Where was I?
Where was I, you asked. I was the single mom on welfare, living across the way that she looked down on, because she didn’t understand that I couldn’t go to work without being penalized, unable to buy the medicine my kids needed just to breathe. I was the same one who held her when your dad put her in the very position she despised me for being in. I was the one that stood by her with no sleep and the only one who could calm her down when you were stuck in the birth canal for 3 hours.
Where was I? I was the one who was there for her when her husband chased everyone away so he could abuse you and her in private but I refused to go away. He hated me for that. I didn’t care, I loved you guys too much to abandon you too. I was the one who stood by her, held her up and kept her strong when she summoned the courage to finally leave him. I was the one helping her pack her stuff and making room for you in my home. I was the one that was with her when we learned the ugly truth, I was the one holding you and your mom when you woke up with nightmares and tremors stole her sleep.
Where was I? I was the one that stood beside her when the church turned their back on her. The one that stood beside her through the counseling, the divorce, the endless legal paperwork, research and sleepless nights. I was the one that told her she could do it when she cried to me saying she didn’t know how to be a single mom. I was the one that served him with all the paperwork, the one who tried to have him killed when I learned what he did to you and started doing to your brother when you were no longer accessible to him.
Where was I? I was the one that stayed up all night doing paperwork and went to court with her so she didn’t have to go alone. I was the one that bought a mini-van when she lost her car so we could fit both mine and her kids in it.
Where was I? I was the one that pushed through the police and news reporters when her crazy boyfriend held your family hostage at gunpoint, and then moved you guys out of that house and back in with me to keep you guys safe. I was the one who rented a truck and left half of my stuff in Lancaster to fit your stuff in it in order to move you and your family away from the monster that continued to abuse your brother because the law refused to protect him.
Where was I? I was the one that left half of my stuff once again in Rocklin, so you guys didn’t have to leave anything of yours behind when we shared a U-Haul on our move to Arkansas. I was the one that took care of you guys when your mom went to boot camp. I was the one that left work to help your mom when she was having a mental break down because she couldn’t find a house, had a U-haul full of furniture and a truck that needed returned. I was the one that helped you get a house, unload the truck and get it returned by that evening.
Where was I, you ask? I was the one that cried alone when I lost my dog to cancer. I was the one that cried alone when my daughter was diagnosed with cervical cancer. I was the one that left the courthouse alone in tears, not once but twice, because I couldn’t hold it in and no one was there to hold my hand, stand beside me or tell me I wasn’t alone when I attempted to file for my divorce. I was the one who held my kids and cried with them when my “family” moved out of state without saying goodbye, because they “forgot about us.” I was the one on the numerous unanswered phone calls. I was the one that comforted my children on one forgotten birthday after another. I was the one that spent 3 days crying and week contemplating suicide, before my doctor put me on the first of many anti-depressant’s, because the same year I lost my husband I also lost my best friend and it seemed more than I could bear.
Where was I? I was the one driving to Denver every day for 8 days because my daughter didn’t want to live anymore, the one who took her to counseling 3 times a week for a year and a half, the one that sat beside her holding her hand in the hospital all night, afraid to close my eyes for fear that she would stop breathing when she went into respiratory failure. all because life was to overwhelming with the reality of a biological father who has never had anything to do with her, a step father who after 6 years of verbal and physical abuse finally abandoned her as well, and then her favorite aunt (who she jokingly called her real dad) slipped out of her life in the middle of the night without a word and only a random text on a rare occasion.
Where was I? I was the one who sat in ICU all night and the next day with what would later prove to be a mild heart attack, that no one called to say they cared for or tell me not to be scared. I was the one who drove to Kansas because the desperation I heard in my sister’s voice scared me and I wanted her to know I was still there for her. I was the one that brought your brother home with me and paid for his cell phone because your mom was worried about his depression and thought a little break in an old familiar place would do him some good.
Where was I? I was the one that drove 1100 miles, took a week off work, and borrowed $1000 to help my mom move because the “family” right down the street wouldn’t help her. (Her words not mine) I was the one that was only 2 minutes away after driving 1100 miles that you nor your mom could come see or even call. I was the one that sat in your living room for 20 minutes that you never even acknowledged until I asked you to say hello to me and my kids. The same one who sat there for 30 minutes before your mother stepped out of her room for 5 minutes to greet me and my kids.
Where was I, you ask? Well, now… now I am gone……