CW is my Mom (yes, that totally hot babe above), whose real name is Shelley Ann, though everyone calls her Ann because she hates her first name. How she came to be called CW is a long story that starts in a land far, far away.
OK, not really. It’s a short story. I guess if you’re still reading, you’d maybe like to hear it.
So my Dad used to call his Mom “Crazed.” He seems to like dubbing the women he loves with these questionable terms of endearment because when Crazed passed away, his own wife inherited the title. Over time, she became Crazed Woman and eventually, CW for short.
Mom calls him Crazy Man in return. Despite these signs of marital dysfunction, they really do love each other, even if you do find threats on Crazy Man’s life from CW in the refrigerator from time to time…
Love how she signed it. Since there are so many people that would write a note like this, especially considering they live alone.
Anyway, I don’t have much to tell you about CW except that she’s my crazy Mom and I love her warts and all, but I needed to introduce you to her because I’m going to be sharing a recipe with “CW” in the title soon, and it was better to make a whole separate post with her introduction and explanation of her nickname rather than bog down the recipe with it.
I guess I don’t talk about Mom a lot on my blog because, honestly, she causes me a lot of grief, and I don’t want to use my blog as an outlet to complain or bash any one I love. She was and is a great Mom despite her issues and I thank God for her. Because of her, I studied hard and got good grades in school because she cared. She taught me right from wrong and introduced me to God, starting me on my path to becoming a Christian, and that is the most biggest, best, and important gift any one can give someone. I’m so thankful for my mother.
Mom has battled mental illness since she was a teen. I never realized she was different, I just thought she was mean and that she had what Dad called “nervous breakdowns” in the summer. She could not handle it when I left home and as my sisters left home in the years after me, she had the worst period of her life when she was living in a complete nightmare fantasy that she had created in her head that involved a past she never lived. To give you a small idea of what she was like during that time, she used to try to peel off my mask (i.e. my face) when I would visit, to see if I was her daughter or an imposter.
It took a long, long time, but Mom finally came back to reality. Now she is different from when she was raising us, her hard edges have softened, at least where we’re concerned, and she is positive and supportive and in general, a lot more light-hearted. She still lives up to her nickname, but in a way that makes it OK to make light of it because it’s not very serious.
Mom has only been treated for mental illness once in her life and likely will never be treated again unless she becomes dangerous to herself or others. She was institutionalized for three months as a teen and was raped while under heavy drug therapy and she refuses to return to a mental health practitioner. When Dad was in the hospital after his stroke, I could barely get her to come to see him, she was so scared to enter the hospital, and I had to hold her hand the whole way. But just like she pulled through for me when I was hospitalized, she pulled through for her Crazy Man too.
I don’t push the matter of her seeking help since Dad is also against it, and especially now that she seems to finally found a moderate amount of equilibrium. Sometimes it gets pretty rocky, but for the most part, Mom does fairly well and we have learned to live with her the way she is. She’s actually quite normal on the surface, and you’d never guess she had a problem if you met her. It takes a while before you start to suspect there might be a little more crazy to her than the evil ring in her laughter. LOL!
So this is my Mom, CW. I shared a lot more than I planned to but the words kind of tumbled out of my fingertips. Now you finally know my Mom and soon, I’ll be sharing a recipe from her. Don’t worry, it’s not poisonous! lol In the mean time, here are some more pictures I dug up while searching for them for this blog. I really didn’t think I would find very many and was glad I’d collected more than I thought.
FYI, all the photos on this post will have titles pop up if you hover your mouse over them.
And I just couldn’t resist ending with this photo of my Mom with her parents…
When they came to visit that summer, Grandpa (the one who gave me the bike) totally confiscated my hot pink sun hat that I had just bought for the beach, claiming to love how the wide brim kept the sun off of him. I hadn’t even had the chance to wear it yet, but he managed to talk me into letting him keep it and he took it back to Joplin with him. I’m telling you, he wore that hat all over Wichita while he was here, flitting in and out of health food stores, and the man runs everywhere so he was quite the spectacle. Maybe craziness runs in the family? You be the judge. ;)