Seeing the familiar sunflower bushes that had grown outside the wrought iron gates since my childhood stirred up the familiar sensations of anxiety in the pit of my stomach. I kept these monthly visits with my parents short and sweet. I knew I was the black sheep, the youngest and least successful of the three children. A humble bartender, college-drop-out, living in a small apartment on the wrong side of town. Not married. I could hear their questions now. My stomach cramped.
At least my two older siblings wouldn’t be there. The golden children. I tried to avoid visiting when they would be here, but it still broke my heart a little that we weren’t close anymore.
“Mom!” I called out.
My mom was lying in bed, unheard of at 12 pm, her face bare with dark circles under her eyes, staring into nothing. I rushed to her side.
“Your father filed for divorce,” she told me in a hoarse whisper. I embraced her sadly, feeling the tension release.