By Tyrone A. Moore
Through all the beatings my mother endured by the hands of my step dad, it is no wonder she sought attention, and validation, outside of the marriage. This is where I come into the picture, and perhaps, this is where most of the troubles, in our home escalated to the boiling point of disaster.
At the time of my birth my mother and father was not getting along at all. If truth be told, during there whole marriage, they struggled to have a peaceful and loving marriage. It was more like a love and hate relationship. There were too much jealousy, distrust, and cheating on each other. But the between now, and then, was due to the fact, that I was the only one of my siblings, that did not come from the same seed of my step father Jose. Although Jose was not my biological father, at this point of the story, I will no longer refer to him as my step-father, because it will eliminate confusing you my audience, and besides, he did help to raise me from birth.
I was born Maria Shae Ramirez on March 20th 1952, which is, the best time to visit Alaska. The temperature is usually between 30 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit. The minimum temperature usually falls between 14 and 24 Fahrenheit. And the days warm more quickly during March. Of course, we also celebrate St. Patrick’s Day here, like everyone else around the world. If you want to see the Northern Lights, well Fairbanks is the best place for you! March is the best month of the year to enjoy various winter activities, longer days, plenty of snow and it’s not as cold as the darker months just before. (The World Ice Art Competition happens in March annually). If you are in Alaska around early March, you might get to see some of the artists finishing up their carvings. In addition, their sculptures ranges from small single blocks, to more larger multi blocks, the size of a small house, there is also a play area with slides and other fun all made of ice. Go at night and see colorful lights on the sculptures. Most hotels and vacation rentals are far less expensive in the winter than the peak summer tourist season, same for rental cars. Tours and food generally cost about the same as summer. Also, March has NO BUGS!! Interior Alaska has epic mosquitoes and a great strategy for avoiding them is visiting when everything is frozen!
Spring Time In Alaska
Accusations of my father, that I was not his child, began as soon as my mother got pregnant with me. Infidelity unfortunately, was the foundation of my mother’s and my father’s marriage, or better yet, marriage arrangement. The minute he saw me, my father asked my mother, “who’s El Nina (girl) is that?” Annoyed, and probably very ashamed of herself, my mother replied, “and how many Los Hijos (children) do you have running around somewhere, that I don’t know about?” “Because you certainly have not been making love to me lately!” Wrapping me up very tightly in the hospital’s baby blanket, my mother made sure not even the least of air could penetrate the protective barrier she made. Even Alaska’s fiercest winter storm did not have a chance of finding any openings in that blanket! They argued, and fought ,all the way home from St. Joseph Hospital (built in 1906), all the way home. My dad did not want anything to do with me, because he never believed that I belong to him anyways. Growing up, I could remember at times he would push me away from him. And I just wanted his acceptance and affection. I just relished the chance to sit on his lap or being held by him. But he only allowed me on his lap, just one time. My father was always so critical of me and would tell me to shut up all the time. I could remember as far as two years old, my father would cover my mouth with his huge hands when I would cry. At times I couldn’t hardly breathe. “Shut up!” he spoke with impatience, as I could smell the very strong scent, of cigarette ashes on his hand. That is the other thing, father was a chain smoker. He smoked two packs a day, the non-filtered kind called Camel cigarettes. As much as my father smoked and fought with my mother, I don’t recall him ever drinking, or having alcohol in the house. But he did have the whole house smelling like a huge ash tray! In my mind, body, and soul, I thought he was my father. I was just an innocent and naive child just like any other child who have a mother and a father. These extra marital affairs, and adulterous situations are adult things. A child is oblivious to such matters.
When I was three years old, I remember my mom would get all the other kids up for school. She always had plenty of fresh tortillas ready first thing in the morning! Most mornings we would have eggs, chilies, rice, tortillas, beans, and stuff. We always had a full meal. I usually missed having breakfast with everyone, because I loved sleeping in. Sometimes I would wake up to mom yelling at my brothers and my sister to get up for school. Dad would already be gone to work by the time everyone have gotten up. His work was only right up the street. So he just walked to his job. Everyday mom fixed dad a lunch and took it to him, and in the summer my mother would send me and my sister to take him his lunch. I recall us walking up this steep hill, and once we reached the top, dad could be seen sitting with the other guys. When we saw him, he would be so happy to see us. In that moment in time, it seemed as though he enjoyed his little girls. He would give us a huge hug, and a kiss, and say… “muchas gracious for bringing papa his lunch!” It would be one of the rare occasions, that my dad would show me love and affection. So it goes without saying, that I personally, relish this time with him.
Dad worked very hard to provide for us. And mom was a “stay at home mother.” At the time, dad could not afford to buy a bigger home for us. But we did not go a day without eating. We lived in a two small bedroom house. My mom and dad slept in the master bedroom, my brothers slept in the bedroom down the hall, and my sister and I slept in the living room. In fact, I used to sleep between my mom and dad for a long time. Then I graduated to sleeping on the living room couch with my sister Rosita. When everyone was gone for the day, I was home with my mother. Most of the time she was good to me. While cooking, or cleaning the house, mom would dance and sing, to some of her favorite songs by Elvis Presley, Tom Dorsey, Tex Ritter, and many other country artists. Mom would hold me and rock me in her arms. She played the piano, and sing to me. I used love to watch her dance around the house. I even loved to dance because of her. Mom would tickle me, and play with me, to entertain me during the day. She also had a thing about legs, because she use to grab me, and playfully bite my legs. But she never left marks on them. Lol
-End of Episode 3