11/21/2005

right here waiting

In a few days it will be Thanksgiving. I decided that I need to share some of the things I'm thankful for.

I ran away from home once because my mom told me that I couldn't see my 24 year old boyfriend any longer. I was 15. She constantly preached to me that there was only one thing a 24 year old man wanted from a 15 year old girl, and it wasn't a relationship. He wanted sex, she was right. I met him while cruising on main street, it's what teenagers in the Midwest did on Friday nights. He had a cool car, a hugger orange '69 Camaro with white rally stripes down the hood. God I loved that car. He was just out of the Army and he was cute and he was older - which made the offer to ride with him even more appealing. He told me I had a pretty smile, I pretended to be shy and told him thank you. He told me he wanted me to be his girl, it sounded romantic so I said ok. We actually dated - had sex, for almost 8 months until my mom found out and threatened to call the police. She said it was rape, I was a minor, he was a pervert. I cried, she didn't know him, he loved me, I'd run away. It was summer, my mom was at work, my brother was in the Navy, I was alone. I packed my bags and headed down the highway, literally. I hitched a ride to the next town over and walked about 20 miles after that. You have a lot of time to think when you are walking through corn fields and dimly lit side streets. I thought about how tired I was and how much I loved Billy, even though he didn't come after me when I left. After a day on the run, I decided I wasn't cut out for the 'run away' life, I stopped at a farm house and politely told the couple I needed to use their phone - I'd run away from home and now I needed to go home. They were so nice, they let me use their phone and fed me. I waited for a couple of hours and then a police cruiser showed up to take me back to my mom. I swear that was the longest ride of my life. It was actually a sheriff that showed up to take me home, I lived in a small town and the sheriff was actually my best friend's dad. At first, he said nothing, but the void of words soon got to me so I felt the need to fill it up with something. I asked him if my mom was ok, he said, "you don't get to know that." "Why," I asked. "Because when you run away from something, you give up the right to love it anymore." "That's not true," I cried. "Yes darlin, it is true." "If you love someone, you stay - even when staying seems the hardest thing to do." "But what if staying means you lose someone you love," I responded. "Staying isn't what makes you lose the person you love, leaving does," he said. When I finally made it home my mom ran out to meet us and she held me so tight that I almost couldn't breathe. I thought I was in for a long lecture but instead my mom told me I needed to get some sleep. She tucked me in bed, something she hadn't done since I was six. She didn't ground me, she didn't yell at me, she held me. It was then that I realized I didn't have all the answers. I thought I knew what love was, I didn't know anything.

It's been so long since that warm summer night when I tried to run away from home. I say 'try' because it was then that I learned that you really can't run away, you can leave, you can put one foot in front of the other and never look back, but you can't leave it behind. Whatever you left, it's always there waiting for you. I learned to be grateful for that.

12 Comments:

  1. Me. said...
    jus wanted2 tell u i love ur blog..i dont really relate face value 2 sum of the stories, but deep inside we all hv those primal mixed emotions which u so eloquently express. i luv it.

    http://brightsideup.blogspot.com/
    ladylongfellow said...
    As someone who just had someone runaway from them (it might not have been love, but it's similar)I agree with your post. I have never been one to want to runaway, not matter what because I have always believed running away is how you lose things not staying -just as you said. I might have to blog about my experience..when I'm ready to. Thanks for giving me inspiration and sharing.
    NML said...
    Wow, what an emotional experience. The teenage years are fraught with fight to balance teenage independence with your parents concerns. Being welcomed back in that way showed you a very different kind of love. My mum loves me but she probably would have murdered me if I had done something like that ;-)
    Caterpillar said...
    That was so beautiful, as always!!!
    FunkyB said...
    It's not often I come across such poignant words of wisdom. Thank you for sharing your story, and for passing along the elegance of those words.
    Jaimie said...
    Very emotional and moving memory. It is this event that has made you the woman you are today. You have learned from your mistakes, and are able to write about it now. Nice post.
    kimmyk said...
    your friends dad was really tough on ya huh? guess that's part of that whole tough love thing. your mom sounds like a good mom......i remember when my sis ran away from home because she couldn't go out with her then boyfriend.....seems boys are the demise of young girls huh?
    i'll remember this post when my daughter wants to try something like this. i should lock her in her room til she's 21 huh?
    k said...
    Another wonderful allegorical post. I love your Blog... it always gives me something to think about and dwell on... Thanks for sharing huh?
    NMAMFQLMSH said...
    That was an awesome post. It was like I was there with you - by your side - running with you.
    I SEE YOU,
    JJ
    Neil said...
    Thanks for sharing that story. I'm grateful for that.
    Sky said...
    Another emotional, beautiful post. I can't read your blog without a couple of tears forming...stop it! :P

    Reading your stories tends to bring all my childhood memories to the surface, some good..some bad but I am greatful for it.
    sirreene said...
    Thank you. As a parent I have closed my door instead of opening my mouth when I am angry. It is a precarious line. Your mother handled the situation with such love.

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