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          The three of us walked toward the Socorro square after school. For .35 cents we could get a chili hot dog and a coke. Mom had given me the money before school.

          We scooted our skirts into the booth of the Drug Store.  We had to wear dresses to school…no pants allowed.

          I wasn't in any hurry to get home. I had a heavy heart but I would never share it with my friends.  My mother had put a "code of silence" on me.  "Gloria, you never tell anything that goes on in this house."

          Our hot dogs and cokes were set before us.  My two friends were in a conversation concerning "mothers." Just, what I didn't want to hear. (But they didn't know that.)

 I was so tired of hearing…"I tell my Mom everything. She's really my best friend.".... If only, I thought.

          I spent a lot of time at my friends houses. Socorro was small enough we could walk to each others homes .  Jill's Mom was very nice. I also loved to go to another friends house.  She was Spanish. They were a big family. The home was always lively and her mother made the best Mexican food. Her mom was always glad to see me. My friend and I talked about her church. She was Catholic. Many of my friends were Catholic…except for Jill.

          Even though Jill was my best friend I could never tell her the things my mother had said to me.


          I didn't understand my mother. She would be nice to me one day and then say something terrible the next day.

          Yesterday was the worst.  Her eyes looked into mine. "It’s probably your fault Slim didn't hear the man yell he was turning on the juice (electricity). He was probably thinking about you, because you knew he wasn't your real dad. "


         If she had stuck a knife in me it wouldn't have hurt any worse.

          I was speechless. How could Mom try to blame me for Daddy Slims death? I knew it wasn't true. I knew it had been an accident. It had nothing to do with me.


      It was such a cruel, venomous thing to say. And from my own mother. Did she want to hurt me? Yes, I felt she did and I did not understand it.


          When she spoke of my birth, it was never joyful. She said, "I looked down at you and I said "you little Indian". (My mother's father was part Cherokee Indian.) She also told me I had ruined her body when she gave birth to me.


    There was no way I could tell her anything. I tried to talk to her about staying in one school and not moving. I was happy in Socorro. I had many friends. I wanted to stay in one place. In one house. In one school.


          "I moved all the time when I was a kid. I had it worse than you," was her answer.


          One day, when I was really feeling down, she asked me what was wrong.

          "I can't talk to you Mom."

          "Write me a letter."

          I sat on my bed and wrote her a long letter.  When I took it to her she refused to read it. Was she afraid to hear the truth?

          Yes, my friends loved their Moms. I loved my mother too.  The question was…did she love me?

          The terrible thought would come in my mind and continued for years…"If your own mother doesn't love you."


Post note: Years later I learned that abortion had been discussed. My Mom decided to give birth to me. My Aunt Ruby, a few years before she died, told me that if it hadn't been for her and Grandma I probably wouldn't have made it as a baby...(when Mom brought me home from the hospital.)  


Bronco visited Grandma and Grandpa Williams in Magdalena for the weekend.
          “Mom, Bronco has family on his father's side that he belongs to.  I don’t have anyone,” I said sadly.
          “What if I write Linda lee’s mother, and see if the two of you can meet? Mom suggested.
          “Really, can you do that?  Do you know where they live?  What if her mother doesn’t want us to meet?  What if Linda doesn’t know about me?” I bombarded Mom with the questions in rapid succession.
          “I’ll send the letter to the last place they were living, and then we’ll just have to wait and see.”
          We waited, but never received a reply.
          “If they didn’t get the letter, it would have been returned,” Mom said.
          I was disappointed!
          One weekend, during the following month, we took a short trip into Arizona.  Outside Holbrook, Mom turned in her seat.
          “Your grandmother lives here.”
          “What grandmother?” I asked, surprised.
          “Lucky’s mother, Mrs. Murphy,” Mom answered, “She and her husband run a restaurant in Holbrook.  Would you like to meet her?”
          I nodded my head yes, and my stomach knotted nervously.  As we parked outside the cafe and got out of the car, I wondered what would happen.  I had often daydreamed of meeting Lucky’s mother, and in my imagination, a loving grandmother was overwhelmed to see me.
          We entered the small, air-conditioned restaurant and sat at a table.  A waitress took our order, and I noticed a dark haired woman staring at us from behind the lunch counter.
          “That’s your grandmother,” Mom whispered.
          “After the waitress took our order, the woman walked over to our table.
          “Hello Mrs. Murphy,” Mom said pleasantly.
          “I thought I recognized you, Wanda.”
          “Mrs. Murphy, this is Deryl my husband, Bronco my son, and Gloria.”
          Mrs. Murphy had been glancing at me, and now her blue eyes never left.  I felt like she was studying me.
          “How old are you now, Gloria?”
          “I’m thirteen.”
          “How is Kenneth?” Mom asked.  (I noticed she didn’t call him, Lucky.)
          “He’s doing just fine.  He’s in California.  He and his dad are in business together out there.”  She turned toward me, “Would you like to see a recent picture of him?”
          I nodded my head and she disappeared through a swinging door into the kitchen area.  When she returned, she handed me a billfold size studio photo.  I stared intently at the man’s profile in the black and white picture.  He was smiling and his black hair waved back from his forehead.  I studied the photo trying to see if there was any resemblance between him and me.
          “Does Kenneth have any more children?” Mom asked.
          “No. You know how Kenneth feels about children,” Mrs. Murphy replied, and from her tone, I new it was negative.
          As we left the cafe, I could still sense Mrs. Murphy’s eyes on me.  I felt empty!  My daydream had not come true, and now I remembered another frequent fantasy.  I would walk up to a dark haired man and say, “I’m Gloria, your daughter.”  His arms would reach out in recognition, as a broad smile of joy spread across his face.  When I walked into his embrace, he would tell me...he had always cared!
          But now, Mrs. Murphy’s voice echoed in my mind, “You know how Kenneth feels about children!”  I remembered Mom’s words long ago when I was ten, “He didn’t care about you or he would have contested the adoption!”
          Evidently Mom had been right...he didn’t care. daydreams vanished! The reality of what I had just heard, from my grandmother, hurt.
           Would I ever meet this mystery man of my life? Didn't he even care?  Did he ever think about me?  I wanted to know the answers to my questions.
But, who could tell me?
Someday I would go to California and find him, I decided.
The Mystery Man...Warren Kenneth biological father

My Grandma Gertrude Louise Storie Bolding Murphy. I would only see her once. She at one time played guitar and sang on the radio.