In my household, Saturday’s are for relaxing, reflecting and sharing life with loved ones. Shabbat is every Saturday, which is the Jewish Sabbath and falls on Saturday instead of Sunday. I don’t want to go too far into religion, except that I am glad you never pushed any religion on us, even though you were Christian. While it has been confusing at times which direction to go, I’ve never stopped searching for God.
Today I reflect on purpose. I wonder, what was your purpose? Did you know? I ask myself similar questions. At what age do people start asking themselves about their purpose and destiny? Funny, we never discussed that, and I wish we had. It makes me want to have those conversations with Randy, his children, my sisters, and friends now that I think about it. In case you were curious, I started wondering my purpose at eight years old.
It was right before Sierra and I came to live with you and Joe (Dad); I was nearly nine. Sierra was seven. You were pregnant wth Hope. I remember praying to God, telling Him I wanted to be a good woman in the world, and that I also needed His help.
There was one particular evening when we lived with my biological Dad, Larry, and he had come home stupid drunk and who knows what else. Sierra and I had been waiting outside on the porch for him, because our step-mom Paula said we had to wait outside until our Dad came home. She was mad at him, and just always mad in general. When he drove up to the house in the driveway to the left and stepped out of the maroon 1993 Buick sedan and saw Sierra and me outside, rage came over him. I don’t know if it was because he was drunk, or if it was because he saw his two little girls being tortured by his wife to wait outside like dogs.
He took one look at us and his demeanor changed; the devil entered his eyes, and he tornadoed into the house. “Paula!!!” he screamed as he intentionally knocked a lamp off the table as he entered, glass shattering.
I immediately knew trouble was ahead, again.
Once he found her, he found satisfaction between his fists and Paula’s face, one hand gripping her hair to hold her head back, and his other hand swinging punches to her face. All of us five kids were crying and imploring him to stop; he wouldn’t or couldn’t. By the time he was done, her face was dripping blood and her left eye already bulging and swollen shut, a few minutes shy of death had the beating continued. I ran to the phone in the house and tried to call the police; he saw me and ran over to me and yanked the phone and chord out of the wall, glaring at me intensely. Terrified I ran away. I grabbed Sierra’s hand and pulled her into a closet. That’s where I began praying as I held my sister, “Lord, I want to be a good woman in the world. I promise I will be if you help us get out of this.”
God answered my prayer that night, because next thing I know Larry is driving us towards Dallas, where he left us at a gas station like stray animals. I think part of him bringing us back to you was because I was raising such a stink, and it was becoming unbearable for him to keep us. I was telling everyone he was abusing my step-mom and us, that other people were abusing us; I even told the school counselors that we were in desperate need of rescue (I got in trouble for that one).
I’ll never know why you left us so much. Why you were always in and out of our lives. Why everything always seemed so chaotic. I know you nearly sent us to Foster care, had Joe not said, “We can do this.” I always wanted to share this story with you. About how happy I am we ended up with you and Dad, that I’m grateful how things ended up. Who knows what would have become of us had we stayed in that abusive situation.
I’m so glad ya’ll kept us. Thank you. Honestly I thought you and Dad were perfect for each other; I wish ya’ll could have worked it out.
It’s interesting to imagine what our lives would have been with a slightly different turn in the path. How’s that for Saturday reflections?