Her name was Jacque Stewart. She was Sam's grandmother. I'd called her several times trying to interview her and finally she picked up. I told her my name was Dr. Margie Barnes and I was a psychologist assigned to Samantha. In order for therapy to progress, I needed answers. I needed to know about her son, Dirk Comings.
Now, she was here. I welcomed her into my office. After we got acquainted, I asked her about her childhood. She took a moment to recall, and then Jacque started to tell me her story.
"I didn't have a calm childhood myself. My dad was an angry person. I have a strong memory of standing in my mom's bedroom doorway after the fighting was over. I think I was about eight. Something was wrong with her, she was crying. I went over to where she was all curled up on the bed."
"What was her name?" I asked.
"Cora. Cora and Gary Stewart were my parents."
"Please continue, Jacque." She began again.
"I remember asking my mom what was wrong, she didn't answer at first. My heart was beating with fear at the thought of my mother being hurt. I slowly crawled up on the bed, leaning over to peer into her face." Jacque was remembering the incident with clarity. She smiled briefly, before becoming serious again.
"There was a lot of friction in the house. There were several times we'd rush out with only a pair of socks and a jacket, which was too thin for the weather. Mom slept in an aware state, waiting to hear how drunken my father was when he came home. I'd wake up to them shouting as Mom screamed all the way to the front door for him to, Get out ! He'd always come back home. Sometimes he had flowers for her and sometimes he'd cry, especially if he pushed or shoved her. I guess when I met Clyde, I wasn't expecting too much different."
"Tell me about that day," I prompted.
"Oh that was a magical day. Clyde came waltzing up to the counter with his sparkling eyes and I was mesmerized. It was love at first sight. I was working in the library and I'd helped him find some law books he needed."
"Was he studying law?" I asked.
"Yes. We dated awhile and he was so charming and attractive. I remember feeling very proud of him. The day he proposed, I felt like the happiest woman in the world."
"So you two had Dirk, were there any other children?"
"No, just Dirk. He was my everything." She was smiling now with good memories of her baby boy. "I couldn't wait to have him."
"So what happened then, Jacque?"
"Oh things changed. Clyde got frustrated because he wasn't going to achieve his dreams of becoming a lawyer. He was diagnosed with depression. I made him get therapy and that's when the abuse from his dad was revealed. Clyde's father, Theodore was messed up after he came home from Viet Nam. Clyde wouldn't tell me all of it, but from what he did say, there was some pretty severe punishment."
I could see she needed a break.
"Listen, let's go down for some coffee or something in the cafeteria. I have a lot more questions, but I could use a nice bowl of soup. How about you? Have you eaten?"
Jacque shook her head. She was warming up to me finally. I knew it would take time, but I needed to hear where things went wrong. For Sam's sake, I needed to understand.
Jacque didn't want to remember the bad times. Those memories were long buried. Clyde was dead. It had turned sour after he went to work at the bar. He would come home drunk and ready to fight. She would be slapped and pushed around but he was always sorry.
She didn't want to remember that. Clyde had become an alcoholic and she didn't know how to make him better. /