Days flew by.
As I said before, I loved it at the orphanage. Does that seem odd?
It was clean and we were fed. We were together.
All three of us.
We had chores to do. Dusting. I love to dust.
We made the wood of the walls and rails of the wooden bannisters glow. We were given nickels, dimes and quarters each week according to our age. The older you were, the more money you got.
We each had a ratty old sock that our money was dropped into and then tied at the top. We each had a small cupboard we kept our small belongings in. Our name taped to the outside door.
It seemed like eternity but once the toe of that sock got heavy with coins, we were all allowed to walk to the Five and Dime store to buy candy or a small toy. It was a wonderful highlight and it was fun. Simple but fun.
Our Mom came to see us a few times and try as hard as I may, I remember very little of her visits.
We grow up just a bit each day.
By now it is 1963 and I am in 3rd grade.
I remember the day we were sent home from school. President Kennedy had been shot. I didn't understand it then but I know it was life changing.
Our lives were about to change as well.
The "powers that be" at the orphanage made some ultimate decision that we had a father out there and set out to find him and that they did.
They told this man, "You have three kids here. You either start paying child support or you take them!" Child support for three kids?
That's an expensive undertaking. Much less expensive to take us, right?
I didn't know this man as a father. I only knew his name.
Bob had been married to my Mother. Before I was born they divorced.
Bob had married Barb.
Barb had just given birth to a daughter.
We went to live there. Bob was far from poor. I wasn't scared.
I loved the baby. I missed my friends at the orphanage but a new baby to love and care for. Much better than a doll!
Besides, all three of us together and in a real home.
I'm not exactly sure how and when it began but begin it did...
My big brother's birthday is in June. On that day in June on the calendar someone had circled it in red and had written the word "speshial."
We were each taken into a room separately and asked to spell the word "special."
I had no idea why but wrote it out s-p-e-s-h-e-a-l.
Then my sister.
Then my brother.
We each took a turn spelling the word.
They found the culprit. My brother. Barbara egged it on.
"Who does this bastard kid think he is? Special my ass!"
It pissed Bob off and pissed him off royally. He took off his belt and spanked all three of us. Hard. As he took turns on my sister and I,
I could see my big brother steaming as he watched the belt lashing out at our bare bottoms.
Barb watching with a smirk of sheer glee as we were hit over and over.
We had never been abused or hit in any way before now. As always, he was there to protect us.
His small but mighty boyish body put every thing he had as he rushed forward to get this brute of a man off my sister and I.
He had no hope to win. He was beaten and beaten 10 times harder than he ever should have been. Bloody and bruised, he lay in a pile on the floor. Bob kicked him in his tiny ribs and as he walked away said, "You are not my son. You are a piece of shit and I will take great pleasure in kicking your ass. Daily."
Every day he beat him. If he didn't beat him he would do something equally as cruel to hurt him. Hurting us was one way. Another was to kill an animal or pet and make my brother watch.
We had a small pet possum that my brother had saved for. The possum slept in a coffee can next to my brother's bed. One morning, we woke up to my sister's father, Bob boiling water on the stove in the coffee can with the possum in it!
I don't think any beating could have hurt as bad as knowing that our pet possum was dead and died in such a cruel way.
This went on for months and my brother tried so hard to protect us and paid a horrible price for it. He was beaten and treated like less than any human being should ever be treated much less a little boy.
We knew Bob wasn't his father. He wasn't mine either. He let us know it every minute of every waking day.
We were children. Property. Bob and Barb owned us now.
We all had Bob's last name. He had given my brother his last name at birth and I was born with his last name as well. Back then, there were no paternity tests. The courts saw his last name as ours so we were his.
I think Bob and Barb knew my brother would fight them to protect us girls and he would only grow bigger and stronger and his protection of us grow fiercer.
He had to go.
There were some people they knew and we were going to visit them. We were told to get in the car and we drove the 150 miles to their house not knowing what was coming. Not knowing why or who we were visiting.
When we arrived, these two very cruel looking strangers came out to the car. My brother was pushed out the door onto their front yard as we drove away. He was left in the dust on the gravel driveway in a heap like trash.
I will never forget pounding on the back window begging them to let me go with him. Let me out of this car!
I didn't see my brother again until I was an adult. Just writing this makes me sob. My brother is my life. Who were those people?
We no longer had our big brother to protect us....