I grew up with my mom. She had me just 2 days after she turned 22 on a hot summer July day. She and my father met in the military in good ole Texas. They both were in the army. They fell in love fast when they were 19 and 20. My mom even came back from Panama just to marry my dad and then went back. After she found out she was pregnant with me she left the military while my dad was serving then in Germany.
Time passed until he started becoming abusive and hiding bad secrets. He was doing drugs. That's when she confronted him and he denied it even though it was in his secret spot of their apartment. She left then to go back to my grandmas, back in cold Wisconsin. After a long drive with me bouncing clueless in her belly we made it home.
My mom filed for divorce and never looked back until bad news came about 2 years later. My dad was murdered. Police found guns and drugs in his trunk of his classic car. He was found a few steps further, hanging from a bridge. Rumor was he was out to come hurt my mom and I. Not a pleasant thought for a mom and her 2 year old child to think about.
The funeral was shortly after and my mom and I packed up and flew to say our goodbyes. Even though she was hurt by what he had did. She felt is was the right thing knowing he was my dad. After we arrived we stayed with my dads brother, wife and 2 daughters. I can still remember climbing over large logs and playing in the yard.
Finally it was the day of the funeral. I remember seeing my dad in a silver casket and his facial expression. Just so serene. Hearing my mom tell me he was my dad was still confusing to me at that age. Years later I finally got it. The even sadder thing is his girlfriend was there as well. How awkward is that. Maybe I have other siblings out there I don't know about. Never know. Still to this day we have no idea who killed my dad. Its an unsolved mystery.
A few months passed. My mom received a letter from my dads old hometown church. The priest wrote horrible things to us. I still have the letter. It stated things like "if you never divorced him he would be alive. You are a sinner!". Also that we were not welcomed in the Catholic church ever. My dads mom even signed it. Yes I say "my dads mom" because she never meant anything to me, never will.
Years passed and I was finally understanding what a dad was. You learn a lot from your friends and family. When I was around 12 I even found it in my heart to reach out to my dads mom. So I wrote a letter and sent a photo. Days later it was sent back. "Return to sender, no such address." I was sad. very sad. I tried again numerous time throughout the years all with the same outcome. All it did was leave me hurt and depressed. I gave up.
Living my whole life with such a heavy heart all because my mom and I were considered bad people because we were just nearly surviving. I to this day consider my mom a "Hero". She did not stay with the man who was abusing her physically and mentally. Taking her money and using it for drugs and alcohol. She could have stayed and we could both be dead today or in a lot more pain. That took courage to just leave while pregnant and drive cross country. A lot of courage.
I still get asked about my dad and if I miss him. I politely say "how can I miss someone who caused so much heartache, much less never knew?". Yes, he will always be "my dad", but he is still the first man to ever break my heart.
Yes, I grew up hurt, feeling like a failure on and off, a lot. But I also was a happy child. An only happy child. My mom always made sure I was happy. We would go places together, play together and comfort each other. We were and still are best friends. I never received anything for free. I made sure I earned it all. Helping do every thing possible for my mom and grandma. And all with a smile.
I don't regret getting my first job when I was 14 as a buffet girl at our local family restaurant or working as a manager of Subway when I was 16 all while keeping up on my grades and taking part in over 7 other sports and other interests at my high school. What did being an only child teach me? It taught me how to be creative, funny, independent and caring. I would never take any of it back. Ever.
Now as I get older I have come to realize that I am getting lonely and yearn for a brother or a sister. I realized this when my other best friend, my grandma, passed away 4 1/2 years ago. Then shortly after her last sister, my great-aunt passed away from cancer. I took care of her for years while she was sick. That was the last of the 13 of them. When you grow up an only child you do not think of when your in your 30's and your older family starts getting ill and frail. You only focus on enjoying life then.
So this is why my husband and I chosen to have another child. Maybe they will not get along. Maybe they will be best friends. But I will feel better knowing he will have another person to share his feelings with. Even if its at my funeral.