We packed the car, Dustin and Paige were in the car seat in front with me, and dad had the back seat to himself. (I know I know that wasn't safe to have both car seats up front, back in 89 we didn't worry too much of these kinda things.) We left Guyton, Griffin Lakes, GA and made it to Orlando, FL in 6 hours.
Our first stop was at Uncle James salon that he owned outside of Orlando. We were so happy to see Ila. Her Aunt Denise was there too. A mutual friend of Denise, Sherry was there also. Everyone gooed over Dustin. He got lots of hugs and kisses. Ila was so beautiful, 7 years old. Uncle James permed her hair and it was perfect!
We went to the back of the salon where there was like a studio apartment. Ila got to help feed and change Dustin. He was so bubbly and happy. We had fun, and Paige did sit back and let Ila play with her baby doll. Then it was time to get ready to go to Kissimmee and stay with friends, Steve & Monie, that we knew since we lived in Orlando before moving to GA. We always stayed with them when we went to pick Ila up in the summers.
Uncle James would always buy Ila school clothes when she visited him every summer. She always got a new hairdo too. When I lived in Orlando after my separation/divorce from his brother and until I remarried Butch, Uncle James helped me too. I paid all my bills, he would buy me clothes, and helped co-sign for a car too. I even got my hair done by him too.
We were getting in the car. I put Dustin and Paige in their car seats, this time they were in the back and dad was gonna drive. Ila was getting ready to go with us too and Uncle James said no. His reason was that it was gonna be his last night, Friday, to see her for basically another year. Ila wanted to go with us. Uncle James wouldn't budge. And I was momma. The power of Uncle James providing for us, over took me, and I was weak up against what he wanted. This is complicated to explain with family issues, but the moms who have been up against this understand what I'm about to say. I guess I had that feeling that I "owed" him and I had to do what he wanted. I wanted Ila to go with us, Ila was pleading with me to go. But, he wanted her to stay one more night up against the next year. Let me make another excuse: I'm a Libra and we are the scales of justice, balance and fairness. I felt powerless to do what I wanted with my child, and I wanted her with me too! I cowered to Uncle James. Money has power don't it?!!
Ila stood there with her pleading face. I looked into those "please momma" eyes. Looking back...for the first 7 years of her life I don't think I made a mistake that would scar her before this moment. My heart hurt looking into her eyes because I was cowering to the power of money. In reality, just being momma had more power. It took a long time and more mistakes to realize the reality of this. It's like I left her standing there, well I did leave her standing there. Thinking I made a fair choice for one last night up against another year. And after all Ila will have her brother all the time once we leave the weekend and head back to GA. Of course this decision wasn't so bad when I took it all for granted.
I will never forget her look, to this day I can cry over it....and then I make another mistake with her with careless words before the weekend is over....