After being taken from the only place we called home, I remember looking out the window of the van and seeing cars and trucks. To be honest, I have no idea where we were going, but I do remember my brother, who’s a year younger than me, sitting in the middle between my other brothers with his head back and eye’s closed…almost like he was sleeping.
I don’t remember much else from the car ride. Why that image stayed in my mind is beyond me. The next memory I have is being in this big room with a lot of beds. It was pretty bright inside and the walls were white. I remember this blond-headed boy in a bed next to mine. I guess he was about my age, maybe younger.
Our beds seemed pretty close to each other because when he threw his covers over his head a few times, I could feel the wind in my face… that’s how close we were. My other brothers were also in the room. We were all pretty close to each other, so we would play on our beds and make faces at one another.
We would hide under the covers and play hide-and-go- seek, but while in our beds. I don’t get it, not too long ago we were taken from our home by cops and the woman with the mean face, and here we were making faces and laughing in a strange place with all these beds like nothing happened.
I remember putting the covers over my head and staying like that for what seemed like hours humming a song I had heard many times in my sister’s room as she sat on her bed staring at pictures of Mr. Spock from Star Trek and the singers from The Monkee’s posted all over the walls of her bedroom that she shared with my other sister.
I pretended that I was in her room again listening to her sing. About the age of 17, I learned from my social worker, Judy O’Brien, that we were all placed in a shelter for two weeks not far from the apartment building we once called home. I do remember asking my brother who was two years older than me just one question…if Mommy and Daddy going to pick us up.
To be honest, I don’t even remember what he said. I pretty much don’t remember much at all while staying in that shelter for that long. Two weeks, two days, two hours. It didn’t matter to me… I was just a 5-year-old and something wasn’t right once again.