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The Worst Summer - Part 1

Although the year isn't even over yet, not too many people have good thoughts or feelings when they think of 2020. We have all somehow been affected by Covid-19, the events leading up to and including the Black Lives Matter movement, Donald Trump, the 13 passengers we lost on Kobe Bryant's helicopter, losing Black Panther, Jeffrey Weinstein, and so many other 2020 events. I thought that it was about time that I share my 2020 experience with all of you.

My family and I have all been lucky enough to not catch Covid-19 this year, and for that I am forever grateful. That is not to say that we were not affected, because some of our friends had the virus and that in itself is very stressful and sad. Neither one of us has worked for the majority of the year, so the financial struggle is real. I feel like I have no right to complain about it, because we are going through this struggle together as a country. One human's problems cannot always be in competition with another human's problems. I have gone through one of the worst situations a person can experience in life, but I know that others have experienced so much more pain and agony. Perhaps sharing mine will let someone out there know that they are not suffering alone...

I moved to Alabama with my family in May of 2019. I knew that it was the best possible move for us as a whole even though we were leaving most of our family behind. To be honest, most of the family was only sad about the children being so far away. Richie and I are an afterthought, but we are both ok with that. LOL. When the virus started to hit us hard, we stopped sending my daughter Kiara to school. We didn't want to risk exposing her and the baby to the vulnerabilities caused by the virus. Apparently other parents were thinking the same thing because the school closed down about a week later. They said there weren't enough children in school to keep the building open anyway, When the school closed down early, my aunt (that still lives in NJ) asked if she could take Kiara for summer vacation, I had already promised to let her visit in the summer so I didn't want to go back on my word. Although we didn't think it was 100% the best idea to travel while the virus was so bad, we agreed to let her go.

We set a date to meet up halfway driving so that we could avoid trains and airports. I believe the date was on or near April 28, 2020. We didn't have money because neither one of us was working by this point and we were waiting for unemployment to begin. But we scraped together what we could for gas, food and whatever Kiara may need while she is there. The drive was terrible because Tricity, who was 1 at the time, couldn't stand to be in her car seat for more than an hour at a time. Travelling with a one and a five year old means a LOT of stopping. After about 10 hours and a little argument about the amount of time it was taking for us to meet up, we finally dropped her off with them at a gas station. We put all of her bags in their trunk, filled up the tank and saw her on her way. If only we knew the hell that was coming for us...

We would either chat on the phone or facetime with her everyday or every other day. She sent me pictures of her on her new bike with her hair done having the time of her life. I was feeling content about my hesitant decision to send her to NJ. After she was there for about two weeks she asked how I would feel about Kiara staying in NJ for the school year. I flat out told her no. I left NJ for a reason and the kids were a huge part of that decision. I was not willing to allow Kiara to be out of my care for that long. She said ok and the conversation went on. After that almost every phone call to Kiara ended up being a conversation about her staying for the year. The answer was consistently no. Well after somewhere between 6-8 weeks (so end of June) of her being there I got a weird phone call from my aunt. She called me with a weird tone to her voice and she asked me if I was alone and if she was on speakerphone. I told her of course I'm not alone because I'm always with Richie and Tricity, and I don't automatically put people on speakerphone. I asked what was up.

She goes, "well don't get upset but..." so of course I'm already upset. "I was giving her a bath a couple nights ago and when I went to wash her stomach she winced and said 'ouch don't touch me so hard right there".

I'm like okaaayyyy.

She says, "so I asked her what's wrong with it and she told me it hurts really bad. I asked her why it hurts and she said because somebody punched me".

Umm...excuse me? What the hell do you mean someone punched her?

She goes "well wait a minute, she didn't say it happened here."

Ok, so where the hell did it happen?

"Well apparently it happened at home while you were at work one night."

At work when?? I haven't worked since March 30th. And I stopped working nights weeks before that, I'm confused let me talk to her. Wait a minute, are you trying to say my husband did this?

Then she goes "Well don't say anything about this to Richie yet, and I haven't said anything to Nay (my mother) because you know how she is." Well that's super weird, why do I need to be secretive about something like this? And why shouldn't I say anything to Richie. This is all going on in my head at the moment.

"Oh I'm not home with her, but when I get there I am going to call and let you talk to her. But don't be mad about it, find out what happened first.

Of course I'm going to ask her what happened! This is serious! Why would I be mad at her? I was getting more and more hysterical by the minute, but in my mind a couple things weren't adding up. How could this have happened so long ago without Kiara saying something? This little girl tells me every little detail of what happened while I was gone as soon as I hit the door. We have had pillow fights and bubble fights and tickle fights and she has never acted like anything was hurting her. Was this the first bath she gave her since she's been there? What was different about this bath that she hurt her stomach just by washing it? I needed answers and I needed them NOW. I hung up with her so I could get my head straight and waited for her to call me back from home. I sat in silence for a few minutes and then collected my thoughts.

So the first thing I do is turn, look at my husband and say..."Soo apparently you punched Kiara in the stomach??"

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