COLONELS DON’T APOLOGIZE

From all she had told me before she died in 1974, my mother had had a happy childhood and her parents had stayed happily married until they died. Mom, however, did not have happy marriages with either of the two men she chose, both of them Army career officers. One of them, my birth father, went off to war in Italy when I was a toddler. He survived but never returned to my mother and got remarried. My mother’s second marriage, when I was four, lasted longer, but he was emotionally abusive to me and to my half-sister and half-brother. Oh, Mom, sometimes I wonder what you were thinking! Well, nobody’s perfect! And, obviously, you weren’t thinking, you were in love and your cerebral cortex had nothing to do with it.

What’s a small town girl to do when she falls for a handsome man in a uniform and a West Point grad? Especially when it’s World War II and Pearl Harbor has made it absolutely necessary for the US to get into the war. When you’re in your 20s, the heart wants what the heart wants.

I survived both my fathers. After all, life experience has been “fodder” for me as a writer. I learned from them both and I loved them both, despite everything. My stepfather is the subject of the Amazon book on sale called Colonels Don’t Apologize. I’m sharing a teaser from the book below. I used fictional names for my characters, including myself. It gave me a bit of detachment I felt I needed.

ColonelsDon't Apologize

Colonels Don’t Apologize

“He may be dying and probably won’t recognize me, but his power is still evident,” Beth confessed to Emily as they drove in her van toward the nursing home. “I’m sure that’s one of the reasons I got so violently sick. He can still affect me.”

“Do you think he may have gotten Alzheimer’s from all the rotten things he did in his life?” Emily asked.

“I believe we create our own reality and bring on the physical conditions we need for our soul’s growth,” Beth answered. “It’s interesting that Dad has lost his control over all the things he valued most in life – money, intelligence, his family, his own body.”

“Since we’re talking about theories,” Beth added, “I’ve got another thought concerning that World War II and Korean War generation of American men. I think those extreme situations seriously affected their views on life. They came home with hardened hearts, devious minds, and plenty of sarcasm. But they also knew how to be charming and get their own way. Their wives and children, who were easy targets, suffered the most. These guys didn’t seem to know how to say, ‘I love you,’ much less, ‘I’m sorry.’”

“I feel sorry for him. He’s been through a lot. Perhaps this disease evens up the score. But I hope none of us suffers the same fate.”

“I don’t believe we will. We were on the receiving end of his brand of child raising, but none of us have chosen the same approach to life.”

“His suffering kinda makes it easier to forgive him,” Emily added with a mischievous smile. “You know what else is odd? He loves to get hugs and he knows that saying I love you will get a warm response and maybe another hug. He could never say that to any of us when he was well and in possession of all his faculties.”

For more of this story, buy the Ebook on Amazon (the link is above). Happy reading!

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