In reality, he was homeless. He had been living with my grandmother, but she’d kicked him out.
The judge bought his fabricated case and ruled to let me go back home with him. He has told me a number of times about the tears Diane and Jason shed when it was time for me to go.
We were drifters then, or maybe squatters – perhaps a combination of both.
As my dad remembers it, by night we slept on a couch in the basement of an apartment complex. By day he pushed around a shopping cart and collected recyclables, with me bundled up in the front of the buggy.
He would go to the local recycling center and exchange what he’d picked up for cash to buy pampers and baby food. He was making a killing downtown one day off of all the bottles and cans left over after a Grateful Dead concert when a powder blue Cadillac pulled up beside us…”
This excerpt talks about the adventures my dad and I had after he lied to the judge and told them that he had the means to care for me. He had become riddled with guilt for what he’d done and he wanted me back in his life to raise, but he was just not ready or truly willing to be a parent. As an adult, I’m able to look at his choices objectively and see that, even though he was a testy drug addict, he really did love me, and he did what he thought was right in his own, lucid, mind.
I love my father very much and I always have, despite the things he did when he had succumbed to that lifestyle. Through my relationship with my dad, I’ve learned to love a person regardless of what their vices are, but that loving a person who uses drugs is sometimes best done at a distance.
Stay tuned for more Excerpts & Insights!