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My Mother Had Me At 16: She's My Superhero

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
May 10, 2024 3:04 am

My Mother Had Me At 16: She's My Superhero

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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May 10, 2024 3:04 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, Our American Stories listener Alan Brown shares the story of him and his mother.

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See terms and conditions. 18 plus. And we return to our American Stories Mother's Day special. All show long we're telling stories about mothers and from mothers. Up next, a story from Alan Brown. Alan's mother had him when she was only 16 and they lived a hard life.

Despite the trauma, she's his superhero. Here's Alan with the story. My name is Alan Scott Brown and I have a hero and this is her story. Some soldiers get a medal.

Some statesmen have monuments built to them and some people have plots on the wall for their achievements and then there are some that you never hear about that probably should have all of the above. She was 15 years old from a small town in Texas, and she was day raped. Tried to stop the guy, couldn't do it. She was all of five foot and 100 pounds and she did try to commit suicide twice when, when depression hit her as she was pregnant with me. And she did marry him.

You might say it was a silent shotgun wedding without the shotgun. But abuses in the marriage were terrible. He was a violent person, and it was psychological, it was physical and she protected me as a baby throughout the ordeal.

A divorce did happen finally two years later, and there would be no child support. So she knew it was going to be a hard life. It was going to be rough life.

And back in those days, we're talking early 60s here, that was kind of expected. You just, you just didn't get a divorce unless it was absolutely necessary. But she was a single parent with those psychological demons and she felt like she was worthless. She felt like that her reputation had been ruined.

She was heavy in her faith at her church and she didn't want to have that mark, that stain on her, of course, and she didn't know how to deal with it after all. By this time, when I was born, she was 16 years old. But we made it through things. We lived in her parents' house for a while and five years later, she remarried and we moved all over Texas for four years.

The guy she married was really interested in jumping from job to job to job to job. I was in 11 different towns and 10 different schools, and I suffered scholastically. I was at a really bad school where we just didn't learn a lot.

We watched Mr. Rogers, you know, on television and we did artwork and listened to music and that was about it. And then I was able to get out of there and she was able to talk to the principal in my fourth grade year to go ahead and take me. If she got a tutor for me, a private tutor, she couldn't afford that, but she did what she could.

She started getting jobs at overnight hours, so these overnight shifts. And we got through fourth grade just barely, and then she had to coerce the principal in the next school for fifth grade in another town to take me into fifth grade, even though I was way behind. So literally, I'll just tell you, I went from second grade to fifth grade.

Then that's what happened with a private tutor in between that really cared and really did help me. But it was a hard, hard time. We were poor and we had a tough life, but I didn't think of us as poor at the time. I didn't think we were having a hard life. Yeah, I knew that at one house we lived in, I had ivy growing through my wall, but I had no idea why. I thought it was kind of cool.

And there were times when there wouldn't be water or gas or there wouldn't be electricity, and I didn't understand why. But nevertheless, she took these overnight positions, mainly assembly line shifts, so that she could be available for me in the daytime. She was an outstanding singer, I should tell you that. She was incredible. She was like a Doris Day type vocal, and she could have done a lot of things with her career, but she put that aside to make sure that she was available for me just being that selfless. She kept getting rejected for loans and credit simply because in the 1960s, a divorced woman was, well, she was somewhat looked upon in a different light than she would be today.

This would be her second divorce. So she had very difficult times trying to get any kind of credit, any kind of way to get a leg up, so to speak, and she was so independent that she would not accept help from her own parents. So we lived a life of poverty, and we ate government cheese, and in the churches we would go to, she was even a second-class citizen there because they would call her Mrs. Brown. They wouldn't call her by her first name, and then she was only in her mid-twenties at the time.

Again, I didn't understand that. She didn't really talk to me about those things, but that was a way that she saw as protecting me from keeping me from the struggles of life. And struggles of life they were. There were layoffs galore from a lot of her jobs that she took. I remember a time when she took in-between layoffs, in-between jobs. She took an overnight shift at a 7-Eleven store in, again, another small town in North Texas. And that summer, she invited me to come with her, and I did.

I had been staying alone overnight in these overnight hours since fourth grade. So we would go in at 11 o'clock at night and stay until 7 in the morning, and that was quite unique to be able to be with her, to see her interact with customers, and to actually help her do her job. I was sweeping my floors and whatever, and that felt like warmth to me that she wanted me there. There were little things like that that she would do, and little surprises that she would do to, again, make me feel like that we had a great relationship and to remind me. But then early puberty came, and it was not always easy for her.

I physically resembled my bio-father, and that tour at her, just sometimes looking at me walking down the hall, it ripped her apart. And there were hard times. She began to act out in different ways, and for about two or three years, there were some abuses that happened. And eventually she began to better herself. She stood on her faith. She continued to make sure that I was in church and that I studied the Scriptures and that we prayed together. And in my endeavors, I can point back to her and see that she was my number one fan, that she was a cheerleader for me. She encouraged me in my talents and the things that I wanted to try. I took piano lessons and violin lessons, guitar lessons, vocal lessons.

I got into junior high football, and then it was karate. And how she ever came up with the money to do all that, I still don't know. I mean, she saved as much as she could, but again, we were poor. But she wanted to make sure that I was able to do the things and use talents that I had and to do the things that I loved, even if it meant working harder, longer, making overtime hours happen. And that's the kind of soldier that she was. And now at 77 years old, she's starting to fade. Cognitive struggles are happening.

And I know there's going to be decisions that are going to have to be made soon. She lives by herself and she was an umbrella for me all my life. And now it's my turn to be her umbrella. It's an honor to be able to serve her because she taught me servanthood and that's who she is today.

So with my family and knowing what the future may or may not hold, I can tell you this. We are her Medal of Honor. We are her monuments. We are her memorials. And that's the plan.

That's what I'm sticking to. But all in all, she was my mom. She was my dad all at the same time. I was bettered as a child. I shouldn't be here. You know, one can say that, but that wasn't God's plan.

You know, it just wasn't the plan. She is grade A, number one mother of the century. And a great job on the production by Monty Montgomery and a special thanks to Alan Brown. All show long, we're celebrating Mother's Day here on Our American Stories. I'm Katja Adler, host of The Global Story. Over the last 25 years, I've covered conflicts in the Middle East, political and economic crises in Europe, drug cartels in Mexico. Now, I'm covering the stories behind the news all over the world in conversation with those who break it. Join me Monday to Friday to find out what's happening, why and what it all means. Follow The Global Story from the BBC wherever you listen to podcasts.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-10 04:42:48 / 2024-05-10 04:47:36 / 5

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