One particularly hard night I remember I was allowed to sleep in my parent’s room. Here of all places I thought the darkness could not penetrate. Surely this would be a safe refuge from the forces I sensed troubling all of us. Yet, once the light was turned off, the silence and darkness came alive. I had my answer. Soon, I realized that tonight would be different.
Something stirred in the shadows then suddenly a dark figure materialized out of the darkness. Walking slowly and with purposeful menacing intent the dark figure headed straight for me. I was paralyzed with fear unable to move or shout out for help. Within seconds of reaching the far end of the bed the dark figure was grabbed by my dad. I watched through breathless tears as my dad fought valiantly with this fiend. They struggled mightily then down they fell in the pit of darkness. I couldn’t see and everything was deadly silent. Oh, I prayed so.
After what seemed like an eternity, dad walked up to my bed. He wore a smile and gave me a hug that spoke more to my heart than any words. He then simply raised his fingers to his lips and said, “Shish, all is well, you can sleep now.” This would be the affirmation of love that I sorely and desperately needed for in the days to come my parents would be divorced. I really cannot say or tell you if the shadowy figure was real, all I know is the real substance from my father was love, the constant affirmation of being loved, and the sacrifices he made demonstrating that love.
Children from broken homes have lost something they can never regain — their family, their father and mother, their home. This lost-ness is a gut-wrenching experience.