Let me start off by saying that I am thankful to God for the broken road I have traveled and I would never trade my wife and son for anyone or anything.
People often wonder why they turn out the way they do. I wonder it quite a bit. Would things of been different if I was raised in a normal two parent home with a bunch of brothers and sisters and all the opportunities of those around me? Oh yeah probably, but I wasn’t.
My parents were divorced when I was six. I to this day think I was either a last ditch effort to save their marriage or part of the reason for their divorce. I am 13 years younger than my brother and 16 years younger than my sister. I remember my brother living with my Mother and I but never my sister. My suspicions have never been answered, so I will live on never knowing.
Being raised by a single mother, we could only afford to rent houses in the Creve Couer, Missouri area. By the time the 80’s rolled around, it was a wealthy area. A kid who one new pair of shoes a year from Venture had no chance of being accepted into the Parkway North mentality of the 80’s.
My Grandparents did an outstanding job of doing the best they could for me. My Grandpa was my role model. I cry now as I remember how life was so much better with him and my Grandma around. They took me in when I ran to their house escaping a night of my Mother’s drinking. Dang you plain label beer! I spent many of nights, summers and whatever with them. My Grandma died taking care of my Grandpa who suffered from Dementia. I still remember talking to her on the phone the night before she died.
I haven’t talked to my Dad since the age of 16. I don’t remember when he stopped paying child support to my Mother and medical bills to my Grandparents. The agreed to child support was $35 a week until I was 16 then it was $50. It was supposed to stop the day I entered the Marine Corps. I just know he owed thousands and thousands and has never paid. My Dad remarried to a woman with some mental problems and I had a great step sister for a while. They divorced after I thought they were happy and shortly after that he married his current wife. My brother informed me last year that he has Parkinson’s.
My brother used drugs after he was in The Air Force. He offered them to me many times in high school and I turned him down. To this day, I have never used them. He still does. After we moved back to St. Louis, my brother was living next to my Mother with his wife. On my mom’s 70th birthday, he announced that he was smoking marijuana, and he didn’t care who knew. I informed him that would like to help him but I cannot have my son around him in case someone came asking him for money. Last year as he was screaming at me he told me that his wife’s best friend was his dealer. Haven’t spoken to him since.
My sister was in the Marine Corps in the 70’s and 80’s. Her oldest daughter is from her first marriage and her other two children were from her second. I spent most of my holidays growing up with them. My former brother-in-law is a good man, my son idolized him for a year or so while they were here in St. Louis. We used to spend almost every Friday and Saturday evening with them driving to Hillsboro each trip. My sister’s oldest daughter and her husband moved to Arizona with their two girls and they had another while living there before they were divorced. I believe my niece wanted to move back to St. Louis but her ex-husbands family would not let her and the girls. So my sister moved to Arizona not too long after that. Years later, my Mother followed after dealing with her boyfriend for as long as she could. I always say the women in my family stick together to a fault.
I am thankful that my sister is taking care of my Mother as she deals with her own Dementia. Today, my sister texted me to let me know she is put her in a nursing home. I found out on Facebook recently that my sister and her husband of 33 years were divorcing.
I have one aunt and uncle locally. There is no sense of connection there. I see one of my second cousins at church on an irregular basis. I have lots of distant cousins that I am regular contact with, but nothing like a close family.
My wife is an only child, her parents are living in Colorado. We see them twice a year. The first two days together are great but then we get on each other’s nerves. I believe this is because we don’t see them enough. But then again we are living together for the time we spend together.
This is my life. I have been blessed with the gift of hospitality so I used it on friends. Do I need a new family? Probably not. But do understand that you may not know the whole story of someone’s life unless you ask.