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Excerpt from The Story of Wade – AudreyAnn Moses

What really made me mad was him showing up at my high school graduation! Ruined my entire day. I did not want him anywhere near me, especially not on my graduation day. I don’t know how he got a ticket. I’m sure my mom gave it to him. My whole family was there. My mom and grandmother, my dad, his family, and Grammee and Papa. I did not even want my grandfather there, but I knew my mom would have been upset with me if I had not invited him, especially since he was ill and in a wheelchair. My whole family had never been in the same room, as far as I can remember. My dad shook their hands and introduced them to his family. I, on the other hand, tried to avoid touching my grandfather at all. I could hear a loud voice trying to talk me into making a scene. The Whisperers told me to remember what it took for me to get to that moment, with honors, so I did not act out.”
“When my grandmother came to hug me, she had tears in her eyes. I was happy to hug her back because driving her around gave me a chance to really get to know her. I learned she was a prisoner in her own home. She told me she loved me and was very proud of me. I told her I love her too. My mom’s husband stayed away from me and I stayed away from him. A few weeks later, he was in the obituaries.”
“After graduation, we went out to dinner. My dad had made all of the arrangements. Everyone, except my grandfather, talked about how proud they were of me, graduating, with honors, followed by the ‘you-have-your-whole-life-ahead-of-you’ speech. That was one of the very few times I can say I felt much love from, and for, my family.”
“Then, my mom’s father decided he had to say something. He couldn’t stand the thought of everyone complimenting me and showing love for me…the mistake born on Halloween. Because he was very sick and had to use oxygen tubes, his voice was gruff and raspy. When he talked, it seemed as if he had no more air left after a couple words, and he sounded like he swallowed a brillo pad. It was pitiful. As much as I hated him, I was sad he had dwindled to almost nothing.
He asked me which college I had chosen. When I told him MMTrucking Drivers College and Technical School in Beaufort, he tried to yell, “That’s not a real (gasp) college!” Despite everything (cough-gasp-cough), your grades were (gasp) such that you could go to any (cough-gasp-cough) real four-year university(cough-cough-gasp-cough).”
“At this point, my grandmother tried to calm and quiet him down. He continued with his rant, and coughed, and gasp for air, and coughed some more, just a little quieter, “It’s bad enough (gasp-cough) you refused to go (gasp) to my alma mater (cough-gasp-cough) after I made the necessary (gasp) calls to get you admitted. (cough-gasp-cough-gasp)
“I’d kill myself first before I attended that school!”
Wade saw the shocked look on Dr. Stewart’s face…
Wade laughed, “Well, I didn’t say it out loud, but I wanted to!”
Grandfather continues, “Now you are (cough-gasp) not going to a university (gasp) at all… but to some trucking school (gasp-cough-cough-cough). I’m sure he coerced (gasp) you into giving up (gasp-cough) great opportunities, to do what!, (cough-gasp-cough-gasp) drive trucks! (cough-cough-gasp) I guess next you’ll (cough-cough-gasp) be joining the Navy!” (cough-cough-gasp-cough-gasp)
Just as I was about to respond, The Whisperers said, “Let your father handle this…”.
“Then my father, Senior Chief Marcus Anthony Martin, United States Navy, Retired – President and Chief Executive Officer of MMTrucking, INC, stood up and faced my grandfather.”
As if Wade wanted to make sure I could see the scene, he stood up and squared his shoulders the way a military person would do.

“ It seemed as if he was standing twelve feet over my grandfather. I remember his words as if it were yesterday.”
“You, sir, have been a disrespectful man and a tyrant for as long as I have known you. However, this is where it stops. My son will attend any school he chooses to attend, in Beaufort, or anywhere else. It is his choice. He will learn to drive trucks and how to manage the business, because, that’s what he wants to do. No one coerced him. This is the career choice he has made, at least for now. You, sir, have no say in this matter.”
Grandfather opened his mouth to say something, but dad raised his hands, like this…(Wade held up his hand, palm facing me as to say ‘STOP’) and said, “Good night,” and the Martins left the table, including me.
I felt bad for my grandmother and my mom – they were both in tears. It had been such a wonderful day, and he had to ruin it for everyone. That’s what he did…ruined life for everyone.
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