The spend the night parties continued.
Not Only the love affair that was splitting us apart but my sister continued to be shuttled between my mom and her father. He lived now at his parents home and that is where my sister spent time with him.
Mom was becoming more agitated. I didn’t understand why untill a few years later. I do remember there was talk of rashes. accusations and then the custody battle began.
Battles are never a place for children, but never the less we are often in the middle of full-blown wars. We were bystanders. Many things heard, were never understood but was affected us. I believe that my mothers tears were the worst part for me. The loneliness of having someone taking care of two children while emotionally unreachable.
It was about this time that my aunt became terminally ill. Her failing health became a light moment in my and my sisters life. We were needed and came to the rescue of the other side of the family. We packed a suitcase for mom, sister and I and flew to the other side of the united states. Surrounded by turmoil and love at the same time can be hard for children but I remember this as a great time in my life. We rallied around my aunt. She was in and out of the hospital. I was playing with my cousins, living in the same house as my cousins, grandparents and the youngest uncle. Full house the tv show had nothing on us!
My aunts husband was the financial supporter. He needed care takers for his wife and two boys. My grandparents were handling the finances but not really to the content of my uncle. Mom was given the job, and new issues for the family to be in disagreement grew. Everyone tried to keep the peace for my aunts sake, but she would not live forever to make sure the peace was kept. It was a few months a freedom and semi-peace for us but eventually we had to fly back and resolve our little family issues.
Mom and my sisters dad wanted to try one last time to work things out. I don’t know how long they tried but it seemed like forever for me. I wanted to move back to my grandparents and cousins. The death of my aunt brought us together again. Mom won the custody battle so this time as we packed the Uhaul and prepared for a long drive across the united states it would be a permanent move.
The trip in itself is etched in my memory. My uncle was driving us from one side of the united states to the other. We sat all four in the front of the Uhaul. I don’t know if the seatbelt law and babyseat law was passed yet, but we didn’t follow it. We are lucky to be alive. My memory of falling asleep, my head on my moms lap and my sister on the other side also asleep. I woke up but didn’t open my eyes. Something felt strange. That feeling of something not being quite right was what woke me I think.
It smelled funny.
Thats what I remember. It smelled in the cab of the uhaul. Ash was dropped on my leg and started to burn as my mom quickly brushed it away.
“Is she awake? Do you think she is waking up?”
Is what I heard. I turned my heard so they wouldn’t see the tears squeeze out of my eyes, it burned where the ashes fell even though they had been brushed away. My mom didn’t smoke and neither did my uncle that I knew of. How could I know what roach clips were for anyway?
I think he fell asleep at the wheel because suddenly we were being thrown around in the cab. My sister and I were on the floor and stuff was flying off the dashboard on my head. Maps, paper, diapers, everything was everywhere as we slid to a grinding halt.
My mom and uncle jumped out of the cab. My sister and I climbed up on the seat. I remember looking out the window and seeing our things strewn over a stretch of the road we had been traveling. The truck we were pulling behind the uhaul had flipped on its side throwing most of my uncles belongings everywhere. The police and the tow truck showed up. I remember they uprighted the truck and the police officer told us how lucky we were to have not had a more serious accident. Apparently the shoulder of the road had a drop off and the truck wheel went over it getting caught, throwing everything off kilter and causing our accident. I still think it was because they were high, tired and fell asleep. I have asked them but I never get a straight answer even today.
I don’t recall anymore special smoke smell for the rest of the trip. But roach clips would follow us around for all the years to come.
Back with the extended family I was happy. Lots of damage had been done to our family so far but I thought we were finally safe. I now had my uncles, grandparents, cousins and sister all to myself. All together, where I could keep an eye on them. Ten year olds think they have a lot of power over life – I was mistaken.
Mom took over the finances for my uncle. She took care of his boys while he worked and traveled. It didn’t take long untill she was the black sheep again and grandpa never liked my little sister. So we had two black sheep. Words filled with poison were thrown around about my sisters father, making my sister also a recipient of the poison. Mom took over and my grandparents moved out against their will.
The free ride was over and they were not happy about it. Or so I have been told. Apparently that was moms fault and sisters too.
I don’t know how I was so lucky to be the one that was loved. Lucky to be the one that is loved, while those I ´love and try to protect are despised and hurt. This kind of love is a curse and a burden but that is my story.
All under the same roof, and love is bound to grow. Love, safety, dependency. There is a difference but sometimes its such a fine line, that the line just seems to disappear.
There was eventually a wedding. A promise to keep us safe and raise us all together in love. I finally had the brothers I wanted in addition to my little sister. Life was good.
We moved. We moved again. New job, new location, advancement, new location and so it was for a few years. finally there was a move and a promise to stay put for a while.
I suppose that when you have been chosen to walk the long hard road it doesn’t matter where you live. Challenges present themselves everywhere. And my sisters challenges began again.
Beautiful house. Beautiful neighborhood. Upper class. we each had our own rooms and shared bathroom for girls and one for the boys upstairs. A bonus room over the garage full of toys and vhs tapes. My sister loved every animal every created, fish and bugs too. She collected and cared for everything. One day she would have 100 children and be a veterinarian. She always said that. A big dream she would never let go of and would never come true.