Sorry for the delay in writing but that always happens when I write about Cezar.
The trip to Nashville described in the story is very real. All those things did happen to us not only on the road, but before: the church. Which is why I no longer attend.
The agony and pain inflicted by “christians” was the worst I think I’d ever felt, because I associated them with a loving god. I had to divorce myself from the people in order to find out who god was to me.
And he was not who they said he was, what their cold stares and rock hard opinions portrayed him as. He wasn’t how they lived, spoke, judged. I know not everyone is to blame, not every christian is like this. But where I was, and the few who were unbelievably cruel, were.
Rhona, a very mature seven-year-old, did come through that crowd that last day in church, took my hand, and led me out of there. It was a miracle. I saw god in her that night. I knew that was who he was. I knew that he would not look down on me for leaving Cezar.
Cezar left early October. We left for Nashville the next June. I had $1031 in cash, I had my sister’s Firestone credit card, her phone card, a car my old roommate sold me, and as much as I could fit in the little wooden trailer, and what I could fit around my four little kids in the car.
The car had all those breakdowns, and the police did stop and say they were sorry but thought I was a guy they were looking for. When we got to Nashville, I did have $2 in change. We slept in the car in a campground that first night. And the mosquitoes were relentless.
The friend did let us come to stay with her in Knoxville for a week, but I could tell her husband was not happy and it made me feel bad. Like we were a burden. She did pay for us to stay in a Days Inn for a week which really saved our lives. The day our hotel visit ended, the landlord said we could move into that wonderful, three bedroom brick house. The first night we moved in, with the few possessions we had, we all slept in the living room on the floor, on blankets. It was one of the best days in my life.
There’s so much to tell about Nashville. How we walked everywhere after the car died. How DC Talk used to drive down our street in their tour bus. How Toby from DC Talk came to hear me sing at a restaurant bar, and asked if I was ready to go on tour with them. I did turn them down because they wanted me to leave my kids behind.
There were the babysitters and my attempts at working. I lasted four months as a Shoney’s waitress. I couldn’t do it anymore. Not after the babysitters. Seven in four months. One watched horror movies that gave my kids nightmares. Another put Fia in the trunk of the car when they went to the store. Another, a man, took Gregor in the bedroom when he was three. Rhona stood at the door listening, waiting. She heard nothing. When Gregor finally came to the door his face was red, he was gasping for air. When he got home I asked him to show me what had happened. He took a pair of his underwear and put it over his head and face. I still don’t know what happened to him, but the guy was soon arrested for raping his six-year-old niece. And I had left all four of my children with that man and his wife. I tried one more babysitter who called me at my job to tell me I was going to have to pay for a very expensive vase my son had accidentally broken. I went and got the kids. And I stayed home from them on. I got public assistance, rental assistance, and was grateful to be able to stay home and just be their mom.
I think I’ll stop for now. This is hard.