My mother died when I was three years old, and my father was not capable of taking care of me. Having nowhere else to go, I lived with my elderly grandparents. I did not see my father often in those days.
As a young child, I remember wondering what he was like. He was a tall man, and his hair had turned grey even though he was in his early forty’s. My grandmother told me his hair had turned after he returned from Pearl Harbor during World War II. His demons pursued him throughout his life.
Sometimes my father would say that he was coming to visit me. I remember standing in front of Grandma’s picture window looking, and watching, and waiting, for him to show up. More times than not, he made the choice not to come. I remember how empty this made me feel.
The times that he would show up were usually short visits. My father would be all smiles and sometimes he gave me a half-dollar. Then he would leave, and I would stand in front of Grandma’s picture window and cry because once again he was gone. When I was eighteen years old, I still had four half dollars that my father had given me long ago. I still have them now.
(7/18/14 image from http://nspt4kids.com/parenting/how-to-handle-children-and-fears-of-thunderstorms/)
When I look back into the place of woe where I stored all of those memories long ago; I think it is is interesting what I remember from being a child. I feel no pain from this experience anymore. These and many other powerful and profound memories shaped me into the strong, capable woman I am today. In life, you simply pick up and move on. Now I revisit these memories and reflect on how far I have come.