This is a true story as I remember it. Some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed to protect the privacy of those depicted. Dialogue has been re-created from memory and composed in parts from my imagination.
Or it could be a complete work of fiction. You are welcome to speculate.
Enjoy the ride.
I don’t remember being abandoned by my mother, because I was only six months old at the time. Evidently, she was tired of being married, so one day she packed her bags and hauled ass out of Seminole while Dad was away on a job. My sister was thirteen months older than me, which made her just under two years old when our mother walked out.
I was told years later that we were rescued by a neighbor lady when she heard my incessant cries. She became suspicious when she didn’t see a car in the driveway, so she came over to investigate.
Luckily for my sister and me, the neighbor knew my Dad pretty well. They had gone to school together and even dated back then. After her pounding on the door drew no reply, she entered our house and discovered that we were alone.
She took us to her house, changed my shitty diaper, and fed us. Then she got on the phone and started calling people. After a few investigative phone calls, she learned my grandparents lived in Odessa. About sixty miles away. After another phone call to the Operator, she was finally connected and spoke with my grandmother.
She told G-mom that she found my sister and me alone in the house. Theresa was gone. She did not know where Dad was, but he was gone, too. The neighbor kept us until my grandparents came to pick us up. Then we went home with them to Odessa.
My grandparents were good people. Hardworking, God fearing, decent people. Both worked at Furr’s Cafeteria back then. Papa was a butcher and G-mom worked the register as a cashier. They had bought their house brand-new, back when my Dad and his two siblings were just about finished up with high school.
That house on Muskingum Avenue became our home. I don’t remember any of this, of course, as I was just a baby. But that is how we came to live with G-mom and Papa.
The amazing thing about my grandparents is they never complained. Not once.
They had already raised three kids who were finally out on their own. Then just as it looked like they might be able to relax a bit, along came two more kids to feed. And clothe. And take to the doctor. Yet, they never complained. They took us in and raised us as their own kids had been raised before us.
I was about five years old when Dad came back into our lives. He told G-mom he wanted his kids to come live with him. It was hard on my grandmother. Five years is a long time to raise a kid. She loved us like we were her own kids, instead of just grandkids.
It tore her heart out to do it, but G-mom encouraged us to go with Dad. She figured it was the best thing for us. He was our father after all. Tears running down her cheeks as she kissed us goodbye. Then we were on our way with Dad. Odessa fading in the distance.
Thus, my story begins.