Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Andy

I saw my Godson tonight. He works at Wal-Mart, stocking shelves. I don't see much of him anymore, he's 19 now, no longer the little boy that once spent countless nights sleeping over, the same little boy that would throw his arms sround me in a big bear hug, the little boy that I almost raised as my own.
I met his mom when we were kids. I was 18, and she was just turning 16. We were both pregnant with our first baby, and living at St. Anne's House, a home for unwed mothers. Andrea, kept mostly to herself, keeping the paternity of her unborn baby a secret. I felt bad for her, so young, and so alone. Her son was born on November 9, 1987, while I was at a dentist appointment. She moved out shortly after.
KC was born on March 6, 1988, and it wasn't long after that we bumped into each other again. Andrea's son was gorgeous, a tow headed chubby little guy with a quick smile and an infectous laugh. Andy and KC spent so much time together that they thought they were brother and sister. I babysat Andy when Andrea went to school, out on dates, looked for a job. I bought him new outfits each time I bought one for KC, and each toy that I bought was bought in pairs. I loved him like my own, and he loved me the same way.
Andrea got a scholarship after she finished highschool. A full ride to a University in B.C, lodging, food, books, the whole 9 yards. There was only one problem.
Andy.
Andy was only about a year old when the offer was made to his mom. She couldn't take him to B.C. She couldn't have a baby in the student residences. She had no family, no friends out there. She had no way to take care of him.
I honestly can't say whether she asked or I offered. Either way, she wanted me to take Andy. It was that, or he was going into foster care. I couldn't let that happen. This little boy was a part of my life. He was a part of my family. I loved him unconditionally, and even at a year old, he felt it.
Andrea made plans to go, and I readied myself to have 2 one year olds living in my little second floor apartment. I can't remember why Andrea didn't go. It was 18 years ago. My memory has faded, some things are better forgotten.
She stayed, and Andy stayed with her. I don't think that she ever got over not going, I don't think that she ever forgave Andy for holding her back. He was what some people would call a problem child. He couldn't sit still, he broke stuff, he lied, he stole. I loved him anyway.
I lost track of his mom a couple of years ago. She's not a bad person, she's just different than me. We have different priorities, a different way of thinking. She is very needy, and I just don't have it in me to give anymore. I know how that sounds, but I couldn't rush to her aid when my own family was in need.
So, I see my Godson every now and again. His mom kicked him out about 6 months ago, because he was "In her way." He went to live with an aunt, one of his mom's sisters that needs a person to take care of her young boys- for free. He sleeps on a couch and I know that he's paying her bills.
When I saw him tonight, what he told me nearly made me cry, right there in the health and beauty aids aisle where we were standing. He has dropped out of school and is spending all of his free time at the bar.
I feel an incredible sense of guilt. I made a promise before God and witnesses to be there for him, to guide him, to be there when no one else was. I feel like I should have encouraged him more, kicked his ass if needed, I should have told him that I cared.
KC will turn 19 in a few more months. She is in college, working part time, struggling to find her way. How could these 2 kids that once shared a crib, be so different now?
I saw my Godson tonight. He was stacking shelves and smiling, talking to co workers. I saw my Godson. For a brief moment, he was 9 months old again, sitting on my lap. He was 5 years old, getting ready for Halloween. He was 7, and we were having his birthday party at my house. All of these memories flashed before my eyes, and I cried.
I cried for Andy and what has become of him, and I cried for KC. I am thankful that my daughter is still in school, pursuing her dreams. I can't help but wonder about Andy. I wonder if he would've had a chance if his mother would've gone away. I wonder if she blames him for all of her failings. I wonder if his mom ever thinks of me. I wonder, if, like me, she wonders what would've happened if I would've kept Andy. I wonder if she knows that with a different life, he would've stood a chance.
I wonder.

18 comments:

Justin said...

Hey, thanks for visiting my blog...you 've some really nice thoughts to share with us. Keep up the good work..

God bless.

Anonymous said...

my heart goes out to you and all I wanna do hun is throw my arms around you and give you a big squeeze.

SkippyMom said...

Sweetie, did you ever think what would have happened if SHE had taken care of her own child - if she would have made plans for HIM all by herself and not counted on you? Who, I am sure, had a lot on your plate at the time [not too stable back then with dummy 1, eh?] - I know it breaks your heart to see him like this but the two things you have to remember is - this was HER responsibility and now that he is old enough he may just realize that what is done, is done ... and he may get to move on.

Give him a chance and please, stop beating yourself up about something you had no control over and you couldn't have fixed if you tried...this is their life...

It breaks my heart to see you in pain like this, but you don't need to be. He sounds as tho' he is taking care. Walmart is Walmart - but he has friends and he has a job. KUDOS for him - let him be or you will suffer for something you can't change, kay?

HUGS!

Heidi the Hick said...

(tears)

Please remember that you've struggled to care for your own family, and they're turning out so beautiful and they're such awesome kids. I know how much that kid meant to you. And still does.

If you run into him again, I think you should invite him over. I'm sure he'd take you up on it.

Camie Vog said...

As much as I tend to agree with Skippymom's comment, the reality of the situation doesn't make it any easier to stomach. You love this boy, who is now a man. No one likes to see the ones they love fail or have to contend with difficulties.
As Heidi said, invite him over. Get to know him as an adult now.

The Adult in Question said...

Get his ass back in school. Kick it all the way there.

Nonny said...

I'm crying now-thanks,

That is a very sad story. I'm sure you did everything you could at the time. I'm sure he knows that. Unfortunately we can't pick our parents. He's still really young, he could totally turn his life around.

dilling said...

19 is still so very young and there are countless diff
erent and amazing things can still happen to him and for him. It's not an easy road, but there is ALWAYS time to find your way in life. I know where I was at nineteen...not too pretty. And my dad? He found his way back sometime around the age of 55 or so...

Life, or Something Like It said...

Hi, guys,
I guess that I wrote this to sort out my own feelings. It seems like his mom set him up for failure, and that he never really ever stood a chance. She never treated him the way that you treat a child...he was always in her way. I know that I can't save the world, but I was hoping that maybe I could save this kid.
I don't think that he would come over if I invited him. He's not into the family time kinda thing right now.
I don't think that he'll turn his life around, either. KC wants me to kick his ass, she doesn't care if I kick it back to school!
And Nonny? You're welcome.

her indoors said...

he has still got time to turn his life around, my son is now 20 and he gave us enough 'worries' but he has turned his life around i am so proud of him and i love him to bits, just tell him you are there if and when he needs it, we all have if onlys in our lifes and we cant take on other peoples resposibilities as much as we would like to, don't beat yourself up about it.
love an hugs to you x

CindyDianne said...

Oh God. How heartbreaking; for Andy, for you, even for his mom (although I struggle to have a lot of sympathy based on what I've read here).

You know Biddie, as much as you want to, and I know you do, you can't take care of everyone and everything. You have to take care of you.

Anonymous said...

He does have a chance to do something with his life. It is never too late. Even if his mother was never really there for him he could still bump into that person that could provide guidance and that he will respect and look up to and will help him turn his life around. I know, it happened to me when I was 23.

Anonymous said...

You're obviously a great mom and KC is lucky to have you. Not everyone is so lucky. You can't blame yourself for Andy. But, if you have time now, try and make some room for him in your life. He's only 19, after all, just a kid with his whole future ahead. Maybe it's too late for his mom (who sounds very, very selfish) but it's not too late for him.

she said: said...

That was a really emotional entry.

I think you always wonder... from both sides. I've never once met my father, but I still wonder. Not enough to do anything about it, it wouldn't matter now anyway.

I'm sure she thinks of you, and is wondering right back if you are thinking about her. The kid still has a chance... dont give up on him yet.

Heidi the Hick said...

People are you starting to get a sense of what a sweet woman we have here? She has a wounded bird living in her house! She has never refused anybody help. She cares.

Gardenia said...

Loved the pics - and a jay living indoors is really cool.

You and Andy's story made me cry along with you. Just let him know you are available, poke your head around once in a while, let him know you are there. Bout all you can do right now, and pray.

I pray that he finds his way and that your heart finds comfort.

Dollface, aka Diana

fancy-face said...

I'M crying now taht was a story..and yes I do believe even though you don't have news that .."yes" she does still remember and think of you...

TheBirdman33 said...
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