Dave’s ashes had been sent to me. Sharon thought it would be good to have Bret there for spreading Dave’s ashes. So Bret flew up in late June and spent most of the summer with us. Mom told me that Dave’s best friend wanted to be there too. I set up the time and so forth so that Dave’s best friend could come. I told her to give him my phone number and address so we could coordinate when he got to Colorado. He was supposedly going to fly into Denver and drive up. She was not able to confirm with me if he was going to come. I finally was agitated by her and this request and snapped at her who is this guy? I don’t know of anyone Dave would call his best friend. She told me Carl Hoffman. I thought she was crazy. I had never heard that name and I knew my broth-er really well. I had postponed the original date and finally told her I am doing this.
I believe that God protected me in this. Looking back on this time of my life and knowing that I had completely blocked who Carl was this scripture comes to mind: 1 Corinthians 5:11 “But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idola-ter or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.” My heart tells me that God prevented Carl from coming and protected me and my family from the harm his appearance would have caused.
Spreading Dave’s ashes is for Bret more than anyone else. So LeRoy, the kids and I drove up to Buffalo Park. LeRoy said a prayer of sorts and I spread his ashes. We sat for a while without much to say. We were driving back when Bret tearfully said ‘Why didn’t he know I loved him enough to live?’ I began crying with Bret. Suicide leaves us all feeling so lonely. After Bret went home, Regina told me some disturbing news. They had played ‘house’ and he had directed oral sex to and from her. I was violently ill. Bret had spent some time with LeRoy and I decided that LeRoy had molest-ed Bret, causing Bret to molest Regina. So at that time I thought LeRoy had actually managed to hurt Regina even though I had tried to protect her with all my strength. I asked a neighbor to watch my kids and I left. I drove up to LeRoy’s trailer and got my 257 Roberts Rifle. I knew where he was camped watching some cows. No one knew I had gone to his trailer or that the rifle exist-ed. It was one of our ‘secrets’. I drove up into the trees and parked the truck. It couldn’t be seen from the road, I hiked over to the ridge and laid down on my stomach. I found his camp, there was smoke coming from the fire pit. He usually didn’t get too far away if there was a fire burning. I saw movement. A 4 wheeler, LeRoy was driving it. I was surprised- I did not know he had a 4 wheeler. He pulled up in front of his camp. He was doing usual things and did not seem to know I was there. I didn’t think he would but I was watching details closely. I went over it in my head again. No one knows that I am here. I saw no vehicles or people between his trailer and this stop. I don’t have an alibi worked out yet, but there is no one that can place me here. I can get rid of the rifle- and no one knows about this rifle, except my Granddad, but I already planned on that and was using LeRoy’s shells- so without the gun they wouldn’t be able to match it. Granddad thought LeRoy sold this gun years ago. I did not want to take the shot with him moving- I had to make a kill shot- I knew I could do it if he sat down- I held him in that rifle scope for 3 hours. I could not pull the trigger. Here is the man that caused my baby girl to learn about sex before she should have had to, and I could not pull the trigger. I left. I returned the rifle to its unknown hiding spot. I drove home feeling as though I had failed as a mother. I told Mike what had happened with Bret. I called my sister and told her- she said do you think Dave molested Bret? I said I never thought about that- maybe it wasn’t LeRoy? I called Sharon and told her what happened. I said I am sorry but we need to find out who molested Bret. We all talked openly and Sharon was certain it was simply from Bret walking into the bedroom at inopportune times. My brother-in-law called me. He told me of a time when he was a young boy and experimented with ‘sex’ with his cousin. He said he believed it was child’s play, not abuse. It is normal, although I do understand that to you and Linda it is not. I believe the Holy Spirit kept me from pulling the trigger that day.
We had taken on the Kremmling newspaper route for the Denver Post. It was a small route overall, except we had to drive out to Heeney on Sundays. It was nearing our anniversary and both Mike and Spike (the owner of the bakery in Kremmling) kept urging me to stop by the bakery the morning of our anniversary. Well they were both practical jokers and I did not want some mean trick pulled on me. So I delivered the newspapers and did not stop in. Mike worked at Pepsi. Spike called me at home about 11 in the morning in a panic! He said Becky you didn’t stop in! I said nope, no jokes on me! He said I have a cake for you- Mike ordered it. I am sending it with the milk man can you meet him? I said yes, I am so sorry. I went down to the dairy and met him when he pulled in with a beautiful bakery cake for our anniversary.
I was driving home from Heeney one Sunday morning and there are lots of rolling hills between Heeney and Kremmling. As I crest-ed one hill I saw a herd of deer headed for the highway and would be in the swell of about 3 hills away from me. I arrived there just about the same time they did. It was a large herd so I turned off the truck and was browsing thru the newspaper as this herd crossed. I looked up as the last of them were on the road and there was a three legged deer. His right hind leg was gone basically from the bottom of the hip. There was some skin hanging that looked as though it had covered the upper leg bone but no bone left. I watched them closely as they bounded over the 4 foot highway fence. When he got to the fence he began to panic and was jumping in place and scared. About 6 deer came back, bounded to my side of the fence and encircled him. They nudged him with their noses and it appeared that they were encouraging him to jump the fence. He jumped it and began up the hill and they all followed him. I am still stunned that I got to witness animals taking care of each other. It is not always survival of the fittest.
Mike’s childhood buddy Jimmy had moved to California. He was married to a nice girl, Stephanie. They came for Christmas. They spoiled our girls rotten. I was surprised because this bachelor buddy of Mike’s who did not want Mike to hook up with me sure had transformed and was a family man. It was a fun visit.
My father had been moving around quite a bit. Everywhere that he moved to I called the family or friends and frankly told them that he was a pedophile and to please not trust him around their children. Most of the family began ostracizing me for this but protecting children is worth it. He was living out on the Stuer Ranch. I had spoken to both Jay and Paula. I had told them not to leave their kids with him. Paula never much liked me, but Jay was like a brother to me.
I told Mike about going to the Catholic Church and leaving there believing that God had twisted the Priests words so that I could not hear it. Believing I was going to hell and so forth. He asked me a few questions about it having attended Catholic School for his elementary school years. He began laughing, I told him this is very personal please do not laugh. He assured me he was not laughing at me. He said you had to have gone to an Old Catholic Church. They were preaching in Latin. I said are you sure? Why would they preach in Latin- I know 99% of the people there did not know Latin. They may have known Spanish but definitely not Latin. He said yes, positive. Wow! I cannot describe how healing that was to learn it wasn’t God forsaking me!
I remember when Adriane began walking she would pull herself up on Duke. He would stand as still as he could while she pulled herself to her feet. When she was stable he would take one step and stand still until she took a step and was stable. He would then take another step. It was precious to have a ‘living’ walker for her! Our neighbor was Mary Thatcher (my old boss) and the dog catch-er. Duke loved her! When he wandered away from our home- he would always go visit Mary whether at home or the dog pound. She would call me and say are you missing someone?? Apparently so I am on my way Mary!
I took a job as Motel Manager for the Littletree Inn in Granby. It provided us with a 2 bedroom apt so we lived there and rented out our house. My dear friend Lyndia came to work for me as a housekeeper but truly she did everything. She handled the front desk when needed, helped me with the laundry for the place and most of all loved my children almost as much as me. There was a woman who was the head housekeeper when I was hired as the manager. She turned her resignation in. Her name was Jean Peoples. I watched her work the rest of that day. When she came in to punch out that night I told her I respect your decision to leave. I hope that you will evaluate me, and the type of manager I attempt to be before your notice is over and change your mind. I would like to have you and your skills here. She said she would think about it. By the next Friday she came to me and said if you will allow me to withdraw my resignation I will! I said Happily! She was a hard worker that was dependable. I did not have to go in behind her and finish cleaning rooms. Jean and I became lifelong friends. The previous manager, Debbie sent her teenage sons to pick up the last of her belongings. As the boys walked through the hallway they yanked the posters off the wall and allowed the push pins to fall to the floor. Adriane was crawling and grabbed a pin and swallowed it before I could stop her. I was mortified! I raced her to Dr. Gross-man’s office and said she swallowed a whole push pin. How do we get it out safely? Dr. Grossman chuckled and assured me it would pass through without harming her. I doubted him, but he was right. It never hurt her.
I had a gentleman ask to stay in one of the rooms in exchange for maintenance work. It was a good idea because we had 48 rooms which ran only about 72% occupancy and there is always maintenance to be done. I agreed. His name was Alan and he was very handy. I am filling out the reports from the previous day to fax to the management company when I hear screaming. I step out front and discover Regina hanging from her swing set. Her pony tail got caught up in the top of the swing- I run out to her and hold her up while I untangle her hair- I think how can you hang by your pony tail? Lyndia comes into the office a little while later wanting to use my nail glue. I wore artificial nails and always had glue. I asked her why- she showed me the nose pieces on her glasses were broken and she needed to glue them in place. I said I don’t think this is a good idea. She insisted. I gave her the glue and she promptly glued both of her thumbs to her glasses. I say this type of a day can only happen to me. Alan brings me down some snacks he made and is walking strange- I ask him if he is alright. He sheepishly says well I changed out that fan in room #206, but when I scooted across the stove to get close I accidentally turned on a burner and well… uh… my backside is burned! I knew that I was running a clown motel!
I was cooking dinner one evening when the phone rang. Adriane was getting around very well and I was concerned that she would pull a hot pot down on top of herself so I turned off the stove and pushed the pan to the back and ran for the phone. As I answered I looked back and Adriane was reaching for the stove. I said NO, Adriane that is HOT. Don’t touch. She stopped, looked at me, turned back and put her hand on the burner. I had answered the phone, but don’t remember who it was. I told them I have to go. I rushed to the stove. Adriane pulled her hand off the burner- burnt badly, looked at me and nodded, then said Yes it is hot! She never once cried. We ran her hand under cold water and took good care of it till it healed. She was always my child that raised my horizons and pushed me to learn to communicate in ways others could relate to.
Once again Regina was in the hospital for her 5th birthday. Each year seemed to be getting worse. She wasn’t able to recover quickly or fully. Her little body was worn out from constantly fighting to breath. We talked to the doctors about moving to a lower altitude. They said that wouldn’t help. That people born and raised in high altitudes have stronger lungs than other people and that we just had to find the triggers and remove them from her life. We did more allergy testing. There was never anything conclusive as to what she was allergic to. Her hardest time to overcome was always in February- nothing is growing in February in Colorado. One of her nurses brought her a teddy bear for her birthday- (she couldn’t have stuffed animals) it was bigger than she was! We kept this one- I vacuumed it more than the floor I think! Lyndia ran the motel for me while we were in the hospital. She took care of Adriane during the day and Mike was supposed to take care of her at night. Lyndia called me at the hospital and told me you have to come home. I know Regina needs you but Adriane needs you more right now. I am trying to not leave Regina when Lyndia tells me if you don’t come get her I will call social services, I am not leaving her with Mike again. I called my cousin Linda Gay DeBruyn and asked her to sit with Regina and drove to Granby. Mike was tired, Adriane was arguing with him and he had spanked her that morning leaving a full handprint bruise on her backside. I was horrified. I took her back to Denver with me. There was a Ronald McDonald house that I could get us a room in. I did that for a few days but it was too much to have a healthy little girl cooped up in hospital room, so I called some other friends- Tim and Sharon who said yes we will keep her. They kept her for almost 3 weeks before Regina was released and able to come home. Mike was very contrite and vowed to never punish the girls again.
The profit was larger for this motel than they had ever seen. It had been open for 11 years and only made a profit one year of $5000. The year that I operated it there was a net profit of $81,000. They were ecstatic. I am not a GREAT manager- I am an honest person who turned in all of the money. I was given a paid vacation to thank me for all my hard work. They bought airline tickets for all 4 of us to go to Tucson and see Mom! I have hired a different maintenance man and his wife does some housekeeping, Jim and Jo Ellen. Nice couple and fun to be around. I am get-ting things in order for our vacation and a gentleman walks Regina in who is crying her eyes out. She had climbed to the top of her swing set and jumped off. Her arms are hurting. I thank the gentleman and bring her into the apt. I set her down with ice bags and go about my work. Regina is a bit of a cry baby so I am not too worried about her. An hour later she is still complaining about her left arm. I decide I better take her in before the Doctor closes. I call and take her in- they decide to x-ray her arm- hairline fracture. They splint it and tell me to bring her in tomorrow for a cast. Ok, wow! Finally a ‘normal’ childhood Doctor visit! We go home, get up the next morning and Mike takes her in for the cast. We are leaving on vacation the next day and there is lots I need to do. I am making up beds when they get back. She comes running into the room I am in which has two queen size beds. She loved to jump from one to the other. Her Doctor left town on vacation as soon as he put her cast on her. She had been so ill that Dr. Grossman booked his vacation when we did- he did not want us to be stuck in Granby without him. She climbed up on one bed and jumped- and missed the other bed. Falls to the floor comes up screaming that the other arm hurts. Mike had to leave for work so I drove her out to the Emergency Clinic upset to be doing this when I am trying to get ready for vacation! My lack of concern over two broken arms in two days and never having gone to the clinic with her warranted them calling social services. Really? I say when they walk in. I tell them there isn’t a problem here but let’s do your little interview. They run thru their questions with me and I explain to them that she turns blue from asthma causing flight for life trips to Denver I truly don’t think a broken bone to be alarming. They then talked to my shy bashful daughter who tells them she fell off the swing, then missed her jump… Social services laughs and lets us leave. My only concern now is I have to find a Doctor in Tucson to cast her tomorrow! I get back to the motel and let the crew know how she is. Jo Ellen says take her to Dan. I think and say, you mean your ex-husband? She says yes, he is a pediatric orthopedic Dr. I said ok, do you think you can get me an appointment? She says of course, we call him and he says, sure just come in whenever you get to town. His office is on Grant Rd- which is the main road to Mom’s little Richey Blvd. We stop in and are ushered immediately into a room. He looks at the x-rays that I brought with me. He says these aren’t bad enough for casts. He cuts off the one cast and gives us removable casts so that she can go swimming and play! I am wondering, because I don’t know him but this is his specialty. I walk up to the receptionist to pay and there is a Time magazine sitting on the counter. Time magazine has just named this man the Pediatric Orthopedic Doctor of the Year. I nearly faint- there is no way I will be able to afford this. The receptionist looks at me and says oh there isn’t any charge for family. I said thank you and left! I did not ask ‘are you sure?’
The motel was sold at auction. It had been part of the Savings and Loan financial failure in the late 80’s. The year that I ran it was the only year on record showing a profit and they put it on the auction block. We found a partner and financing to purchase it ourselves. The federal government was offering financing but turned Mike and I down. We have always had good to outstanding credit with a stable address but we had to find private financing. We agreed to not pay more than $450,000 for the motel. We went to the auction and it sold very fast for $900,000. So obviously it went higher than we were willing to pay but I was irate at the entire deal. It sold to some people living here in Colorado holding work visas from Poland. They received their financing from the federal government. I was amazed that they turned us down for ½ that amount and yet approved non-residents for a loan of that size. They were nice people and wanted me to stay on. I tried to make the changes that they wanted to make until one day they came in and took out the cash register and gave me a locking box for mon-ey. I told them I would not help them not claim income and turned in my notice. We were all glad to move back home. We bought a Lhasa Apso while we lived here. His name was Josh and he was totally my dog. He did not like the kids or Mike. One night making a walk around the building letting the dogs go to the bath-room and check to see all the doors were closed there was a man in the parking lot behaving strangely. I had to keep Josh on a leash because he would bite anyone at any time with or without reason, but Duke always was off leash. I spoke to the man who did not respond. I walked a little closer and said Good Evening again- he looked up surprised and began walking straight at me. I pulled Josh in closer and asked him if he was alright. He was walking straight at me causing me concern with his body language and lack of responding to me. I was sizing up my options when here comes big loveable Duke whom had never even barked while living with us. He plants himself in front of me, raises his hackles and begins a deep low growl- the man froze in place. I asked him if he needed help, he spun on his heel and went back to a car. We stood there and watched him get a suitcase and go to a room. I made note of the room and finished our walk. I called the Sherriff’s office that did drive thru’s randomly. I told them if they drove thru to keep an eye around that room. Praise God there were no other issues from that man and they left the next day.