Imagine being a kid again: Imagine being totally unaware of the harsh world around you, having fun with friends, going to elementary school, and a sixty card Pokemon card deck that is unbelievable. The most important thing being that unbreakable relationship with your parents whom you’ve always believed will be there for you for the rest of your life. And then one day everything changes.
My mother and father were together for nineteen years before they decided to split up and literally go their separate ways. Back during what I call the “better times”, Mom, Dad, Myself and my stepbrother Cory were a happy family. My father was a mechanic for Chaney Tires Automotive and my mom was rotated between being a teacher’s aide and working at a restaurant here in Catlettsburg. We were average middle class citizens, it wasn’t white picket fence though, more like a tall green privacy fence. Regardless life was good. But, it wasn’t until the summer after my fourth grade year was when things changed for the worst.
I had noticed that my mom and dad were arguing in the kitchen and to be blatantly honest, I don’t totally remember what the arguments were about, some of these were just small rants and every so often my mom and dad would have a disagreement, if it was a hefty one there may be some shouting and then they come up with a different solution and things go back to normal. At least that’s how I thought it went, the quarrels started happening more often and there was more shouting, growling, and screaming. I remember my mom leaving on one of those particular nights and never coming back.
I had to ask my dad what happened. He told me straight out that things are a little rough but everything is going to be alright. Me and my dad were very tight, we still are to this day. He explained to me what “divorce” was, the first time I heard the word was during that brutal argument
Now being a kid and living life being tossed between parents is tough. From what I understood at the time I didn’t know who’s fault it was, I never thought that it was mine or Cory’s but, there’s no way for me to place blame on anybody for it because at the time I was just too young to understand. Regardless though from the results of the case, my dad got custody of me and mom got Cory. There wasn’t too much of a fight over the material things they both understood what each other wanted and that was that. I got to spend some weekends with my mom and Cory at her apartment in Kenova.
I spent about a months worth of visitations with them at her apartment and it wasn’t all that bad, me and Cory were still doing the brother thing, playing video games, watching wrestling, then wrestling each other. Things may have been looking up after all. And then they both disappear off the face of the planet.
I sent letters, left messages on the answering machine at her apartment and when me and dad went over to find out, there were different tenants living in her apartment. We asked the supervisor if they had switched apartments and she told us that her and Cory left out of town. I had sent letters, made phone calls to my papaw and grandma in Huntington, but to no avail. They wouldn’t answer, write back or call back.
I took a moment and thought about Cory, my brother well technically stepbrother and I took a moment and realized the definition: My dad wasn’t biologically his dad, Cory had been through this before but at an even younger age. And this is how I started piecing things together and over the last decade I’ve helped myself understand. It’s still hard sometimes to think that the very people who thought loved you abandoned you.
In kiddie terms “when the internet came out” and we bought a computer, I started to try to figure out where mom was at. I’ve been on the search since I turned thirteen. I reviewed different numbers on the yellow pages website, there was a number for a place in Crown City and Michigan (my mother has a very unique name so I was able to spot this), I’ve tried those people searches but even with the little bit of money my dad put in, there was no help. But my father encouraged me to move forward and try to make the pieces fit.
When I passed my license test and bought a car, I felt that I had to go and knock on my papaw’s door in Huntington. It had been six years since the divorce, what was he gonna do kick me out? I went to the house on Fifth Ave the one I could remember. I remember the trees and fence and all the ivy everywhere and the big gate. I opened the gate and noticed some things that wasn’t quite right: a bottle of booze on the porch step, a bag of what I assumed was crack sitting beside it. I left without knocking on the door. That either wasn’t the same house or they moved out.
Some more years went by and I decided to go to college for criminal justice. The police would have the data bases I needed to track somebody down, plus its a career field I was highly interested in. I’m a bailiff at our courthouse now and the ironic thing is I didn’t get my next lead from police databases
Actually, my most recent break, the one that would’ve led me to closure, disappointed me. It was last year and I was looking on Face book believe it or not. My brother and my other stepbrother had created profiles. So I figured, I’d add them. Justin actually talked to me for a little bit, he says that they both work for a line boring company in West Virginia. Cory however won’t talk to me. Apparently he still has a lot of things on his mind and Justin told me it would be best to not force the issue, but when he was ready to talk, he would. I asked about Mom, and I never received a reply.
I haven’t seen my mother or brother both in eleven years. I can’t believe i’ts been this long. I can’t understand why Cory or my mother won’t talk to me, they know where I’m at now. I have no ill will or hatred towards any of them, something bad had to have happened to where she had to take Cory and flee town. It’s still tough sometimes, no matter how optimistic I try to be. I wanna give the benefit of the doubt to my Mother I really do but, sometimes it just seems like she didn’t really want anything to do with me. I’ve put forth every bit of effort I could in getting in contact with her. I still keep my faith and morale up in hopes of one day just getting a shot to talk to her. Crazy thing is if I got that I don’t know what I would say. I do have eleven years worth of stories to show for it. Until that day my search continues. I’d like to thank everybody who reads this for taking the time to and feel free to leave comments.
But, Mom, Wray Jean Angel, if you somehow stumble across this and read it, I hope you’re proud of me for trying. And for not turning out like one of these thugs like we watched get their asses kicked in James Bond films (Sean Connery was your favorite). I hope that one day we’ll get to meet again, I have a lot that’s happened in my life that I believe you should know about. To your relief, I don’t plan on making grandchildren anytime soon. I love you and I always will.