Ann was in the hospital, getting ready to give birth to her first child. After she had me, on February 28, 1969, she thought about her future because her husband had been unfaithful. Once she was released from the hospital, she went home to pick up some of her clothes, and we moved in with my grandparents. It was enough room for us all, and economically, stability was a reality. Ann filed for divorce.
My best friend had died. I was five years old, and it was a sad day for the whole family. I was getting dressed to see my grandfather for the last time, but as I came to the side door, my aunt told me I couldn’t go. Her words hit me right in my gut. The hurt was all mine, for I will always miss my grandfather!
I was still at my kind and lovable grandmother’s home, for eight and a half years. My first year in the prestigious Catholic school. Every year, when the school had their parent/teacher conference, all my teachers would congratulate my mother on how great a student I was, and well-behaved; if I would keep this level of excellence up, I would have a great future. I went to that school for two and a half years.
My mother met someone. We all moved into an apartment for a few months. Me and my mother’s boyfriend didn’t always get along. We moved again, into a three-bedroom home with a basement. The community was a mixture of European, Jamaican, and black people. Most residents were working; a few families had retired. My mother was working at Blue Cross Blue Shield as a computer programmer, and her boyfriend, now husband, was working at Chrysler. I enrolled in public school in the third grade. My first report card, I failed most of my classes. My mother was bewildered as she looked at my report card. I was once at a better school, she thought. She was deceived by those teachers, they intended to fragile and incapacitate me. My mother had thought different, so she took me to the hospital, to a neuroscientist, to see if mentally I had diminished or if autism had taken me. Well, I failed the third grade.
I got a spanking and punishment for failing the third grade. I passed the second time with bad grades and I got a spanking and went on punishment for the whole summer. I couldn’t read, spell, or write. Yes, my family knew this, especially when we played Scrabble together.
My mother hired a tutor. I was nine, and I was also going to boxing practice. The tutor did not have the knowledge that would help me learn how to read, and after three months of no progress, my mother discontinued those sessions. At my boxing training I was somewhat a natural, and all my trainers yearned to work with me. I was a little ahead of everyone my age and a few years older. It was my uncle that ran that activity center, and who had seen me fight. So he encouraged my mother to allow me to train. Well, after two months of training, everyday, three hours a day, I took a break and went to the bathroom one afternoon, and one of my coaches came in talking about my training, and how he wished I was a little older so I could fight for the Golden Gloves. I told him I didn’t think I was that good, not yet anyway. He shook his head in agreement. But he kept talking, and then asked me to see my private parts. I didn’t think he said what he said, so I asked him to repeat himself, and he did, and I left the bathroom without washing my hands, and ran home, as I did every day. The next day, my stepfather asked me, “Why didn’t you go to practice? Is it because it’s too hard for you?” I didn’t respond, not because I didn’t like him much, but because I didn’t speak much, because I grew up alone.
I called my uncle Billy, and asked him if I could stay with him. He asked me, “what is
is wrong?” I told him I didn’t get along with my stepfather; I’m always on punishment because I’m failing school because I don’t know how to read. Well, my uncle stayed in a different city, but he came to pick me up. He spoke with my mother for almost two hours. My mother turned his request down. As he was getting ready to go, I walked him to his car, and I saw the disappointment written on his face, but he told me, “life is not always easy, but you must fight to make the best out of it.” But I thanked him for trying.
I’m twelve years old. That same year, my stepfather asked my mother to ask me to take his last name. I could not understand how my mother would ask me that, but I said “no”.
My biological father sent me a birthday card with a letter in it, asking me to visit him. My mother didn’t want me to go. She had her reasons, and they were just, but I didn’t know them because she never said anything bad about him to me. Anyhow, I went and visited him, and the last day he asked me if I would like to stay with him. Instantly, I said, “yes.” We mapped out our plan.
I was over at my father’s house. His wife had four children, all of them older than me. That morning we went shopping for my school clothes; the next day I enrolled into school. Two months passed, and my father’s wife got tired of me, and they called my grandmother, telling her they can pick me up at the police station. My mother picked me up. As we drove home, she said nothing.
My stepfather always believed I could do better, and he was absolutely right, if I knew how to help myself or someone showed me. But his attitude caused my mother to demand that I no longer bring another bad report card home. Well, I got another bad report card. Instead of going home, I ran away. Not knowing where to go, I just walked for a few hours, until I became hungry, and I went into a store and took some things to eat. I got caught. The police came and gave the ticket to my mother.
In court, the judge read the charge and the solution to this problem. He told my mother she could pay the $25 dollars fine or she could release me to the State. She released me to the State. The batliff took me away. To Houghton Lake, Michigan, I went. There, after several tests, the staff saw I couldn’t read. The staff was very understanding and did as much they could to help me. I was there for a year. Before I was released, I had earned my driver’s permit.
My parents came and picked me up. At home I would ask my mother and stepfather to let me drive them, wherever they were going, or wanted to go. I have a driver’s permit, and learned how to drive on a two lane highway, with eight-wheelers everywhere, but they always answered “NO.”
I knew how to play chess pretty good. It was my stepfather who taught me, after many games, he couldn’t beat me anymore, him nor his friends. That’s about the time when my mother purchased me a chess game, on a disk, which I played on my computer, everyday.
It was summer time and I was back in school. I was taking my girlfriend and her brother to their school, then I would come home and drop off the keys, and then catch my school bus, Well, one day I was rushing to get home, I parked the car and went in the house to drop off the keys, but my stepfather met me at the door, as I was coming in, and he asked me “what are you doing back?” I said “I forgot my homework.” He didn’t say anything about taking his car, which made me feel that he didn’t see me park it.
After about a month, me and the family were watching TV in the living room, after we just ate dinner. I was stretched out on the floor, and out of the blue, my stepfather told my mother, “you know your son been taking my car.” My mother blew up, and said, “you got to go, you got to get out of this house!”
That night I slept in a vocational school car. That morning when I woke, I went home, but climbed in the window, and walked up the steps to my bedroom. I was there to get some sleep and some clothes.
I stayed across the street, at my friend’s home. My mother asked his mother to put me out, she did, and a couple days later I was ushered to a boy’s home, from 13-18.
Well, I’m glad you never stopped loving and cherishing your mother. However, one day you’ll learn how to read and write, and when you do, it will be hard for you to stop reading. And then one day, you’ll have the urge to write your own books. Just stay disciplined, and keep you do, it will be the mother. However, one have the urge
learning and devout.