Here I sit sadly looking down the twisting stairwell; I can see where I have been, which steps are broken and in between I also see new ones, ones that I have repaired and are my work to be proud of.
As far down as I can see “He”stands; he is holding me in his arms and the beautiful lady, my mother, is there. It is the only non-traumatic memory of us. I am looking into a tank of water and there are lobsters; I want to take one and remove the black band around it’s helpless claws. I don’t know why the bands are on their claws but I understand that I don’t like it.
On the next step is a hole, a hole in my heart and my mother’s; I will never know if “He” felt hurt or desperate. There is a door with a chain lock, it is opened and I am in my mother’s arms; I am crying, screaming, ” Daddy”. She won’t let him in. I see his face, his blue eyes and dark rimmed glasses and he is begging to come back. The door closes. It stays closed and locked for a very long time. My mother keeps me close and she is crying, too.
The permanently stained inner step is as vivid now as it was over 50 years ago. It is my birthday and I am in a hospital stairwell with “His” mother, the nurse, she is giving me a watch with Cinderella on it and I am so happy. I love her and call her “Nanny”. She takes my tiny hand and we go down the hospital stairwell; it is cold and the minty green walls and steel handrails I can still feel. She opens the big door to a parking lot where I quickly hear my mother screaming and crying. “He” came to wish me a happy birthday with some strange woman. The woman was really just a teen girl with white puffy hair and my mother had a good hold on it. “He”did nothing but stand there watching them fight, nothing. Nanny scurried across the car lot to them with me in tow. I was crying and shaking and calling for my mother, “Mommy, Mommy!”.
NOW. On my own top step I have the Truths and I cling to them. “He” was to meet my mother and sign divorce papers and wish me a happy birthday. “He” brought the young girl with him and she had a beautiful diamond ring on her finger; my mother never got a ring from him. “He” never had the money or a job long enough to save for one. I was her ring.