Tuesday, December 14, 2010

27 Years ago today.... Part II - The beginning of the End

27 years ago today, my mother killed my father.  27 years ago today, I felt sadness but a certain freedom, 27 years ago today, I was suppose to spend the night with a friend, but could not because of  what had happened, and I remember thinking - he always messes things up.  Wow, I feel guilty saying that now.

I purposly waited until today to write the second part of this since the anniversary was so close.  I was going over in my head how to put it in words, but I keep getting caught up on stuff the bastard did that I have already written about. For instance my first blog, were my brothers were just toddlers, me, only 4-5 yrs old and christmas night, he burns all of our toys, or rather makes us burn them.  My little brother being injured in the process. I have two children and I just can't imagine.

We were poor, by his choice, and did not have much to start with, so to have what little we were lucky enough to get taken that way, it makes me sick, remembering the cries, from us all, and my mother... sometimes the anger and saddness are almost in competition for which will take over during any given memory.

BAck to that day - I was sitting on the stool, in my fathers bedroom, next to the bed where he was.  My little cousin who was literally maybe a year old then was screaming and crying because my brothers were.  We did not tell them what happened, just that dad was hurt.  We did not call 911 immediately, my mom and I talked, she made a phone call, I remember pacing, I remember it all feeling surreal, I mean there was no way she had shot him, but there he lay, right on the bed beside me.  The sirens were low in the background and I could hear them getting louder and closer, until they were there.  The medics came in and made me leave the room.  I can remember my little brothers bottom lip, oh, my - this is hard... I can remember my little brothers bottom lip starting to quiver and his eyes fill up with tears.  They were 7 & 8 at the time and I think it was not until the medics and police arrived that they realized something was very wrong.  At their age, you cannot process that your mother killed your father.

My mom never told me to lie, but I can remember her telling me something about going to jail forever and not having her anymore... and somehow, I just cannot describe it, because I did not lie on purpose, I did not try to cover up, I only know that my story did change some from the day of the shooting, until court, and they interviewed me numerous times.  But it was not until 16 years old that I remembered he was asleep.  That is the one thing that bothers me, why I blocked out he was sleeping... I mean, I am sure it would have made it more likely she would have gotten life in prison... but I did not think about it, that I can recall.  This is the one portion that is fuzzy for me and it drives me insane.  In part one, when I wrote about walking in their room the last time, her having the gun and telling me to get out, and seeing him asleep, that is actually the dream I had at 16 where I realized he had not been awake.  I know this paragraph is not well written, kind of jumbled, but that is because that is how it is in my head, still.

Immediatley all of us children were ushered to the neighbors, My aunt, the mother of the child at our home arrived right behind EMS.  My aunt was screaming, she thought her child was dead.  Even though my dad ws her brother, she knew he was crazy and was reaching the end.  She would later tell police when she got behind the ambulance several miles away, and it continued to head the same way she was going that she got sick, and thought "Oh my god, Larry has done it, he has killed Deborah and my kid is there too, did he kill all the kids too?"  The police came over, talked to me at length, got my statment and I wanted to badly to get back to my mother, to help her, but they would not let me.  I was stubborn, so I stood in teh yard, the neighbors tried to keep me inside, but I wasn't having it.  I watched them carry my mom away in handcuffs and thought my world was ending.  I saw my aunt, holding her baby, screaming and crying, she was my dad's sister.  And my little brothers, stood there, crying, confused, scared, and I still cannot think of their pain without it tearing me apart inside. I wish I could go back, you know, make sure I held them a little tighter, told them more times that it would all be ok and somehow, made them a little less afraid.

Even though they do not remember much, it has to be partly why they are so screwed up.  YOu cannot go through something like that and not be.  And for me at least, the worst was yet to come.  I pray that what i believe to be true about my brothers and the upcoming years spent with my grandparents actually are true.

After everything settled down, we were taken to my other aunt's house for the night.  I remember two things more than anything about that night.  The first being when my mom walked in late that night, my aunt, the one who's child my mom kept, the one who knew how she was treated and use to come and get her to take her to the store so we would have food had bailed my mom out of jail, the woman who shot her brother.
And second... when the phone rang, I remember hearing my aunt start to cry, I heard her tell the other adults, my dad had just died.  See, turns out he was not dead exactly when they took him in, but he was in a vegetative state, so after hours of being on life support, and the docs beign sure there was no hope, my grandma and my aunts, dads sisters, decided to pull the plug....  We were suppose to be in bed, all the other kids were, but how could I sleep.  I sat up, by the door, straining to hear what the grown ups were saying about what happened.  When I heard my father was dead, I did not shed a tear. 

I can only imagine how scared my little brothers had been, laying in the other room, trying to sleep. i wish instead of being so nosy that night, I had went and laid with them, held them.


  1. You have been taking on a great deal of responsibility that is not yours. It is in no way EVER a ten year old's responsibility to care for her siblings, to mitigate their shock - and your lack of clarity on some points is because you were in shock also. Nothing - NOTHING - is your fault, not what happened then, not what is happening now with your brothers. It is not, and never was, your job to make them OK. It seems your mother saved your life and your brothers' lives and probably that of your cousin; she was kind of heroic. With such a horrendous model, it would be amazing if you even had a clear grasp on what actually is 'normal'. It is not really all that normal for your aunt to have left a baby at such a home, for instance.

    When you married and had kids, you became the mother in a new family and whatever you did or do right or wrong with your prior family unit is a secondary concern now. It is good to write and get this into perspective, but however you feel, the fact is that there is nothing a ten year old can do to fix a family. If your brothers have inherited (or learned)some of the craziness, then I would think that you would do well to keep them away from your children. Kids pick up on tension very quickly - so even when the brothers are sober, there is probably a lot of negativity in the fear that things will change quickly again if someone has a drink. The people you associate with are role models for your kids, no matter what you SAY about them.

    You will probably never remember some of the events of that night, and you probably, as a child yourself at the time, misinterpreted some of what you DID remember. What happened cannot be undone or changed or mitigated. What happens from now on inside your own family unit is much more under your control.

    It is not 'nosy' for a child to want to know all she can about a murder in her house. Why should you have been less scared than your brothers? You really are assuming way too much responsibility for what was entirely out of your control.

    No child should have this kind of experience. The fact that you did, and your brothers did, is your parents fault 100%, not yours. Your efforts toward damage control should be applied for your own kids, not for your brothers or their families.

  2. I, once again, have to agree with David here. Wow.