Jan. 18, 2009
Staring back at my reflection in the mirror, I have to ask … Who this woman is looking back at me? Where did she come from? How did she become the woman she is today? Where is she going from here?
Who is she?... I was born Denise Lynn Applewhite in San Jose, CA. on November 7, 1964. I was the youngest of five children, four girls and a boy. My parents were James and Wilma Applewhite. My father chose to eliminate himself from the family long before I was born, which means I never truly knew him. This left my mother to raise five children by herself, without much of a support structure from her parents, who were both elderly. I’m sure it was very hard for her. It was the ‘60s and she was a single parent, with only a high school education. This meant relying on the welfare system for help. I’m not sure of the circumstances; because I was so young, but when I was about 18 months old CPS stepped in and removed all five of us from the home.
A great deal of my early memories are bits and pieces. It seemed at one minute I was in a children’s shelter not able to see my sisters and brother, then the next minute my sister Roxann and I were going to live with an aunt and her husband on our fathers’ side. My other sisters and brother were taken in by another of my father’s sisters Bonnie and a brother Jerry. At some point my mother did manage to get back my brother and two of my sisters (on and off). Roxann and I never went back. When I was about the age of three my aunt and her husband decided to move to Indiana, taking my sister and I with
them. I lived there until I was five. My aunt and her husband decided to get a divorce. She wanted move back to California with me and my sister. My sister who was 14 at the time didn’t want to go, she wanted to stay and finish high school. My aunt consulted a lawyer, but he told her since her and my uncle...