From what I’ve been told and from listening when I wasn’t supposed to be listening; I garnered that my infant existence quickly became a tug of war between Beulah and Amelia. My mom was supposed to find her voice and well, that didn’t happen. She was no match for Beulah, the self-appointed matriarch of the Roberts family. Grandma grew up poor in a family of twelve siblings in West Virginia (right near the Maryland border.). I only came to know a few of her siblings as most of them did not get along. She and her sister, Lena became nurses and had she not married my grandfather; Beulah and Lena would have morphed into Thelma and Louise. Of that, I have little doubt! But through some good fortune, Beulah met a young civil engineer fresh out of Drexel University in Philadelphia. George and Beulah married October 5th, 1918, and five sons followed. My dad was son #2 and allegedly the favorite; well at least until he impregnated Amelia. I do believe he may have taken a fall from grace at that time.

Back to the battle about to garner strength over baby Cheryl – My grandmother had raised five children; she had all the answers. Plus, she was a nurse. Plus, she brought me back from near extinction, to life. She was a tsunami. My mother didn’t have a chance against this force of nature! And I was a girl! Imagine her joy after five tries – a bundle in pink arrives at her door! Move over Amelia. Where was my dad during “Operation Take Over Baby Cheryl?” Probably at the bottom of a bottle. He was no match for Beulah Irene. I think he was afraid of her as most people tended to be. Could he stand up to his mommy and defend his wife. Didn’t even try. He didn’t want to be married anyway. He wasn’t enlisting in this skirmish. So, he drank. I was a baby; I didn’t understand this scenario and yet somehow, I sensed that I was the prize. I was what everyone coveted. But I didn’t feel special; I felt sad. I wanted everyone to stop yelling at each other. Why couldn’t I unify them?

I took on responsibility for the dysfunction around me long before I understood the dysfunction. Yes, I was a little empath but more on that later. Somehow, I believed that if I could just make everyone happy; they’d stop arguing, yelling, and passing judgments back and forth. Was it then that I forgot source? With all the ego’s bouncing off each other day after day; I joined the human race. Heaven help me. I am surrounded by lunatics masquerading as caretakers. No longer did I remember oneness. Do you remember when you lost the connection? Do you remember having the connection? I was always curious. I always knew there was more, but it seemed so vague and so far, away. And yet somehow, I knew I was the one with the answers. Do I have answers for everyone? No, only for me but I would never follow organized worshippers; maybe I was too bull-headed even back then. I used to balk at the Father God in the sky belief. What have you people been drinking; my little mind would question? Is this why my father drinks too much? I was beginning to understand addiction and depression. He saw no way out of the war between his wife and his mother except at the bottom of a bottle. Why wasn’t the stuff in my bottle as good as the stuff in his bottle? Ironically, he was my safe place. He was funny and loving and very, very sad. I understood him. He understood me.