A Mother and Daughter Apart
It was the early 1990’s and she remembers the day her dad left the house for good. She was on her own with her, the mother who could barely care for herself. She stayed with her until the mid-1990’s. Days when electricity was shut off, moving constantly - ending up in a trailer-park, and nights of leaving her daughter alone with addicts had caught up to her mother. The bartender salary wasn’t cutting it anymore, her mother’s habits and addictions didn’t see a finish-line or even a rest-stop, and it was all too much. Now, she was eight. Her father was living in Kentucky was about to provide solace. Her mother sent her for a visit and on the day before she was to return home called her ex-husband and asked him to keep her. So, on her mother’s birthday, her dad picked her up in in his new Kentucky truck. On the way out of town after grabbing a bite to eat, she saw her mother drive by in a car full of her friends.
Moving to a small southern town was hard. One day, they laughed so hard at the tie-dye t-shirt she wore to school. Normal attire for St. Augustine, Florida wasn’t going to fly in Franklin, Kentucky.
For the next ten years, her mother would be absent. They talked on the phone but it was often a fight. Her mother missed every soccer game she ever played, every prom she attended, every boy she liked, her ACL replacement surgery, and even her losing her virginity. She got her period even before her mother knew to explain to her what it was. Her mother came for her High School graduation. That was 2005 and the last time she saw her mother. She asked her mother why she wasn’t happy that she had a wonderful life. Her response: “Because I didn’t get anything out of it”.
She invited her mother to her wedding in 2010 but she declined. Her mother requested photos be sent but requested none of them contained her father. She said she couldn’t take it.
Now, she hears from her mother once or twice a year. Sometimes for money, sometimes for a place to live because she is in a shelter, and once to tell her that he boyfriend had just murdered his family in their sleep and she was alone again.
Her life is amazing now. She owns a fantastic technology company at 29 years old, has a wonderful marriage to someone she has been with for 10 years, and just moved to Nashville, TN. She felt she should share that news with her mother.
Her mother congratulated her and wished her well (she was happy and hyper so she was high). Before they hung up, her mother whispered, “Maybe I can come see it sometime”. It’s been 11 years. She can afford her a plane ticket for her mother. Maybe a meeting is in the future. Time is definitely running out.