Friday, October 22, 2010

Does She Remember?

I once knew a pretty little girl who was blonde and chubby; like a little cherub. She was only 2 years old; adorable, smart and already very strong willed. She had a family, a mom and a dad. Her mom was strong and faithful and her father, the complete opposite.

This little girl was taken along on many wonderful adventures with her daddy. She was also taken on travels that she didn’t deserve to be a passenger on.

I have thought of her often over the years; vividly remembering her sweet face. I have thought of my own childhood memories, and the depths that they are able to sometimes reach. It has made me wonder of this girl’s own recollections.

Does she recall sitting in the backseat of her daddy’s car while he met with another woman who was on her coffee break? Does she remember seeing him steal intimate glances, touches and words with someone that was not her mommy? Did she feel the bump in the road the night her daddy hit something; and the panicked feelings from him that, no doubt, quickly filled the car? Does she remember the loneliness that she must have felt on the night her mommy went to the hospital (to give birth to her baby sister) and her daddy didn’t even stay with her (because he wanted to be alone with another woman)? Does she know that while her brand new little sister was in the hospital, clinging to a life that would not manage to sustain her, and her mommy was alone in her grief, her daddy wasn’t even there? Can she still hear the whimpers in the night; the tears her mommy surely cried as she sat up at night wondering and waiting?

Did there come a time when it all began to make sense to her or did she manage to escape that knowledge, safe and secure in the role of Daddy’s Little Girl?

I have thought of that little girl so many times over the years; hoping that she turned out to be happy, strong and safe. I have hoped that her family managed to recover from the many trials they faced in that time. She would now be the age I was when we met, and I hope that she is on a safer and more care-free path than I was walking back then.

I was 17 years old when I met this family, during a tumultuous time in my own life. I was living with my dad when he became friends with the little girl’s daddy. As a family, and without the rest of the family, there was a lot of time spent at our house.

We no doubt learned from each other many valuable lessons; no matter how sad, reckless and unfortunate those circumstances were. For a short time I carried anger and regret for my experiences with them, but I have come to accept and appreciate the knowledge that I gained. “Un-necessary” lessons learned at a very young age become insights that I am thankful to now have, 15 years later.
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