It was a great morning, warm, clear blue skies, and to top it off Mother was taking my siblings and me to breakfast. There was only one little restaurant in the small town we lived in, and we didn’t get to go as often as I would have liked.

Today was a very special day, much more than I even realized at the time. Mother didn’t stay with us at the restaurant. She gave my older sister money to pay the bill. All four of us kids really felt grown up at the time, even though we were only in grade school.

After breakfast, we headed over to the custard stand the family ran, but Mother wasn’t there. I ran home to see if she was there, but no sign of her there either. The only thing I found that was out of the ordinary was an empty bottle of rat poison sitting on the kitchen counter.

That day changed my life forever. The police found Mother in time, but nothing would ever be the same. My security would be questioned, love would be questioned, and the direction my life would take would be questioned for many years to come.