After 15 years of having just us three as a family, my dad passed away. It tremendously took a toll on my mom and a lot worst on me. To be honest, he wasn't my REAL father. But after being left from my real dad, he came in our life and changed it for the better! He shared such a connection with me that I just started calling him my dad. He literally saved us from a horrid life and I cannot thank him for the difference he made in my life. I was only 4 at that time and yet 11 years of having him as a dad was one of the greatest things my mother could allow my life to have. Unfortunately in 2007, he passed away and my world turned upside down. I really didn't have the time to mourn when he passed away because I had to be the stronger person in my family that only now consisted of two. Wow, just us two. Some say two is not a lonely number, but with just my mom and I, it felt the most lonesome number. I couldn't believe he was gone, that in just a second all the memories and all the life in one person could dissipate. That it could take the brightest light and extinguish it in a matter of a second.
My dad who was just promoted to Gunnery Sergeant in the Marine Corps and was such a determined and distinguished worker, friend, and father just slipped away. Out of everyone I had to be strong for my mom. I had to withstand all the pain of losing a dad and having to comfort my mom without any tears. They say mourning is part of a healthy process. I didn't have that specific time to mourn. Not in the eyes of my family. Over the next years, my mother and I's relationship would diminish slowly and painfully. I guess my mother's way of dealing with my dad's death was to change everything. We moved out of our house into an extravagant neighborhood and bought a new car. At some extent, I was happy for her. But drastic changes like these weren't healthy. In a way it made things worse. But I didn't have the courage to step up and say anything, because it was her mourning process. Fortunately she took comfort in a new boyfriend, which brought her some happiness. As long as he made her happy that is all that mattered. But I was left unhappy. Our best friend relationship was destroyed by the fact that we both lost someone so dear. It hurt so much more when I had to face the reality on my own.
I was only 16 and I had to do this on my own. I do not know how it happened, but somehow I found someone to love too. I found an arm to lean on and a love that has grown until today. Thomas Gruel. He helped me so much during all these times. Not only Thomas, but his family also. They took me in as their own and treated me as if I was their daughter as well. Some how I felt like Dad knew what I was going through and helped guide me to this family.
Honestly up to this point, they still treat me with such warm hearts. Like their own child they buy things for me, shop with me, comfort me, and love me endlessly! As time went by my mother and I just grew apart, to the point I was told to move out after I graduated high school. I was left on my own again. My second family had to pick up the pieces my mom left behind. They helped me with college and supported me. Without them I don't really know what I would of done because I was so close to giving up. They kept me from retaliating and they helped me become more determined!
So as I got into college, that's when it hit me the most. The mourning had begun and I was feeling every single pain. It basically hit me like a bus and I didn't know how to deal with all of it. All the pain that was suppressed for this long just couldn't hold out any longer. It just seeped through. I wasn't ready for it and I didn't know what to do. I think it was the fact that my mom and I didn't have a close relationship anymore and I felt alone. Not only did I lose my dad but also my mom. I didn't have anyone left to hold me in place and no more guidance. Yes I did have Thomas's parents but it is never the same. You still feel like you're alone even when people keep telling you otherwise.
My mom and dad!
It was now 2011 when everything changed AGAIN. After so long of fighting against everything, I reached out to my mother because I just needed her. I was hurting so bad that my grades (from being a straight A student) began to fall apart. I needed to re-patch our relationship for my health physically and mentally. I had to be the bigger person. So I did. It was a little rough in the beginning but still had to be done. She gave birth to a baby girl named Scarlett Jewel. Honestly that was one of the greatest things to witness. A new addition to the family of my mom, her boyfriend, and I. I think that was what really glued my mom and I's relationship; my sister.
In my mind, I didn't want her to grow up not knowing she had a sister. Unlike me, I had 3 half siblings in which I still have not yet met. I wanted to be in my little sisters life so I could be there every step of the way. I was there for many of the first and some I unfortunately missed out but nonetheless I was glad to be there as long as I have. I don't know if this is weird, but I feel as if she's my baby girl as well. I know there's a big difference between mother's love but she's like mine too. I mean many girls are mothers by 19, and I'm like her mommy too in a way. I've spent so many times taking care of her when my mom was gone. I've had to teach her things, cuddle her, put her to sleep and bathe her. So yes, I feel as if im her mommy too. She has called me momma various times but I have to remind her I am "Ate" (meaning sister in tagalog). I love her regardless and she's just quite a gift in my life. I am so happy to be her big sister and thank God I have another chance to rekindle my relationship with my mom and this family.
Well I hope y'all enjoyed a little part of my story!
xoxo Your Southern Pearl