Once upon a time there lived a little girl named Lou…
She was the heart and the light in her broken family.
But for how much longer? That has been the thought in my late night, can’t sleep restless mind.
How much longer do we have?
How much longer will she not know?
How long till her finding out changes the person she is/could have been?
My constant vein of sadness which flows through my being, is Laney.
She lived through this once, the knowing, and yet not understanding. Remember, she patted my back at night while I was curled in my bed sobbing so hard I woke her. She ran to me as her ‘bubbas’ cried, unable to comfort them. She screamed as she saw her Daddy, the reason for everyone’s tears, and demanded he leave. She heard unkind words, and watched her family fall into an unending darkness.
She came out, happy and funny, and anyone looking in would think untouched.
She asks questions.
“Are they married?” she will ask as a couple kisses on TV.
“She’s not his wife? Why is he kissing her?” she will demand from us furious. Thank you The Intern for needing to add in a cheating spouse.
Little things, she says and asks, which I don’t remember my boys noticing.
One day, she stands there, watching as I put my makeup on, and asks…
“Why don’t you wear a wedding ring?” Lou looks up at me intently.
“Because,” I pause thinking,” my hands swell and hurt.” I tell her with a sad smile.
“Why doesn’t Daddy wear one?” she questions with a tilt of her head, and narrowing of her eyes.
“Because his doesn’t fit him anymore,” I answer her, and give her a quick hug,” Now go get your shoes on so we can go.”
“When I get married? Maybe I won’t wear a ring either.” She smiles up at me and turns to leave and find her shoes.
She is almost seven now.
How long till her friends repeat their parents gossip to her?
Or she overhears a conversation and puts the words spoken with old memories?
When will the day come that we have to sit down and explain the truth she already knows?
You all know me, I won’t lie.
I won’t cover it up, or try to push it away in the dark.
In this family, we tell the truth, even when it’s hard.
The whore’s mom once told me to lie to my children, not tell them what was going on. I think at that time she thought her daughter was going to be my kid’s stepmom, and it would make them hate her. She was so wrong on so many different levels.
I was right to tell my boys the truth. They are smart kids, they would have figured it out on their own. I got to control how they found out, and when it was told. I think it helped them, the knowing I wouldn’t lie to them.
The truth might hurt, but it is so much better than darkness and lies.
I hope in a couple years, when I know we have to sit Laney down and tell her, I still feel the same way.
I hope she understands.
I hope she forgives, not only her father, but me.
“Once I was seven years old, my mama told me,
“Go make yourself some friends or you’ll be lonely.”
Once I was seven years old
It was a big big world, but we thought we were bigger
Pushing each other to the limits, we were learning quicker
By eleven smoking herb and drinking burning liquor
Never rich so we were out to make that steady figure
Once I was eleven years old, my daddy told me,
“Go get yourself a wife or you’ll be lonely.”
Once I was eleven years old
I always had that dream, like my daddy before me
So I started writing songs, I started writing stories
Something about that glory just always seemed to bore me
‘Cause only those I really love will ever really know me
Once I was twenty years old, my story got told
Before the morning sun, when life was lonely
Once I was twenty years old
I only see my goals, I don’t believe in failure
‘Cause I know the smallest voices, they can make it major
I got my boys with me, at least those in favor
And if we don’t meet before I leave, I hope I’ll see you later”