One day when Chuck and I were in the living room listening to the stereo, Chuck was practicing his Karaoke performance for Karaoke night at the bar, we heard screaming and yelling coming from the basement. We rushed to see what had happened and Dakota was covered with blood. His father had been asleep on the cot that Chuck usually slept on, when he was awakened by Dakota screaming. He had fallen off the last three steps leading to the basement as there was no railing there at the time and hit his head on the raised concrete surrounding the floor jack. Head wounds bleed easily and his head was gushing. Kelvin couldn’t stand the sight of the blood and told us to take him to the hospital in my convertible. Chuck held him while I drove out of the garage. Dakota was starting to feel a little better and fondling the dashboard and poor Chuck’s hair, covering everything he touched with the red gooey coagulation.
When we got to the emergency room the receptionist/nurse asked us, “Can I help you?”
Dakota and Chuck looked like the videos from the Vietnam War we used to see on the television screen from the sixties. They had dried blood in their hair, on their clothes but Dakota was certainly the worst and it was obvious he was the patient. I just looked at her staring blankly back at me as if I hadn’t just brought in a victim from the Vietnam War and said, “He fell down the steps and hit his head, he needs stitches.” I tried not to scream at her. She said the Doctor wanted to put staples in his head instead. Dakota, by this time, was playing and getting drinks at the water fountain to the other patient’s horror and just plain being his naughty self, getting into places he shouldn’t be and having us, mostly Chuck, chasing him down the hall. He had long gotten over the pain of his fall and the bleeding had stopped. He still had a long gash in his head and would still need those staples. The problem now was how do we hold him still long enough for the Doctor to do it?
By the Grace of the Almighty the staples were in and we could breathe a sigh of relief. I told the Doctor I was still a nurse according to the State of Missouri and instead of bringing him back to have the staples removed I could remove them myself as I had many times in other patients at the hospital. They gave me a staple remover and pretty much said “Go for it”.
About a week later when I was sure the site was healed I had Chuck hold him and I proceeded to remove the staples. The first few came out easily enough but the last two were deep and uncooperative. After enduring the screams of my little son and the grunts and groans of my older son I finally got them out. A railing for the stair case was added after that episode.
One morning at 5A Kelvin came in and woke me to tell me he was moving in with David. Alone again and on the prowl for happiness I couldn’t find.
By spring of 2000 he confessed to me he had been dealing and selling drugs again and wanted to keep me out of it and safe by moving out. He spent the whole summer at David’s house before the DSF came and put him in jail. I knew I needed a job so I applied for a Customer Representative answering phones at Aegis Communications Group. By September the 8th of 2000 the court decided Kelvin needed shock treatment and sent him to prison for 12 years.
I had too many bills to pay and not enough money to pay them all. 7.50 an hour was the starting pay. I had the rent and the utilities to pay, credit card bills I had had since I worked at the hospital and my car payment to GMAC. Not counting full coverage car insurance. We had spent his paycheck, the savings, and my last check, all of Dakota’s change and money we had put in an old milk jug that Kelvin had promised him we were going to use to take him to Disney World, all to try and pay his way out of jail just to find out it was only for a few weeks of freedom before he went to prison anyway. I struggled all year to pay the bills and keep up the payments. In the winter between 2000 and 2001 I started to pay half the rent to pay the gas bills at the same time. By July 2001 the landlord decided that wasn’t going to fly and told me I would have to move out.
I borrowed the money for my gas bill from my mother-in-law, about 500.00 which she gave me with no questions asked. I rented a storage unit for my furniture and moved in with Jennifer and her family on September 8th 2001.
>a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=B4Lz5MsiOcI &offerid=125531.10000145&type=4&subid=0">