Back to My Parents’
I made a phone call to my parents’ and told them what the situation was; at that time (early 1989) I was still thought of with dignity and respect, so no questions asked and with no hesitation Mom said, “Yes of course,” Dad who was on the extension said, “That’s great Steve; I’ll have Dave” (a brother) “pick you up. When can you leave?”
Thank God, oh that’s right I disowned him that day at the nursing home. Being back at my childhood home brought back many memories. Remembering brought me to when Nancy and I first met.
That day will never be forgotten, though the date is… It all happened in August of 1968. I was fifteen years old and had just hitchhiked from my driver’s training class in the Midway area of St. Paul. The day was perfect, the sky was cloudless and a soft, pastel blue with just a hint of a breeze in the air.
I went to my girlfriend’s house and heard the Grass Roots blaring, “It’s a Beautiful
Morning,” and it sure was as the laughter of friends carried through the screens on a breeze. The Grass Roots on the radio was soon replaced with a Led Zeppelin Album… a new band that I’d never heard before.
My girlfriend, Laura, introduced me to her best friend, PeaWee (Nancy). The two of us really hit it off and before leaving in early afternoon PeaWee and I were boyfriend and girlfriend. We all left Laura’s place because her parents’ were due home soon and we began walking the railroad tracks east to the trestle (a place reserved for the “cool” kids actually, the troubled kids). A place for parties, drinking, smoking tobacco and the… Then showing off, a train or two would be hopped. Ahh, those were the days.
But now, here I am thirty-four years old with two daughter’s nine and ten and living back with my parents, my earning days had vanished and so too Nancy.
One morning I woke and wondered what I could do because I was bored out of my mind. Before my feet touched the ground, I knew. Excitedly I went down the stairs (two flights) to the basement where the shower was. Mom of course was in the kitchen, as she was continually cooking, cleaning or reading if she had the time.
“Good morning,” she said as I ambled through the kitchen on my way to the basement. She looked on with a fear of where I was headed because just the previous day I had an accident. While trying to get my underwear on after the shower, I fell, and like that T.V. commercial I couldn’t get up! I screamed for Dad with my soft voice and luckily he heard me, came running down the stairs and stood me up and sat me down on the toilet seat. I told him that I fell over trying to put the underwear on, “I should’ve sat on here instead of doing it while standing, I’ll know next time.” Not another word was mentioned about the incident from either of them.
This would be a banner day for me – I could tell! I never fell while showering and Mom made me a fantastic breakfast (I loved her cooking) but then I told her what I was going to try to do.
“Do you think you can, Steve?”
I’ve got to learn to care for myself Mom, I’ll be alright.”
So cane in hand, I ventured out on my own. I was going to take a bus to the mall a few miles away. It probably took me twenty minutes to walk the block to the bus stop and I had gone for daily walks around the square block for weeks; I thought I could do this.
The bus driver was patient as he waited for me to scale the three high steps and plop down into the seat directly behind him. Always conscious of slowing others, I apologized and we began rolling away from the stop.
At the mall I tried purchasing a pair of jeans with my credit card but was told I had to go downstairs to customer service. I ambled down to find out what the problem was and this is what I was told when my number had finally been called. I handed the clerk my card and said, “This card wouldn’t work and can you tell me why?”
She looked at her computer briefly and snapped, “This card isn’t in your name.”
Instinctively I knew, but I asked anyway, “Whose name is it in?”
‘Nancy?” Well of course. I wondered what else she had done to my credit and with my once, honorable name? “Did you want to apply for another one,” she asked?
How could I? My possessions were all gone and being unable to work what chance did I have? “No, thanks.” Why did I say thanks? I phoned my poor mother and asked if she would pick me up, of course she obliged. I couldn’t take the bus home because I didn’t have any strength left and because I couldn’t think clearly on which bus to take; I was a mess.