I can’t imagine intentionally hurting a child. Most people can’t, but it seemed to be my daddy’s favorite thing to do. I don’t know why he chose me , if he hated me, didn’t want me… I guess I’ll never know. I suppose he hurt me to hurt mama… and I just now figured that out as I was typing it. Imagine that , all these years I’ve wondered about that . But it does make sense. I was the youngest and didn’t know what was right and what was wrong. I loved mama regardless of her lifestyle… papaw too. In my eyes they did no wrong . All I knew was that mamaw was mean to papaw when he worked late and mama was gone a lot and when she was gone, I got hurt a lot. Now since she worked at the hospital , in admitting, she would be the first person I saw when I got there. Imagine her surprise when her baby girl would show up hurt and bleeding. I Guess he figured out how to hurt her more than anything else could, by hurting the ones she loved.
I can remember the far away look he had sometimes. Like deep in thought , looking at nothing really, but it was what was running through his mind was causing the glare. He usually had a knife in his hand too and would sharpen it until its blade was just as he liked it… sharp. One day he called me over and said ” feel how sharp this is ” . He took my finger and ran it across the blade of his knife , with his finger on top of mine for added pressure. It almost cut the tip if my finger off. I couldn’t have been any more than 3 years old. He would get the neighbor, Jane to drive us to the hospital. He’d carry me in bleeding and there would be mama , horrified as usual. I guess it didn’t take him long to figure out how to really get to her. Hurt her worse than any words could ever. No amount of arguing or fighting could never get to her like this could. Now if he found out by accident or planned it out, I don’t know. But after he saw what it did to her, I was hurt more and
Mamaw never used recipes but she just would put a pinch of this, and a dash of that into the mix and it always came out just right. She could make the best biscuits and cornbread ever tasted. She said the secret was using a cast iron skillet that was seasoned just right. And I was good at hopping . I could hop better than a bunny and could go from one end of the house to the other without stopping. I had hopped into the kitchen one day and saw daddy with a dish cloth in one hand and mamaw’s cast iron skillet in the other. I hopped right up to him and … well that’s pretty much all I can remember about that . When I became conscious , I was at the hospital again and got to see mama. Daddy had hit me in the head with that skillet right in mid hop. Its a wonder it didn’t kill me. I didn’t like to hop anymore and I hated those skillets. It took a lot of time and a lot of convincing from mamaw before I would even touch one. But if I ever wanted to make cornbread like hers, she said I’d have to. No matter how good it turned out, I never forgot the imagine of my daddy standing in the kitchen drying that skillet or how bad it hurts to get hit with one.
Again as I’m typing, I am just now to understand something I’d always wondered about. He was a freaking genious ! I had been stung by a bee while walking in the yard barefooted. ( it must’ve been after May 1st because we couldn’t go barefooted til then ) Come to find out , I was allergic to bees and got blood poisoning from the sting. I remember wet diapers wrapped around both legs and being carried around everywhere. So it was a well known fact that I was allergic to bees. So now it all makes sense to me. Daddy was outside painting the front porch . My sister and I were inside , and heard him screaming for us. ” Hurry ! Hurry ! he yelled for us to come quick. Of course I took off running fast as I could to go see what had happened. I hit the storm door latch with my left hand running full speed. My hand slipped off the door latch and punched through the glass door with my entire arm. Glass went flying all over. I slowly and carefully pulled my arm out of the jagged glass hole , held it up where I could see it and looked down into a huge hole in my arm, down to the bone. I saw it all before the blood started to flow. And boy did it bleed. It soaked up several bath towels before Daddy got Ms Jane to drive us to the hospital. I screamed the whole way there. I was tired of being hurt .. I cried out ” I WISH I’D NEVER BEEN BORN, I WISH I WERE DEAD ” … once again mama was there , looking at me with horror. Blood soaked towels aroung my arm and my thumb hanging on by a piece of skin.. I can’t imagine how she felt seeing me like that not knowing what had happened. She stood there with me while the doctor stitched up my arm. I heard him tell mama that it had taken 35 stitches inside and out to close the hole, then he started on my thumb. He put a cast on my arm and gave me a sling. I had bled all over my favorite brown dress and they thew it away. All for what ? Why was daddy screaming for us to hurry and come ? It was because while he was painting, he found a hornets nest and knocked it down with the paint brush. When they came flying out everywhere, he hit one with the paint brush and it was crawling around on the ground with white paint on it. Thats why he wanted me out there so bad. to see the pissed off hornets ! Had he forgot I was allergic to bee’s ? But in all fairness, he probably didn’t mean for me to run through the door … he just wanted me to come out and get stung as many times as possible.