I did some more research on Mary Hill last night and did not come up with much. So, I’ve decided to take a break from the McRae side of my family and look at my mother, Jacqueline Annette Urquhart.
Jackie was 17 when she had my brother Michael and married Harry McRae Jr. I came next in 1957 when she was 18. Following this was my sister Sherry in 1959 and brother Steven in 1960. Four children in 5 years.
She married Harry in 1955 and they divorced in 1962. She gave me up for adoption in 1958. Then after she had Sherry and Steven, she ended up either having had them taken away by the state or gave them up willingly. Either way they spent some years in foster care and were adopted together in 1963.
Jackie had drinking and drug problems. She really was in no condition to raise children. I like to think she knew that and that was why she gave up her children but there was always some speculation that at least I was sold for money. In any rate, I lucked out being raised by a wonderful family.
Michael, was not so lucky. He stayed with Jackie till the age of 14 when she gave him away to a friend who owned a fishing boat. So, there he stayed till he was in his 30s, dying of AIDS at age 31 from the use of a dirty heroin needle.
I know it all seems very sad but out of this beginning came much good. I grew up, went to college, got a masters degree, married and have a beautiful daughter. Sherry and Steven did not have the best father but a wonderful loving mother. Sherry is married with 4 beautiful children and 3 grandchildren. Steve had travelled the world and is finally setting down with his long time girlfriend.
Back to Jackie. After many years of drugs and drink and 5 marriages, she got cleaned up in the last few years of her life and lived in a group home, where she was well taken care of. Unfortunately, years of abuse to her body and mind finally caught up with her and she died at the early age of 61.
I knew Jackie. I met her first when I was 18. My adopted father was a lawyer and so it was relatively easy to get my adoption files opened. Once I had the information, I didn’t know exactly how to go about finding her.
Then an unusual, coincidence? Occurred. I was working for a psychologist who did intake exams at the women’s prison in Miami. I was proof reading the reports for the typist and guess who one of the reports was on. As I read the report, I put two and two together and said out loud, I think this is my mother.
I went to the prison and saw Jackie. She knew me right away. She came in and said “hi, Teresa.” Like no time had passed. We stayed in touch for a bit but I moved around a lot and eventually we lost each other. It was years later when my sister, Sherry located her in St Pete, Fl. We went to see her a few times and left our names at the group home if she needed anything. By that time, it really was too little, too late.
Jackie had a sad life. She never knew her real father. He was some unknown man that my grandmother Arlene had a relationship with. It is rumored he was a priest or seminarian. I don’t think I’ll ever know that. Arlene remarried twice and had 9 more children. Jackie was always the other child, the one with no father. I think she was loved but maybe not quite as much as the others.
Jackie married early and often. Always looking for the love she lacked. Then she turned to drugs and drinking and well, I’ve told you the rest of the story.
I had no idea when I started writing, I would go on like this but there it is.
Rest in peace, Jackie.