Thursday, April 18, 2013

Another parent gone....

I thought about calling this post "Another one bites the dust..." but thought that might sound too callus.  The truth of the matter is, I am numb.  Yes, I have been crying off and on for a week but I am not really dealing with my emotions.

It is so hard to try and deal with 2 parental deaths within 6 months.

So, I guess I should say what parent and the circumstances.

Doreen Benford was my birth mother.  I was apprehended at birth by CAS (Children's Aid Society) and went into foster care.  I was in and out of foster care until she agreed that I could be placed for adoption when I was 4.5 years old.  My adoption was finalized when I was 5.5 years old.

I have had a love/hate relationship with the thought of my birth mother.  The only memories I have is of abuse, the memories are not good and are very hurtful to me.  I do love that she agreed to the adoption.  I hate that she chose between her children:  Danny (the oldest) and me (the youngest) were placed for adoption; Angie and Tina (the "middle" kids) were kept.  I hate that she never took responsibility for my adoption but blamed everyone else - her new husband did not want a baby, her parents would not take me.  I hate that she would never acknowledge the abuse.  I hate that she told me several times that she should have aborted all 4 of us, and this is when we were adults.  I hate that she would not admit to her mental health issues.  I understand that in her day that talking about depression was taboo.  However her children needed that information to help in our lives.

My feelings around my adoption are very complex.  It seems no matter how much therapy I do it is not enough.  I am grateful for my adoptive family.  They have been loving and supportive my entire life.  I have never been made to feel different from the biological kids.  I was Doug and Myrna's child, I think they thought that was even before I was adopted, at least from conversations with my mom.  It is hard knowing that Doreen "picked and chose" what kids to keep and what kids to "give away".  Although she blamed others I am sure it was not an easy decision.  In all honesty I think that CAS should have removed all 4 kids, the abuse never ended for my sisters.

We were reunited when I was 26.  I wanted to find my siblings and figured that she was the easiest way to find them.  The reunion was hard.  Doreen wanted me to be the 4 year old she last saw.  She wanted me to call her "mom" and become the daughter she had in her mind.  I could not call her mom and could not be that daughter.  I did go with Angie and Tina and had a mother's necklace made with all 4 birthstones and Doreen's birthstone.  It was my idea and way to let her know that while I could not call her mother that I recognized the fact that she gave life to me.

From that point on our relationship was strained.  I did not want it that way but with everything going on in my life, and the emotions I was feeling and what was happening in my adoptive family made it difficult.  I honestly think that I did not want a relationship with Doreen, at least not a mother/daughter relationship.

Here is a copy of the obituary.

BENFORD Doreen Isabel After a brief illness at Peterborough Regional Health Centre on Tuesday, April 9, 2013. Doreen in her 70th year. Predeceased by her parents Roy and Florence Cory. Loving mother of Angela Wright (Dr. Paul Dickson) and Tina Herzick (Ron). Devoted Nanny to Danica Gilbert (Joshua Fedorchuk), Kimberly Herzick (Kyle Campbell), Jesse and Jasmine Wright. Dear sister of Cindy MacDonald (Tim), Delia Aldsworth (Stan), Marion Glazier (Ralph), Donald Cory (Evelyn), Gordon Cory (Bev) and predeceased by Donna Norris and June Lightizer. Survived by brothers-in-law Mike Norris and Glen Lightizer. Fondly remembered by son-in-law Glenn Wright, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. Relatives and friends may call at McINTOSH-ANDERSON-KELLAM FUNERAL HOME LTD., 152 King Street East, Oshawa (905-433-5558) on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 from 12:00 pm until time of service in the chapel at 1:00 pm. Interment Thornton Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations made in memory of Doreen to a charity of choice would be appreciated. Online condolences may be made at