I try not to post too much about my side of the family. There was a time when I was open with it all, but then my little sister found it and her feelings were hurt. She wasn't aware it existed and happened on it through a Google search. I've been careful since then.
And this isn't about THAT family so much as someone that used to be a part of our family. He's the father of my youngest brother and sister. He passed away a few years back quite horrifically, and at the time, even I struggled to understand how it could happen.
They got together young, my mother and T. My mother was currently married to a man that's as evil as they come. The hurt he placed on us both will live with us forever. He was a truck driver, leaving my mother behind for weeks at a time. Perfect for a woman seeking a way out in the only way she knew how: find another.
And so she became a frequent of the neighboring trailer park where T lived. T was a handsome man. He was funny and energetic. He listened to the same "rock n roll" my mother did. Parties abounded in the little park, with young and old alike drinking cold Coors Light and partaking in a variety of drugs from light to heavy. For my young mother, he seemed perfect and she fell in love.
For reasons I will not divulge, although I have in the past, my mother tried to shoot her current husband upon one of his returns. He grabbed her only son and took off, leaving her to follow in his wake and pretend that instead of wanting to kill him, she wanted to bury the hatchet and become his again. She slipped out with my brother in the early morning hours. Never to return to that cold-hearted man and instead running straight to the arms of T.
At this point, it sounds like T is a great guy. And I'm sure he had some good qualities. But he was young and hardly ready for a woman like my mother. Within the first year, they had a son. I was living with my grandparents. But eventually, I came home. So now T found himself living on top of an abandoned store with not one, not two, but three children and a woman that still loved to party. And party they did. I remember many nights spent at the table crammed between the adults playing quarters, drinking apple juice as a substitute for the liquor they all consumed. I remember my mother leaving angry and getting into a car accident with a vehicle straight off the lot. She found herself in jail slapped with a DUI. I remember cruising the backroads with Mom and T while they drank beer after beer. She'd turn to me and say, "don't you ever do this. Don't be like me."
But things changed. Life got harder. Bills had to be "semi-paid." Kids had to be fed. We moved from house the house, unable to make rent. And T changed. Finding easy ways to make fast money become more and more important. Whether legal or not; it didn't matter.
And so eventually, he began climbing poles and stealing copper. I think it was copper. That part is a little fuzzy. He had special shoes and would leave late at night. My mother would say, "I hope he gets electrocuted." And we all knew what he was doing. It was dangerous. But that's not how he died horrifically. That happened years later.
I had forgotten about the "copper" poles. I had forgotten my mother's anger. I had forgotten that for a short time, that's how they fed their habits. Until a couple days ago, this memory ceased to exist for me. And that's the way it's been going. Every now and then, I remember something and it'll be so vivid that it's like being transported into that time again. I hear the sounds of the voices. I can smell the scent of the homes. I can feel the dirt on my skin.
I wonder, sometimes, what other memories will befall me as I continue to grow and I hope that whatever memories decide to appear from the deep recesses of my brain are no worse than the memories that are currently accessible.