So the drinking binges at Margaret and Doug’s house continued and my sister and I continued to resent them. Once, I wanted to send mom a rose with a note on my birthday but I was living in the city at that time and it was going to cost too much to have it delivered. I called Margaret and asked her if she would pick it up and give it to mom and she said she would be glad to. I called in the order and Margaret picked it up and called mom over to her house. She even took a picture of mom as she cried when she saw the rose and read the card. She wrote me a note about mom’s reaction and I have kept and cherish that note. I loved Margaret so much and wished I could wake her up to reality but I, like so many others, stayed out of it. At that time in my life, I would never have crossed that line because it would have been highly inappropriate. I don’t know that I could prevent myself from approaching Margaret today. My parents loved Margaret and they had been through so much together and I believe that my m0ther’s secret about her father wouldn’t allow her to judge . Is that that why she stood by Margaret and by association, Doug?
Mom and Gayle went by Margaret and Doug’s for drinks one evening and after they left, things got really dicey. I am not sure of all the details but Doug was drunk and there was an argument between Doug and Margaret’s oldest adopted son, Terry, in their front yard. Doug went into the house and got a gun and it was taken away from him by whom, I don’t recall. Doug went back into the house and got another gun and pointed it at Terry. Margaret moved in front of Terry and Doug shot the gun hitting Margaret and killing her. He got another shot off and hit Terry whether it was before or after he shot Margaret, I don’t know. Terry lived and when he recovered, he left town and would not respond to his family’s attempts to locate him. Doug went to jail and after serving his sentence was released. Sadly the house went to him as Margaret’s husband, not her children. How ironic that was.
It hurts to this day to think about the loss to Margaret’s biological children, her adopted children, her immediate family…my family, me… When I returned home after my divorce, my mom and I joined a church that was across the street from the house where Maggie died. After a while, I got used to seeing it and it began to blend into the background but Margaret will forever live in my heart. The thing is, as humans we all make mistakes, some more serious than others. Margaret was a victim of the heart, the heart wants what it wants and she was too vulnerable to see where her choices were taking her and to realize that she was taking everyone who loved her along on her tragic journey.
Alcohol was a contributing factor to the tragedy that became Margaret’s life. When I am asked why I don’t drink alcohol, my answer is that alcohol has caused so much pain in my life. I was born lucky in that I hate the taste of alcohol and while it played a big part in my single life, it has no place in my life today. We have friends and family who drink alcohol and attend events where it is served, however, we don’t keep or offer alcohol in our home. My sister and I were hopeful that our mother would stop drinking or at least cut down after Margaret died but for her it just wasn’t that simple.
*I have changed the names of those involved in this story even though it was a very long time ago. There are lessons to be learned from this story so if it helps one person to see the truth in themselves, it will have been worth the telling. I leave it up to the reader as to what they take away from the reading of it.