I Was Six and She Broke the Window - Sarah Mae
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I Was Six and She Broke the Window

I’m around six years old.

My brown hair is scraggly, my leg warmers are uneven on my legs, and there is a space where my two front teeth will soon be.

I’m standing in front of my dad helping him tie his tie; a morning ritual between the two of us. It’s quiet, and the room feels empty; it’s just us in this big, old grey farm house.

Knock knock!”

Our moment is interrupted by the forceful knocking at the front door.

I run to the steps and peek over the railing to see who is there. It’s my mom. “Dad, it’s mom!” I yell excitedly  “Don’t answer, come upstairs.” “Why, why can’t I answer?”


I hear the loud noise of glass breaking and falling and the thumping in my chest goes into overdrive. My dad tells me to stay put and he leaves to go downstairs.

I don’t remember point A to point B, but somehow I’m now next to my dad downstairs, pulling on his arm and begging him, “please let me go with mom, please.” He’s not talking to me. My mom and dad are talking, but I can’t hear them, I just know she wants me and I want her, and I’m so confused about why I can’t go and why she broke the window and I wonder if she’s hurt.

And then she’s gone.

But I’m still here.

Daddy says she broke the glass with her purse, and that she’ll be fine.

I can’t remember too many things before that day, and after is a blur as well. It’s a funny thing, memory, what sticks, and what hides. I’m told I lived with my mom for the first three years of my life. I think we lived in Alaska, and the memories of then are scattered; I don’t know if they are from living there or visiting her after I lived with my dad. I know we had a brown house, and there was snow, and there was a girl named Moriah who would steal my tea set, but I let her, so I guess it wasn’t really stealing. She would stuff everything into her pants and my mom and I watched her as she walked awkwardly home. And then there was the earth quake. I was on the toilet and she was holding my baby sister. The house would shake and then stop, and I wanted her to hold me but she couldn’t because her arms were full with a baby. Yes, and Keith, her daddy, who always called me “pumpkin head.” I remember those things, but that’s about it.

Then there was Arkansas, and Georgia, and a new husband, and then a boyfriend, and then I lived with her and I saw what an alcoholic was for the first time in my life. She looked like my mom.

I can’t tell her story, but I have one to tell. I have a story of what it was like to live with her for three years in Georgia. I have a story about a teenager living with her alcoholic mother, her alcoholic mother’s boyfriend (who was half her age), and a time when a razor was dangerously tempting to a broken girl.

I don’t like sad things. I like beauty and happiness, and who wants to talk about dark things. But there is a story to be told, and it wants to be told, and while there is dark, there is also light. So maybe, bit by bit, I’ll let it out. As she sees fit.


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  • http://twitter.com/stop4chocolate Lisa

    I think the stories come out in God’s perfect timing my friend. Thank you for sharing pieces of your story with us. Love you! Hugs!!

  • http://adiligentheart.com/ Marlene

    Beautiful, Sarah! It takes courage to share this raw part of our stories, and I admire that you are able to. There are stories in the chambers of many hearts, that want to be told…and need to be told.

  • http://www.blissfulwife.com/ Priscilla Fowler

    It’s very difficult to bring the darkness to light. I’ve had to fight with my past in recent days. Just as I think I know all there is to know, God lets me know yet another piece of my past that helps me to understand my brokenness a little bit better. It also lets me see His light a little bit better, and where He came to rescue me from a life of pain. I don’t think I could handle knowing every detail of my past all at once. Each day, I’m thankful that I got out alive. I’m also thankful He put people in my path that have helped me to get the help that I needed so that I could live a life of light. Bless you as you tell your story. Genesis 50:20.

  • Angela

    Your telling of this sad memory is brave and beautiful like you. I too have so many stories like this … waiting to be told …

  • Laura

    I am glad you are telling your story. It had to be hard. I had several hard stories as well, but I also hid behind the alcohol. I finally stopped drinking almost 2 years ago. It was because my son asked me to. Being brave is hard, but speaking out is so good for everyone. Thank you.

  • Rachel Grayless

    So very thankful that He can redeem those broken things. That those painful and jagged memories are also times when we were never alone., Thank you for sharing this.

  • Ally Schofield

    thank you for sharing your story. I can so relate to you.. I just wish I could do as great of a job at communicating mine as you have done with yours. God bless! John 8:31-32
    Ally Schofield

  • Erin

    I have so many stories like this of my alcoholic mother. Like the time I lost a tooth and I ran to show her but she was asleep on the couch…looking out the window for my dad to come home…I see so much of myself in your writing. And Desperate has changed my life as a mom to a 2 year old and 6 month old. I might come to your book signing in Lancaster! Can’t wait to read more from this blog!

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