*The wedding was beautiful. All the important people attended.
Within one week of the honeymoon stage, I was in the hospital. It turned out Jim had issues with opening doors with the doorknob. He would just kick them down. He hung around with a rough group of people, who taunted him about his marriage. He was easily end astray. During the 70's, marriages often took this turn. Woman were still expected to stay home with the kids. Wives were not friends and quiet tolerance were the words of the day.
After one of his many nights of prolonged drinking and rugs, he came home at 4 am. I was on the couch, awake.
“Hoe nee, em om!” (Honey I’m home)
I would not speak to him, thus, he slammed my hand in a door - just to see if I had feelings. He broke two of my fingers.
I called my dad from the hospital. I didn’t call my mother, because, in spite of a beautiful wedding, she loathed Jim, and would have found this as an opportunity to say I told you so. And she would not have done anything other than lecture me and make me stay in that nightmare.
After telling my father of the situation, between sobs, he asked me what I did! Then he explained I was married and I needed to work on my marriage.
Four months later, I was pregnant. I gave birth to a beautiful son, and I finally experienced love*. I did not leave him with anyone until he was 6 months old, and then, only my mother.
The following four years I experienced a broken arm, several concussions, and my nose broken twice. I had two plastic surgeries.
It wasn’t like it is now. The police didn’t respond to domestic arguments with the attitude of saving someone, but to break up the fight.
He never once harmed my son. He actually was a wonderful father, when he wasn’t being violent with me.
After four years, I was through.
I had met another young man when I worked at the Sears Tower. Actually, I had heard about him from friends of Jim and me. They carried on about him constantly. His name was William Jack and everyone called him Billy Jack. Hokey since the movie had just come out. I had heard how gorgeous he was, gentle, and smart, friendly.
One evening after I came home from work, there was a knock on the door. It was him. He was looking for Jim to make a purchase. And yes, he was a sight to behold. Italian, dark skinned, full head of hair down covering the collar of his shirt. He was muscled with a lean build. He had an enchanting smile, full lips, lips my daughter would inherit. (After she was born, the doctor said we were going to need her lipstick to come in “deodorant stick” style to cover them)
Jim wasn’t home and I was busy feeding my child and changing clothes.
I had run a bath and was looking forward to a long hot soak once Jim came home to take care of the parenting. Billy Jack, who was called Jackie by his family, offered to watch my child. I took him up on the offer and went to enjoy my bath.
I could hear Jim come in, and he and Jackie laughing and carrying on. He then left.
A week later, at work, I ran into him in the Dinghy Pub, the drinking establishment on the main floor of the tower.
Jim and I had separated. Jackie and I started dating.
*There is so much that happened during these years and I can only encapsulate it for the desire to move back to the story at hand.
I divorced my first husband and married Jackie.
The family life with his Italian folks was wonderful and would take an entire book onto itself just to bring you close to the fun.
But Jackie was a drug addict. And he drank. And if it was possible, he was worse than Jim. He was emotionally abusive, telling me at every turn how ignorant I was. He would drink and drive and no one cared. More than once his father would have to come and bring us home after he would total a car. There was no MADD. And again, the police were of no help.
I became close to Anna and she tried to protect me at all costs, but she was a child herself.
One night he went out on a binge. I was 6 months pregnant at the time and constantly sick. Morning sickness 24 hours a day.
I had just finished the nursery. I painted a solar mural and we had finally had the crib put together. He came home after 3 am; he pulled me out of a sound sleep and punched me in the face. I cannot explain the insult of being taken from a dream state to face this level of anger. I sat crying in the front room, he went in the nursery and tore it up.
This went on for 8 years. Until we moved to Texas. He straightened up a bit, though he would not stop the drinking. And he took any drug someone handed him.
In 2010, he hit and killed three people in Corsicana Texas.
They were on a charity motorcycle run. A father, his daughter who was a teacher and another person. person. David Coley, Leslie McCluney and Terry Nelson are gone.
A week after, he drove his vehicle yet again, across two lanes of traffic and did not hurt anyone, but turned his vehicle over. Both times, he was under the influence. Here is what will be hard for you my audience to understand. The police did not take his license away the first time!He is now in Huntsville serving a life sentence.
He was a valuable engineer for NASA. Brilliant in a way that cannot be told. He was far from an idiot,he was a genius, which is about as far as you could go without reaching madness. I can’t help but think if someone had done something 30 years ago, would these people be alive?
After arriving home to Debra and Anna’s, a gun was put to my head, and withdrawn out of some misguided compassion. I was forced to leave, and I needed a place to go.
“Jackie, I have something to tell you, but first, I need you to come and get me”
I am pretty sure he didn’t even hang up the phone, as he was there instantly. We went back to our house in Champions. He had the kids already, and they were so happy to see me. It was four in the morning, but he brought them with to pick me up. I cried as I told him the story. He felt this was just a little misguided trip on my part and after all, it wasn’t really cheating since I had been with a woman.
WHAT!He had no idea. You do not want you wife to fall in love with a woman. Especially if you have been a tyrant during the greater part of the marriage.
I climbed into bed, holding Debra’s shirt and cried myself to sleep. When I woke the following morning and recognized where I was, I fell back into a tearful state. I was no good as a mother, as a person. I wanted to be with Debra. I wanted her and I to live as a family, raising our children.
Jackie left for work; the kids fell back into their usual routine
At nine the following morning I was awakened to a call from my mother.
*The events that occured during this stage are covered in their entirety in the book