Surprisingly, my life didn’t end after my mothers’ departure. My father was there. He taught me how to cook, sew and keep house. I already knew how to braid hair, so it was no problem making sure that my two younger sisters went to school with the crispest braids.
My brother was very young and was not in school at the time, but he clung to me like a panda bear. And I mean, everywhere I went that boy would be on my hip, which is most likely why I have back problems today. Can you imagine carrying a 3-year-old around all day long everywhere? I was barely able to put him down when I prepared the meals. I didn’t mind so much because I just felt like he needed me more now that his mother was no longer around and I just went with the flow. He was spoiled rotten and cute as ever with his roly-poly self, He was light skinned with dark hair and the chubbiest cheeks you could imagine. To this day i can remember rocking him while he tried his best to stick his tiny finger into my mouth to flick at my teeth as he drifted off to sleep.
I was 13, and I was doing all the things that a mother would be doing, I missed out on having friends, and I was still going to school. Dropping out of school would be my destiny, but that would happen a few years later. For now, I was a housewife without a husband. I can’t complain. In all honesty, having all that responsibility put on my plate, at such a young age helped me, believe it or not. I was able to learn from my experience. God gave me an opportunity to be the best mother that I could be.
I made sure the kids were up and ready for school every day and made sure the bills were paid. I had to become an alternate payee for my fathers’ social security checks.
Six months or so later, we received an envelope in the mail saying that we were being evicted from our beautiful house in Gahanna. I took the letter to my father and asked: “what does this even mean?” All he said to me was “It’s your momma who took all the money when she left us high and dry, it is what is.”
I wasn’t really devastated at the idea of moving it just didn’t faze me because I was so young and what could I do to make the situation better. No one was about to hire me because I was too young. I had enough responsibility anyway so I never once thought about going somewhere to work outside of my home.
My parents had been married for 18 years. Instead of my father being sad that my mother was gone, he was furious. He cursed her name every time one of us children brought her up. He wanted us to believe that my mother was the devil and guess what? I sure started to believe the harsh words he spewed to us about her. There was one day, about a week after she had left that he decided he would tear every piece of clothing she owned to shreds. He gathered up all of her jewelry and any pictures that may have been around and tossed it all out at the front curb for the trash man to pick up. My mother had beautiful things. I sadly watched out my bedroom window at a random person sorting through all of her stuff and packing up what he thought was good items to keep. That made me angry seeing that stranger getting away with my mothers’ stuff. There was nothing I could do to stop him.
Now I started this little story to get to the point of how felt like I didn’t know how to be a real mother. Since the day my mother left, I had been doing real mother things, but that still didn’t make me feel like a real mother because those were not my actual children.
I guess it was in God’s plan for me to learn to be a real mother by giving me my own children and let me learn first hand what it meant to be that real mother on my own. Giving me my own children taught me how to love my children and be a real mother. I’m not perfect at it, being a real mother but I am sure I have done a good enough job by showing my daughters and their brothers how to love their children and be real mothers and real fathers, and that makes me smile. How to execute a task that came so hard for me as a young child with children may have saved my life. I am so grateful to God that I survived taking care of my siblings and having so much put on me as a child. The experience was well worth all the trying times that I had to go through to get here.
This is just a short tidbit of my life but I will be writing a full book about my life journey one day and would like to have it published. I just wanted to share these few words with you.
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