My mother, Cathy Campbell, at the age of 30 watched her parents get brutally stabbed to death all within the confines of a station wagon. Cathy was told to keep driving, as two men took hostage. They robbed them while stabbing her parents multiple times before exiting the murder car. (67 stab wounds to be exact for her mother. Mostly on her face. 47 lacerations counted on her father). Cathy was uninjured, but her face, hair and body were covered with her parents splattered blood. She even thought that she herself had gotten cut too, but recognized the blood wasn’t hers. She drove straight to the emergency room where her parents were both pronounced dead. A couple months after this, she got pregnant with me. God, I’ve got great timing.
For 9 months I marinated in my mother’s horror mixed with alcohol and drugs. I soaked up her deep grief and guilt. (They were helping her look for an apartment. If only…). She was going to trial and was forced to relive the traumatic experience again and again through questions and pictures. At the end, it was a hung jury, and she didn’t want a retrial. She couldn’t be on a stand anymore. She couldn’t bare it.
My mother couldn’t escape the sounds. The screams. The gurgles. Glug, glug glug. Blood leaking out like oil from her father, dark and gloppy. The impassioned mist of blood spraying from her mother’s neck onto Cathy’s cheek, even into her mouth. The taste of her mother’s murdered blood mixed with with her salty tears. Swallowed. No one would understand what my mother went through. She was an only child and felt alone. Perhaps a Vietnam vet would understand the bloodshed, but that would be it. She never signed up for this kind of slaughter. She came from a wealthy family from New Orleans and led a very privileged life. But this was unfathomable. A living nightmare. She felt an abysmal loneliness and rightfully so. But she wasn’t alone, there was a new life coming, a baby. I was with her, inside her hurting stomach acid.
My mother feared that she might miscarry, and if she did, she would deserved it. But I held on from the beginning. Perhaps I wanted to save her. A new start could be made. A new life would be healing. When I popped out, she said I was a perfect baby. She was genuinely surprised.
My mother never stopped doing drugs, even after I was born. We didn’t connect like I wanted to. She decided to get a face lift (yes, at 31 years old) and breast implants. (Only bottles for me). She drank and snorted cocaine and smoked heroin. I spent most of my time in my grandmother’s old, soft arms.
A few months after I turned one, her lifeless body was found in a grocery store parking lot in Los Angeles, inside a parked car. She had been killed. It was obvious that she had not been murdered inside the vehicle due to the types of blows to her head. She was bludgeoned to death. Someone (well, there were probably at least two people involved) had carried her dead body to the car and then drove to a different location to abandon her. Her corpse was slumped over, wearing silk pajamas, her left tit hanging out. Drugs were found inside her body, but the killer(s) were never caught.
And that is the end of my very brief relationship with my mother.