I finally know what it's like to be a parent. The pain meds that I've been taking to dull the searing pain of my impromptu amputation ran out a couple of days ago. The real pain isn't as bad as the ghost pain that I still feel from the bite in my hand, or the mind ripping need to scratch an itch on my wrist that is no longer there. Every ounce of me wants just to shut down and feel sorry for myself, every fiber of my being cries out for something to make my brain stop rehashing the deaths of my family and my friends. Yet I go on each day for those three little girls sleeping in the next room. That at its core must be what it means to be a parent or as near as I can tell, never having been one.
Finally they have started to talk and tell me bits and pieces of what happened to them. In reality, I wish I didn't know but it has seemed to help them to talk about it. The major breakthrough came when Kylie found a hidden weapons bunker. They heard me talk about a place where people would protect them and keep them safe but I don't think they believed me, and after what they've been through I don't blame them. When we found the weapons, I think they finally believed we had a fighting chance. Every time they have found safety since the fall it has been taken from them with violence by men with guns. So they took a measure of peace in having some of their own. Alysa's first word came when she held up a massive AR-15 and said please.
When I told them I would teach them to shoot the look of determination on Alysa and Kylie's faces almost broke my heart, Alice just looked happy to be included with the older girls. Then she too broke my heart when she said that she was happy to be helping her daddy come back to her faster. I glanced up at my nieces and they just both shook their heads at me. I knew Morry, Alice's father, was dead because I found his body when I went to his house looking for my sister and the girls. I found out later that when my sister fled his house with Alice and the girls she told Alice that her daddy was off fighting the monsters so they wouldn't get her, that he would come back after they were all gone.
In the last week I have taught the two older girls to fire every gun in the bunker and Alice to reload each and every one. I went on further to find a gun that was comfortable for each of them and give all three an hour of target practice each and every day with their own guns. With the huge amount of ammo here and basically unlimited targets Alysa and Kylie have become rather good shots, god knows they are determined enough. Alice on the other hand is still too scared and closes her eyes on most shots, but with help from the other girls she is getting better with her little .22 pistol.
It's really is amazing to see the transformation that the girls have been through in so short a time here. While none of them will ever be the innocent, attention seeking, light spirited, silly hearts they once were, they have manged to regain a measure of confidence. I just wish that it didn't come from a gun, that Alysa didn't have to sleep with hers in arms reach to sleep through the night. They have also manged to regain some of the weight lost and have put most of the symptoms of scurvy behind them as well.
I wish to tell you also the stories that the girls have told me of Morry, my sister, and my aunt and uncle but there are pieces missing still and I don't want to push the girls now that they are talking to me. I'm sure that it will come in time. Right now I've done what I wanted, let off some steam and let you all know that we are o.k. and getting better by the day.
You will be missed