Sunday, May 31, 2015
Her Half-Brother, Todd, and Her Son, Marty, from KIDNAPPED TWICE
Todd is my half-brother, but since our father’s death, I have felt he is fully my brother. Todd had a difficult time with our father and moved out at age 16, as I had done. In the last few years of our father’s life, Todd was able to make peace with Dad, something I could not do. I really did not know what was happening in Todd’s life until after Dad’s death.
Todd left Dad because of Dad’s drinking. Anita, Dad’s third wife and Todd’s mother, turned to the church. At that time, I was bringing up my son, Marty, and living my own life. For most of those years when Todd and I would be in contact, I was not really fond of Todd. He seemed like a real smart-ass, traveling down the drinking road. All of that has changed now, and I love Todd to death!
I don’t think Todd knows much about my life with Ann and Dad. Todd had to deal with only the drinking, and I dealt with both the abuse and the drinking. I have realized that Todd and Anita don’t know how bad it was for me. I doubt that my father told them, as it would not have been easy for him to admit he betrayed his daughter for many years.
Todd changed his life. He had a beautiful fiancée and a beautiful son, named “Cole Maynard Seaman.” I have my first nephew, and I am his Godmother. Cole makes me smile whenever I think of him, which is every day. Not many things in my life have been able to do that. Only my son, my nephew, and my three grandchildren…and that’s it. Well, animals have always touched my heart, also. I know I am a very serious person, not really interested in jokes. I only laugh to be nice.
Todd and Anita have said to me many times, when I’ve asked them questions in hopes that my father had told them about the life I had with Ann and him, “You have to get past this.” Knowing the truth about things would have been the start of meaningful conversation, but that has never happened. So I am writing this not only to help my son understand his mother, but also–as Todd and Anita have said–to get past it!
When my father moved out of the house in Cornwall, he went to stay with Aunt Jennie. At many times in his life, he had the chance to change, to stop drinking himself to death. This was one of those times. He did not. He ended up living in rundown hotels and motels just so he could have that bottle! How he kept his job all those years is a mystery. I sometimes wonder what kind of man he could have been without the bottle.
When Dad and I did see each other, I never felt comfortable. I always felt he talked down to me. Once, probably intoxicated, he called me to say, “Mary, you’ve had a lot of crosses to bear in your life.” That was his chance to say he was sorry. He did not. He hung up before I could respond!
MY SON, MARTY
The one miracle in my life was and is my son. The day that I was being sent home from the hospital, after giving birth to Marty, I started crying hysterically to my doctor not to send me home, as I had no idea how to take care of my son. The doctor gave me a hug and told me I would figure it all out. At the time that did not console me! Marty was a very colicky baby, but as time went on, he was a joy to have as my son. We grew up together. Everyone who has had the pleasure of meeting him always tells me what a special person he is!
As with every story, there were a few “buts” that were very scary for me. My son went through a period of doing some very scary things. Of course, he would not tell me what he had done until it was over.
One instance was when he went deep-sea diving with lots of hammerhead sharks. I only found out about this when he showed me the video.
Then he decided to go bungee jumping, which I think scared even him as much as it did me when I heard about it.
The next instance was talked about for a very long time in our town. I was with Alan then. I have had a police scanner ever since I was on the Police Department. The Fire Department would also be on my scanner. We were having a terrible ice storm. There were lots of accidents being reported over the scanner. Then came the call that people who lived on the other side of the Hudson River from us were reporting that there must have been a plane crash on a very high hill on our side of the river.
As we sat listening to the scanner, the firemen and police were having a lot of trouble driving on the ice. The firemen saw lights on top of this hill, which was covered with a sheet of ice. The firemen began using their walkie-talkies, and their conversations also came over my scanner. I suddenly thought about my son, who was on this outdoorsman kick: he had a sleeping bag able to protect one down to 30 degrees below zero, a tent, lanterns, etc. I looked at Alan and said, “You don’t think it could be my son, do you?”
Alan just stared at me, as we heard the firemen falling off and sliding down the hill on the ice. To make it even more interesting, the Fire Chief was Alan’s cousin! Well, the Chief made it to the top of the hill first, only to find my son up there in his new tent and camping gear…the glow of the lantern had people thinking it must be a downed plane.
The Fire Chief was livid! He told my son he could’ve at least called to report what he was doing, not that anyone would have believed that, unless they saw it for themselves.
That night would be remembered by all involved. Because my son had a store in town, he saw a lot of people every day. No one missed the chance to kid him about it for a very long time.
We are serializing the memoir KIDNAPPED TWICE; Then Betrayed and Abused, by Mary E. Seaman and Douglas Winslow Cooper. Published by Outskirts Press, the book is available in paperback and ebook editions from amazon.com, bn.com, and other on-line booksellers.
Dr. Cooper (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a retired scientist, now a writer, editor, and writing coach. His first book, Ting and I: A Memoir of Love, Courage and Devotion, was published by Outskirts Press in 2011 and is available from Outskirts Press, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble, in paperback and ebook formats; also available are two memoirs he subsequently co-authored, The Shield of Gold and Kidnapped Twice, and two memoirs he edited, High Shoes and Bloomers and But…at What Cost. On Twitter, he’s @douglaswcooper. His editing and coaching site is http://writeyourbookwithme.com.