An Amazing Adventure

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I spent my time as an infant, stupefying my mother’s parental abilities. It all began when I was eight months old. Such a little smart baby I was. Before my chubby arms and legs knew what crawling was, I engineered a plan that got me out from a confined crib. The crib was a confined space that seemed like I was always being put into when I didn't want to be in there. I was put into for nap time. It seemed I was always b If you asked my mother, she would probably laugh and say it was nap time. But I saw it differently even if I was still in diapers.

The blueprint was simple. It consisted of a blanket called boo-kitty and a soiled diaper. The clever escape plan sent me up and over the railing, into a head first crash to the floor. This could where my brain damage began, where my mother discovered lithium, and when the love between us ended. Maybe it never even started but from here on out, I would spend my life searching for love. Love of another human being or maybe just the love of the masochistic sadistic individual who grew up believing her pain was a god given right and any type of happiness was some hard core dark pleasure that over time, finds out it does not exist. Not much has changed since I am still looking for new ways to climb out of the entrapment of my own adult life.

As I grew into my toddler years, I continued to drive my mom crazy. I can remember my mother shouting from the kitchen. She was warning me how she was in the process of looking for the discipline stick. The echoes from her flip flops sailed down the barren hallway where I moved quietly on my tip toes and fingertips. I sank deep into the rusty orange colored shag carpeting the floor of our house was lined, wall to wall with. I was in search of a place to hide. I could hear the kitchen drawers being pulled open one by one and then how they violently shut as she frantically filtered through loose papers in a junk drawer that was off limits. As she made her way to the silverware drawer, opening it, the sounds of forks, knives and spoons clanged together, intertwining with her offensive adult lingo as she cursed to herself, sucking up saliva drippings that fell from the corners of her mouth.

I wasn’t scared. Inside of me was this innocent strength that made me feel the forces of the entire earth’s gravitation system. The gravity that secured me as I waited up inside the door frame of her bedroom at the end of the hallway. There was this feeling of being almost overwhelmed by having to hold in the burst of laughter brewing inside of me that was about to explode out. Hovering above, like a sucker fish, she comes into the hallway. The house became eerily quiet. She began walking one flip flop step over the other. Click, click, and stop. Click, and stop. She was now directly beneath me. I had my childish chin pressed into my chest looking down on her. I looked at her hairline part on the top of her head, which was crooked, and her scalp ghostly white. Both her arms now rested to her sides. In one hand she clenched a shiny metal ruler. In her other she made into a fist. She scanned the rooms, she seemed confused. She never did look up. I was sure I was busted. What she did next puzzled me. I was still holding myself in position in the doorway framing as she turned and headed to the front door, opened it and went out and stood on the front lawn. Dropping the ruler, she raised her hands both to her face. My mother stood there on that front lawn looking back and forth and up and down our street. Cupping her hands to her mouth, and at the top of her lungs, she shouted my name. Dogs began howling, and just as the earth seemed to stand still, I slid down and was standing now inside the open door to her room and the hall. I could hear my heartbeat and thought it would beat right out of my own chest. Shaking, I went into my bedroom and hid underneath my bed and I started to pray. I held onto my boo boo kitty and lay and wait until my father came home. She ended up finding me under the twin bed with Holly Hobby sheets and a soft white afghan blanket for the bedspread..My mom seemed more preoccupied in something else and instead of using her discipline sticks herself; she said I would just wait until my father came home and he would deal with it then. She left me there to wait. I would spend the rest of my life from here waiting for the people I loved, to show up and most importantly love me back.

As a teenager, I thought the love between two people should be like the love between comedians Gilda Radner and Gene Wilder. There was something so genuine about the love affair between them. I wanted that kind of love. Gilda died the same year I graduated from high school. I spent the beginning of my life knowing only tough love and from age fifteen on I had some warped belief system that made thinking the love Gene had for Gilda didn’t exist at all for me. I gave up on any kind of real love because I don't think I was ever shown real love. The love I learned was scary and haunting.

That is until the day I looked into my daughters eyes for the first time. The first time I looked into her eyes, I was amazed at the love I had for another person. She had just traveled out my body and not even took her first breaths when I was overcome with joy and my heart felt so different in regards to feeling a love to another person anyway.This beautiful baby I just gave birth to took my breath away. It also sent me to my beliefs and values I had and it made me realize the love I had for others my whole life up until now, were false loves. A life of love and lies. The years of telling my husband I loved him, was all a big lie. Saying I loved anything until I met my daughter, all lies. As I sat with my daughter just after she was born, I sat with just her and I for hours, us alone and I was so deeply sadden by the realization of my life of lies of all the loves I said I had to others. Then I recall the love Gene and Gilda shared as I held her in my arms. I don’t know exactly why the connection between these two comedians came to compare to mine but it was as if I found the love two people share that is genuine and true and I found it at age 28 with my baby daughter. The day my daughter and I locked eyes the first time I fell in love with someone and when I said I love you? I really meant it. It was a life changing moment for me. It was better late than not ever at all. I was blessed in the year 1999.
Her name was to be Chloe and she means more to me than life itself. She is the blossoming flower which her name represents and she is this eternal bloom with green eyes which are exactly like mine. When I look into them, I see so much more than I will ever be as a person. I gave her life, and she gave me this power of love. With that I am humble that she is certainly capable of doing a great deal in her lifetime. My mother never gave me these things. She has the heart of gold and the day she was born not only did I learn how to be in love with another human being, I learned she will always be my first real love and my true love is my own child.

There is something oddly uncomfortable about living in the same house as an adult child. My father mentioned this to me after the initial surprise of the rented U-HAUL I drove which I was now backing up into his driveway, uninvited but does a daughter need the invitation? He was the man who waited in the driveway who stood waiting for me in my teens. When I got out, my daughter who was eleven years old at this time, jumped out; and my dad had not even opened the door to house from inside his garage, as he tried to shut it as fast as he opened, my daughter whizzed past time him screaming hello but she had to pee bad.

“Dad, it is just for a couple months tops, I swear.” I reached into my purse and pulled out an envelope.
“This should help you with our….” My father became extremely firm and defensive to me. His face was stiff and his words stern.
“Put that away.” Geez, Stace.”He suddenly seemed to forget the truck and he reached to me and hugged me tighter than I ever felt him hug me before. Just as he forgot about me and the truck load of my belongings, out of the house runs his only grandchild, his first grand daughter as she dove into his arms. He picked her up as best he could since she was not the smallest child she didn't lift high off the earth, and he took his eyes off mine, and gazed into his granddaughters piercing green eyes almost identical to mine. He put his arm around her pulling her in for a side hug and quick kiss on her head.
“How ya doing sport?” She replied in a shy like manner to him I have never seen her act in such ways before.

“I'm great Grandpa. Your out of toilette paper." We all broke into a laughter that came in a unanimous and amazingly similar monotone.My dad gave out a sigh of relief I thought and then used his breathe to give a long man kind of laugh and he did this a few times as my daughter and I gathered our composer at the rear of this truck. He took long breathes, a few times over and looked at his rubber white tennis shoes as he rocked them back and forth several times. He stood still and crossed his arms as he spread apart his feet standing firm in his space. Talking to me he asked me a very realistic question I had prepared and rehearsed for the twelve hours behind the wheel driving down the California landscape into the Sacramento Valley.

“So…w/hat’s the plan?” I said nothing. I went absolutely blank. Tears fell down my sunburned cheeks and landed into the cement on the garage floor next to a blotch of old and forbidding oil stains.See, the truth was that I really had no plan. I had a plan to get there safe and I accomplished that. I signed him up for what he did not want. He said in conversation months before my surprise arrival that he didn't want to have roommates. Then said the funniest thing after.
"I don't want roommate. Hell, Stacy. I don't even want to live with me."
That was funny but sad. It was the funniest and saddest thing I had ever really heard. My tears could not stop from falling. I could no longer hide my pity party as my dad might suggest I was having.

“I don’t know, daddy.” I know he hates it when I say I don’t know.

"I don't know. I don't know." My father would mock me in my indecisive events I brought to him over the years. But at this time, being a grown women, a mother and his adult child, I did know one thing and it was that I needed this person, my father a solid a strong responsible man around me to help me be strong and get through this weak time in my life I came to him for his help and his wisdom, his guidance and although I would never say it out loud, I was in search for his fatherly love.

I could not do this without having a man in my life I could honestly say I trusted and I knew had my best interests at heart with no doubt. He knew this and I know loved every single minute of not wanting this truck or these two lost souls, family or not, at his house for…
"How long did you say you were gonna be here again?" My dad chuckled trying to be mean but couldn't pull it off. He was my hero. My father is this very humble man. He has this other side though that is fun and screams out how he is a wild and crazy guy, a macho type guy, he would say as he would snap his fingers and kind of bounce down the hall I remember from my years growing up in high school with him. But honestly, my dad is almost like a jelly fish providing to his guppies in his secure and abundant ocean. And lucky for me, my dad was born into the fish family with no backbone to stand on. That is when it came to his life's responsibilities and he always did the right thing no matter what.
I was still holding the truck keys in my hands and Chloe was now riding his new wife's daughter's pink scooter up and down the slanted driveway along side the moving van. My dad watched her and stood smiling with his feet still holding him up.

“I can leave. Oh, shit dad, I am sorry I came here. I don’t know what the hell…. “ My words froze mid sentence as my child is now rolling into the garage and she is smiling and glowing. Dad disappeared.

"where did grandpa go mommy?" She looked sort of worried. I was about to tell her to get in the van and I was going to drive away so when he came back we were dust in his ruined evening. Before I could take the next step back into the place I knew led nowhere good, he reappeared. He seemed so happy now. He took his arm and swaying it behind him, he pulled it forward and he was now tossing me a cold Pepsi in a can and over hand threw his granddaughter a pouch of a Capri Sun. It hit her innocently in the chest and landed on her scooter footplate. He knew breaking the mood with cold beverage was what his girls needed. Did he see how thirsty I was? I decided to keep driving when I hit Reno, not even topping the tank off with gas to be safe, not stopping for food or drinks, I decided to keep going and not stop until I was safe. I had tendency to be forgetful and this journey did not need my flighty nature of loss and bad luck. Honestly, I did not tell my dad, but I was afraid I would forget the trailer by hungry and smart crook who saw me as profit and his gain and my loss. I could see us stopping to pee just two hours from my dads and while we got out to stretch and get snacks, I would get jacked by some hoodlum or something. My father told me to relax and leave the truck for tomorrow. He invited us inside. What made me think coming back after ten years would make me invincible to a parent to child relationship anyway? I burned some serious people here and was concerned this might bring my dad harm but I told myself inside to only me, I was in control and it was time to grow the hell up. My dad and I talked for hours and after Chloe laid to sleep, he cracked a beer and we talked until the lids of my tired eyes just could not do it anymore. I don’t think I have changed much in appearance but my dad had wrinkled and greying I did not see before.
I told my dad the entire time I was driving to his house, I was leaving the dark days and starting the first day of the rest of my life. I was driving ten hours and not once did the idea of my staying with him, ever come to mind that I was making a bad decision. He said I did the right thing. And he cringed when he said this to me. She has been waiting for so long to see her grandpa and spend time with him and this comforted him.
For the first time in my life of ruins and bad choices and homeless paths, I was my fathers daughter, and I was famished and thirsty but he told me to sleep and tomorrow is a brand new day.

“Thanks, Daddy." I loved him and without him I would be lost. I wrote in my journal before I slept that first night there. It read like this.

You think everything is impossible
So you leave it alone.
You sit on your couch
Watch episodes of the series ‘Lost’
All damn day
because you're a coward.
But that's not who you used to be.
You used to love
To trust
Believe in the magic of all
That is good and feels good.
Now you believe
In nothing
Forever a coward.
Good going young gun.
Don't you dare blame anyone?
You chose this.
It’s all on you.
What now?

You better have friends
Not mingle with your enemies
Cowards stick around
With what makes them struggle,
But heroes have the courage to stay and love.
So you better be in love,
You better be honest,
And you damn well on your way
Unless you should be on your way
to your own version
of figured out stardom
otherwise you're half way
to thirty sister,
and that's not looking too good
if you don't know
that forgotten hell
The hell
you want
or who forgot the hell you are.

I know who the hell I am. Do you?

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