If only for a moment

August 19, 2010
By , Winston Salem, NC
The Sweet Aroma of homemade biscuits and sweet potatoe pie embrace the soft gentle breeze and fresh air on this beautiful calm night as the family enjoys an evening on the patio. I smile and close my eyes. Mommy and Daddy are cuddled in each other’s arms flirting and laughing. Big brother relaxes on the big chair talking to his best bud about last Friday's football game. I'm lying on a blanket with my hands behind my back, my nose is pointed to the stars and my eyes are close. For once Daddy's not punching big brother until he draws blood and kicking mommy till she's lifelessly lying on the floor. For once my heart is intact and stable and not torn from those horrible relentless nights of pain and torture coming from a man who seems to have taken the role of his devil alter ego turning him into a man filled with pain and agony of life’s burdens and a man whom I know longer recognize nor do I love; he has chosen fear for me and I am caused to run and hide. My hair would be entangled between his fingers as he dragged me around the room like a rope.
At nights when he was asleep mommy slipped out of the bed. We met in big brothers room, slipped under the covers sometimes and just sat and sometimes we would cry; sometimes we would just hold and lean on each other. We never said a word because we didn’t have to we already knew how we felt because our story was the same it just so happened that our bruises were given through different forms of abuse and were placed in different spots. We always gave each other kisses before we finally went to sleep then we would lay back and lean on big brother like a rock. It wasn’t fair to him that at 14 I and mommy depended on him to provide the comfort and warmth we longed to get from daddy. His arms would wrap around each of us providing stability and support. Sometimes if mommy couldn’t sleep he would stay up with her until it got so much that she fell asleep from exhaustion; some nights my nightmares would get the best of me and I would start shivering and he would take me in his arms, rock me back and forth and give me gentle kisses until I was okay. Since daddy woke up every day at the same hour mommy would wake me an hour early wrap the covers around big brother then drop me off nestled in my bed before she slipped back into her room she dreadfully shared with daddy and go back to sleep. I know he knows but I’m thankful he didn’t choose to ruin our few hours of peace and love.
We went through months of the same tremulous cycle of his uncertain emotion. By this time big brother was 17 and I was 14 and mommy was still a graceful age. My fear made me fearless. I got out my markers, crazy scissors and stickers. In my card I wrote “Dear Mr. Unknown I would like it if you could please release my daddy and bring him home to us. We really do love him with our whole hearts. We know he is hurting and feeling hopeless after losing his great job and being stuck with a not so good job and we are very sorry. I still appreciate what you do for us and glad that you can still give us a place to live and food to eat. I am sorry that your heart is hurting but so is ours. Mommy always cries and big brother is angry and I miss my daddy. Please daddy let us all heal together. Daddy we are a family and families can eat, love and cry together. So please Daddy don’t be mad and just come home”.
P.S I love you with my whole heart –Kilah….Mommy, and Grayson
I thought this card would get me slapped in the face instead his reaction through me for a loop. Out of nowhere one by one tear’s trickled down his cheek and this once so big and powerful man began to shake uncontrollably and the words I’m Sorry rolled out of his mouth and he just broke down. Mommy and big brother came into the room completely confused. Mommy read the card then began to cry she gave it to big brother and he joined in and for the next hour we cried and that began our process of healing. That night mommy cooked a meal and we ate as a family. Daddy wasn’t angry and we weren’t hurting. That night we began to pick up pieces of our broken hearts and put them back together. Of course a couple of years of absolute pain won’t be erased like that but we are taking it day by day getting to know each other again as a family and knowing that one day we will be stronger gives us a little more strength every day. Knowing that our unconditional is binding letting us know that we will be okay. Some days are harder than others and the past tends to creep up every once in a while. Tonight big brother is in college, mommy and daddy are in love, and I’m in my senior year of high school enjoying a peaceful evening with my family anticipating biscuits and pie. If only for a moment my family is happy and in love I will take it even if it is only for a moment.

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