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Darins funeral. Left to right...Aunt Virginia, Aunt April, Grandma, Aunt Ruby, My Mom, Don's wife.

               “No!” Mom screamed into the phone. 

  “Darin shot himself!”

          Uncle Darin, Mom’s brother was visiting Cy (Aunt Vivian’s X-husband) in Magdalena. He had been drinking. He placed the barrel of his handgun to his head and pulled the trigger.


          The one level, adobe motel on Central Ave in Albuquerque was full of our relatives. Darin’s funeral and burial was the following day.

          Al drove up to our motel room in his white Impala.

          “Mom, Al and I are going to get something to eat”

          She glared at me but allowed me to leave.

          When I returned she was furious.

          “I should take you to that funeral home and lock you up in that room with Darin!” she fumed.

          Once again I made a vow to myself, “as soon as I am able I’m leaving!”

          After the funeral, pictures were taken of Grandma and her daughters and oldest son, Don. Grandma had lost her son, and Mom and her siblings had lost their youngest brother.

          Mom and Aunt Ruby were convinced that someone had murdered Darin. They couldn’t accept “suicide”. They consulted Aunt Ruby’s Ouija board. A board of deception can give you nothing but fear. Mom was beside herself. We returned to Grants in hopelessness and chaos.

          Mom and Deryl were yelling in the kitchen. The drinking had begun again. From the living room I saw Mom flip the light off and hit Deryl with a bottle. They fought on the kitchen floor.

          Mom was nagging me constantly.  Nothing was up to her specifications. Nothing I did pleased her.

          One night she was arguing with me about Al. I sat on my bed in tears. She took my wrist and checked my pulse. She laughed about how fast it was beating.

          Al was my way out. He was my future. The end of the school year was near..*******

          (After writing this I have thought a lot about my mother and Darin. They were both hurting people. I feel sad for Uncle Darin and the pain he must have been trying to cover up with the alcohol.  There are many "if only's" in life. If only we had been a family of prayer. I do trust my Heavenly Father, He is full of mercy. He sees the hurts and pains of all people and He has compassion.)