My life’s journty from age 5 to date still a work in progress for me as I write and look for an editor to finish the book.
Introduction to “My Thorns and His Grace” A book of my life
It was the summer of 1960; I was five and remember it all so well as if it were yesterday. My Dad had come home from a day of drinking; something he did often, but only on the weekends back then but it escalated to more days, more often. He would always start a fight with my Mother for whatever reason. This particular evening my Mother did not and would not engage for whatever reason she just ignored Dad totally.
My Dad was a man’s man – the boss, and my Mother was the “little woman” that did what he asked for the most part – period. I guess you would say he was a male chauvinist back in the day. The wife stayed home, cooked, cleaned, and attended to the children and the husband; that was their job. Anyway, I remember it so well, my Dad kept on and on at Mother. He wanted to fight with her. It was upsetting to me to try to figure out at the age of 5 why Dad was nice Dad, mean Dad, a child that age doesn’t get it if they do not see the actual drinking and I did not my Dad did not drink at home he would leave nice then return the Mean Dad.
He had put his hands on my Mother many times and my little 5-year-old-self was so afraid this was going to be another one of those nights, and I would jump on him yelling, “stop! leave my Mother alone!” But, as it would turn out, my Mother put me to bed. She then got into the shower; as I could hear the water running from my room. My Dad then came into my room; he picked me up in my pajamas and carried me to the car. He placed me in the back seat and got up front and cranked the car. I said, “Dad wait, what about Mother?”
He said, “Mother isn’t coming this time; it’s just you and me.” I remember I started to cry because I knew at 5 it was mean Dad. I was afraid of him and All I wanted was my Mother. He drove and drove for what seemed like hours until we ended up at a motel. He paid the man, and off to our room we went with me crying even harder because I was so scared; who wouldn’t be at the age of 5 in 1960 when things were a lot different from today? I was sheltered, even though my Dad was a drinker; my Mother was not at all and had me in church every time the doors were open.
Once we got, I guess you would call it, settled in the room; I call it “fear and Oh Lord where is my Mother? Take me home now!” Anyway, my Dad called my Mother and told her that he was going to Miami, Florida to his Mother’s and he was taking me with him, and that it would be a long time before she would see me again. I could hear my Mother crying and pleading with him to bringing me back, to just bring me home and the two of them would talk and settle things. I began to cry even harder thinking about going away and not seeing my Mother for a long time. Now in a 5-year-old’s mind, this was unthinkable. Truly, I had no voice; I was simply a pawn in the hands of a drunk and a frantic woman on the other end of the phone trying hard to reason or comply with my Dad’s wishes or orders!
A couple of hours went by (as I was later told as an adult), but it seemed like weeks, and my Dad sobered up and we went home. It was now almost daylight and I remember my Mother running out to the car, opening the back door and picking me up in her arms, crying. She took me inside and looked me up and down and inside and out. She said, “it’s OK, you’re home now and Mommy is here.” She put me in her bed and lay down beside me until I fell asleep.
Waking up later that day, life went on as if nothing had ever happened. We didn’t speak about it; there were no apologies to that little 5-year-old who was in such fear the night before, nothing.
Did they not get it? How could they not have known they were setting examples for their child to grow up with fears of the unknown, and so many other things, simply by my Dad being drunk and not being accountable for his actions? This goes on more often than not in lives all across the world, but for my family, it was a way of life on a weekly basis.
Join me as I carry you through “My Thorns and His Grace” of my life. My thorns, are the places where, as a child, I learned distrust, betrayal, fear, my own addictions and what assault was – all for good reasons, but also, where I learned of His grace and how He covered me through it all and showed me how to move forward with a life now filled with joy, not pain – thankful now for the thorns and His grace.