Light in the Storm
I remember watching from an upstairs bedroom window my father walking because my mother had tossed him out of the house. He had no where to go. I put my hand on the glass as a way of feeling that pain of him leaving. My father was sick due to Agent Orange. I was screaming with my heart and running toward him with my brother and sister in tow. But, I had to see him leave.
My mother was an alcoholic. Both of her parents deceased, died of cancer. She was the primary breadwinner; a registered staff nurse at our local hospital. She was raising three small children, claiming to her for every want and need. Her siblings, all halves, didn't do much for her except condemn and ostracize. My mother did things the "right way". She graduated college, married, and had her children to a God-fearing man. Something happened. I don't know what. My father was getting sick. No one knew why. We just had speculation to ease us with why.
My mother divorced my father.
My father lived in a hotel room and when the money became a strain, he lived in a homeless shelter with "druggies", "alcoholics", and frequent "jailbirds". My father witnessed to them and many were saved despite his health and socioeconomic status. My father was educated. A degree in Theology. He spent much of his life in/out of VA hospitals. His faith never wavered. He believed in us. My mother seemed to vanish in her mysteries on TV, her work, and the bottle. We had men come in/out of the house. We saw her get drunk and beat us because we were in the way. We got taken away, too. I was awarded to the court once and stayed from my family for six years. I came home finally when I was fifteen. My father's health staggered but he took care of 3 children all on his own. I was lucky. Very lucky. I had a father that cared. He couldn't shelter us from the world. We were better that he was that light to us; a hope we couldn't find until we all met Jesus.
My mother passed in 2000. My father eventually passed in 2013. I have three children and I am on my second marriage. It isn't the path that I dreamed having at 17 or any other age prior to now. I can say that I am grateful for it all. God has given me strength. He has given me wisdom. God uses ordinary people to His greater purpose. I am lucky. No, I am BLESSED.