Id like the time to say that in my short 21 almost 22 years in my life I have lost a lot and probably way more than what many people should have. Let me say that in life somethings are meant to be lost but never forgotten.
As a young child up until the time I was 20, I lost over 38 family members total. the ones that inspired me to be who I am today, were my great grandmother Snyder, my grandmother Lois K. Crawford, another grandmother Carolyn Jeanne Farrar-Shoaf, and lastly my stepfathers mother Dorothy Carlene Paxton.
Grandma Snyder, whom I met when I was just 8 years old, showed me how to threat my first needle, how to love others first over yourself, and taught me many other things. I lost her when I was almost 10 years old, shortly after I fractured my ankle from falling outta a tree that was roughly about 12 feet up in the air(tall). That was the first death that I experienced. It lead me down the downward spiral that lead me to screw up most of my life.
My grandma Lois i met before I met my grandma Snyder. I remember my dad telling me that there is a wonderful person that he’d like me to meet. so he took me straight up Perry avenue in Attica, Indiana up to Brady Lane. i remember asking all the way there’ “Are We There Yet?” Once upon the arrival at her house I looked at it and saw that it was a simple house. Complete with ivy lanes on both sides of the sidewalk leading up to the steps and Connecticut Magistrate Ivy Bushes along her porch. Lois was a wonderful woman, she taught me how to sew, cook like no other, how to fold and iron my clothes, and she taught me how to be the best person that I could be. I along with my dads family had many great experiences with her, but there was one thing that no one saw coming. She had ALS a rare and unique virus that had affected world renowned baseball player Lou Gehrig. The virus slowly effected her until the day came when i was almost twelve, when my dad called my mom and told her that he would be taking me for about 2 weeks. I got to see her maybe 8 times before she passed. Her death made me hate myself, because I felt that it was my fault that she was taken away from us so early, and I thought that I felt that there was something I could’ve done to stop it from happening. I learned how to cut, it was then I first started smoking, it was then that my life seemed like it couldn’t get any worse.
There were some periods between my life n months where it did seem to get better. I met many wonderful people here and there. then it happened, I finally found someone that I thought was so wonderful, so beautiful, and so smart that I felt like she was the one. This amazing person is Shelby Lynn Watkins. I’m not gonna sit here and tell you that things were A-OK perfect between her and I, because that’d be a partial lie, but its still a lie. There were some good, some great, a few amazing moments, and a couple perfect days that we shared. It was me and the way I felt that because of other past relationships that I had been in, I didn’t want to get hurt, so I pushed the line many times to see if she would be like all the others who all ran away or cheated on me. Amazingly though, she stuck around through all my idiocies and among other things that happened. Our love for one another was(and I still believe is) strong enough that our love bared a lovely addition to our lives. A daughter. This little girl means the world to me and her name is oddly unique. Shelby and I decided on the name: Elodie Luna Rayne Crawford. Even when she was still in the womb, she was a bundle of joy, almost always moving and smiling.
I had done my best to provide financial and emotional support for this little family of mine. I held 5 jobs, two of which I was fired from. One was a seasonal job, I worked at Indiana’s Fields of FEAR, I held a temporary job at Kohls during their remodel process. As the days grew apart I felt that Shelby and I were as well, and I was right. Almost everyday I would say I love you and barely got one back. We fought mainly about money and a future living situation. She wanted to live with her parents for a while and I wanted to find a place for her, Elodie, and I. Evidently it built up and we both couldn’t take anymore, and we let our anger get the best of us and it ended our 3 year relationship.
Amongst the fighting I lost both grandma Dorothy and Carolyn within a very short amount of time within one another. Grandma Dorothy was an incredible woman for her age, always warm-hearted and compassionate and willing to help the best she could with all of our problems. Grandma Dorothy and I shared the same birthday as one another both of us were born on September 25th.
I have known grandma Carolyn for all of my life, she was one of the mother figures in my life. she taught me how to be persistent, how to work hard, how to try my best and to never give up. She taught me how to love unconditionally, how to stand up for myself, and to put others in their place if needed. Yes I know that she spoiled the hell outta me growing up. there was one thing that I didn’t know until the day she passed. I was her favorite grandchild. The day that she passed, everybody maybe around 10-15 of us were up in her hospital room and another 10 of us were standing outside. I remember sitting at the foot of her bed that night. I was rubbing her left leg on the through the covers and crying almost like I am now writing this part. Everybody was a blur to her, she was diagnosed with Alzheimers, it affected her horribly. but back to what I was saying, I remember sitting there saying to myself in my head to her its okay grandma you can wake up and say goodbye, I’m here it hurts like hell, but its time to go. It seemed like everything was bad. Even the weather outside the hospital was dark and gloomy. All was signaling that the time was rapidly approaching. As everyone sat there with their heads held down, something happened that made everyone look like they’ve just seen a ghost. There grandma was sitting up straight, her hand outstretched ontop of mine. She then said something that left everyone in and outside the room speechless, “Well Hi there Ervin.” it made me and everyone cry much more than what they were already were. I thought to myself after I ran outta the room, “Why me? Why did she remember me and talk to me clear as day before she left?” It was clear that even in death love does go on. It remains an eternal connection.
All these women that I have mentioned in this short blog, have motivated me, inspired, had faith in me, and most importantly loved me.