Celebrating life stories...



Memorial created 08-27-2007 by
Toni Craigmyle
Bonnie M. Pierce
July 19 1935 - April 22 2007



I was born in Redding on May 10th, 1953, my sister arriving 13 months later on June 25th of 1954. They made their home mostly in Redding Ca, however I do know when my sister and I were little we lived in Ventura, hollywood and LA. Dad had served his time in the service and was working as a car salesman. However he re enlisted moved my mother back to Redding with his Mother and was shipped off to the Korean Conflict. My brother Bobby being born Dec 4th of 1956. He then was promoted to Staff Sargeant and stationed at Scofield Barricks in Honolulu, Hawaii. My mother looked like a local hawaiian with her long black hair, she was so beautiful. This is where I start remembering her abuse and ours. I remember one night my mother cutting her long hair, after the twins were born, and I overheard her tell Tilly our neighbor, so he couldn't grab it, to hold her while he beat her. I do remember those! We spent 4 years there on the Island, the twins being born on May 1st 1960. I can still see my mom at the ironing board with a coke bottle full of water and a corked sprinkler top to sprinkle the clothes for ironing, singing KKKKatie, or smoke smoke smoke that cigarette, puff puff puff until you puff yourself to death, said St Peter at the golden gate, I just hate to make you wait, but I just gotta have another cigarette! lol. Us kids would just laugh and say sing another one Mommy. And she would dance around the ironing board singing to us. We were finally shipped home on the princess Lauraline in late of 1962. Took us a week to come home on the ship, but what an adventure! Just Mom and us 5 kids. After our return I could tell things weren't right, Mom did alot of crying and the adults were always wispering around us. Then one cold November night, we woke up to My mom's brother and my Dad's brother hustling us off into a car, I knew we were going somewhere but to sleepy to care, we woke up at my Mom's brother's the next morning. Mom had left our Dad, and now we were hiding.

Seemed now we moved here and there between relatives for awhile. And soon Mom met Our step Dad and my youngest brothers dad. I look back over those years, and I wonder how she did it? 6 children and she worked and for about ten years she was in the most abusive relationship ever. Her and us kids dealt with this abuse far to long, In High School, I can remember begging her to leave him, that someday he would kill her, I called the police on him more times then I can imagine. As time went on and the longer the break-ups, Mother was getting stronger, fighting back, getting very independant. And when she moved away to Arizona to her Mom's, she no longer would allow anymore abuse. I was so relieved, as for too many years I watched this beautiful woman being beaten and treated like a dog. She now was happy. She got her divorce, when I was still in High School, he just wouldn't let her go! But now he had no choice, he couldn't talk his way around her anymore. I can still remember having dreams about him finding her and killing her, I would wake up in a sweat and have to call her on the phone to be sure she was okay. Mom and I grew very close over these times. But the older I was getting the deeper my desire to never she her hurt again became. All those past years of only being able to huddle in our beds with 5 very frightened siblings around me, I swore to them, someday I would be able to protect her also.. And the older I got, so did she. Would my mother ever truely be happy?

As I said, she had to move out of state to finially get him to understand there was no more turning back ever again. She started working at our grandmother's boarding home.My husband at the time and I were living in Indiana and I missed my mother so much. She would call and tell me about this man she had met and that he was very good to her. Of course I had my doubts after the lives we had lead. One year for my mom's birthday he sent me a plane ticket for me and the girls to fly into Phoenix to be mom's birthday present from him. He had asked her what she wanted for her birthday and said to see my daughter Toni, and thats what he gave her. That was the turning point for me, he had to love my mother to be so thoughtfull. A couple years later and I was calling him Dad proudly. Over the years he and my mother were pretty well together always. Mom dotting on Dad and he worshiped her. He taught my brothers a trade in the stucco business and included them in his business by renameing it Pierce and sons Stucco. Mom kept the books and did payroll, she learned every inch of the business right along with them. In fact mom was only able to get dad to retire a couple of years ago at the age of 79. He still helps my brother Ken with bidding and setting up jobs. But I can look back over their 33 years together and say she finially was loved not owned. I'm so grateful Mom didn't spend her entire life abused by her partner. She was finially Happy! There are so many details to this story that have been left out. But for those of us who lived them, maybe they should remain buried with my mom, as remembering them hurts to much. As Mom lay in her hospital bed, Dad was beside her as he had done all those 33 years, now theres a Love Story! Thank you Dad.







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