“I have always wondered if my older brother Brushaud ever believed in Santa Claus or if my father robbed him of that childhood privilege. It was a long time ago, but none of us could forget it…”
“That Christmas, Brushaud told my mother he wanted a game of Jacks, marbles, and some little green army men…”
“The next morning, Brushaud woke up first and ran into the living room to see what Santa had brought us. But when he got into the living room, there was only one gift under the tree. It was a baby doll.
“You don’t have no gifts under the tree because they were in the trunk of the car and your daddy…” my mother said as she paused mid-sentence.
She didn’t know what to say. Brushaud’s eyes glared with a kid-like innocence yet with so much wisdom. My mother didn’t want to tell Brushaud the truth, but he knew it already.
“I know Daddy probably took them,” Brushaud said…”
I was 11-months-old when my father, who was addicted to crack cocaine, sold my family’s Christmas gifts to finance his drug habit. My family’s disheartening Christmas story has never been told but to family members and close friends. But for the first time, I am sharing it with the world in my recently-published memoir, “The Other Woman.”
I am not telling the story to belittle my father or any of my family. I am telling it because I have to. It has been 26 years since my older brother and I woke up to one baby doll under our Christmas tree. My father, who struggled with addiction for nearly 30 years, is sober now. And as I tell our story, I do so to offer someone else hope.
As stated on the back cover, “The Other Woman” is a bold and emotional memoir based on a sixteen-line rap written by the daughter of an addict. In this honest portrayal of addiction, Nette loses herself in the stories of her father’s struggles. She vividly recounts his memories of the crack houses and prison cells he once frequented, and openly recalls how that other world stole so many years from Bruce Callis and his family.
Bruce, who began selling drugs when he was fourteen years old, first smoked crack cocaine while selling the drug to an attractive woman in a crack house. In the decades that followed, he traded everything – household goods, the money meant to feed his children – to finance his habit. While Bruce wasn’t watching, Nette grew up. She faced challenges of her own – being molested as a young child and searching for her father’s love in every man she met. But in the process, Nette searches for a way to not only forgive her father, but to understand him.
“The Other Woman” offers the gift of forgiveness, healing and second chances. When it is all said and done, my family will not remember that Christmas. They will remember this Christmas, the year that I took our family’s lemons and made sweet tea. I hope you find a greater purpose for your lemons!
Tunette Powell is married with two children. You can read her every Tuesday on momaha.com
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“The Other Woman” is currently on pre-sale at http://writelife.pinnaclecart.com/memoir/the-other-woman-pre-sale/. For more information about this book or the author, please visit www.tunettepowell.com. The book’s full release is set for early January 2013.
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