My Dad wasn't just intimidating to us, but was a well regarded member of the crowd of bikers he accompanied. We had a houseful, most of the time, of bikers and their old ladies. My Dad worked from home, you could say, providing much needed "support" to his MC friends, so our house was like Grand Central Station. But I felt safe there, because in our home, no one would ever dare harm me. I flitted about, an innocent, happy child who knew no other life. Dangerous bikers lurked in and out, but no one, not even the toughest ex-con to darken our doorstep, would ever cross my Dad.
When my mother left my father, pregnant with another man's child, I was devastated. The abuse began there by not only my mother, but my worthless stepfather and my angry, hateful siblings. As the years went on my mother allowed countless others to abuse me with no regard for my well being. I carry bitterness within me from that, but in my life today it has it's proper place.
"Stop it Tina," was the chant from my family. Whether I was talking, laughing, complaining, or crying, the only message I ever heard was "Stop it." My siblings constantly complained that I was embarrassing them. My mother complained because I wanted to talk; talk about feelings, ask questions she didn't want to answer, or seek attention and validation.
"Stop babbling Tina!" my mother would snap. "You always want to talk! No one cares what you have to say! So shut up!"
But she was wrong. My father cared. But he was far away, as was the safety of his embrace. When he held me, I had very little to say. Everything I needed or wanted was wrapped up in him. Being so close to him I felt complete. Riding on his motorcycle with him was the pinnacle of freedom and happiness. I didn't worry about where we were going, nor did I care. If I was with Daddy, I was safe.
I've come full circle now. Being in Highway's embrace fills me with that childlike serenity and joy. Being accepted for who I am gives me the freedom to live without reservations. Knowing I'm a loving, generous person at heart, I needn't second guess myself and my motives, as long as I'm genuine.
My Daddy has been gone from this life a long time, but his spirit lives inside me. I've found what I was missing all of these years out on that open road. Every day I ride and clear my mind, open my heart, and listen with my soul, I'm fed beyond expectation.
No one can stop me now.