. Combine that with her fragile mental state, and her drug dependancy and she didn't stand a chance. For many years I was angry, just plain mad. It wasn't until I got sober, and had my son Cameron, that I was able to get to a place in my heart where I could even have a relationship with her. And she certainly had a lot of soul searching to do herself when she finally realized just how screwed up my life was. I don't know, could she have made better choices? I think yes, and no. Sometimes when we are so sick, we can't do anything but keep our heads above water. But also, I know as a mother, we always have choices. No matter how mad I was, I made the choice NOT to beat my children. And to get help when I needed it.
So, what it comes down to is the fact that we can't change the past, no matter how much we might want to. All we can do is live for the future, and in my future there is a mother whom I love, and accept for who she is. And I am glad. We are still learning about each other, and every year the layers peel back to reveal new secrets that we then shake out into the fresh air, and then discard- never looking back at them again. It is the only way I have found I can go on with her.

3) How did your older brother's death affect you?

Wow, aren't pulling any punches are you? :))
Okay.... well my brother committed suicide when I was only 15 years old, he was 21. He hadn't been living at home for a while, he was in Utah. I got a call from my mother while I was at a friend's house, playing quarters as a matter of fact.... drinking Schlitz malt liquor and getting plastered. I came home to find my mother in the house with all the drapes pulled, pitch black. She was Jeff's "California Mom" and she loved him dearly, and had helped to raise him. She told me my brother had died. She didn't want to tell me how, but eventually she did. I was only told he killed himself with a gun.
For about 10 years after his death- I got no more information than that. I was not allowed to go to his funeral, to this day I have never been to his gravesite.
My father refused to talk about Jeff. He couldn't even speak his name. So I lived with a hole in my heart that couldn't even begin to heal until I was an adult and finally got all the details from my older sister, who couldn't believe I didn't know anything.
Already barely keeping my own head above water, this I believe, just pushed me under for many years. I wrote a poem in the 8th grade about him, but the undercurrents of loss and grief never truly went away.
There is other history there with him that I am unable to share with everyone, but suffice it to say, it only compounded the issues I had to deal with upon his death.
My mother, who at this time wasn't beating me much anymore but was totally unable to cope with me as a teenager, couldn't turn to my father (whom she had never gotten over losing) so she just shut me out completely. I had no one to turn to, so I turned to alcohol and drugs even more than I had before. I dropped out of high school to take full time ROP and moved out when I was 16.
When I finally was given all the bits and pieces of his life and the tragedy that he brought upon himself, I had to learn to forgive him. Hard to forgive someone who is dead. But I have, and I look forward to hugging him someday beyond the veil, and telling him that I love him, so very much.

4) You have a dear, gentle brother who lives with autism, and from reading both of your blogs I know how close he is to you. What impact has he had on your life?

Well, my sister and I tease him about being "The Golden Child" because he missed out on mom when she was completely out of control, but there were plenty of times I had to protect him from goings on in our home. I always felt like he was mine, I think that sense of responsibility started before he was even born. From the day of his birth I took him under my arm and as long as I lived at home, I took care of him and made sure he was safe from all the craziness as much as I could. As an adult I have been his advocate during many court procedures and fights he has had to go through to receive benefits due him. I guess I am a little overprotective :))
Jamey makes me want to be a better person. His kindness and gentle nature inspire me to desire more from myself. He helped shape me as a protector of those who who can't speak for themselves. Something I have carried on in my career choice through my whole life.
I can't imagine a world without him in it, or a world where he isn't exactly as he is.

5) If money were no object, how would you like to spend your life - you can by-pass all the charity work, we'll take that as read. AFTER you have saved the planet, what then?

hmmmm...... hard to think beyond saving the planet, you know me too well!!
I think I would live in the country, somewhere in Utah or Montana I think, with my family.
I would send my children to Juliard. Make sure my hubby never had to work again.
I would have every kind of animal I have ever wanted, and I would take in every stray dog or cat I could. Then I would be a foster mother. For infants born to alcoholic or drug addicted parents. I would love them, care for them, and if possible ready them for adoption. Of course, I would adopt all those no one wanted.
I would buy a house for my mother, brand new with everything she wanted. I would buy a house for my brother and Giselle.
Then I would send my dad to Schick to make him stop smoking...... kidding!
I would travel to Ireland and Scotland, and then stop by the Island of Mann to visit my dear friend there.
Hire a housecleaner!!!!!
I think that's enough, don't you? *wink*
Thanks for the interview dear, I hope you all enjoyed a deeper look into my sordid past -ha-ha-