Learning To Love You More




Assignment #14
Write your life story in less than a day.

Andrea Lambert
Chicago, Illinois USA
Email Andrea



I was born February 5, 1981. According to my mother it was in the middle of a blizzard. She had been in labor for two days before they finally determined I wasn't moving and they should do a C-section. My Uncle called me this year on my birthday and asked me if I felt any older. I told him not really and he said that's because I was already an old soul, which is why I gave my mom so much trouble when I was born; I already knew what this place was about. So I was born an Aquarius with an Aquarius moon and a Scorpio rising. Which is good considering I was raised by a den of Scorpios (which can be lethal, no offence to Scorpios but you all can be vicious). My mom, dad, stepmother and twin uncles are all Scorpios. 3 years after I was born my parents got a divorce. I don't really remember them being together, I remember my dad rocking me to sleep with the radio on, watching that little red light go back and forth. But the only memory I have of them together is of myself standing behind my mother's legs at the top of the stairs and my father at the bottom, leaving. I'm sure I am reenacting that scene over and over again in my relationships somehow. Now that I know my parents as adults I cant understand how they managed to stay married for 7 years. My father is so much like me, antisocial, prone to addiction and terrific mood swings, jolly but reserved and stubborn. My mom on the other hand is outgoing and loud, always gravitating towards the "group", always telling a joke-and stubborn. I do remember the house we lived in until I was 5. My room had rainbow wallpaper. There was a guy who lived across the street from me who had a little girl that was my age. He would never let her outside so we would wave to each other from our bedroom windows. One night this guy got in a fight with his brother and chased him out onto the driveway where he shot at him with a shotgun. He missed but the bullet traveled across the street, through my bedroom window where it lodged itself in my closet. No big deal except for the fact that my bed was below the window and the bullet passed inches above my head. My mom says I slept right threw it and I don't remember it. That was the first time I escaped death by less than a few inches and by a mere lack of movement. That guy ended up succeeding in his mission and is in prison now for killing his brother.
So a couple of years later, when I was 5, both of my parents got remarried. My mom to a wonderful man that she is still married to. He was also married once before to the daughter of his mob boss. He had been in the Croatian mob till he was in his late 20's and only got out because everyone went to jail over stolen color television sets and some other "hot" items. He has a huge family that immediately accepted me and they were all so fucked up that I felt they were more my blood than my true family. My dad ended up marrying my aunt, making my blood cousin my stepbrother. No there was no inbreeding involved. Here's how it goes: My mom and dad got married and had me. My mom's brother married a woman and had a son. Then my mom and dad got a divorce and my mom's brother and that woman got a divorce and my dad married that woman. Follow? After my mom got remarried we moved a town over partly because after my dad got remarried he moved in with my step mom who lived only 3 doors down. I lived in that house until I was 18. Both my father and stepfather worked at the mills, a prerequisite to living in this area. Did I mention where I lived? No, I was born in Hammond IN, a town about 30 miles outside of Chicago. Close to Gary IN, most renowned for its Murder Capital of the World title and the home of the Jackson 5. They even have a name for people like me (children of the mill workers) they call us "mill rats". Both of them worked in the mill since they were teenagers but my stepfather made a little more money so we had a pretty nice house. It had a cherry tree in the front yard by the driveway, right below my bedroom window. One night there was a thunderstorm and lightening struck the tree and it crashed through my bedroom window. My mother had learned by then so my bed was on the other side of the room. The next year lightening hit another tree in our backyard and split it in 2. One of my favorite pictures is of me and my mom sitting in the middle of it.
My group of parents didn't get along with each other. Except my stepfather who thankfully stayed out of it all (the nice quietly violent Cancer.) They rarely talked to each other except to fling insults. I hated my stepmother and she made it painfully aware that she hated me also. And that's all I'm going to say about that. But it's fine because she proved herself to me valiantly later on in my life. One of the first friends I made lived across the street from me. She was a couple of years older than I was and she came over the day we moved in and asked me if I wanted to go for a ride on my bike. Her name was Laura and she was Hispanic. She lived in her house with her mother, father, 2 sister, brother and her cousin, who they took in after his parents died. I loved going to her house. There was always something cooking or someone yelling or laughing. Every year they would throw a huge party and have a mariachi band. One year my grandma got drunk and tried to play the trumpet, she was going through chemo and there's a great picture of her in her bald head with a sombrero on blowing on the trumpet. Laura told me a story once about how her brother had fallen off the slide at the park and hit his head and saw the Virgin Mary. She made me promise I would never tell anyone and after that I always passed that slide with a scared reverence. I think I liked her house so much because mine was so quiet. This is around the time I was in 4th grade and begging my mom to have another kid. They both worked full time and I was letting myself in to the house after school and cooking dinner and putting myself to bed regularly.
My teenage years were pretty uneventful. That's not true but the time is ticking away on this and I have to work soon so I will have limited time when I get home. This assignment easiness is deceiving. When I was 14 I broke up with this guy Tony to date another guy, Bobby. I ended up dating him for 4 years. His dad owned a funeral home and we took its limo to prom. We were playing hide and seek in the funeral home once and my friend Nicole was looking for a good place to hide so I told her to go in the room where they embalmed the bodies. But she didn't know that. She went in there and turned on the light and screamed bloody murder. Oh that's so evil when I think of it now but I laughed my ass of then. I met most of my friends when I was about 13. Except for my best friend Leah who I met in 4th grade because we were both in orchestra. We stayed in it straight through high school and it cracked us up when we lettered in it. Leah was sort of the sister I always wanted. I still talk to all these people on a daily basis.
Ok so when I was 17 I was in a car accident. I had been up all night with my friend Jim and we were driving home when he fell asleep and drove into a guardrail, which impaled the car and sliced my leg. I guess there had a been a law passed in Indiana that all guardrails had to be rounded off at the end so that they would stop doing just what it did. I was lying down sleeping when it happened which is good because I had I been sitting up it would have went through my chest. So yes, that's the second time I escaped death by a matter of inches and mere lack of movement. I don't want to go into it partly because I'm tired of it and partly because of time. But the car flipped over onto its roof and I ended up lying on the driver's side window. Because of where the guardrail cut me (it sliced across the backside of my left leg) my left leg was hanging longer than my right so I thought I had simply broken my legs. Also because I felt absolutely no pain. The Ambulance came and they cut apart the car to get me out. The paramedics kept yelling at me not to fall asleep. The Ambulance couldn't do anything and so they called a helicopter. I was mad I couldn't look out the window. Once I got to the hospital my mind equated it with safety and I finally blacked out from the pain. I had four surgeries, found out that I was allergic to morphine (major hallucinations) and was in the hospital for about 2 months. And the person who came through for me, more than anyone else was my stepmother.
I got out right before the start of my senior year. The following winter I had a nervous breakdown and ended up dropping out of school. But I still finished and graduated with a degree from the school by taking correspondence courses through Indiana University. I took off a year after high school and got my portfolio together for applying to art school. Which I am now days away from graduating. A month after September 11th Tony (the guy I broke up with for Bob) got out of the army. And we hooked back up. And we have been together for almost 4 years. So funny. It's very hard to try and paraphrase a life in such a short time because there are so many stories to tell. And my time is up.