I don’t remember a lot about that day or the couple of days after. How could my son be dead? He was only 33.
Brad had lived a very interesting (to some people) life. He lived a troubled life. Brad’s father had left when he was 3 years old. Or should I say, Brad and I left his father’s life. It was not a good life together. I couldn’t allow Brad to see his father beating me. I thought before we left that a son needs his father in his life. I was very wrong in thinking that. If a man is beating a woman in front of his son, that is not the example that a son should see. So, off we went. His father never bothered to be involved in his life. It was me and him against the world. When he was little, I called him my little buddy. We did everything together. If I went on a date, it had to be something that included Brad. We went to the zoo, the old drive-in movies and to the park.
I taught my son that hitting is not the answer to anything. So it surprised me that he would ever stick a woman. Growing up was also difficult for Brad and me. I had no education or job experience. But I slowly took care of that. I forgot, did I tell you I am bi-polar? I was unmedicated or undermedicated until I was 45. I thought that Brad need another father figure. So, I married 3 more times. The first didn’t even last a year. The next one adopted Brad and seemed to be pretty good. My illness raised it’s ugly head after 4 years and I caused the breakup of our marriage. This devastated Brad. My ex wouldn’t have anything to do with Brad after the divorce, even though I told my ex that I would drop any claim to child support if he would just have a relationship with Brad. Because Brad needed that more than anything. Of course, he wouldn’t have anything to do with Brad anymore. That caused Brad to want to kill himself at age 13. So began the years of therapy. For both of us. I refused to accept my diagnosis. And it just kept going downhill.
Brad’s teenage years were a nightmare for both of us. It was a battle of wills, his and mine. I was in my early thirties, when most women lose their minds. If I am going to be honest in this post, then I must turn the eyes of reflection on myself. I was self centered, involved in myself and just wanted Brad to behave. This was in a marriage that was created solely for money. I needed another paycheck. I didn’t want Brad to grow up in a bad neighborhood, so I went into hock on a house in a nice city with good schools. Of course, I couldn’t afford it on my own, hence the bad marriage for money. When things got really bad, I tried to kill myself. I guess that Brad got those ideas from me. I tried several times. The last landed me in ICU for 3 days.
When Brad turned 18, he took off to Mississippi to look up his father. It didn’t take him long to figure out why we had left him. He said they went on the road in a big 18 wheeler. His father kept telling him about all the women he cheated on me with. Brad said, ‘Do you realize that you are talking about my mother? ‘ His father just laughed. It didn’t take Brad long to come back home.
The next year, Brad introduced me to his beautiful girlfriend. He had moved out and had an apartment in Mid-town. They seemed very happy. Six months later, we all got a big surprise. She was pregnant. Brad came to me and told me that he wasn’t old enough to be a dad. I said that I wasn’t old enough to be a grandmother. I told him that he didn’t have a choice. That the baby was coming whether he was ready or not. Scared, he took off for the partying crowd. He was living up the party style. He went out to the dance clubs. Brad could really dance. Brad starting selling drugs. Cocaine to be exact. I must admit, that I was smoking pot. That seemed the perfect way to calm down the rages I would have. You know the feeling you get when you come home from Christmas shopping and sit down and go Ooh! That’s the feeling smoking pot gave me.