Fifty three years ago today we received the news that our daddy was dead.
I was only a mere 7 years old.
Life with daddy had not been all roses and good times.
In fact, I have to think really hard to come up with a handful of good times.
The last time I had seen him was just before Christmas in 1958.
We were living at grandma's house.
Mom had left him a few weeks earlier.
She had a good reason.
We were living in a small house in the country.
Daddy had come home drunk.
Not an unusual thing.
But this time he took his shotgun and sat down in a chair in the living room.
Mom was sitting in another chair darning socks.
She always stuck a light bulb into the socks to darn them.
I remember well.
No one darns socks anymore.
We five kids were sitting on the sofa across the room from our parents.
I remember my dad saying,
"I will shoot them first, then you, and then myself."
It will be forever imprinted onto my brain.
Mom calmly continued to darn socks.
We kids calmly continued to sit.
Dad passed out.
Mom got my oldest brother out a window and he ran as fast as he could.
He got the neighbors, who were also our landlords, to come.
They loaded us all up and took us to grandma's house.
Mom had to file for divorce in order to get help from the state.
Dad called and wanted to see us for Christmas.
Mom said he had to come sober.
My last sight of my daddy was peeking around mom's skirt as he stood
on the porch at grandma's.
He had been drinking.
He gave her sacks of candy for all of us.
And I never saw him alive again.
My prayer today, on this day of remembrance, is that
Not another child will ever have to live a life without their
Nothing in this world is worth killing yourself for.
That is the easy way out.
It is much harder to stay and face the music.
Much harder to raise five kids.
I often think what he missed.
And what I missed!