Monday, April 4, 2016

C is for Commodores

I am participating in a month-long A-to-Z blog challenge. My theme is ... The Music of My Life.

Everyone has that moment in life when they realize something so profound and paradigm-altering that it marks the beginning of an era. For me, it was realizing that the man I had been calling “Daddy” for as long as I could remember was actually my dad.


My cousin, Erin, who was three years older than me, lived in Roanoke, but she stayed with me at my grandparents’ house every holiday and the entire summer. We were the closest thing that either of us had to a sister. While sitting in the car one day with my mom and waiting for my grandmother and cousin to come out of the grocery store, she told me that Erin’s parents were divorcing. 

“What’s divorce?” I asked.

“Her parents aren’t going to live together anymore.”

“Why?” I asked.

“They just grew apart. They weren’t getting along anymore.”

“But why?” I asked. My seven-year-old mind just couldn’t comprehend the reason why anyone would stop living with their husband or their wife.

“It’s like your dad and me,” my mom said. “We couldn’t get along, and we finally had to divorce.”

“What? What do you mean?”

My mom laughed. “Well, yeah. How did you think your dad became your dad?”

Honestly, I didn’t know. It had simply never occurred to me that Mom and Dad had ever been married or had ever lived together. I was completely shaken to the core by this news. On some level I figured that I called this man “Daddy” just like someone would call someone “Uncle” when they weren’t, actually. But suddenly, everything clicked. This explained the reaction my dad had when I’d told him that I figured I would just start calling him by his first name, and I would switch to calling my stepfather “Dad.” This explained why I saw him every week, albeit only for an afternoon and only at my grandparents’ house.

Worlds collided in my head. Why hadn't anyone ever explained this to me before? How had I not known this? I never looked at my dad the same way after that. This was how I learned the true meaning of divorce.

And the soundtrack to that time of my life? The Commodores…

What was a moment in your life that changed everything?


  1. When my mother threw me out after telling me I was the ruination of her life. I couldn't put the two together, I was only sixteen, how had I ruined her entire life! That rejection formed the rest of my life. I don't recall the music of the time, but I recall that moment as though it happened yesterday.
    Happy April 4th!
    Ninga Minion @YolandaRenee from
    Defending The Pen
    Murderous Imaginings

    1. Wow. What a powerful (and traumatic) moment. Of course that moment would stay with you. Rejections like that are not easily mended. I think they are especially hard for children (of any age) to understand.

  2. That was such a pretty song by them! I remember when the kids were younger, it was encouraged by the adoption agencies to incorporate the word adoption into conversations and to tell the story of how they came to be part of our family. They might not understand it but they get used to hearing the words and I think the more the story is told, the more comfortable we got telling it (not that we told it a lot, but here and there) so by the time they were of the age of understanding, they were familiar with it. For you, I would imagine it was so foreign with the word divorce and the concept behind it, that I can imagine it was a life changing event.


    1. I've always heard it's good to tell adopted kids that they are, in fact, not biological (but obviously loved just as much as if they were) from an early age. It sounds like you have such a good relationship with your children too. :)

  3. When I was 13, I lost my first grandparent - my grandfather - to cancer. I had prayed so hard for God to heal him, and I was so sure He would, and then... He didn't. I didn't realize how deeply I'd been affected until I was an adult, and, I believe, pregnant with my first child.

  4. Oh wow. I never knew that was how you found out about your parents being divorced. I can't think of just "a moment" my life was changed - I've had several besides Lilly.