Author Katie Mettner

Chapter One ~ When Angels Fly by S. Jackson & A. Raymond




*Nonfiction*


Chapter One

I want to believe that I was once an angel; a gift that my mother had held in her strong arms. I looked down on my own arms and they were normal, the usual two long pale stretches of muscles and bones God had blessed me with. But in these arms, I held my angels also, and for that I send Him my gratitude.

But before I met any of my beautiful angels, when I was the one flying, hovering on earth all innocent and full of hopes and dreams like an angel, I became aware that there were bad things in the world. In fifth grade, a tumor was found under my left nipple. The good thing was that it was benign. My wings were clipped a few inches, but with a great zest for life, I still fluttered around. In eighth grade, another tumor which turned out to be nothing to worry about was found in my upper left arm. Though it was removed, the incident had managed to break my fragile wings. I became more aware of life, seeing it unfold before my young eyes.

I had become accustomed to hospitals, doctors, and to them saying that everything was going to be all right. In the end though, good news wasn’t always to be had. And cancer, no matter how much I battled it, would come and go in my life. Tormenting me about how beautiful life could be.

Little girls have the wings of angels, and so do little boys. But as they grow, challenges would be hurled at them like a shuttlecock at a badminton game. Like the sport, if they are facing veteran players, the shuttlecock would shoot toward them rapidly; and more often than not, the feathered, conical birdie would land on the wooden badminton court.

My mother Ethel perhaps underwent a lot of stress and pressures too when I was growing up, because instead of remembering her affection toward me, all that flashed in my memory were the strong unyielding hands that dragged me by my hair across our house. During those times, I would scream, curse, and beg her to release me. But when her hands loosened my hair, her feet would then find their way to my stomach. More often than not, they would land on my head, too, and I would howl in agony. How could a mother act with such hatred toward her daughter?

I really have no idea why she was never affectionate toward me or any of my siblings. I suppose she may have grown up without hugs or family affection herself in Oklahoma. Loving warmth was never learned. As a child, I would try to pull my siblings next to me in photos.

When I see families who truly love and care for each other, it is the most beautiful thing. I had that with my father, but sadly, not with my mother or siblings. Most of my siblings were estranged from her. On Matt’s side though, some of his siblings consider me their sister, and I feel the same way. To have a man who truly loves you is most precious. I am thankful that Matt is in my life. I am thankful to have had my boys on Earth for the time the Lord let me have them, and I am thankful Matt’s sister, Jolana, has shown me what being sisters really mean. I am just thankful.

Peas have Vitamin C, E, and Zinc. Because of that, I have to agree that they were indeed nutritious. For that reason, I shouldn’t have felt Mother was punishing me for giving me peas. But, when peas were being served to me most of the time, and I was forced to finish what she packed me for lunch, which was more than any five-year-old could eat, I knew what she was doing was not a manifestation of her love. She force-fed me, mostly with peas, and there were many instances I threw up. I kept on begging her to make me peanut butter sandwiches instead, which I would have gladly eaten, but she never did. My food was not open for discussion. I never had the option… aside from peas.

At school, when I was beyond her peripheral vision, Mother would tell my teachers and friends to make sure I ate the lunch she packed for me. The food she forced me to eat at the school lunches, such as cooked spinach and cheese, were foods that made me sick to my stomach and caused me to throw up. I had to stay in the lunchroom for hours. I would sit there alone, feeling horrible and bad about myself. Was I being a disobedient child?

At such an early age, I missed classes because of the horrid reason that I had to finish the food my mother insisted I eat, whether I liked it or not. When I finally finished my lunch—either by downing the food or by dumping the remainder of my meal in the trash bins─ I would stand up, clean up the table I used, and alternately walk and run back to my classroom. It was a long journey because lunches were in the old junior high basement in Golden, Colorado, where I went to school, and a good two blocks separated it from the grade school building.

In the 60s, there were only a few channels on television. The meager variety of shows being offered made me interested in other types of media, such as books and magazines. One day, as I was browsing McCall’s magazine, I came across an article that featured scrawny, malnourished kids. I stared at their pitiful bodies which were mostly bones covered with a thin coating of skin, and told myself that maybe my mother didn’t want me to be like these children. But when day after day, she would repeatedly serve me large quantities of food that I hated, I realized that it was the opposite. Mother wanted to punish me. She literally spoon-fed me. If ever there was a reason for that, I never knew what it was.

In high school, I would invite some of my friends over to my house, and they would stare at me and my mother with horrified expressions, as soon as Mother became shrouded with her usual coat of hostility toward me. Sometimes, it was just a wrong word I’d said, or a smile that she believed was not right at a particular moment, and without hesitation, she would grab me by my hair and start dragging me into the house, unmindful that my friends were gathered around watching us.

When tears rolled down my face, my friends would stand one by one, as though they knew the tears were the cue for them to leave. They did leave me. I watched sadly as their backs turned on me, and prayed that the following day in school; I would receive comfort from them. And always, my friends’ eyes would acknowledge me with understanding, and they would talk to me as though they had not experienced Mother’s tumultuous outbreak. They knew that I did not want to discuss the incident. The friendly smiles on their faces and the gentle pats of their comforting hands were all I needed.

My mother scared our neighbors as well. On many occasions, they heard her wrath, usually directed towards my stepfather Paul or me. I never understood why we were the “chosen ones” for her wrath during my teenage years.

Later in life, after most of my siblings had been estranged from her, she chose to pick on my mentally ill younger sister, Ella. Even on the phone in another state, I could hear her in the background, mentally and emotionally abusing Ella. I saw mother more than once drag Ella around by the hair, but I never was able to rescue her. My little sister had to endure my mother’s wrath until my mother died. When I heard my mother yell and scream and abuse my sister, it brought back everything she had done to me in years past. Even in her early eighties, she had remained abusive. That was why I kept a “Protection from Abuse” court order on her, so she could not contact me, email me, write me letters, or go through Ella to get to me.

I had three stepbrothers, Levi, Isaac, and Wyatt Hunter. My mother treated them better as they were larger stronger men and she did not beat on them. However, she also did not really want them in the home she now shared with my step-father Paul Hunter. My mother and Paul really weren’t together very long and the day Levi turned eighteen years old she banged on his bedroom door and ordered him to “pack up and leave!” Levi was forced to leave then and there. Isaac already was living out in the country with another family per his choice and that left only Wyatt at home. Wyatt eventually left as well and he moved in with his mother.

As I grew more mature, I became stronger and more open-minded and there were even moments when I felt like I could handle any challenge that might come my way. And maybe in a way, I did. Because after the devastation that came with each blow, I stood up more limber and supple, ready to bend and play along the hurdles of life.


Copyright S. Jackson



About The Author

I grew up in a small Kansas (USA) town and I lived in more than one state since then. At this time, my husband and I split our time between Kansas and Colorado (we love the mountains and off road 4-wheeling). Traveling is one of our most favorite things to do and I always have a book or even three books that I read, in the same week. Books were really my thing. It seemed like every time I turned around I was obtaining a new library card due to the current one being stamped complete. Diving into a good book made any day perfect and you would be surprised at the number of books I read over and over. I drew paper dolls and clothes for them, and using watercolor as my medium when painting scenes, especially flowers. I continued with art in high school exploring a wide variety of arts and I loved it! The creative side of me loves to be an amateur "shutter-bug" and we actually have an online art gallery. In college I went into the sciences of all things and received a Bachelor's degree in the Science of Nursing. My nursing career was highly successful and I hung up my nursing hat in December 2012.

S. Jackson is a retired registered nurse; a member of the Catholic Church, and has taught kindergarten Catechism; she has worked in various capacities for The American Cancer Society, March of Dimes, Cub and Boy Scouts, (son, Noah, is an Eagle Scout), and sponsored trips for high school children music. She loves all forms of art but mostly focuses on the visual arts; such as amateur

photography, traditional, and graphic art as her health allows.

A. Raymond is a member of the Catholic Church, and has helped his wife with The American Cancer Society, March of Dimes, Cub and Boy Scouts, and sponsored children alongside his wife on music trips. He devotes his spare time to fishing, reading, playing poker, Jeeping, and travel adventures with his wife. Both love spending time with their grandson, Austin.

Find S. Jackson at:

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