As I said earlier, Mom and Dad married shortly after high school. They had four children: Sharon, me, Brenda and Carl. I’m 18 months younger than my sister, Sharon. Brenda was born 18 months after me, and Carl was born 2 years after Brenda.
I have no memories from my early childhood. I don’t know if I’ve blocked them out because they were bad, or if I simply don’t remember. Once in a while, something will come back to me, but not often.
When Carl was only a year old (maybe less), my parents divorced. I never knew the reason why. I know they fought a lot. I don’t remember the fights, or what they were about, only that there was a lot of arguing. I’ve asked my parents about it, and I get different stories from both of them. The only recollection I have of the divorce is seeing my dad at the door with a suitcase in his hand. It seems as though he left often, and I don’t know if it was for business or if they separated a few times. But I do remember asking him when he was coming back, and he said that this time he wasn’t coming back.
We visited my father I think about every other week at first. He remarried, and after that the visits became less frequent. Soon he had another daughter and son, Heather and Darin, and we didn’t see as much of him. Not long after that he and his family moved to Chicago. Naturally, the visits with him were even less frequent because of the distance.
My father’s wife, Bev, disliked the fact that he had children from a previous marriage. She never made an attempt to get to know us, and the few times we went to their house to visit, she wasn’t around much. There were some times we would go to some of her family gatherings. We always had fun, but it felt uncomfortable and unnatural most of the time.
It wasn’t until adulthood that I started to get to know Bev. She really is a nice person once you get to spend time with her. A few years ago, my youngest daughter and I went to visit Dad and Bev in Florida where they live. We had a great time with both of them. Bev and I grew much closer.
I still keep in touch with my dad, though not as much as I should. We communicate mostly via email, though we still call each other occasionally.
My mom and I are very close, as we always have been.