I guess it was early spring of 1973 when we moved again, this time to a 6 family complex, they were fairly new, ours was on the end. There were lots of kids running around the neighborhood and it was easy to make friends. That summer my oldest sister got married (she was pregnant), not long after the wedding her husband was transferred so off to the big city they went, they were about a 4 hrs. drive away.
My mother was prone to bouts of breakdowns, she tried to commit suicide a couple times through these years and tried to fix herself, and from that came religious fever, dragging herself and us to church every weekend, some would say that was a good thing but we hated it and knew it wouldn’t be long before Vic was hanging around again and we knew religion took a back seat to him and the love of the bottle was even stronger then family.
I’ve remembered the nights of broken glass, blood and emptied booze bottles as if they were yesterday, I’m starting to recall more and more incidents, like going to peoples house’s in the middle of the night, not knowing who they were. straining to hear the whispers between my mum and the lady’s of the house, speaking low so not to wake the husband and kids of these people, they never turned us away but I also knew we weren’t welcome guests.
One girl in our new neighborhood had a bicycle and she was very gracious to let me ride it once in a while. It was hot summer day and I was just riding around a few blocks from our house when something caught my eye, I was going past an old motel that had been converted to low income housing, what caught my eye was a bathroom window slowly being opened, it wasn’t a big window it maybe had only a 2 ft. opening, what I saw at first was 2 blood covered hands, next was a women’s face, a native woman’s face, battered and bleeding, I stopped dead. She looked straight at me and started to mumble something to me, her words were drunken slur’s, I could barely make out what she was saying, between the cry’s and slurred speech I figured out what she was trying to tell me….. This woman was Pleading for me to get her help, He was going to Kill Her….. Please, Please Help Me!!! I just stood there holding the bike, terrified, I was only about 2 blocks to the police station yet I rode home and never told a sole until now. It makes me sick to my stomach thinking of it now…..why didn’t I go for help??? I now know why.
It was near my birthday (October) I had just started grade 3, it was a beautiful warm fall day, l came home from school that day and found my mum and Vic hauling big black garbage bags out to his car, in one bag I could hear the banging and clinking of pots and pans and I saw my mum give Vic her fur coat to put in the car, when Vic passed me he would not look at me, his head was turned away, I knew something was up and asked my mum what they were doing with the bags of clothing and pots and pans and her beloved fur coat?? The answer I got was, “We’re taking this stuff to the Salvation Army because we don’t need it any more, then she looked at me and started crying, she pulled me to her as she sunk into a chair, I remember saying to her ” Why are you crying mum?” She just shook her head as the tears rolled down her face and said to me ” Just remember, I’ll Never Leave You” then she got up, grabbed her purse, and said” Bye”.
I never saw or heard from my mother again.
This was the hardest part to write, and the first time I’ve ever told anyone about these things. From this point onward my life got harder and harder, unknown to my siblings and I we found out years later my mother had sent my father a telegram, in it it said…there’s enough food in the house till Thursday, come and get the kids, they are your responsibility, I can’t do it anymore. Almost forgot, Teresa needs a new pair of winter boots, I was going to get them for her birthday which is coming up.