One of my earliest memories as a child is of a blue dress with black polka dots. This dress was tugged, turned and crumbled off of my body as a result of a physical custody battle between my aunt and father.
At the tender age of 3, I don’t remember crying, but I was afraid of the impending destruction of the precious dress. I couldn’t understand what was happening until my aunt gave up her side of the tug of war.
“Fine, take her, but your can’t take Donna since she isn’t yours,” she said.
How could she give me up so easily? She separated from the only consistency I had at the time; the love of my big sister. I was so confused because I didn’t realize there was a difference between my sister and me. Did that make my aunt protect me less, or my dad love me more?
Nevertheless, I had no choice but to leave with my father. It was fine by me since I grew weary of the grabbing and pulling and was disappointed by my aunt’s defeat.
How my father and I got to the airport, somehow was not recorded in my memories of the blue dress. Yet, my partial relief and the grief of having to change my dress at the airport can be recalled. I remember being alarmed as the weak attempt by the airport police to accuse my father of kidnapping dwindled as quick as it arose.
He cleverly and cunningly replied, “Does she looked like she was snatched, her clothes are untouched, and she isn’t crying?”
In return, the police released my father, and he was awarded a prize that meant more than what the blue dress meant to me.