... continued from My Three Mothers, Part I ...
After my mother’s death in 1966, Dad remarried almost immediately to a woman he had only known a short time that had two children about my age from a previous marriage. This was such a disaster. My mother was barely cold in the ground and he was thrusting me from person to person with no regard for the outcome. This person was an odious woman who treated me like gum stuck to her shoe. So one night, I ran away, at the age of 11, I climbed from the bedroom window and started walking to Orlando (about 50 miles west of my home). I had no money, no extra clothes, no food, no clue what to do next but I was leaving. I couldn’t take the abuse from two people and figured I had nothing to lose. Dad found me before much time had passed (I was still in my hometown). He was uncharacteristically silent as I was returned home ‘unscathed‘. A short period later he and the odious one divorced (he never explained why but I doubt it was concern over my welfare).
During this time I also lost my grandfather (Dad’s father) and my mother’s brother, Uncle Darrell.
Dad then quickly remarried yet another woman whom he had only known a brief while. Myra remained my step-mother until she died in 2004. This was a third marriage for both. Myra also had children from previous marriages but they were all grown by then. Do you know how I learned about their marriage? Dad put me on a commercial airline flight to his family in western Pennsylvania, alone. He put a complete stranger, an airline stewardess, “in charge” of his little girl. I arrived back home and he blurted out, “This is your new mother.” Did we get along? Not at first. I was so badly traumatized by then, I’m sure I was quite a handful.
Myra had mild mental problems, nothing serious or dangerous, but I realize now how much she saved my life. She was never malicious or cruel and she did profess Christ as her Savior. She suffered a grindingly poor childhood growing up in the rural Kentucky Appalachian mountains. Her father was the Sheriff of their county and her mother worked odd jobs to make ends meet. I’m sure she must have put up with a lot of my sullen and confusing mannerisms. She very wisely scheduled for me to meet with a child psychologist who helped a great deal. Myra encouraged my being involved in a local church of my choice (wisdom beyond her years I realize now). I came to know Christ because of her and not end up in some drug infested hell hole with a needle up my arm. I never did illegal drugs, or anything illegal, actually. I always knew there was a Higher Purpose to life than what we’re wallerin’ around in down here because she took the time to continue my path down the right spiritual road. I think Mom must have started the ball rolling and Myra picked up the slack. For that, I will be eternally grateful.
Myra was a multi-talented person. She could cook like a professional chef, sew tailor made clothes or home decorations, paint realistic pictures, decorate, and always had a perfectly clean home. She was really smart and very self motivated. Because of her I learned how to cook, sew, clean, write letters and thank you notes, show up to work on time and properly dressed, have correct manners, and do all the things that are so important. And, most important of all, she stepped between me and my father many times. When his yelling, cussing, name calling would almost come to blows, like a professional negotiator she would bring a calmness into the situation. When I grew large enough to physically defend myself, and I could throw my own punches, Dad quit hitting. At the age of 18, with a nice fresh High School graduate diploma under my belt and the ink barely dry on the document, I left home forever. I’ve never looked back. My ’only’ mistake was marrying too young. I married the wrong man the first time because I had no confidence in my abilities to survive. He wasn’t evil or abusive, we just weren’t made for each other.
But that's how Myra "saved my life" by directing my footsteps as best a step mother could.
And, then I met Steve and my life really started.
But that’s another story. A very happy story! :o)
Thanks for letting me pour my heart out. I needed that ... and I need YOU! Thank you and God bless.
… THE END …