posted on Apr, 4 2014 @ 02:11 PM
Another piece of my Panhandle Imagined. The most vivid and life changing of my earliest memories.
I was five years old and living in a Naples, a small town in the panhandle of Idaho. My father worked for the Great Northern Railway on the Signal
Gang and was often away from home for weeks at a time. He was an alcoholic, just like his father and his two brothers. It was during one of his weeks
away that I was awakened to the sound of sobbing coming from the living room. I got up out of bed and found my mother sitting on the couch and my
older brother standing in front of her begging her not to do it. She was sitting there with a shotgun under her chin and her thumb on the trigger.
I joined my brother in crying for our mother not to kill herself. I have never been able to remember what I was saying but I am sure it didn't
contain any great words of wisdom about the importance of life and remaining strong during times of trial. I just remember begging furiously for her
not to leave us with breath stealing and gut wrenching sobs .
I don't know how long we talked but she finally let my brother take the shotgun from her hands and he quickly ran outside and hid it behind the
garage. I hugged my mother and felt her warm tears against my face and tasted their saltiness as I kissed her cheeks. I rocked her like a mother
should rock her child. Somehow we had talked her back from the precipice but the child within me was fatally wounded that night. I would never again
be able to see the world through the pure, innocent eyes of a child.
Mom had broken down under the continued pressure of my dad's absence and lack of support. She had already lived through having our power turned off,
no food to eat and bill collectors harassing her. Dad would go out drinking with his fellow railroad workers and spend his paycheck on booze and send
Later this event manifested in my life in many negative ways, not always clearly seen. It set in motion a life course I would follow till this day.
For at this early age I learned that I needed to be a rescuer. I had to come up with a solution for each and every issue and no matter what, I must
keep talking, for to stop talking would lead to a terrible ending.
It was with those heavy responsibilities on my shoulders we left Naples and moved to Oldtown, Idaho, where my father left the railroad and went to
work in a sawmill and we settled into a more stable but not less stressful life.