January 1, 1999, started off with a huge bang. We celebrated New Year’s Eve in Downtown Charlotte with several friends. The night went into early morning. All was going absolutely fabulous. Everyone made their typically New Year’s resolutions and of course, mine was always to lose weight again. I almost think this should have been a resolution every day of the year for me. We started discussing my daughter’s graduation from High School. From what I could gather, everything back home seemed to be going well for my daughter. Her mom never truly complained much about any serious issues or problems with her and the grades were very good, A’s, B’s & C’s. I mentioned to my 2nd wife that I wanted my daughter to be able to start College with a brand new car. I had been talking with my daughter off and on for a year about the kind of vehicle she would like as her very first car. She mentioned that she was in love with the 2 Door Saturn. Well understanding how I did things, I always wanted to give my daughter the best I could afford. We made a trip to New Orleans without anyone knowing so we could purchase a new car for my daughter. I decided to lease a vehicle, so the insurance and car note would be a bit cheaper for me and in case this was not the car she truly liked, I would not be locked into the lease for more than 3 Years. I knew my daughters favorite Color was Blue and we found a fully loaded Saturn that any 17 year old would have been absolutely ecstatic to own. We left New Orleans and I had my best friend keep the car for me at his home. In May of 1999, daughter graduated from High School. Since I traveled in from Charlotte, NC, we made reservations at Copelands of New Orleans in Kenner, LA. I told my daughter she could invite a few friends and we invited my best friend and his wife to join us for the Graduation Party and Dinner. He had parked that car out of site around the corner from Copelands and placed a Huge Red Bow on the Hood. After dinner that evening, we and some of daughter’s friends as well as my best friend had a few graduations cards and presents. I had a Card with some money in it for my daughter along with a small box that was gift wrapped. On the inside of the box was the keys to this beautiful 1999 2 Door Saturn. When it was time for her to open our gift, I made sure she read the card. She hugged me and my 2nd wife and thanked us for the money. If I recall, it was 5- $100 dollar bills, which was not to shabby for a graduation present. Soon after, my wife reached in her purse and pulled out the small gift box which contained the Keys. At first, I think Karen thought we had bought her a Diamond Ring, because that was about the size of the box. After Karen opened up her gift, she was speechless. I finally had won my daughter over with surprising her with not just a car, but a brand new car for her Graduation Present. I was about as proud as any Dad could be. My daughter ran outside and spotted the Huge Bow and said is this the vehicle. I was like, Seriously, you have to ask if this is the car?? Well, soon after my daughter left with her friends and we finished the night. After a few days of visiting with family and friends, we left to head back home to Charlotte, NC.
Two months later, I received a call from my ex-wife. She was extremely upset. My daughter had decided to move out of the house and lived with a group of friends in Fat City on Hessmer Avenue, which at the time was not in a good area. After numerous conversations with her about going back home, I decided to fly to New Orleans unannounced and without my 2nd wife to check out the situation for myself. What I could gather from my ex is we had a home Angel and a street Devil. My daughter became involved with several different teens that were doing drugs, drinking and partying at all hours of the night. I told her if she didn’t return home immediately, the car would be taken away from her. Well, she refused to go home. Once I arrived in New Orleans, I spent the night with my Aunt and Uncle. We decided to take a ride around the approximate vicinity in Fat City and came upon the vehicle. What my daughter didn’t realize is I had a second Key made to the Car. During the early hours of the morning, I took the car without telling her and drove it back to my Aunt and Uncle’s home. The car looked like it had been through a war zone. All 6 Speakers were blown out, there were cigarette ash burns all over the cloth back seat and I opened the trunk to find some used unmentionables that would gross anyone out. I decided I made a huge mistake giving my daughter a new car. The next morning I was so upset and mad I could have killed my kid. I felt so betrayed. I was becoming violently upset. The next morning, my first stop was to Halima Car Wash to have the vehicle cleaned so I could truly view the damage that had been done. After the car was finished, I drove back to my Aunt and Uncle and decided to drive the car back to Charlotte, NC. Once I returned, I contacted my daughter, She was so messed up, she didn’t understand why I took the car back home. This bothered me so much, I made myself deathly ill. As a matter of fact, I voluntarily admitted myself to the Mental Hospital in Charlotte, NC. I spent 5 days in the hospital due to my big mouth. I made the mistake after meeting with the first Psychiatrist and said a bit to much. He asked me how I felt and I mentioned that I wanted to kill the son-of-bitch that my daughter was involved with at the time. Well, that was a huge mistake. The next thing you know is I was placed on Suicide Watch, my belt and show laces were taken from me. Each and every time I needed to use the restroom, I had to be escorted like I was a prisoner in jail. Lesson learned the hard way. Don’t run your mouth in a Mental Hospital. Once I finally was released, I started on a mild dose of Anti depression and anxiety pills to help with the situational depression and anxiety created by the actions of my daughter. As you can see, it was not a happy or pleasant time for either of us. My daughter had changed and this just about killed me. My family and friends were worried that I might come back to New Orleans and hurt this individual. I had a Hot Temper and struggled to accept the Bullshit she was putting her mother and me through after all what we did for her graduation. Unbelievable to say the least!!
Will to Live – Anger Continues – Part 40