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Updated on May 23, 2012

Palomar Way, Playground, Street View

Street sign:  Palomar Way
Street sign: Palomar Way | Source
We used to play in this little corner lot playground.  Always filled with laughter and lots of and forlorn
We used to play in this little corner lot playground. Always filled with laughter and lots of and forlorn | Source
The house as it stands today; little has changed
The house as it stands today; little has changed | Source
View looking East on Palomar Way.
View looking East on Palomar Way. | Source


The modest home on Palomar Way still stands today. Tucked safely amid others of similar design and size, the house disappears into unremarkable conformity. Nondescript and secure as it stands under trees which have been growing steadily since those years when my brother and I frolicked with friends in the safe streets; the house and environs appear to have survived the many changes and deterioration other neighborhoods succumbed to. In an idealized image; my childhood stomping grounds seem unchanged. Just as it was when my brother and I dodged emotional bullets which were constantly being jettisoned between my mother and ‘step father # 3,’ gorgeous Mike of Irish lineage.

As I walk down the street today, I vividly recall the names of my neighborhood friends and the street games we used to play deep into the dark night, street lights beaming, spreading protective light over dozens of kids at play. Sonda, who lived at the end of the cul de sac, whose home was the nicest, by far, was my very good friend. Sadly, she was rejected by so many of the other kids. I had moved into an ongoing ostracizing of this nice girl, and I never truly understood; I did not know why. I do remember fending off a group on their bicycles one day, in front of Sonda’s home. They had come to taunt and tease. She remained inside, I ran out and yelled back, calling them the meanest names I could come up with at the time… “stupid,” “idiot,” I yelled back as I screamed loudly; ordering them off her property. I always suspected their rejection of her was out of an inability to understand her upper-class behavior. She spoke quietly and with a beautiful command of the English language. She practiced ballet, piano and singing. Most of the kids in the neighborhood were from working class families who did not participate in such activities. Her demeanor was somewhat aloof, not out of snobbery but because she was shy. She and I would dance around her home to music I was very familiar with; classical and baroque, by musicians and in a style with which I had been raised, as well. Not out of any connection to the upper echelon of society but, rather, because my Oklahoma born mother had sought to erase her own humble beginnings by familiarizing herself with the classics. So, Sonda and I were friends, much to the chagrin of my other friends, who weren’t quite sure how to handle it. Eventually, everything worked out; it’s like that when we’re young and forgiving.

These memories flooded back as I walked along a street that, now, seems very small compared to the larger than life way I saw it as a younger person. I had just turned eleven; the year things began to change…again!


Days, weeks and months passed in a predictable fashion after my mother’s divorce from Mike. My brother and I attended the local schools; he starting his second year in Junior High (now called Middle School…ugh!) and I in my last year; 6th grade, at the local school just blocks away. Most of my friends were also my classmates so; attending school was just as much fun as summer vacation. I had grown used to my small little world on Palomar Way; everything I needed was right there or within several blocks walking distance. Life was good. Home life had leveled out. All was well in smallville!


Just when my brother and I thought that we had finally reached an even keel; just as we felt as if we really belonged somewhere and had spread our roots deep within the warm and welcoming soil of our little housing tract, something started to stir. Mother’s hours began to vary…greatly. She came home later and later at night after her "dates," and acted as if she were on some kind of love potion # 9! She hadn't seen anyone for so long and now, she was moody and giddy. I noticed, too, that she began to pay more attention to her appearance, styling her hair differently, applying more make-up and wearing high heels with nylons instead of comfortable shoes. She began to buy pretty perfumes which she placed on her dressing table along with the bangles and baubles which had been put away quite a while before. Something was in the air! I sensed that things were about to change.


My grandmother shared our home and acted as babysitter, driver, shopper and all around helper as my mother worked full time and at odd hours. We couldn’t afford a full time sitter, so grandmother did what she could to help out. She still owned her own home and, in fact, spent several days a week there just to have a little time to herself, away from the commotion which is always present when kids are around. She took two or three “days off” each week. Even so, ours was a comfortable little family unit; everything went along smoothly with no major problems.


Mother worked ‘graveyard’ shift at the local hospital. This had been going on for several years, and she was quickly growing weary of the difficult hours. Her work was hard, too, as she was a Licensed Vocational Nurse which translated into hands on, down and dirty, hard labor. But work she must which meant that, sometimes, brother and I were left alone at night when grandmother was away. She’d lock the house up tight and insist that we never open a door or window to anyone…”do you hear me, Kathryn? Billy? Do NOT open the door!” We were brave. Oh yes! very brave. Until we heard her car drive away and realized that we were alone. No friends were allowed over during these times, either. So, believing in the divine protection of bright light, we’d run from room to room, turning on all the lights, and then cuddle up in front of the television which we'd dialed up real loud as we sat together on the big couch with comforters and pillows to protect us from the scary unknown.

Other times, when grandmother was with us but had to be elsewhere for a while; she’d bundle us up warmly and drive to the hospital where my mother’s car was parked. As we drew nearer, I could feel my heart start to hammer in my chest. It was dark and quiet; so quiet. Grandmother would park beside mother's car, unlock the back door and quickly usher us into the back seat pf mother's car. With lots of blankets and covers, she’d tell us to lie on the floor while she completely hid us from view under piles of bedding. “Be quiet, kids, and DO NOT open the doors for anyone. Your mother will be here soon. Go to sleep and don’t talk. Just be quiet.”

She’d slam the door tight and we could hear the key as it locked securely in place. Soon, we’d hear the motor of grandmother's car start and the wheels crunching over the gravel parking lot. Now, again, we were alone in a strange place…sometimes cold; always fearful. Mercifully, before we were aware, we were fast asleep, tucked 'safely' (we hoped) under tons of fabric.

The driver’s door was opening! It was light outside and the loud, blaring siren which indicated change of shift was wailing. Though I knew what it was, each and every time it sounded, my heart skipped a beat as I involuntarily inhaled deeply. Even though my mother stood just outside the car door, this was the most frightening time of all…I don’t know why; it caused my heart to pound and my senses to alert, waiting to hear my mother’s voice to be sure we were okay.

She slipped into the drivers’ seat and started the engine, as she whispered to us that we would be home soon.

And, once again, all was well in smallville.

Back to reality. Mother was beginning to look and act as I’d seen her before, in her predatory days, looking for another husband.


Without warning, grandmother, brother and I were being introduced to my mother’s new love interest, Leonard. He had a stocky build, square jaw and a leering gaze. This one seemed particularly rigid; “uptight” seems to fit the way he handled himself. Leonard was overly obsessed with his appearance and that of my mother. His gaze seemed to be assessing and evaluating everything around him; particularly my mother and me.

Theirs was a short 'dating' phrase. In no time, my mother sat grandmother, brother and me down for a 'serious' talk. We already knew what was coming, and we were not happy about it. He did not fool us; his gaze was cold, his demeanor was stiff, unfriendly and far too 'observent,' as well as being very self conscious.

Along with the news of another impending wedding for my desperate mother, came the fact that Leonard did not want to live in my mother's house...oh NO! So, plans were made to place the home on the market as they searched for our new home number six!! I remember standing in the driveway, shortly after learning of the impending upheaval of our lives; looking out over the street I loved and crying my eyes out.

In no time, even before our family uprooted and moved on, he was becomming very judgmental. He’d constantly berate my mother if he perceived her to be the slightest bit imperfect. He would insult her with the goal that she do whatever necessary to achieve his idea of physical beauty.

One day, he showed up with the latest invention designed to slenderize and shape the female body. Called “The Relaxasizer,” this contraption was touted to be the latest and greatest device available and would achieve rapid results, melt away unwanted fat and sculpt a body even Venus would envy. It sent electrical pulses to the "problem" areas where little electrodes were attached using moisturized pads which adhered to flesh. One could choose whether the “shocks” would be minimal or maximum. The idea was that inches and pounds would melt away as if the subject were exercising long and hard while, in fact, laying still. The electrical device caused pronounced jumping with each jolt. Mother religiously applied the pads to her nude body everyday without fail; hoping to please him.

Of course, nothing was going to please him. He was the original misogynist. Nothing she did was right; everything had fault and error in his eyes. And though she was still beautiful; slender and proud, he saw only what he thought were imperfections. She would never achieve acceptance.

Soon after they were married, my mother became pregnant with my, soon to be, younger brother. During this time, Leonard became deathly ill with Hepatitis. His health rapidly deteriorated, rendering him unable to work or even leave the house. This continued for about 9 months. My mother took on a second job to carry our family through the crisis.

I became the “chief, cook and bottle washer,” taking over all the duties typical of the woman of the house during that era. Ironing, preparing many meals ahead of time and then freezing them in the huge Frigidaire freezer for future use, cleaning and caring for my bedridden stepfather became my daily existence. It was summer and school was out but I was chained to the house; overwhelmed with so much responsibility. During this time, my brother Bill was no longer living at home and rarely visited.. He and Leonard did NOT get along. Once, this resulted in a broken arm and bloody face with my brother being sent to live at my father’s home with our new step mother. Beaten and evicted, essentially, he was gone and I was there….alone.

Still an undeveloped child, I was not aware of his improper interest in me. But, it wasn’t long before my young body began to blossom into adolescence….and Leonard noticed.

Sick as he was, Leonard could not help but make comments and gestures in his desire to gain my attentions…oggling, staring and inappropriate attempts at touch were becoming constant threats…and I learned, quickly, how to dodge his advances.

Mother was very pregnant now, and soon to deliver. He was not happy about the pregnancy and had no qualms about reminding my mother of it over and over while complaining about what the pregnancy had done to her looks. What a jerk!!!!

Leonard loved porn. I’d find it everywhere when I was cleaning the house. I wasn’t supposed to have found it; hidden away so carefully as it was. I’d tell my brother, who just had to share in the secret! Boys will be boys! But Leonard’s obsession was a little over the top, to be sure. And he expected my mother to live up to the images he flaunted before her in an effort to control the situation.

In the beginning, when I was a younger girl, he would speak to me using endearing terms and pet names. Pumpkin and Tiger were his favorites. He loved lavishing attention on me as he beckoned me using these names…..and I wanted to be recognized; to be favored. The pet name gestures were like a warm, welcoming acceptance. I had no idea.

As I grew into a teenager, the pet names ceased. Leonard became hostile and accusatory. He called me names about which I had no idea of their meaning. He believed my behavior outside the home was less than sterling. I was completely unaware of what he meant and which of my activities he seemed to have an awareness of, and were so bad. He wasn’t there; how could he say these things?

The rejection I felt was enormous. And undeserved. My mother told me that he could not handle the physical changes which were happening to me. Of course, I didn’t understand…not at all. The only way I could relate to the overt disapproval was to believe that I had done something terribly wrong. Guilt! Shame! For what; I did not know.

As time passed, the tension, the turmoil and discord grew exponentially.

Our ‘happy little family’ environment grew more tense and more peculiar….

more to come in the next of this series.


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    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      mar, I think this is a dupicate or some kind of mix up...I'll have to fix it...yikes!!!!!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      OMG, I feel better with the last comment I just wrote on your other hub... I thought I was losing it. Love you, girlfriend!

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Hi Pamela! This is the last one written; out of order and sync but, hopefully, it will all come together. So far, the series is written in "three parts." The "little girl," "young girl," and "young woman" but, not in any specific order...just as memories arrise. I'd love it if you found the time to read "The Calliope Queen." It is one of the earlier ones and, truly, makes me laugh when I recall that scene. Thank you so much for visiting and leaving insightful comments. Kathy

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 5 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      This is the second segment I read and I agree with you -- your numbering is not chronological. I scratched my head, went back to the other one. I thought I was choosing the first one, but anyway it does, as you said you hope, all fall together.

      Wow, that's got to have been hard what you and your brother went through. I'm glad you had each other.

      Captivating writing. I think, actually, it is the writing, the essence of expressing, that helps us grow and mend and get over our childhoods. Voting way up.

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Hi my dear Maria! I always love your comments, I walk away feeling validated and worthy! Yea! Yes, thanks a whole lot to Augustine for writing the HUB !! such a surprise and I almost fell out of my chair when I saw my picture (!!??) and read it...very very complimented...and, YES...he chose this series as his favorites and it made me thing; 'just sit down and start writing...' So, a big thank you to Augustine and to YOU, Mar..for such a nice comment. It's been a while; I was actually off HP for nearly 3 months...just moving back to CA,'s beenn 4 months now..I still have more furry friends to bring the meantime, Al is w/the in Kansas...thank you, my friend, for visiting and leaving such a great comment!

      Victoria...well, 'that was then; this is now' (Thank God) and all's well that ends well but, I'll continue the story line because there is so much to share and I believe; hopefully, some will see it and feel that they are not alone in childhood memories and bad situations..I'll share how I learned to love myself in spite of this. Thank you my friend. Kathy

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Wow, what a compelling story. You tell it well. Looking forward to the next installment!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Oh Dear Kathy,

      How grateful I am to Augustine for prompting your fingers to pick up your writing pen... and now I know you are indeed home and settled a bit to be able to actually scribe again.

      How I have missed you! This writing flows and I am riveted by your story. Yours is a story of strength, survival, instinct and insights learned that have made you into the amazingly beautiful woman we love today.

      So far I know the beginning and the ending... looking forward to reading all of your journey in between.

      Voted UP & ABI. Love this and love you, Maria

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      hi ShalahchayilJOY! Beautiful name! thank you for leaving such a wonderful comment. I love it when people like my style as well as content...this means alot to me. There will be more and this one is one in about 8 installments; they hop all over the place as the memories come to mind. Thank you.

    • ShalahChayilJOY profile image

      Shalah Chayil 6 years ago from Billings, Montana

      You write with such grace and eloquence, Lucky Cats. Your writing kept me reading wanting to know what happened. That is a great gift. Bless you.

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      I am so honored to have two of my most favorite authors here in comments...Martie and Amy!

      Martie..your commets are beyond fantastic! You have such an ability to see into, through, around and above that which is before you. Perceptive personified..sympathetic and naturally intuitive; your comments astound! i agree that we are a product of nature/nurture/geneology/enculturation...and that how we deal with this and find our way through, around, above and in spite of it is how we become fully formed human beings.

      I have always thought of a newborn child as a shining, gleaming, perfect piece of unmarred paper...nothing is written; nothing is etched and no marks have been placed upon to pure, unblemished face of it. As we walk through this life, the strokes of influence begin to color; to change the face of the perfect paper. Soon, there are many etchings; numerous and colorful strokes of the brush...and, there are also blemishes; scaring and black marks. In time, we see either a beautifully created work of art or, damaged goods. However, once aware, we can change the design..if we wish to take the time; if we've been given the tools to redesign.

      Thankfully, somehow, even through all the insanity and uncertainty, our parents and those close to my brother and I, gave us a sense of self, a will to excel, and a desire to prevail..we could have sunk to the lowest of depths; drowning in our own self pity..we could have become outlaws...anything was possible the Grace of God...and a little help from our friends, we both grew to be successful in our own right. He, professionally, me...because I am fully self reliAnant, completely free of debt and considered to have "made it" in the world. And, thank goodness, because of this, I can place my energh and efforts for my beloved animals.

      Anyway..our upbringing was weird..really nuts! But, we are doing very little brother..that is another story, maybe another hub.

      Amy..I never once in a million years would have thought that you referred to anything/anyone/me as "loser..." didn't cross my mind...I understand that we've experienced similar life experiences and have turned out very much alike. Kinship! Sisterhood! Never worry...if I were to judge myself on a PROFESSIONAL level on par w/my older brother then, well..I'm nowhere near his level of professionalism but..I am just as successful .. I know YOU are an amazing talent, excellent writer, fabulous artist..have an excellent education and have a brilliant career history...right now, the economy is messing everyone up but; nonetheless, it does not take away from achievements made.

      You and Martie are two of my absolute favorites!!! Brilliance, sensible and good friends!

      It's All Good!!!

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I read Martie's brilliant comment, Kathy, and I wanted to clarify my comment by saying I was speaking about myself "only" in feeling I was a loser growing up. No one else, and certainly not you. Both you and your brother were always winners, taking what life handed you and, not only surviving, but excelling. And, to further clarify, I know I am not a loser either. The journey, as Martie, so beautifully stated either makes or breaks, and I like who I am. It is important to me that you understand what I was trying to say. You are the best.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 6 years ago from South Africa

      Dear Kathy, you story touched my heart. One thing extended like a pole above water - You and your brother were not losers. Your braveness and strong characters shine through all of this.

      Those days (and even today) parents had no idea what they were doing to their children. Today we are more able as ever to realize that we form the personalities of children by doing what we are doing or not doing.

      I’ve just read a hub written by fpherj - Parents, Their Influence and Impressions. I have to repeat some of my comment on that one.

      The Zulus in South Africa have a word ‘Ubuntu’, which means "I am what I am because of who we all are." More detail to be read about this at -

      Our unique combination of genes coming from Mom and Dad is the basis of our characters, but then, certainly, we are like a sponge absorbing the influences of our environments. But keep in mind that we already as toddlers rebel against the influence of our own parents and then later against those coming from others. So the crux of the matter is that each and every one of us has our own will – to mention but only one unique characteristic. We can strive to become the best we can be in spite of everything that had happened to us, or we can simply wash our hands and say ‘I am NOTHING; I am but only a product of my bad (or good) parents and other people.”

      I consider life as an opportunity for us to be SOMEONE meaning something worthwhile to others. I regard everything that had happened to me as courses I had to pass in order to become the person I am today.

      So the question people need to ask themselves is, “Am I really the best I can be? Or was I too lazy or self-centered or stupid to learn what I should have learned?”

      I also believe our brain – intellect – plays a major role – Some people are unfortunately born without the ability to distinguish between good-better-best, bad-worse-evil, right-acceptable-wrong, et cetera…. In spite of UBUNTU, they will always be the weed among the flowers.

      You, Kathy, are obviously an extremely intelligent woman – definitely a flower.

      I also want to say something in my capacity as a feminist. According to my observation most women are pure, virtuous women, and in order to achieve her purpose as a mother, in need of the love and protection of a pure, virtuous man. Why do we see only a few pure, virtuous men on this planet? What had happened to them?

      I am pimping this story of yours all over the web…

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Hi Joyce. Childhood and teenaged years are difficult on their own; having crazy step parents add tothe confusion. All worked out well, though. For me, anyway. Thank you for visiting and leaving a nice comment.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 6 years ago from Southern Nevada

      This is a good story you had me from the start. Leonard is/was a dreadful man wanting you because your mother was pregnant.

      Vote up an awesome. Looking forward to reading more, Joyce.

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Thank you so much my very dearest and most cherished friend. We've been through so much together. You are my absolutely very closest, most endearing and greatest soul mate...through the ages, I suspect. God blessed me by allowing me the kind of true friendships which are rare rare! Ours is # ONE! YOU are one in a million-zillion..a truly honest and giving man..and I am very fortunate!!!!! Hope to be in SE Kansas soon...if things here (and you know what this means) remain on an even balance. Much love!!!! and Thank YOU! Kathy

    • profile image

      We save cats 6 years ago

      Lucky Cats, another beautiful, compelling, emotional roller coaster. I love that you are writing. And I must say, having known you my entire adult life, you did not just survive these things, you have blossomed into one of life's most beautiful spirits. God blessed you kiddo, keep up the great work.

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Augustine...the super powers these kittens possess is their ability to use ESP when necessary. Not as a fluke or form of entertainment; now...but as an essential tool to get to the bottom of "it." They can hide within plain sight, as, one will never know when they are sneaking around...!! "Better watch out, better not shout, better not cry, I'm telling you why...."

      Remembering, of course; that the kittens in Hubville may possess different powers...these are yet to be revealed!! Stay tuned to the ongoing story ala Martie!!

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      There are differences, but some parallels in your experiences growing up, Kathy, and mine. Maybe more similar in our "take", the feelings and emotions that result from what we saw and perceived. It's kind of "Twilight Zone" that your bro is an MD and mine became a PhD microbiologist. I have a sister who lives in HI, never married but has a SO, that graduated early from H.S. and went on to get a teaching degree. She spent some time in Spain as an exchange student, where she learned Spanish first-hand and taught the language at a university for awhile. She didn't really like teaching and took a job in Hawaii with the IRS. Good move, as she owns a condo overlooking Diamond Head and is retiring early the end of this year, with plans to travel the world with her best friend, Michael. Me, I "yam what I yam", and, for a long time I filled the role as the family loser, the classic underachiever. But, you know what, Kathy, I wouldn't trade places with anyone! The secret is out. I really like me.

      Thank you for being my friend. I feel better ever time I read your writing and especially, when I hear from you.

      In this whole big world, being "I yam what I yam" makes you one of my favorite people.

    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 6 years ago from Texas

      Looking forward to the next chapter. Is that the one where you get super powers?

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Hi Amy..yes, it was a wild and wacky childhood, replete with all the cliche's and a few unexpected events...but we pulled through. My brother is a very successful Med. Doctor in Texas and I, well, "I yam what I yam." (Popeye) 'All's well that ends well.' I knew that the time would come to write this one...and it just poured out in an instant; a moment in time. Driving by the house and down Palomar Way and visiting the little playground; now abandoned and unused...did stir some pretty vivid memories. Leonard passed away about 13 years ago..alone and isolated as those who spend their life as he did, are destined to do. Weird duck! I never had children but, I KNOW without a doubt that I would have been the most nurturing, loving and supportive parent in the this day; people just do not take parenting seriously...and, as far as I am concerned, it is the singular most important decision..most important role a person can take. Feeling protective is second nature as it was so lacking for my brothers and me...but, alas..all is well and turned out just fine...These are memories and fodder for a potential bio...we'll see...anyway, thank you always for your exceptional ability to see others' offerings here on HP...a gift. And always, I will acknowledge A. A. Zavala for his hub which is the fuel which fired my wish to write this. Thank you Amy and Augustine ..!

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Your story, Kathy, makes me shudder. Even the hours spent on the floor in a dark car is unbearable to consider, much less endure. If I was your grandmother, I couldn't bear to leave young, vulnerable children alone, in a car, in the dark. I know it would be impossible for me to have done with my daughter. I wouldn't be able to live with myself. And, that's the best you had by means of protection...I feel sorry for your beautiful mother, though, too. She really tried to give her children a decent home, but her lack of self-confidence made her a target for every loser around, leaving you and your brother in an unpredictable descent into living hell.

      Puberty is difficult, at best. A late bloomer, I had my first kiss on my 16th birthday and didn't have a clue about sex until I married at 22 years old. My mom and dad were very protective. I can imagine how unaware you were of the pervert's intentions. You were just a kid, trying to stay out of the line of fire by handling adult household chores and remaining invisible. Your writing tells me that the inappropriate responsibilities you were handed along with your loneliness, confusion and fear initiated your profound connection to abandoned animals. Although, it is a brutal way to grow up, needy critters that cross your path will always be loved and cared for, as you were not. You know, first hand, what it feels like to be alone. It makes me so angry I could scream. In an ideal world, it would never happen. Every child, every life would be treasured, but reality is far from ideal. I am sorry you and your brother suffered. Thank you for sharing your story, Kathy. I am certain we can all connect to elements that remind of us of memories either forgotten or buried. You have a remarkable talent that is relatable, eloquent, funny, touching and honest. You are beautiful, my friend.

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Hello again HappyBNurse.. I am so honored that you found this hub compelling..I thank you so much. It was a difficult time in my young life but fear not! I prevailed! Leonard the Lech got it in the end via my mother and brother...not dramatically, no, not at all but, she finally left him. Even though he was a weird one..he wanted that continuity which is found in coupling, no matter whether it is positive or devastating to one or both. I escaped came close dice!!! thank you for visiting and for leaving such thoughtful comments. Kathy

      Augustine, your wonderful hub is what inspired me to write along these story lines, again. I hadn't even tried for months and months. So, I thank you for this.

      Our childhood was about as untogether and quirky as it could possiblly be. We dodged many bullets during our young years. The story about my brother is, sadly, true. He narrowly escaped through his bedroom window...and never returned to that house. We talked on the phone daily; catching up. I'd go to my father's house once a week or so to escape the madness. Anyway, it all worked out. My mother was the product of her own harrowing and questionable childhood; I know she could not help her actions; she WAS a product of the times and, at that time, there were not as many options for women. Well, so it was..that was then, this is now. Thank you for inspiring my writing...I truly appreciate it..and thank you for the considered comment. Kathy

      PS...after talking with Cagsil and Dale...who could not determine why the hub would not show on the live feed, and after trying numerous times to republish it...I abandoned that one, cut and pasted to an entirely new hub...this time, it worked. HP was going through a site maintenance just at that nanosecond that I hit "publish," and, somehow, the original copy was lost in the etherworld.

    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 6 years ago from Texas


      Your mother, for all her weaknesses for the wrong men, seemed to be a workaholic. Funny thing, you mentioned about being bundled and sitting in the back of the car. I remember that happening a couple of times when I was little as well, and your description brought back that memory.

      For the beauty your mom possessed, she seemed to have terrible luck finding a man. I have to believe she would have found someone more suitable if she didn't have the desire to shack up with any devil with a silver tongue. Broken arm and bloody face? How terrible.

      The instances in which you described the pervert, and your vulnerability around him. I think these situations were more common, but seldom told or reported. Women and girls were conditioned to put up with so much back then. A terrible situation made more difficult by your moms pregnancy and your station as a young child. If you desire to do so, would love to see pictures of you and your mom if you have any. I've always like Maureen O'Hara.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

      This is the first chapter in this series that I have read, and it was so gut wrenching and heartfelt that even as a reader I felt your youthful vulnerability, need to please, need for attention and I feared for your safety.

      The writing itself is excellent and compelling. Voted up and useful. I couldn't stop reading even as I instinctively wanted to turn away from the scenes with step father #4.


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