Category Archives: DEATH

The Final Jam…

There is a memorial put together every year to honor our fallen Roller Derby sisters and brothers. A special thank you goes out to “Oscar The Roach” of Bakersfield Roller Girls and JRD,  who has the painstaking task of compiling the list. Although I don’t personally know any of the skaters who passed away in 2010 and 2011, roller derby is a family and as such we all feel the pain when we lose one of our own. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of those who we lost all too soon.

With much love and respect, here are the memorials for 2010 and 2011:

Following, a message from Oscar:

Hello derby sisters and brothers..

It’s that time, the final jam, where we honor and pay our respects to our fallen derby sisters & brothers..

5on5 will publish a memorial on their December/Winter 2012 issue..

Every year I hope and pray that this list will be empty..
Every year I hope and pray that this task will be less painfull..

But this year, in Bakersfield, California
we lost a friend, coach and skater.
I worked side by side with her with our JRs…

and yes there are tears running down my face.

PLEASE PLEASE!!
If you know of any derby sisters or brothers that have passed away.
please contact me directly at:

oscar_the_roach@yahoo.com

please include:
1- one or two high res photos.
2- derby name & #.
3- real name.
4- list of leagues w/dates.
5- DOB & date of loss

thank you everyone
many huggz and prayers and love to all of you..

oscar the roach

HR bakersfield roller girls

HR bakersfield junior roller derby

What is my Destiny?

Oh my goodness! I had a revelation today as I was driving. I was trying to do the math in my head. Here’s the deal: My father and God-given mother raised me, while my birth mother followed her destiny to Las Vegas. So fast forward 15 years and then 7 years after that…. my God-Given Mother Betty Ann passed away two weeks before my 16th birthday at the age of 42… my Birth Mother Jolanta Bozena passed away six weeks before my 23rd birthday at the age of 42! What kind of craziness is this? Just a coincidence? I’m looking at the proximity of their deaths to my birth (days) and the age at which they both passed.

If I were superstitious, I might be inclined to think that I won’t live past the age of 42. However, I’m not superstitious… well, maybe a little bit. I blame it on my father, he was very superstitious (must have been Creole or something). If I put a hat on the bed he hollered at me, scared the shit out of me! I only had to do that once, I NEVER put another hat on a bed as long as I have lived! If I accidentally, by accident, swept his feet, he would snatch the broom from me and spit on both sides of it. But I digress. Am I destined to die young? I have always thought that I would probably die young. I have even went so far as to tell certain people how I would like to be laid out at my funeral and what type of burial I should have. It may seem morbid to some people, but I have experienced such pain in my life and have buried many loved ones, including my parents, god-parents, grand-parents and some uncles. As far as I know, I have one grandparent left, my Grandma Anna. So the question remains, what is my destiny?

My relationship with my Mommy…

Not sure if you can tell from my last post, which was copied verbatim from a letter that my mother sent me, but we had a volatile relationship. “I love you very much – and  I am truly sorry that I have been such a disappointment and failure as a mother.” Reading those words is extremely painful for me. I never forgave my mother for abandoning me as a baby. That letter was dated June 9, 1995. My Mommy died on July  9, 1995. She died thinking that she was a disappointment and failure as a mother to me. When I first read that letter back in 1995, I did not know that it was the very last thing that I would ever receive from her. Ever. When she referenced her “imminent death”, I didn’t realize that she would be dead a month later. You know how people say, “I’m dying. The end is near. I’ll be gone soon.” and we normally think that they’re just talking? How could they possibly know that their eventual demise is so near? Well, she knew. I don’t know how she knew, but she knew. I’m almost certain that she did NOT take her life. If there is anything that I have taken from my mother, I know that it is her strength. She would never take her own life. She was in prison for YEARS, why wouldn’t she have done it sooner?

I know she was probably depressed. She had lost her last appeal in 1994. That was it. A jury of her “peers” found her guilty and she was sentenced to die in jail. I don’t mean that she received the death penalty. No, she received a 15 year sentence, which, if you have HIV and no proper medical care, is a death sentence. My Mommy died in prison from complications attributed to her HIV status. I’m not sure if she had full-blown aids at the time of her death. What I do know is that my grandmother thinks that my Mommy was murdered. I think my grandmother may be in denial. She wanted an independent autopsy performed.

At any rate, I don’t want to get into specifics of her case on this post other than to say I believe her HIV status was the reason she received such a harsh sentence for an offense that normally carries a 6 month sentence and $1,000 fine. Please stay tuned, I will write about the specifics of her case in a later post.

In the meanwhile, please check out HIV Law and Policy. It really is unfair how persons that are HIV positive are treated in the justice system.

Dear Lenette,

6-9-95

Hi! How are you? Happy and in good health I hope. I think about you often. Especially now that I get closer to my imminent death.

I look at the pictures that you’ve sent me and I think to myself, you all look so happy. If possible, I would really like a new picture of all of you together. You, Eric Sr., Loren, and Eric Jr.

I am sending you these beaded earrings – I hope you like them. You know, I don’t even know if you like costume jewelry or not.

I love you very much – and I am truly sorry that I have been such a disappointment and failure as a mother to you.

I wish for you to have peace and the utmost happiness. Somehow those two things have always eluded me.

Love,

Yolanda

(Here are the earrings that my Mommy sent to me. There were 4 pairs in total. This letter and earrings were the last things that I ever received from my Mommy. She died a month later on July 9, 1995, in prison.)

When I die, you gon’ miss me….

…or perhaps you won’t. Who gives a shit, who gives a fuck? 

Image

Brilliant designer Alexander McQueen dies at 40

Fashion designer Alexander McQueen was found dead in his home today at the very young age of 40. What a loss for the fashion world! For those that don’t know, Alexander McQueen was the creator of those fierce lobster claw shoes that Lady GaGa sports in her “Bad Romance” video.
Lady GaGa premiered Bad Romance at Alexander McQueen’s Spring/Summer 2010 Collection….

A statement from the McQueen Family

Please read the news in it’s entirety as reported by the AP:
Brilliant designer Alexander McQueen found dead – Yahoo! News.

Have you ever…..

been so completely sad that nothing can cheer you up? I mean absolutely NOTHING!! Sometimes I wonder if my mother or father had some sort of mental illness that was perhaps passed down to me. I will never know because they’re both dead.

I remember the day that my father died like it was yesterday. I was eleven years old. My friends and I started the day out going over to Canada with one of the mothers of the Richardson clan. We were having so much fun! We ended the day at the Adams’ Theater in Detroit. No adults! No one really paid us much attention, other than a few stares we got because one of my friends carried the albino gene. Some people acted like they had never seen a person so light before, more white than white, with eyes lighter than you could ever imagine in your wildest dreams. Sigh…. anyway, we ended up walking home, taking Michigan Avenue from downtown, past Tiger Stadium, all the way to Southwest Detroit. Cracking jokes, talking smack and singing the whole way home. We passed the Richardson’s street (30th) first, so they went on home and me and my best friend Krystal walked the rest of the way home to my street, North Campbell, which was about six blocks shy of Livernois.

Me and Krystal at Granddad's house on West Grand Blvd.

Krystal was spending the night so we planned on staying up and being silly, maybe play on the phone, call some boys, listen to music, do our hair, watch “Hart to Hart”. Our options were endless. Or at least we thought. We walked up the street in the dark with only the streetlights every few houses to light our way… dancing around, giggling, just so happy to be young and out “after the streetlights”. My oldest sister Adrienne was walking up the street towards us crying…. trying to get her words out but the tears were  coming so fast, no time to well up in her eyes, just streaming down her face, and rolling under her chin…. “D..D..Da…” she sobbed… “Da…Daddy dead Lenette….” My whole world turned upside down. I mean, I knew my father was sick, which is why my sister was even in town from Cleveland, but dead? My young mind could barely process the words that came from her mouth. It was like a dream sequence almost, like, when you try to reach out for something in a dream but it’s beyond your grasp. Or when someone’s saying something but you hear no sound, as if someone hit the mute button. Her lips were moving and I knew it was bad news because as soon as her lips stopped moving, she and Krystal wrapped their arms around me so tightly that it hurt. The days that followed were even more muddled. I remember what I wore to my father’s funeral because, believe it or not, I still have the dress. I took my eighth grade picture in that dress a year later. I get so sad thinking about it now…. and thinking about all the times that I muttered under my breath as I walked away from a scolding  “I wish you would just die”. All of that was said before he ever became sick with cancer. I get so mad sometimes at all of the people that still have parents or a parent, just one would be good for me, and they treat them like crap. Why Lord?

My inebriated Daddy and me. I don't have many pictures of myself as a child.

But I digress. I’m inconsolable right now. I think I definitely have what Holly Golightly described as “the mean reds” in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It went something like this: “You know those days when you’ve got the mean reds…. the blues are because you’re getting fat or maybe it’s been raining too long.  You’re sad, that’s all.  But the mean reds are horrible.  You’re afraid and you sweat like hell, but you don’t know what you’re afraid of.  Except something bad is going to happen, only you don’t know what it is.”  ~Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1958, spoken by the character Holly Golightly. My sentiments exactly!