When I was first born to the age of eight, I grew up in a two bedroom house with five other people. My mother, father and three brothers. My little brother and I both had our own beds placed in the living room. Most of the time, my second oldest brother would sleep on the floor in the living room with us because our eldest brother felt entitled to having his own room.
During 2009 my father got struck with a strange illness. I remember sleeping on my bed and I would instantly be awoken with the sound of him sneezing in his computer chair. I knew what that sound meant. It meant that he would soon pass out, and because of that, my mother contacted many doctors to try to figure out what was going on with my him. There were so many tests, but still so many unanswered questions.
Then it all changed. My father got admitted into ICU the Summer that we were suppose to go to Hershey Park and see The Naked Brother’s Band. When my father was in the hospital the doctors finally found the cause to his sickness. Mold. His childhood house was killing him and it was killing us too. My mother made the decision to have us leave the house. I knew it was a hard decision on her part because she knew that would leave us homeless, but being homeless was better than being dead.
So that was the year I was homeless. During those few Summer months, I stayed with my Aunt the most of it, in her three bedroom house with her children. My family all slept on air mattresses in the living and dining room. I never saw my mom much that Summer because every single day she would go to the hospital to visit my dad. I did not blame her though. Once in a while my mother would take us to a hotel for a night just to get away from others and have some rest from everything that was going on. Once, my mother took us to my other aunt’s house to give the aunt I was talking about earlier a break, but it did not turn out well. We ended up staying there for only one night because she and my mother got into an argument because she did not want to watch us while my mother went to visit my father in the hospital. I felt like a rag doll going from place to place. I can still hear the screaming and feel how confused I felt that day.
The most vivid memory I have was the day when my mother took me in the laundromat to do some washing and my mother got a phone call. At the time I did not know it was from the hospital because my mother took the call outside. She left little eight year old me inside the laundromat with strangers who were just a staring at me. I was so scared. Every single time the washer made a loud noise I died inside because I was so on edge. It felt like my mother was on the phone for ages. When she finally came back she had tears in her eyes and she told me that they had to transport my dad to another hospital because if they did not, my father was going to die.
When that Summer was finally over, we had a new house to live in and my father was back home. He still isn’t 100% healthy the way he was before he got sick, but he is alive and that is all that matters. To this day I have not told a single soul this and I do not know why. I am not ashamed of what has happened in my life.
(I am finally pressing the publish button months after I have written this.)