Hello, my name is Brian. I would like to do my best to recall my life to you and others who are having, or who have had, a troubled life. As far back as I can remember is when I was about 3 years old. I was born in Ennis, Texas, in 1974. My parents and my brothers lived in a nice house right close to Lake Bardwell, very nice small neighborhood. I remember only bits-and-pieces but I remember taking walks with my mother and playing with my brothers. I am the third of four boys, and remember when my two older brothers played outside with neighbor kids. How I wanted to go out but I was too small so spent most of the time with “Momma” and remember holidays walking to the fireworks-stand holding my Momma’s hand amazed at the sounds and lights in the sky. Mostly good memories - how nice the house was, I can still see the shelves that were above the curtains around in the living room full of trinkets and souvenirs of my Momma’s. And then it takes a turn to a start of bad times.
My Momma was a registered nurse (RN) all her working years and everyone was proud of her because she raised us while dealing with my father and his drinking problem that was very terrible to the point he was like two different people. He drank beer and hard liquor. He was in the Korean War, Construction Battalion (CB) in the Navy, and I remember him working most of his life at printing companies. Both parents worked hard all their lives. Momma was raised on the farm picking cotton, corn and tending animals. Daddy was raised working on farms, and cars, since he lost his real father at age 9. He grew up fast to help take care of his sisters and younger brother. He had a hard childhood with stepfathers and rebelled at an early age.
My first memory of him being mean was when I was 3 years old at the nice house by the lake. I remember running up and climbing on the couch to see him after work one day and him trying to burn my face with a cigarette and laughing at me when I cried and ran away. That’s when I learned Daddy wasn’t the same and my feelings changed from a happy child to a confused and sad little boy who didn’t know what I did to make my Daddy want to hurt me. Then, I noticed my two older brothers getting spankings and fighting with neighbor kids – the start of bad times.
Not long after all that, my baby brother was born. I remember moving back to the country to my Momma’s family-land and we went from brick house to trailer house which was different but not a big change. I was a bit happier because I had pets and played outside more because there wasn’t much traffic and Momma was busy with my little brother. I got to know my cousins, aunts and uncles. I was content and although I was quiet and shy they were good to me, especially the girl cousins. They always treated me good. When all the family was around, life was better!
When I was about 4, I remember one of my boy cousins trying to put his “xxxx” in my rear-end. I asked, “Why are you doing that?” He said his oldest brother did it to him. It stopped when I told my 2nd-to-oldest-brother! Growing up, it was never brought up. I don’t think parents were ever told.
My baby-brother was just beginning to stand up and walk alongside the couch, with the biggest smile, to get to where I was. We were the two babies so we always were together. Then, overnight he was weak and we were always going to Dallas to Children’s Hospital. He was in so much pain, doctors were always poking his fingers with needles and I remember the big bottles of medicine he had to drink. It pained me to see him growing weaker and weaker. Though his body grew longer, he only got sicker.
He never learned to walk or talk other than his expressions and baby noises. We learned to understand enough to help him and as time went on, the leukemia turned to cerebral palsy and he couldn’t move anymore and barely ate. As brothers, our job was to exercise his legs and arms and keep him safe as best we could. Momma worked more hours and her father, my Pappaw, came to help. He was already old and on a cane. Life became tougher and we grew up fast and learned that Daddy was getting worse, meaner-than-ever. There were times my oldest brothers had to deal with beatings while I stayed with little-brother hoping Daddy wouldn’t hurt us!~Brian
Thank You, Brian.
Stay-tuned for Part 2, next week.
Until next time, remember, Jesus Loves You, and JESUS IS LORD!