Read part 1 here.
The can opened and I froze.
Just thinking about that moment my heart starts to race a little bit and I have to fight back tears.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
I calmly pretended to keep reading till he came into the room and glanced to see if my fear was confirmed. It was!
I turn the page in my book, pretend to be reading. I underline the words so I wouldn’t rush. Turned the page again, and continued the charade. Then calmly close the book and walked to the my bedroom and used the phone.
“Mommy! Daddy is drinking!”
Can you imagine just having gotten out of ICU and receiving a call like that from your child?
“Ask daddy if he will bring you to the hospital to visit me.”
“Dad, mom wants you to being me to visit her.”
Their was no point to argue, it would have made things worse. So my mom told me to pretend to go swimming and she would find someone to come get me.
I changed into my suit and hid my undergarments and toothbrush in my towl. I prayed he would let me go.
Walking to the door, I looked over at my dad and said to him. “Dad, I’m going to go swimming.” I don’t remember what or if he even said anything to me but I was allowed to go.
The pool at our apartments was right next to our home. We had a large window in our living room that overlooked it. It wouldn’t take him long to know that I wasn’t really there.
The office was closed. The pool was empty. I was all alone.
I locked myself in the bathroom until whomever my ride was arrived and I imagined.
I imagined every horrible thing that could go wrong. Every fear that could play out in my mind built up bigger and bigger. I sobbed and worried about me, about whomever my ride would be. I was embarrassed that someone would know that this was something we had to deal with as a family. I was angry.
My ride arrived without incident and I was taken to my Noni’s. Or he brought me to my mom’s first and then someone else brought me to her home. I cannot remember that part, but I remember that night.
Laying in bed praying. Begging God to not let my mom die. Explaining to him that I would never be safe with just my dad and that if I had to lose one of my parents that night could it be him. I prayed and cried for hours.
The next day was spent with cousins and my aunt received a call. All us kids were sent outside…but one of them snuck back up the stairs to listen to what was going on. His face was telling but he didn’t tell. (I’m so glad he didn’t tell.)
We went to visit my mama after that, I expected some bad news but couldn’t imagine what it was. Maybe something was wrong with my mom again.
When we arrived at her room (all the aunts and Noni and cousins too I think), there was even more family in the room. So many of them that I cannot even recall or nor could I recognize who was there at the time. But my mom wasn’t in her bed. She was sitting in a chair and she called me over to her. She was so upset, she had been crying I could tell.
“Krystal, your daddy killed himself last night.”
I was crying and in her arms and in denial. My daddy wouldn’t have done that, it’s a mistake. I understood and believed he was dead but I could not understand that he killed himself.
I needed to be alone but I don’t think anyone left me. I think someone traveled with me every place I went keeping an eye on me.
I remember sitting next to a window, eight stories up wondering what it would feel like if the glass was not there and I let myself fall.
You see, the fear that had entertained me all night now had something else to feed on. Guilt.
But God was is stronger!
I was allowed to be alone in the Chaplin room. I found myself on my knees crying out to God and opening the Bible on the table. And He spoke to me with His word and while I still hurt it was the first time I remember feeling His peace so fully surround me.
I wish I could remember what it is that I had read. I wish that I could say in that moment I was free from the bondage of fear. But the truth is it had just gotten a really good grip on me and I had a long battle ahead of me.
…for the Lord God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. Psalm 55:4
Praise God, I was not alone. He was with me! He would not leave me! But I didn’t let fear leave me either, I didn’t know that was carrying him around with me like the tumor he is. And while I was kept safe in the arms of God I still entertained that fear. The bondage was real.