My mom left an abusive marriage and finally got a divorce in early 1993. Her ex-husband who had promised to give our family (which included my mom at age 28, me at age 10, a little sister who was 4 and a baby brother who was turning one) at least four hundred dollars a month in child support reneged on his promise. Well it was difficult for my mother to maintain by herself so we were evicted from our apartment in Eastpoint, Georgia. It was a week before Christmas and we were riding around in her Corsica trying to find a cheap motel to stay in. We did. We were grateful for this ran down grungy motel, especially appreciative for the attendant that allowed us to stay there until after Christmas with no charge. I remember that Christmas vividly. My mom took her last to buy each of us a gift. I received some Nickelodeon Gak and a shirt, my sister got a “Mommy’s Having a Baby” pregnant doll baby, and my little brother received an infant toy truck. My mom went to KFC and bought some rotisserie chicken along with a few sides and we pretended our gifts were wrapped and “opened” them.
In time we had to leave. The motel manager couldn’t afford to house us so we end up leaving on the worst day of winter, December 27, 1993. We packed up everything we could possibly fit into my mom’s car and headed north to Dayton, Ohio. The car maintenance wasn’t up to par. Somewhere in northern Tennessee going into Kentucky, we slid outrageously and ended up in a shallow ditch on the side of the highway. No one helped us. After several attempts of trying to get the car out by switching gears, it didn’t move. She told us to layer up and put as much clothes on as possible. I had to put on more socks because the boots I had on were “talking”. That’s what we called it in school when someone shoes has a torn or hole in them, especially the front. We gathered as much stuff and started walking along the highway in the snow that came up to my shins. It seemed like forever until we found a highway exit. Funny, if I ever see a woman and three kicks walking along the highway in a snow storm, I’ll stop. But no one did. My mom carried my baby brother and our luggage; I held my sister’s hand along with some of our stuff. Just when we were walking up along side the exit ramp, my feet went numb. I started crying because I was in pain and my mother grabbed more things from me and told me, “It’s okay, this will pass and just hold your sister’s hand.”
Disappointments did not stop there, but they all did pass. It is okay now and I am thankful. Funny, everyone says that I still spoil my sister.
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