After basic training, Kerry was shipped to Fort Ben Harrison in Indianapolis, Indiana. Much to his shock and utter relief, when he landed, my mother and I were there to meet him at the gate. She had told him she decided to rent a truck and move the both of us up there as a surprise! She continued to explain that our absence in communication was due to the run in we had along the way when someone had stolen our moving truck and left us stranded. The only thing she was lucky enough to save was my dad’s stereo and television. Apparently these items were in the car we were driving while the moving truck was left at the hotel.
The real story was quite a bit less dramatic. My mother had actually sold, pawned or throw away all of our possessions that wouldn’t fit in the car. She then packed us up and drove from Florida to Illinois to spend time with her parents. We rented a small apartment in a little town outside of Chicago and I vaguely remember attending school for a few months until there was a blowout between my mother and her parents. We stopped by their house one day and they began yelling at her about a check she wrote and money showed owed them. My mother didn’t have a bank account that I knew of, but I learned it was better not to ask.
After the fight, she left me with my grandparents for several weeks. I later found out that she had forged one of their checks and was arrested. They told me she would be back soon, but it didn’t matter to me at the time. I hardly ever saw my grandparents and they spoiled me rotten! They were both retired, so we were always together doing fun projects around the house. My grandfather spent many days making wooden lawn ornaments for my grandmother and me to paint. I was in heaven!
As soon as my mother was released, we left for Indiana…