A Story by Carol Cashes




My focus in the first piece was primarily on the two children my mother is to be buried with.  I have another sibling"a brother who I do not know as an adult.


After I left at age 18, this brother joined the Navy and was medically discharged after he injured his back.  He is also an alcoholic. 


In the mid-80’s, my mother told me that someone had informed her that he was in Arizona, around the Winslow area.  I mentally shrugged and only thought of him when recounting childhood memories.  I already knew that he had a drinking “problem” and had no desire to include that in my personal life.  In 2003, my mother asked if I could locate him.


My efforts led me to public court documents and for 8 years I tracked him through his numerous alcohol related arrests:  drunk and disorderly, domestic abuse, resisting arrest, assault, obstruction of justice, the list goes on in this vein, and there were numerous incidents of each.  My mother advised me that she did not want to pursue contact, she also had no desire to have this behavior in her life, but to continue to “track” him through whatever means I could.


In 2014, my mother told me that she needed to talk to him and to pinpoint his location and attempt contact.  He was still in Arizona, and I located a current address through court records.  I had to request a welfare check at the address, and the sheriff that responded called to tell me that he was alive and okay, but that he wanted no contact.  This was hurtful to me, but surprisingly only briefly.  My mother, ever stoic, only nodded her head and changed the subject.


Fast forward to 2016.  This brother called my mother and notified her that he was now in Mobile, Alabama, sixty miles from Biloxi.  He made one trip to see her and I visited my mother in order to reconnect.  He is someone I don’t know and who would not be in my life as a stranger, but he is now sober.  Not well, he has many health issues, but he is sober.


This leads me to my father.  We are estranged and that will never change.  If you ask me if I love my father, I can tell you that I love the father of my childhood, but the man he became when my mother divorced him after 25 years, is the man she lived with for the last 10 years of their marriage.  I can’t hold his many sins committed during their marriage against him:  that was their marriage and their issues.  I only know the a*****e that is now my father, and that I have no desire to have a relationship with. We are civil at family funerals and are in contact in connection to family matters, but I do not visit him, nor has he ever been to my home.


This fractured family dynamic is something no one could have predicted during my childhood.  I remember normal, mostly happy days until I left home.  I’m extremely grateful for the childhood I had, especially when I read about or talk to people who were abused, neglected, unloved or subjected to other horrible actions and environments. 


I have difficulty regretting the adult relationships with my siblings.  Of the four of us, three became alcoholics.  Did I escape that by the Grace of God?  Honesty compels me to confess that vanity is the primary reason I did not fall into that hateful way of life.  I begin to bartend at the age of 18, and continued this occupation through six states and 18 years.  Too many times I was horrified when I was witness to drunk and disorderly women who slurred their words, vomited where they sat, peed their pants…the list goes on.  Vanity.  Not a chance in hell I would be caught in those conditions.  Yes, I “partied” before the birth of my child.  But I can say with all honesty that I knew when I was getting sloppy, and made sure that I was safe at home, unseen by anyone who might witness vomiting and urination.  Vanity.


As events unfold and begin to escalate toward my mother’s ultimate demise, I am glad to have this outlet, a forum for my thoughts, memories, and opinions.


Thanks to all who continue to witness by reading my posts.




© 2017 Carol Cashes

Author's Note

Carol Cashes
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Tough stuff.
Your given reason for avoiding alcoholism--vanity--makes sense to me; you care about your presentation, your appearance. True alcoholics clearly don't--or, at least, such considerations quickly become low priority.
As to this piece, sorry about the pain.

Posted 1 Day Ago

Earnestly, I read. I believe you and also feel you. I don't know why families have to shatter like that. When young, I went to friends houses and saw harmonious, supportive, loving families. How I envied those friends.

Posted 4 Days Ago

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3 Reviews
Added on July 17, 2017
Last Updated on July 17, 2017
Tags: nonfiction


Carol Cashes
Carol Cashes

Biloxi, MS

I'm very cynical, jaded, just this side of bitter and the only reason I haven't crossed that line is a good man loves me. I am extremely empathetic, but seldom sympathetic. I can be a ferociously lo.. more..


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