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I Am Not My Brother's Keeper

The poison ran deep. Giving him money was just a symptom of the heartaches he had
caused our family.
As I said, I am married to a generous man. Jack had never come right out and said ―no‖
to Adam's incessant demands.
―We should help if we can,‖ he would always say to me.
Unfortunately, in those early days neither of us knew what a narcissistic and conniving
monster we were dealing with.
• • •
Adam was a cute kid and even though he was eight years younger than me, I loved being
with him then. We played games and went for walks. He liked that, and he had a real
curiosity. He was very intelligent. That's what was so shocking; he really could have
been whatever he wanted. He could twist me around his finger with just a look. I spoiled
him. We all did, probably because he was the only boy.
Ma loved us all, and she was a great mother. Her life was not an easy one. She was a
looker, very attractive. Two of my sisters and Adam had a different father than me. Their
father was the brother of my father. His name was Steve. I loved him and mostly called
him Dad. I was raised by him and my mother. Ma did the best, but somehow she messed
up with everyone. She even admitted that, saying to me once, ―What have I done? Why
do all of my children have problems except for you?‖ She drives me crazy with the
excuses she makes for Adam's behavior, but that's her story. He is her only son. Heck, as
I said he could play and game me every which way, why not her.
There is quite a story about how I came to have two fathers, about my real Daddy, Bill,
and Steve, who I called Dad, and I loved them both. This is one of those stories that, if
ever told at all, are usually only whispered surreptitiously within the confines of the
family clique.
Ma's first and only husband, Bill, was my father and the father of my older sister,
Margaret. I called him Daddy. When he was in Korea in 1959, and I was just a year-old,
he came home on a surprise leave and found my mother in bed with his younger brother.
Surprise! Shocking! I cannot remember anything of how the discovery played out at the
time, I was too young, but it could not have been pleasant. Mother and Daddy divorced
and Uncle Steve(Dad) and my mother got together and had three children, Adam,
Michele and Chrissie.
It would be many years before I was to hear the real story of what happened. Ma never
told me. I eventually learned the story from one of my aunts and other relatives. There are
no signs that Adam, Michele and Chrissie have a different father from Margaret and me. I
once talked to a geneticist about it when I was pregnant with Lucas. She said, ―Well, the
fathers are brothers. The DNA chain would be close.‖
Ma treated us all the same, loved us the same and taught us the same manners. She did
her best to teach us to love and respect people. By some standards, we might have been
judged a poor family, but Ma, because she never married Steve, was able to continue to
receive welfare checks. What she was doing was probably illegal because she and Steve
were cohabitating, and he was working two or three jobs. We had money, but my parents
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