Hey All. We all get to a point in our lives when we decide we need to alter our paths,change direction or realize we can no longer continue on in the same way. We need to change the standard of what we will and will not accept.
I was still with the school district and still missing Dad. I can't say that I'll ever stop missing him. Time may have dulled the intensity of my loss, but the loss was so great that I'll always feel it when Dads' memory is foremost in my heart. Charlie and I still lived with Grandmom and life was as" normal" for us there as it could be. Joe was in his usual form, he walked by and clipped me with his shoulder and told me he could still" kick my ass". I let it pass as I always did, just trying to keep the peace. I had nothing to prove to Joe or myself, but I was enabling him just as my folks did by accepting and tolerating this behavior.
When I came home from Korea with Charlie and his mother, we stayed at my parents for the month we were there. I was at Grandmoms' and Joe was bringing Charlie and his mother later in the day. When they got there, I was informed by Charlie's mother that Joe had made a move on her in nothing but his Fruit of the Loom briefs. I wasn't shocked by any stretch and I ended up informing Joe that she was his sister in law and not his girlfriend and not to ever do anything like that again..................or we would have a more serious discussion.
It was October 1986 and I was lifting weights in the cellar, lights were on and music was playing. It was almost dark outside when Joe came into the cellar for a tool. He turned all the lights off on his way out, leaving me in total darkness and immediately I had a temper flare. I rushed outside and called him a few choice words and informed him what would happen if he didn't knock it off. An hour later, Tom called and asked if I would look for a deer he was sure he had hit while archery hunting. I wasn't doing anything, so I agreed and the girl I was dating at the time wanted to tag along. She sat down at the table while I got things together and talked with Joe who was also sitting there. Grandmom and Charlie were busy watching TV. Joe was staring at the table and when she asked him what he was looking for he replied with a crude response for the female reproductive system. Oh boy, I thought, here we go. I reprimanded Joe and stated it was time for us to leave. She stood up and Joe put his hand around her waist and pulled her onto his lap as she tried to pass him. She asked and I demanded, that she be released multiple times, but Joe refused to even listen. I had enough of this nonsense, I grabbed the arm that was holding her down and leaned back, she stood up and took a step.................the rest happened quickly. Joe was mad, he stated that since I wanted to fight.............an he stepped in and swung. I ducked and Joe shoved me against a door jamb. He stepped in and my training took over...........and the angry man from deep inside came to the surface. I stabbed with my right and when that fist was coming back the other started out. I saw that Joe was falling after the 1st hit, so I pulled the left and didn't strike him again. He landed square on his butt which brought Grandmom and Charlie over. There was a lot of yelling and Grandmom got her broom and stood between us.. Grandmom insisted I leave and I refused, I told her that I lived here and he should leave. I was distracted and Joe stepped over and put me in a head lock and punched at my belly. This caused Charlie to start screaming and crying as he watched. I warned him to let go, he wouldn't and I scooped him up from behind his knees, cradling him and lifted him shoulder high. I then informed him he had a choice, either behave or I would drop him across my knee and break his back.................... it didn't take him long to decide. I was talked into leaving and Joe went to the ER.
The next day at Moms' house, Joe came down for breakfast. Tom looked at him and broke into laughter. His eye was black and blue. swollen shut. Mom wanted to know what happened but Joe wouldn't tell her. She called me to find out the circumstances. After explaining, she told me she knew that this day would come because" Joe tormented me all those years", all I could think was "yeah....... and you let him", but didn't say it. Joe ended up with 7 stitches over his left eye and Mom wanted me to pay half of Joes' medical bill, as he had no insurance, which I refused. I told her that Joe brought it to me, he started it and I gave him what he needed for the last 26 years.................I'd had enough. Keeping the peace is good thing when you can ..............and sometimes you have to fight.
Everything changed after that day. Joe never again shoved me or tried to start a physical altercation. For some, the hard way is the only language they understand. Until the next time.........................God Bless.