The Divorced Son: Part Two | Reflections

A boy walks alone through the city. Text reads: the divorced son: part 2.

                 I didn’t have many friends when I was growing up.  Attachment wasn’t a thing I trusted.  My Dad and Mom split up when I was 8, and I ended up having to go to a public school not long after.  I had some friends in Calvary Christian, they were like family.  Mrs. Blamb was like a mother to me.  I remember the security I felt in that place.  I remember the Christian flag that meant a lot to me, with its pure white dove.  I remembered the Lord’s prayer, at least part of it.  I remembered them because they were given to me by God.  I had a perilous path to follow, and he equipped me with faith that would never leave me, though I would turn my face from it through anger and fear. 

                So, all I had was my brother really.  I loved him like the most precious person, probably because we needed each other.  I probably needed him more than he needed me.  I remember pulling the little red wagon with him in it, all around Sherwood, Ohio.  We even entered the parade, which was a small town parade with a bunch of people from town in it.

                Sherwood was a small town that took a few minutes to travel through, very forgettable to anyone not associated with it.  I miss it mostly because it is where my father’s parents lived.  My grandparents were amazing.  My Grandpa and a few of his buddies pretty much switched jobs in that town.  He had been Sheriff, Mayor, Fire Chief, Sewer Superintendent, and Deputy.  He was bigger than anything to me.  My brother and I would wear his hats and play out life. 

                My Grandmother had worked at a candy factory and she would get rolls of paper for us to draw on.  Not just a small roll, but gigantic!  We would roll it out and create huge armadas of Battlestars from Battlestar Galactica.  Cylons would be in ovals trying to attack the ships.  I would tip a pencil on end and push down on the eraser making it make a long chaotic mark, hopefully striking a Cylon ship.  We would do this in the living room, across one whole section.  It was awesome!

                The house they lived in was old and whitewashed, and it had these stairs that always creaked at the most inopportune times.  It was drafty and one of the things they did to make it less drafty was pin curtains up in each archway.  One happened to be in the entrance to the stairs leading up to the bedroom we would sleep in.  More than once, we would get caught trying to edge down the steps to listen to our parents and grandparents.  The bedroom was spooky too, but that was because it was old and my imagination would run rampant.  Yet again, the cause was fear.

                One distinct memory I have is of watching the Challenger shuttle launch.  I was sitting there, on the arm of the chair my grandfather was in.  We were watching with rapt attention.  Then it just split up into raging, billowing clouds of two lines of smoke.  I didn’t understand.  It looked amazing, but I knew something didn’t seem right.  Then my grandfather told me what had happened, and I was sad.  When I think about it, it makes me think about all the truly courageous people in the world.  A lot of those people are or were teachers.

                So, in public school I found something new.  I was at recess, and this kid came up to me.  He asked if I knew what this one bad word was, and of course I said ‘yes’.  I didn’t, but I was scared.  I remember wanting to be a part of them.  It was during this time that I had a moment I regret to this day.  I helped them make fun of a tall girl.  There was no reason for it.  And after, I remembered that these people treated me the same way because I had glasses.  I felt bad, and I don’t remember what happened after that.  I feel badly about this event.  I am ashamed, and I let my students know about this time when I see them hurting other people’s feelings. 

                I have done some things right though.  I have never, ever been athletic.  That’s my brother, the epitome of athleticism.  But, I was in baseball and I never ended up trying out because I conned my way out of it, through fear.  So, I ended up on the Bears.  We were a motley crew.  We had a fat catcher, a tall red-haired kid that stole bases well, and me out in right field glasses and all.  During that season, my mom asked me at one time if I wanted to stop, which I did.  But, I told her that if I left then the people in the stands would only pick on the catcher, so I took some of that ridicule on myself for being horrible at baseball.  I got one run that season, it was my last.  I will remember the Bear Hug that my coach gave me after that run, it was heart-lifting.  There are amazing father-figures out there, you just have to look. 

I hope I can be one of them.

Ready for part three? Or do you need to return to Part One?


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