In reading my memories, my stories, I hope you, the reader relate in the smallest of ways to what it was like, or what it might have been like if you had come from a large, struggling family. Believe me, I know you didn’t have to come from a large family to have struggles in our era and now. This tale is not one to be pitied or felt sorry for, this information is nothing new, it continues to be raw, relevant information for many today. They are relevant to me because these memories are mine, mine to cherish, cry and laugh about and understand the change in history they made for me. I want to know where we came from. I want and need to appreciate those ancestors and families that led the way, that cut the road we travel on in life, the ones who held us close and reassured us that tomorrow would come and eventually the sun would shine, even through the clouds, every day. Almost every story I tell floods me with memories from my childhood, some are just snap shots of times gone by, others are reel to reel filmed into my mind. So much so that I have to be careful not to run over myself or pass by a relevant memory while my mind is running so fast. I do not have regrets in my childhood. However, as a man, father and husband, I see backwards to things I would have changed, that maybe would have helped weather many storms of life. You see, in this tale I must be appreciative and protective of those around me, as a child and young man, for those that cared and gave us a chance, long since passed are the ones that knew the real story. As I recall, in collecting memories from the older ones, the ones whose memories linger in my heart and on my tongue yet can tell no more, are the reason I understand why many things were as hard as they were as a child. A sad tale it is, one that leads to a culmination of heavy hearts and forgiving nature, but with a rainbow at the end. As you all know, and I reiterate often, there were 9 children in my family. These 9 children are the legacy of a 4th grade alcoholic, abusive father and a functioning schizophrenic mother. My father was a confused young man, having a father that was never home, only to leave my grandmother due to have another child, probably in his absence. He too was demonized with alcoholism. He was a tall, dark headed, nice looking man, while my grandmother was more of the homely sort. One that was born with a little more affluence than many, and certainly more than my grandfather. Through the years, my grandparents had eight hard-working children, children that made their own way. All the while, knowing at the time what dowry the woman brought into the marriage became as much the husbands. In that respect, there isn’t much left to the imagination of what happened to her inheritance and the suffering she and the generation before me endured. My grandfather died when my father was 16 years old, so his mentors were his older brothers. For the most part through the telling of tales and a few memories, they were good men, without the addictive personality of my father. Oh, I am sure they had their own vices, but they are not mine to tell. As the hand me down story unfolds, a young couple fall in love, marry and begin having a family. This would be my father and mother. Who would have known my father could have found and married such a beautiful woman? My understanding of my mother’s illness was probably brought on by years of mental, physical and psychological abuse until the trauma she endured induced her disease process. The twins, Johnny and probably Kenneth remember her at a time when she was regal at best. We younger ones, Buddy, me, Rodney, Randy and Cindy caught that on a good day. Our memories do not equal out to evenness as the older ones. For I remember more times than I would like, memories of fear and seclusion, secondary to life’s unfairness. As the older ones would grow up, they felt as though they had abandoned us, to fiend for ourselves while they ventured into what was hoped a better life. This feeling continued for each one that left. Enough said for now, for the revelation of healing has come. To my brothers and sisters, as you read this, be strong and remember we made it through the storm. We have bruises, scrapes and scars that can’t be forgotten. In today’s memory, I do not want to forget. I will move along, remembering what made me who I am and what made each of you the jewel you are to me.
Copyright @coffeewithcharles.blog (Charles D. Grant)