dadz and momz

She ran as fast as her little girl legs would carry her. Down the hallway, around the corner and into the kitchen. Her mommy waited for her. The man there leaned down and lifted the little girl high into his arms. All she remembers is his firemans uniform and her question “Does this mean I can call you Daddy now?”

My dad has been gone for a month today. It seems much less than that. The pain hits at odd times and the sense of waiting for something lingers.

The little girl woke up early as usual. She was almost always awake before anyone else in her house. Her mommy always slept in and lots of times her daddy was working at the fire department all night. Mommy had given the little girl instructions not to eat until she was awake so the girl would turn the t.v. on and try to wait quietly until mommy got up. It was very hard to do sometimes because her mommy slept along time. One morning after her tummy had been growling for a very long time, the little girl thought perhaps just looking in the refrigerator would make her tummy feel better. If her tummy knew there was food, maybe it would stop growling and wait for mommy. She quietly tiptoed to the frige and cringed when the latch opening sounded so loud. Pausing to listen, the child pulled the door open as far as she dared and looked inside. On the second shelf, way in the back, were hotdogs. Hotdogs were so good! There were alot of them and instead of her tummy getting quieter, it got louder and began to ache. The little girl reasoned with a little girls reasoning ‘there are so many, no one will know if I just have one.’ She quietly removed one of the weiners from the package, softly closed the door and tiptoed back into the living room. Plopping down on her knees in front of the t.v., the child ate that hotdog like there would be no more for a long time. Relief coursed through her when she was finished as now nobody would know what she’d done and her tummy was feeling a little better too. When her mommy finally got out of bed the little girl heard her name called. “Who ate one of the hotdogs?!” Panic launched itself into the little girl’s tummy and chest…what to tell mommy? “Ummmm, Susie ate it!” Her mommy was quiet. Then from somewhere closer to the child, mommy said “You mean Susie and her mommy came over while I was sleeping?” Relief poured through the girl “Yes, they did and she was hungry.” Suddenly it was even quieter. The butterflies pounding around inside the little girl’s tummy felt like they got bigger and bigger. The child looked over her shoulder and saw her mommy holding her daddy’s belt. The look on her mommy’s face was scary. The little girl ran as fast as she could to lock herself in the bathroom. She slammed the door and threw the dead bolt. As she cowered in the corner, she heard her mommy stomping and yelling through the house “You listen to me, little missy, you will not lie to me and get away with it! Open this door!” Paralyzed with fear, the poor child couldn’t even move, let alone open the door to the monster that was her mommy. The next thing she saw was the door moving. Her mommy was throwing herself against the door and trying to get through the lock! The girl lay down on the tile and curled into a ball, crying and praying that mommy wouldn’t open the door because there was no way out. The door at last splintered open and there was her mommy, looking ten feet tall and she had her scary face on. The girl tried to be quiet as the belt lashed her again and again. When she thought perhaps the worst was over, her mommy dropped the belt and grabbed the soap from the sink. She forced the child’s mouth open and told her to take a big bite. The girl stood at the sink and chewed until it was all gone. Her mommy left her alone there to ‘think about’ what she’d done. The child’s stomach hurt again but this time the pain was different than being hungry. She crawled into her bedroom and lay down on her bed sobbing as quietly as she could sob. Later that night, to make it even more clear to the child, the mommy made her favorite dinner. The little girl couldn’t eat it because it all tasted like soap and her mouth hurt. Her back and legs and butt were too sore to sit and she just wanted to leave the table. Her mommy wouldn’t let her get down until she had eaten everything on her plate and it was very late by the time the child was free to go to her bed. The taste of soap lingered for days but the child never, ever took food without permission again.

My mom will be gone soon to be with my dad. Sometimes I wish she would just hurry it up already and then I remember…no matter what our relationship is with our parents, we will miss them when they are gone. Who knew? It turns out that is true. I miss my dad and am sad he’s gone. I know the same will be true of my mom as well. Stunning. Heart-wrenching. True. Peace.


3 responses to this post.

  1. I am so sorry. Bless you and bless your blog. Bless your mom and your dad. It is all heart wrenching. Sometimes the lessons we have been given or chosen are so incredibly difficult.


  2. Sending you big big hugs.. I am so sorry that you endured that.
    Makes my eyes think of a child being treated that way..
    Sending these hugs to you now- and to the little girl inside of you.


  3. isn’t it odd that our love for our relatives is so unconditional? they can beat us, molest us, and tear away our self respect with hateful words and yet years later, under cover of darkness, we somehow feel guilty for still loving them. i’m sorry for your pain. you have a beautiful soul.


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