I still can remember her face, pale with freckles, expressionless,
as if trying to hide the pain -- a woman whose only devotion
was to her family. She worked hard at what she did, and she
did it well. She was always on the go, hardly slept. Well,
how could she? She had four kids, a job and a controlling
husband who always wanted his dinner ready for him when he
came home, and on top of all, that she maintained a clean
household. That woman was my beautiful, caring, and loving
mother, who meant the world to me.
I was seventeen years old and four months pregnant when finally,
after years of abuse, my mother made up her mind that she
was no longer living that life style. I remember that day
very well. My mother came down stairs crying. My first thought
was that he had hit her again. She said "We're moving. He
started hitting me again!" I wrapped my arms around her and
embraced her, feeling the trembling of her cries. I held her
for a moment, and then I asked her, "Are you sure this is
what you want to do?" She replied, "YES!"
It took us two days to pack up and go. My father was at work
and had no clue of what was going on. That night we stayed
at a motel. I remember lying in bed, feeling sorry for my
father who came home to an empty house with nothing but a
chair, T.V., a twin sized bed, dresser, food, and his clothes.
I remember trying to imagine what pain he was feeling how
alone he felt. Tears rolled down my face as if the love was
pouring through. I felt confused, but, at the same time, I
wanted nothing more than for my mother to be happy.
From that point on, we stayed in motels, hotels, relatives
and even a shelter. By this time, my father had repeatedly
tried calling her, paging her. My mother avoided any contact
with my father. There was nothing to be said. He wouldn't
understand her pain, because he brought it upon her. My mother
made the comment, "I feel so free."
My father was falling deeper and deeper into depression. He started drinking more but continued
to work. His boss had no idea what was going on. My father tried committing suicide not once,
but twice. The first time he had the gas on, but he left all the windows open. The second time he
was drinking heavily. He put his twin bed in front of the stove and turned the gas on. He began
feeling nauseous. He decided to leave and go to his parents house, only two blocks away. He then
later over-dosed on my grandparents' pills. He called down to my uncle, and he said he was
having trouble seeing. He was later rushed to the hospital.
My mother got a phone call saying my father had tried to kill
himself. My mother, my three brothers and I went up to the
hospital to see him. The doctor told my mother that he'd be
okay, but he would be committed to another hospital for a
few weeks to evaluate him. My mother told the doctor that
he was suicidal and was afraid he would hurt someone. My mother
decided to move back in the old house, thinking he'd be in
the hospital and would give us enough time to find another
place. But that wasn't so. On May 14, 1997, my mother's thirty-fourth
birthday, I was in the kitchen baking her birthday cake and
helping my little brothers make their cards when my father
came walking through the front door, wearing his hospital
clothes. Fear went through my body like lightning, and I was
speechless. My mother came home shortly after. She asked me
what he was doing there. I didn't have the answer for I was
still in shock.
We all sang happy birthday but I could see it in her eyes
that she wasn't too happy. We ate cake, as she read our cards.
We were all waiting for my father to leave. He wouldn't. Later
that evening I was with my mother, father, my oldest brother
who was fourteen years old at the time; we were all standing
in the kitchen. My father began to push her and choke her.
He kept saying, "You two go downstairs so your mother and
I can talk." "No, I'm not leaving so you can beat on her."
My father began to get very angry. He grabbed the butcher
knife that we had used to cut my mothers cake. He then tried
to stab her, but luckily she slid out of her shirt and got
away. He spent the night in jail. Someone bailed him out.
Why, I have no idea; it only brought more pain.
A few days went by, and my little brothers began insisting
that they wanted to talk to their father. My mother had no
choice but to use the payphone that day. My mother had no
idea that this phone call would change everything. After the
phone call my mother began to sob. She knew she had to let
her children see their father. She only wanted her children
to be happy as she always did.
My mother and father arranged to meet at the park. He said
he wanted to see the kids, but what he really wanted was to
see my mother. We pulled up to the park that afternoon. I
remember seeing my father sitting on the bench. He looked
like a stiff statue, with no movement, looking straight ahead.
My little brothers began to jump with joy. They bolted like
little jumping beans. I could tell my mother didn't want to
be there, for she knew she'd have to talk to him. Seeing my
brothers happy put a smile on her face. As my father walked
up to the car I could tell he was losing weight. I didn't
know what to say, for I could see the pain in his eyes. My
little brothers jumped out of the car and hugged him. They
kept asking if our father could come over for dinner. They
had no idea what had happened. My mother finally said it was
alright. But she told him that after dinner he had to leave.
We drove back to the house, and my father walked. My Father
came in and started watching T.V. while my mother cooked.
I could tell she was nervous and didn't know what to expect.
We ate dinner, and my father continued to sit in the livingroom.
He had no intentions of leaving. My mother then left instead.
That night my father and I had a talk. Which was kind of different,
as we hardly ever talked. We talked for some time, and he
promised me he would never hurt my mother again.
On May 29th, 1997 Fifteen days after my mother's birthday,
she came home exhausted. My mother sent my two youngest brothers
off to school. She fell asleep with my oldest brother of fourteen
and my little cousin of three. At around 9:15 a.m. I was asleep
in the next room when my father came barging through the front
door. I began to wake up. I could hear him screaming at her.
I heard two gun shots. I jumped up, and opening my bedroom
door looked down, at my mother. She lay there not moving.
I turned and looked at my father. He then shot himself. Neither
That was the worst day of my life! I've never felt so much
pain as I did that day. My father took her before we could
say good-bye, leaving us with nothing because he was selfish
and cruel. Now we're suffering for his selfishness. My mother
had her whole life left to live. Watching her kids grow; seeing
her first grandchild being born. My father ended all of that
the day he broke his promise and decided to leave this world
and take her with him.
A true story written by,
(Reprinted with permission)
Surviving & Healing Index