My Brother/ My Son…the end, for now

This is the final post in this series…for now. Here are the links to the first, the second, and third.

There were lots of phone conversations when we returned with the baby. Al, my brother’s dad, was the first call. He had contacted his sister about getting us back to their house. They lived in a small town where everyone knew everyone… including the sheriff. The plan was set.

When Uncle James dropped us at my grandparents the next morning I could see how upset they were about this new development. Clearly she had crossed the line this time. Somehow I held them accountable for helping her get the court order. 

After breakfast we watched a little TV then I told my grandmother I was taking my brother for a walk. We had decided it was best to keep them out of the plan. 

I packed what we needed in the diaper bag and put it in the stroller. We walked to my uncle’s house and made a phone call. Twenty minutes later we were on our way back to the little house on the river.

At this point there were a lot of things going on that I wasn’t privy to. I knew we would probably have to stay with the sheriff’s family until all the details were worked out. Mom still had a valid court order. No one knew what she might do while they were trying to have it revoked.

I didn’t mind staying there. They were very nice people and I knew their daughter from school. The visit only lasted five days. No one expected it to end as it did.

Al still loved my mother. They separated three times before finally divorcing. As was her way, she couldn’t get enough of the guys who abused her and she walked all over the ones who adored her. A typical pattern in abused children.

I couldn’t understand how Al could still want her after the way she had behaved toward him and, more importantly, her children. In this case I was grateful for his tenacity.

Mom knew when to turn on the charm to save her hide. Al was a sitting duck. She also knew she’d never get custody again, unless Al took her back. It was her perfect storm.

He loved his son and he loved me very much. I’m not sure what you would call his feelings toward my mother. They were based in hope, history, a misguided sense of family and lust. It didn’t matter to her.

He not only took her back he gave her unborn son his name. There were just a few who knew it wasn’t his child and it stayed that way for fifteen years. 

They bought a little house and we went off to live happily ever after… for almost a year

Leave a Reply



  1. Sara

    Your mom sounds unfortunately like a person who needed to do a lot of maturing. Did she later? I've met a handful of mothers out there who should have given more thought to it before becoming mothers. You hate to say that because it's usually the mother of a friend (or in one case, an ex), but it's true. Some of these friends I speak of were raised by extended family and their mothers flitted in and out of their lives.

  2. ElizOF

    He was perhaps ambivalent towards your mother… Being a loving soul, he wanted to protect the kids first and foremost.. the rest was as they say, complicated. . Your story is so powerful Barb…. Thanks again for sharing.

  3. Barbara Hammond

    Sadly no… she never matured.

  4. Barbara Hammond

    I suppose that's possible Elizabeth. It was all very complicated for sure.

  5. Jotter Girl

    this is going to be some memoir!

  6. Barbara Hammond

    Here's hoping Catherine!

  7. Caroline

    You are an amazing woman. I am in awe

  8. Barbara Hammond

    Well thank you Caroline I'm flattered. I really don't feel I'm amazing, just determined? I was lucky enough to be born strong willed. That's helped me a lot. My mother called it 'stubborn' but either way it's a survival tactic.