-Journey of Forgiveness 

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you”-unknown

With the whooping’s coming to a halt, life got a little easier for me. Just a little see because, the whooping’s were replaced with exclusion.  Spring basically started to exclude us from activities with her family. There was even a time that her mother came to visit and wanted to have some professional pictures taken with her, her daughters and grandkids. I guess Spring didn’t realize that she meant us too because ,when her mother got there she was upset that Margert and I was not ready.

 Quick tip: kids can hear you when you whisper yell. 

         Spring was not happy at all. Her mother made her find us something to wear and bring us too. The entire time Spring was nasty towards us and only allowed us to be in two photos. Now let me be clear, Spring is the one that made it a point to exclude us from her family functions. Her sister and mother were never mean to us. However, they did know what was going on and as far as I know, no one intervened. 

The exclusion did hurt my feelings but, it allowed me to spend more time away from home. Because Spring did not want us around like that, I started to be able to spend the night over my friend’s house and my Dad started to come and get us more often.  But, when we were home, comfortable is not the word. Margert and I would lay and night and plan out escape.  Margert was super serious and determine to get out. She told me that she was going to run away get her own place and come back for me. 

I believed her. The way she stood up to Spring made Margert so brave and courageous in my eyes. She did what I was never brave enough to do. Then one day Margert escaped. Like I meanted before, Spring never could control Margert so, she didn’t have to run away to escape….

I can’t remember for the life of me what the actual argument was about. I do remember the tense feeling I had watching the show down. Spring and Margert stood face to face. Spring’s arms folded in front of her and Margert’s hands on her hip. 

         “Turn around and stand in the corner.”, Spring demanded

         “No, you’re not my mother!”, yelled Margert 

         Pow, Pow

As quick as Spring slapped Margert in the face is as quick as Margert slapped Spring back in the face. I stood holding my mouth in amazement. Spring went to the phone called my Dad and Margert flew the nest. She moved in with Dad that night. 

With Margert gone, I definitely wanted my chance to fly the coop. I was not brave enough to do what Margert did, so I just had to sit and wait for my out. Then, right in the middle of 7thgrade, Spring made the announcement that at the end of the school year she would be moving back to Indiana. My Dad and Spring once again decided to let me decide where I wanted to live. 

Margert did not give me the loving mother spill but, she did say she wanted me to go with her. My Dad offered me a bike and my social security check. Now I had no idea about any kind of check but, my Dad told me that he was money from my Mother, and it had to follow me where ever I moved. He never mentioned how much this check was but, I suddenly found what appeared to be Springs “motherly love”. It seemed I had just 2 choices, go with Spring and keep being excluded or go with Dad and hope things go well. I choose my third option.

The day after my last day of school, I was on a train headed to Indiana. The plan was to go to Indiana and go to my happy place, Grandma Phy’s house. That was the only place I ever felt loved and safe.   I was planning on escaping to her house once I got back to Indiana. 

Now, for the most part I had nothing but good memories in Indiana but, it had been years since I had been there. I really didn’t know what to expect. We pulled up on a grey, soggy, rainy day to what appeared to be the dirtiest train station on the dirtiest side of town. (Don’t come for me that is just how it was).  First thought that came to mind, what have I done. 

Although my ultimate plan was to move with my Grandma Phy, I knew it would take some time. See, the only person that knew about this plan was me. So, I moved in with Spring and Amber. I didn’t get to see any of my family for about a month. 

During this time, I continued to stay on Spring’s exclusion list.  Spring and her family would have family events and outings that I wasn’t ever invited to. I either had to stay home by myself or babysit the family’s kids without playing with them. When it was time to sign us up for school, Spring decided to put Amber in a Catholic school with her sister’s kids. Like any parent she wanted what appeared to be the best education for her child. She decided to put me in public school that is until her sister intervened. Spring was reminded of how bad that would look especially since I had a check that would more than cover my tuition. 

I remained the extra baggage for a while. I’m not sure what sparked it but, my family suddenly became aware that I was back in town. The first person in my family I seen was Grandma Phy of course. I was super excited to see her and all of my cousins that I had not seen for over 6 years. I had the time of my life but, quickly realized that my plans to move in with her was out the window. As always, Grandma Phy’s 3-bedroom house was already packed. Not another couch or chair was available. So, I didn’t bother to tell Grandma Phy of my life with Spring nor as to live there. Disappointed is not even a strong enough word to describe what I felt when I left that night. 

My Grandma Phy did do me a big favor though. She called my Grandma Lou and let her know that I was back. Next thing I know, Grandma Lou was at Spring’s door. She took a quick look around and TOLD Spring that she was going to take me for the day. After spending the day with my Grandma Lou and family, she told me she wanted me to live with her like my mother wanted. 

Now granted, I was not as close to my mother’s side as I was to my father’s side but, they are my family. I belonged and so I said yes. That same day, Grandma Lou took me back to Spring’s house and TOLD  Spring that I was moving in with her. She stood as I gathered my things. 

Spring suddenly put on her loving mother facade. She came to me with tears in her eyes and asked me if this is what I wanted. Grandma Lou never gave me a chance to answer. “She’s just a child and you’re not family. She ain’t got no choice. Hurry up and get your stuff Na-Na” Grandma Lou insisted. 

Spring was not happy but, she sure didn’t have any choice. I gathered all of my things that day knowing that I would never return. Spring’s time was over, the rain was gone and just like that, the seasons changed. 

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