He was leaving. He had packed his belongings and was moving in with my grandma; at least, that is what I was told. My cousins, sister, and I were playing in our side yard. We had a big tree where part of the trunk had rotted out and we could fit inside it. I’m not sure why my cousins were there the day my daddy moved out. I can only assume my aunt and uncle wanted to be there for support in any way possible. I think I was numb or just plain blocked out most of that day. The only thing I remember is sitting in my daddy’s lap at our dining room table before he left and saying “Daddy, please don’t go” and crying. He may have asked my mom to take me and then he left.
I am not really sure of the time frame, from the day we became a family of three, to the events that took place that I am getting ready to share. It is also possible that things may or may not have happened in quite the way I remember; but I was only nine, and from my nine year old perspective, this is how I viewed what transpired.
We didn’t immediately have weekend visitations. My daddy still came around and it was quite some time before we stayed with him every other weekend. I remember our first Christmas with dad not living with us. He had stayed the night so he could be there in the morning. Christmas seemed like a normal Christmas; but I’m sure I had a sense of hope or even confusion, as to why my daddy was staying over. My parents were getting along and not fighting. I just wanted my daddy home, but that was not what happened. In fact, that was the last Christmas that I would have with both of my parents.
My mom was young. She was in her early thirties when her and dad divorced. Now that I have children of my own, I have a better understanding of how hard she worked and the sacrifices she made to take care of my sister and me. Unfortunately, I did not have the ability to see things from that perspective at that time. I was angry with my mom, and even blamed her for my daddy leaving. I also blamed myself. I told myself that I wasn’t good enough for my dad, and that is why he left.
My mom started to go out on the weekends; and for a young girl, it seemed like every single weekend. There were times where I enjoyed it and times when I did not. My mom would have teenage girls watch my sister and I when she would go out. Although, I was nine and eventually 10 years old, these babysitters became friends. They would allow me to stay up after they would put my sister to bed. They would talk about boys and friend issues. We would listen to music and make up dances, and then when we would hear my mom pull in, I would run to my bed and pretend I was asleep.
I felt special. It made me feel good to have someone older wanting to hang around with me. There was a major problem with that though….. at a time where I needed my mom to help me work through all these emotions I didn’t understand, she wasn’t there. I instead had teenage girls who were beginning to treat me like their equal. I was beginning to learn things and be exposed to things at a much younger age than was appropriate.
The snowball effect had begun….
By His grace,