This I Believe
I believe in a child having both parental figures in their life because it’s hard for a child to go through life always wondering about what causes that parent to be away.
I remember thinking when I was a little girl, “Why is Daddy away did I do something wrong?” It would be nights that passed where I would taste my own tears from crying myself to sleep. Then my mom would come in and try to console but it was not enough. I remember waking up in the middle of the night going to his mother’s house and crying for him only to get an old stinky teddy bear only to pretend that it was helping. I remember having to look at my mother’s face when she cried after reading one of his letters. Even though she would not say anything, I knew something was wrong.
I remember the visitation patios; I spent most of my childhood riding in the backseat, on my way to various parts of Texas ranging from Beeville to Dayton. I remember writing the parole board pleading for them to send him home only for them to send a stupid letter saying, “It’s going to be placed on his file.” Then the most devastating blow came on October 10, 2001, the parole board called the house and said that he was coming home. When my mama told me the news, I was ecstatic, that entire day I waited with anticipation for him to come. I sat there waiting with glee and excitement like a little kid at Christmas, just waiting. He never came that whole year. Then this man has the nerve to write me a letter and say that he was not going to come home. I hated receiving the letters. Therefore, I did not reply I let the letter sit there it was approximately 2 years that went by before he sent another letter, still he received no answer.
Then as I grew older the love I once possessed turned into resentment, then my emotions began to fluctuate. One day I loved him, the next day I missed him, the day after that I hated him, and then the emotional cycle would start all over again. The emotions became to overbearing for me to handle. I could not carry the burden of my daddy’s mistakes. I came to the realization that I must continue on and live my life for me make myself happy.
Finally, the day came when he was coming home for real, but before that, I wrote him and told him that he must make me a promise. A promise sealed in trust and in hopes of a new beginning in life that promise was that he would never ever have his family go through the emotional cycle of pain, resentment, bitterness, and anger again.
Never take for granted seeing your child/children growing up. Do not take for granted the little moments, it may be just hearing them say something for the first time; children remember those things and cherish those precious moments.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.