I never realized how much my mom did for us until tonight. I told her, I don't have any food, I'm tired of eating McDonalds and I basically spent all my money. So she asked, "Ok, well, what do you have?" I told her. She gave me a meal to make: BBQ Chicken, chicken lipton noodles and green beans. I needed some stuff from the store but had less than $30 for it. She told me to know what I needed before I ever went to the store and to buy the absolutely cheapest stuff -- I know it seems like a simple task, but I've never actually been able to do it. I spent 20.61 and bought 18 things.
I'm telling this because this summer, my Dad has enlightened me that I was a mistake. He first said it when he was drunk and I was willing to let it go. But, every time it's been brought up since, he has confirmed it. He said that there was never supposed to be a second child, that he didn't want us to grow up in that environment, that he wanted better for us. I asked him why would he ever tell me that; especially 20 years later. He did not have a justifiable answer for me and I didn't expect him to. He's never been the one for explanations. He's never been the one to apologize or admit mistakes. I asked him if he remembered what he said to me when I was eight years old and he decided he was finished being our father. He said:
"I've washed my hands with this."
"You remember that?"
"Of course I remember that. How could I not remember?"
My father told me he was done with us. He gave up. He walked away.. and the worst part is that you don't care. All you can do is point the blame, saying it's all her fault, she did this. He told me he never realized how much pain he caused and I told him that until I was sixteen years old, I thought it was all my fault.
The thing is, after 20 years of fighting for him, it all makes sense. If he thinks I'm a mistake and I was never supposed to be here, then of course he would be missing most of my life. Of course he wouldn't call to make sure I made it to South Dakota safely, or to see how my trip with, or to make sure I had everything I needed. Of course.
That is why, my Mom, no matter what he or anyone thinks, is the most important force in my life. Despite her fear, regrets and mistakes, she has and always will be by my side. I never feel like I don't belong in my house. I never feel like I'm calling at a bad time. I call her crying because I miss home so much and sometimes, I don't know what I'm doing here and even though she wants me to come home, she gets me through it.
While my Dad was giving up on us, building his self-proclaimed trucking empire and building a haunted and terribly dysfunctional family, my mom was looking through cabinets desperately trying something to feed her four kids. She was working through the night to make sure that we had school clothes every fall. No, she is not perfect and I'm sure there are faults to pinpoint, but at the end of the day, she didn't walk away.
I miss her. I miss Saturday mornings and I miss home. I can't wait to be back home.