Callie, now thirty, was sitting on the rickety bleachers at the local ball field watching her son on second base. She thought to herself how blessed she was with such an amazing kid. She loved being a mom, waking him up in the morning, fixing his breakfast, taking him to ball practice and all of that motherly jazz.
In that instance, her heart began to ache. She had missed out on having a mom, one that would play with her in the backyard or cheer her on at her ball games. Looking back, she realized it was due to the circumstances her mother was battling. It wasn’t until she was sixteen, that she completely understood the entire situation. Her mind drifted back to that time.
“Mom, come on, we’re late,” Callie shouted as she grabbed her purse and headed out the door.
She and her mom were heading into town to run a few errands. She was thrilled as she had just received her driver’s license and would be driving this time. Although, she and her mom were never close, she always looked forward to venturing into the big city. The first stop on their agenda was the dollar store. As they entered the store, her mom started on the first isle while she ventured to the makeup section.
Up to this point, Callie remembers her life was simple. With no siblings to care for, no bills to pay, and no major work to do, she had no worries and thus no sense of responsibility. After all, she was barely sixteen.
“Oh, I like this shade of eye shadow,” she thought to herself. She had already selected one headband and several shades of lipstick when she became aware of a disturbance at the front of the store.
Within moments, she began to hear shouting. “Is that my mom,” she said softly under her breath. “Oh my goodness, that is her!” She ran in the direction of all of the noise.
“Stop looking at me!” her mom shouted. “I saw you…I heard what you said!”
By this point, Callie was in shock. Not knowing what to do, she just stood by quietly, like all of the other spectators. “I hope no one realizes that I‘m with her,” she thought to herself. Callie had always known that her mom was a little eccentric. Her mom had always managed to miss every social function, whether it was a dance recital or an awards program. Although saddened by her mom’s lack of attention, Callie had learned to hide all of her emotions inside. She knew her mom was different, but she just didn’t know why or exactly how she was different.
“I am not crazy,” her mom roared, angrily pointing her fingers at this man looking at the sunglasses.
As a deer in the headlights, he looked bewildered. “Ma’am, are you okay?” the gentlemen asked.
With a piercing voice, her mom began to shout obscenities. This whole episode had stopped everyone in their tracks. Callie could sense the judgmental reactions of the surrounding crowd. Although she was humiliated, she knew she had to step forward and take charge.
“Mom, we are leaving now,” Callie said in a stern voice.
Her mom looked puzzled. Callie repeated herself and grabbed her mom by the arm and pulled her through the doors. “Let go of me,” her mom screamed. “No, we’re going home,” Callie replied.
With Callie behind the steering wheel, her mother began to question the decision to leave. “What are you doing?” her mom yelled. “Did you not hear what that man said about me?”
Holding back the tears, Callie said “I was there mom, and he didn’t say anything.” She paused and thought about what happened briefly. “Mom, we’re going home.”
It was that day Callie became an adult. Maybe not according to the state standards, but in her mind and in her circumstances, she was not a teen anymore. It was no longer about Callie. From that day forward, she was responsible for another one’s life… her mothers. During the long drive home, her mind wondered off to past events. For the first time, all of the strange instances, which had occurred with her mom, made sense. Remembering previous conversations among family and friends, she had put it all together. Her mother was suffering with schizophrenia and it had robbed her of her childhood.
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