Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Trip That Changed A Lifetime

Everything was packed, boxes were everywhere. I sat on the floor next to my dog. I imagine we both had a look of bewilderment; wondering what was going on and what would life be like in the coming months. My mother was sad because with the change of scenery came separation. She’d be miles away from her mother, sister and brothers and once we’d reach our destination, she’d live on the other side of town from my father. That alone made the move one of the worse events of our lives.

It was a strange drive from Los Angeles to Texas. For the most part it was very quiet with a lot of pretending going on. I can say that now in hindsight. I remember my mother always looking back to check on me and my father being extra nice. My dog sat quietly in the very back of the station wagon. That was a rare moment for him that lasted a couple days. When my father drove at night, the dark shadows of his silhouette played tricks on my mind. I would sink down in the backseat and stare at him. The shape of his head appeared to change; sometimes forming into the shape of Frankenstein. I stared at him for long periods of time before drifting off to sleep. In between that, all I can remember is that we drove and drove all night and day. I don’t remember us stopping somewhere to spend the night or stopping for food, though I’m sure we did, stop for food. I guess my mind chose to release some parts of the memory so that other images might linger a little longer or possibly forever.

The image that always haunted me was when we pulled into the Dallas airport. My mother and I looked around wondering what was going on. She started to tear up and to make matters worse, it began to thunder outside. The rain came down hard as my father announced he’d be flying on to Houston because he had things to tend to with the business. He said we’d be alright and we’d have only one hundred miles left to drive before reaching the small town in east Texas where his mother lived.

My father never looked back. He couldn’t sense that he had a son staring at him with his hand pressed against the window waiting for a chance to wave goodbye. My father walked faster so he could get out of the rain. My mother took a while before she’d move over to the driver side. She cried. There were three pairs of sad eyes sitting in that station wagon; her’s, mine, and my dog. All my mother could say was that she felt completely lost. She had no clue how to find the highway that would take us up the road to east Texas. We eventually found our way but it would be a lot of years gone by before we’d truly find our way in every sense of the word. That moment changed everything...

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