96 Tears

96 Tears

by Robert Monti

ISBN: 9781479769735

Publisher XLIBRIS

Published in Biographies & Memoirs/Memoirs, Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting

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Book Description

96 TEARS is tribute to the human spirit. When all seems bleak and the mind sinks to lows it thinks impossible to handle, the heart and soul remain the substance of true character.

Being destitute broke, down-and-out; having near-death experiences; and having been used and abused would lead many to give up. It is only after such experiences do the magical, mystical forces of faith come into play. Faith is the driving force that lifts us up from the depths of our darkest despair. This is a story of never-ending perseverance, the song the heart and soul sing to never, ever give up!

Sample Chapter

The following weekend, Destiny was allowed to come home from Shands Hospital for a visit. Perfect timing, for that Sunday was Mother’s Day! Lizzie and I left for the two-hour trip before noon that Friday. We had arranged to get Destiny released early so we could also go and pick up Eva at Orlando Hospital. We went up to Eva’s room. Destiny helped Eva get dressed to leave, while Lizzie and I had some paperwork to tend to with the hospital staff.

After we finished, Lizzie started arguing with me in the hallway. She was getting louder and I kept shushing her. I saw an exit door, opened it, and led her out into a beautiful garden courtyard the hospital had for patients and visitors. She started yelling at me at the top of her lungs. She didn’t care where she was accusing me of things that have happened in the past and things that had nothing to do with me. I responded to her and she told me, “I never said that!”

“Lizzie, you just told me that, not two minutes ago. You’re so enraged about I don’t know what, you don’t even know what you’re saying anymore. You want something to get mad at? How about this, I’ve been holding in the fact that my baby is in the hospital because of you!”

“Me?” she said, stunned.

“That’s right, I was never going to say anything, because I didn’t want to make you feel bad, but I don’t care anymore what you think. That’s right. You could never listen to me. I was cheap, you said! You had to keep taking Eva to the doctors against my wishes. I gave in just not to fight with you and let you have your way. That’s right, it’s your fault”.

“Kids get sick and get over it as quickly as they fall ill. My mother never took us to the doctor for every little sniffle. She used her instincts—something you don’t have! Eva is lucky to be alive right now. No thanks to you. The doctors said her case is that severe that there’s still a chance we might lose her. You don’t even care that she gets sicker every time you’re yelling and screaming in front of her.” It was as if I my diatribe was fading into thin air. She didn’t get anything I said. It all just went over her head.

She screamed back at me, “I know you’re leaving. My uncle John told me!” Whoa, here we go again, the visiting dead uncle. He told her enough.

“Call up to the floor and get Destiny.” I told Lizzie. I remained in the courtyard. I needed to calm down. I didn’t even want to walk back into the hospital with her. I was embarrassed.

I stood there waiting and was approached by one of Eva’s doctors. We were discussing procedures for rehabilitation, so long as the surgery was a success. Destiny suddenly approached me and asked for the car keys as her mother had accidentally locked hers in the car. Without question, I handed them to her and said “Tell your mother I’ll be right there.” I just wanted to finish speaking with the doctor.

My conversation was longer than I expected and Destiny returned with my keys and told me they were ready to go. I excused myself from the doctor. I turned and started walking with Destiny, glancing down at my keys still in my hand. I noticed right away something was not right.

“Oh how nice, your mother is a piece of work, my safety deposit key is missing!” Destiny gave me a smirk. She knew her mother stole the key, and I knew exactly what she had planned to do with it. I got in the car as she was behind the wheel. I never said another word all the way home.

That evening, I started to read a bedtime story to Eva. In the middle of the peace and tranquility of the story, Lizzie charged in and shouted, “I know you’re leaving, you bastard! I hate you!”

I stopped reading. Eva and I looked up at her. I said, “What are you talking about?”

She started ranting about how I had all the moving boxes separated in the garage. “So what, I just organized so we know who’s stuff is where and in what room things are going in. Please, give me a break!” I was exasperated with her.

She continued yelling that I was no good and a liar. Eva piped in, “Oooh, please, stop fighting!”

I told Lizzie she could possibly ruin anything, even a bedtime story and my efforts at trying to keep the household calm and quiet for Eva. I had even been looking forward to this weekend. It would be the first time I’d be showering and sleeping in the new hose. I had been staying at the hospital continually night after night.

Saturday evening fell. I felt nothing but tension in the house since the moment we set foot in the door. I made sure I had a gift and a Mother’s Day card ready to give Lizzie for Sunday morning. I didn’t want to give her any reason to fight with me even though special occasions had become meaningless to me.

I awoke Sunday morning in bed alone. I was thankful. Lizzie had slept in the living room. I guess she hated me so much that she couldn’t stomach the thought of sleeping next to me. I was barely out of bed when she charged into the room, with all the same accusations of leaving and name-calling and any other foul things she could say to me. Happy Mother’s Day, I thought to myself.

One day was the same as the next to her, it didn’t matter. I had enough. I cleaned up, got dressed, and took my two oldest daughters outside to speak to them. Lorrie was eleven and Destiny, fifteen. I thought they were old enough to understand what I was about to say to them and old enough to make a decision. They were well aware of the situation in the household. I told them what was going on was not normal and not good for their well-being and certainly not good for Eva’s health. I told them that I wanted them to really think about what I was about to say and ask them.

I was very sick from the situation, but they were my main concern. “If you feel you can’t live without me being here for you then I will do whatever it takes, whatever sacrifices necessary to be here for you girls until you are old enough to be on your own.” I told them.

I believed it was in everybody’s best interest for me not to be there. “Your mom won’t have someone to fight with, and things will hopefully calm down. Just tell me what you think and what you want me to do.”

Without hesitation both of them said, “No, Daddy, don’t stay, it’s best to leave.”

I asked each of them a number of times “Are you sure?” They reassured me that they understood everything completely and it was best for them and Eva. They were even concerned for Eva. We promised to always stay in touch with each other and that we loved one another. We would always be a family. I would always be their daddy. This was the most heartbreaking moment of my life.

I kissed and hugged them both and told Destiny not to say anything but to get ready to go back to the hospital. I knew it wasn’t fair for her to go back early, but we had no choice. I’d drop her off on my way back to New York. I went to Eva’s bedroom and spoke to her, explaining everything. She seemed to take it very well for a six-year-old. I don’t know what she was really thinking or understanding. I just felt it was good that the girls were staying calm.

I gathered my clothes and my records. That’s all that was important to me. I loaded up my ’57 black Chevy sedan and backed it out of the garage. I came out of the bedroom with my hands full of clothes hangers. Lizzie was not surprised in the least to see me. “You fuck!” she blurted out. “I knew it.”

I shot back, “You created everything. It was you who did this. You created everything you feared and supposedly dreaded the most. You made the situation.”

She sat down at the kitchen table. I told her I would do her a favor and drop Destiny back at the hospital. As I walked past her I heard, “Go . . . who the fuck would want you anyway!” She started singing, “Hit the road Jack and don’t you come back no more, no more, no more!”

I simply shook my head and kept walking. She even got Lorrie to chime in with her, though I knew Lorrie would do whatever it took to stay on her mother’s good side. Lizzie ended with “You’re going to pay, pay, pay!”

Destiny and I were off now for the long ride back. Basically, our conversation was filled with small talk about the whole horrid situation. I begged her to please get her act together and straighten out. “You know your mother will not blink or hesitate to put you away again. You don’t want to be spending your life in these places.” Destiny agreed and reached to put the radio on, as we cruised up through Florida.

We heard the distinctive riffs of an organ. A song began and the chants of anguish started. Destiny and I looked at each other in dismay.

Too many teardrops for one heart to be crying,

Too many teardrops for one heart to carry on,

You’re way on top now since you left me.

You’re always laughin’ way down at me.

But watch out now, I’m gunna get there,

We’ll be together for just a little while.

And then I’m gunna put you way down here.

And you’ll start cryin’ ninety-six tears.

Cry, cry . . .

And when the sun comes up, I’ll be on top.

You’ll be right down there, lookin’ up.

And I might wave, come up here

But I don’t see you wavin’ now,

I’m way down here, wonderin’ how.

I’m gunna get you . . .

But I know now.

I’ll just cry, cry, I’ll just cry.

Too many teardrops for one heart to be crying,

Too many teardrops for one heart to carry on,

You’re gunna cry, ninety-six tears.

You’re gunna cry, ninety-six tears.

You’re gunna cry. Cry, cry, cry . . .

The lament continued, over and over. The song ended and would play again and again. Destiny and I looked at each other. It was like it was directed at us. We felt like we drove into the twilight zone. For two hours to the door of the hospital, we listened to the song. We hugged, kissed, held each other, and said goodbye, with both of us wishing each other good luck. I drove off still listening to “96 Tears” well into the state of Georgia. Ironically, this was the farewell song of a radio station going off the air and my farewell to the life I had been leading. Yet like the songs unending cries, it would become the theme of my life, repeating, repeating, and repeating. Always starting over with hopes of “when the sun comes up, I’ll be on top.”


Excerpted from "96 Tears" by Robert Monti. Copyright © 2013 by Robert Monti. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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