Too often we are conditioned to believe we can’t do something.
There will not be any turning back now. My story will be heard and read all over the world. My website has already been visited by people from 7 different countries. This is a huge step for me and for my healing process. There’s no longer going to be any secrets that I have to be burdened with. It’s so liberating. It’s also a bit frightening to seek justice.
I’ve already linked my social media accounts to my blog. It’s only a matter of time before people will know what really happened to my mother and to me. This bulging feeling of apprehension comes from knowing that all of my “family” and “friends” will have varying degrees of approval or disapproval. Even so- the truth is coming anyway. It’s my story to tell. My husband said those very words to me this morning. He is in favor of me writing this blog and publishing my book.
I’ve worked for a few years on the book. These blog posts are just to give my blogging audience a backstory. These blogs are powerful to me in a healing kind of way. They seem to help me sort out how I feel about the chapters of the book as I write and rewrite them. Also, the commentators are giving me much needed courage. A special thank you Kitt O’Malley, and Erin from “You Will Bear Witness.”
Here is a little excerpt from my life story: Gilbert Steven Howard’s name will be cleared and so will my conscience. I was in the room at the Penguin Motel when she was killed. Gilbert was taken out of there before she was beaten to death, her ring ripped off her finger, and her car stolen.
The darkness will fill with light again. The bitter parts of me struggle to remember this truth. I lay here in bed at 2:40 A.M. and struggle with the fact I have never given her a birthday card. I can’t bake her a cake or throw her a party. I would like to crumble up the remaining responsible little man who killed her, but even that seems unlike anything I’ll ever do. Instead, I will let his pathetic life play out. I will let him believe that I don’t remember what he did.
The weight of her murder is a huge thing to carry around for me. I’ve tried unpacking it but it’s the last piece of her that I have left. I’ll never forget what happened to her or how hard she fought to protect us. I kept my last promise to her, I didn’t open the door. I did the right thing at the time but If I had opened the door and got help maybe she would have lived through the beating. Or maybe she could have told the police who had beaten her and I wouldn’t have had to keep the secret or live with her murderers.
I imagine how different life would have been for all of us if she would have survived it. Today for example, November 26th 2018, we would be having a 67th Birthday party for her instead of me having to write this somber sort of truth. She’s been gone for 39 years and I still haven’t been able to get it all out. I’m working on it, and truthfully- I’m still living in it.
Maybe, I’m waiting for the day it stops hurting so much. That is a lot like waiting for my family and hers to comfort me instead of blaming me. Speaking of hurt! That’s right, that guilt I’ve felt over the years came from her own sister asking me why didn’t I do something for her. Why didn’t you just open the door Jenny? It also came from her mother who had a hard time looking at me. They all despised me so badly that they sent me to live with the man they knew was responsible for her death.
They knew he wasn’t my father, they even knew who my real father was but they kept it from me. They must have enjoyed watching them abuse me. They tried to ruin a 4 year old child. They looked on as I was mistreated from their safe places. Having me over to visit probably just so they could see how badly I was being abused. My tiny body was starved. My heart and soul emotionally beaten every day.
I had head lice more often than not. I didn’t have clothes, toys, food, love, or the privilege of sleeping on a bed. I was abused, neglected and forgotten by everyone except Juanita after my mom was killed. She truly loved me and took me in when she could. Without her I wouldn’t be the woman I am today.
Happy Birthday Mom.
This is a great read!
You live your life as you see fit
According to your strain
You feel it is quite normal
For your days to wax and wane
Hoping that the weeks go by
Surviving grief and pain
You know there’s something missing
That you really can’t explain.
You are what you’ve grown to be
A flower without a bloom
Because you do things your own way
You haven’t made the room
For God’s direction in your life
His Spirit you contain
Let go, let God, let Him invade
Release His living rain.
This is the day Laura, my mom, sealed what would become the fate of my life. I was born, September, 11th 1975. One lie nearly destroyed me and triggered the events that eventually ended up killing her. She lied about who my biological father was on my birth certificate. This set my entire world on fire.
After carrying on in an affair with my real father Art, she became pregnant with me. He was a decorated Vietnam Veteran, and a childhood friend of hers. They grew up on the same street and went to the same school together in Lawndale, California. My father Art, was a married man when I was conceived. He already had my big brother Art Jr., with his wife in 1971.
To this day, I have never fully understood why Laura decided on marrying Bobby Sr. and allowing him to sign my birth certificate. He was already married so their marriage itself was a fraud and illegal. Bobby Sr. was completely obsessed with her. It was well known that he killed the guy she was dating when they first met. I know she must have feared him so why she would tie him to us makes no sense. I suppose he could have kept his gnarly past a secret from her in the beginning. I can vouch for how manipulative he was.
Bobby Sr., not my father, was married to Juanita and had a family of his own. They shared two boys, Bobby Gene Jr. and Kenny. They fully believed that I was their biological 1/2 sister. Oddly, their mom grew fond of me and later became the only mom I would ever have after my mom’s murder.
I knew deep down that Bobby Sr. wasn’t my “dad” as he had so boldly claimed. His reputation as a liar, coward, thief, murderer, and a drug addict all proved to be correct. Just a few years prior to my birth he had stolen a large amount of money from the Mexican mafia. He went into hiding and the mafia kidnapped his father. They took an elderly man who’s health was already declining from Parkinson’s disease across the border into Mexico. They tortured him and demanded Bobby Sr. bring their money.
An old newspaper article wrote that Bobby Sr. was uncooperative with the police investigation. He refused to come out of hiding or give back the drug money to save his own dad. Eventually, the United States government had to get involved to get Mr. Pergeson back into the U. S..
He was in poor health by this time and had suffered quite a bit from the whole ordeal. When I was 5 years old I witnessed him have a massive stroke at McDonalds while we were eating lunch. That stroke caused him to be bed bound. He was not able to speak, move, or eat for the rest of his life.
There was some justice for Mr. Pergeson. His abductors were convicted for their crimes and were put into a Mexican prison. Bobby Sr., always lived in fear that they would come back for him. He lived with severe paranoia. It was hard to understand as a little girl, but now I realize how haunted he was.
Laura, my sweet mother didn’t have a great childhood. Her awful set of circumstances are probably what spilled over onto me and eventually on to her other children. Her mother was an alcoholic and had been married and divorced to many men. Most of them were abusive. In fact, her last husband raped my mom on several occasions. He was also a raging alcoholic. His legacy of raping children is not my story to tell but my mother was not his only victim.
In the picture below I was invited to Juanita’s house for Christmas. She had recently divorced Bobby Sr. This was the first time since my mom’s murder that I felt any kind of happiness.
Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton