In my earlier life, it was not all sunshine and roses. However, one particular memory sticks out in my mind. It was a late night and all seemed well on the home front, but to our dismay, our happiness was a short-lived reality. The truth was that things were not as they seemed. As my brothers and I sat watching late night cartoons, we heard what sounded like laughter coming from down the hall in our parent’s room. Sparked by interest, we went to the room to see the stir that was taking place. To our surprise it was not really laughter, in fact it was the sounds of weeping.
Drawn, despite the unsettling noises of despair, my brothers and I entered the room observing our mother crying on the floor. My father was nowhere in sight so we explored deeper into the room. I asked the imminent question that was on all our faces, “Is everything alright Mom? ” I asked. Followed by the slamming of the closet door behind him, my dad stood there with a look of utter disarray, anger, and hysteria on his face. We could not help but derive a conclusion. All the now healed scars of fights past were about to be reopened and we felt the impending doom of separation.
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As we stood like deer in the head lights, looking at my dad in fear of being included in the abuse, we began to do what we always had done and that was just get out of the way, but not without a lot of pleading and weeping for our mothers safety. “Dad! ” my older brother Grady yelled as he was walking toward us. “Stay away from us and leave mom alone, your being a bad daddy! ” I exclaimed. After saying those things to our dad, Grady and I got our answer in swift return, which was not very pleasant. It was a backhand upside the head. The entire house was in an uproar and there was not a dry eye in the place.
Destruction in human form was barging around leaving his mark on us in on our once safe home. There was only one thing that was missing from the scenes of that night, the police. “Knock, knock, knock! ” sounded the front door. Grady and I ran to the front door as fast as we could, thinking it was Mimi or Papa to the rescue. Yes, of course, you guessed it. No Mimi or Papa stood on our porch, only the uniformed men who must have gotten a call about the disturbance. The stern-faced officers requested an adult to come to the front door. My Dad came to the door and began the explanation of what was going on.
All the while, Mom, Grady and I walked to the back room and held tightly on to one another. Mom was mostly scared out of fear of the unknown of what could happen with the cops. However, Grady and I were scared of the worst that could come of our parent’s fighting so horribly with each other.. Greeted by one of the police officers in the back room, asking if we are k, he looked at us and could see the fear in our eyes. My mother replied with miss we are alright, but the boys scared as any child would be if their parent’s were fighting. ” The officer turned to me and asked, “Are you alright son?
Are you hurt? ” miss I’m k. My head hurts, but I Just don’t want daddy to hurt mommy! ” I shrieked. I guess that was the straw that broke the camel’s back because the officer got a look of determination and walked with purpose out of the room. My mom then got up, followed him, and began to talk with him. Grady and I followed as fast as our little feet could scurry to get to where everyone was heading. As we came to the front my mom trying to convince the officers of what, at the time, I did not know. All I could think was “why did my mom and dad have to fight all the time? Didn’t they love each there? Standing there dazed and confused, thinking to myself, I felt a nudge. I looked to my left and Grady was telling me to say goodbye to Dad. Now even more confused I looked to my dad and asked, “Where are you going Dad? Why do you have to leave? ” “Because Aaron, daddy messed up and hurt you guys. I shouldn’t have done that. ” He explained. “But dad I don’t want you to go, I love you! ” “l love you too, and you also Grady! ” who was standing right beside me. My father then turned to mother and kissed her ever so gently whispering in her ear what I could only imagine was goodbye and I am sorry.
The two officers grabbed him by his hands, took him away to their car, and drove away. The rest of that night consisted of awkward silence and a great depression, as any situation of this measure would feel. We sat around trying to get it out of our mind and focus on other things but that was like trying to beat a dead horse. Looking back on that day, I can now say that it was part of a plan that has lead me to where I am today. It has given me a knowing that a house divided against itself can never thrive. Therefore, it gives me purpose, and driven determination to rise above my own selfish desires and to do what is best for y family.
My Mom and Dad both learned the hard way that night that there are always consequences when you don’t give your spouse and family the respect they deserve. Now having a child of my own there is a hidden fear of making the same mistakes my parent’s did because, let’s face it, we as people role model ourselves after the ones that raise us. Does that mean were doomed you might ask? Well of course not because we are able to make our own choices that will best suit our families for the better. However, as I said before it’s all about the choices we make that define our lives.
In the end, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process does not end until we die, and the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility. Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to wait for; it is a thing to achieve. My parent’s still to this day never have learned that the real act of marriage takes place in the heart, not in the ballroom or church or synagogue. It is a choice you make not Just on your wedding day, but also repeatedly, and that choice is reflected in the way you treat your husband or wife.