Cheri/Cheryl/my crazy Mom/Mam ma

I really think what amazes me the most is that it took until  I was 36 yrs old before I decided I should come to terms with the FACT that my childhood had A-LOT to do with the person I am today. I won’t throw all the craziness at you at once: My Mom raised me by herself….OK well she definitely raised me by myself: as opposed to with siblings….(unless you also take in to consideration the fact that she married several men and I spent some time in foster care over the years) So the story according to my mom: She moved down to the southern united states after being born in Clinton, Illinois. She had 4 kids 1 year after the other 2 boys and then 2 girls, me being the baby born 12/16/76. Apparently at some point my mom came back to Central Illinois and allegedly became pregnant with me before moving back to Mississippi .

So, on December 16th 1976 Cheryl Louise Notto (Followell) gave birth to her youngest daughter: Sunshine Ray “Notto”.  By the time I was 3 months old my mom decided it was time to pack it up and come back to Central Illinois. Her husband at the time: Carmello Eugene Notto decided she could leave with me but she would not be leaving with my older siblings. (as my mom tells it)

My mom then left Mississippi with 3 month old me and my siblings stayed behind. I often think of this (me and my siblings childhood) to be a difficult story to tell and I only can believe it because I lived it.

It reminds me of the V.C. Andrews books (the author of “Children in the Attic which also became a movie)  I read as a teenager. The books all revolved around a central female character whose life started with a less than desirable childhood. A childhood that included poverty and abuse. Of course by the end the character overcomes all the adversity to live a wonderful life. As wonderful as my life is I don’t think I’ve overcome all adversity!



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