Inez was a grandma. Skinny as a rail, unhealthy skinny. Almost starved to death skinny. She was tall, and you could see past the bony wrinkly cheeks that she had striking features, that she was a real beauty once. She would sometimes tell stories about her youth…. I think she was a model or something like that… I don’t remember… I always thought she would have been beautiful enough to be a model.
Inez’s husband was a constant/ mean drunk. I have no memories of him being sober. He stank of liqueur and sometimes throw-up. He fumbled around when he moved. He slurred his words when he talked. He was a wife beater, a brutal wife beater.
We had blankets near the couches and the front room door was always unlocked. Inez would walk down the street in the middle of the night after being beaten, often naked. She would let her self in, and cover up with the blankets provided. Then early in the morning she would walk home still wrapped up in the blankets. Sometimes we would find out about it days later. Sometimes my mother would go over with her. Sometimes my mother would call the cops.
Inez would tell my mother about the beatings. But she did not have to tell, black & blue marks were all over her face and arms. Often her face was bloody from the beatings. My mother would go with her to her home, get her some clothing. Mom would tell that mean drunk Bill to get out of her way, and leave Inez alone. Then my mother would call the cops, and her and Inez would wait for them.
When the cops got there Inez, on the good days, would tell them about the beatings. Then the cops would get old mean Bill and start to cuff him up, to take him in. About this time Inez would start crying and getting angry at the cops. Her most memorable line was “don’t arrest him, just tell him to stop beating me.” As time went on it seemed the beatings got more frequent and more severe. We became increasingly afraid for Inez’s life.
Then, one day, my mom found her, in her back yard, unconscious for days. She was naked and caked in blood. My mom called the cops. Inez was taken to the hospital by ambulance. Bill was taken away in handcuffs. Inez almost died from that beating. Her recovery in the hospital was long and slow. Bill sat in jail while she recovered.
We were so upset for all that Inez had suffered. But what was the most upsetting is we fully expected Inez to get Bill released as soon as she was recovered. We expected her to go back for more beatings. This was not the first time she was found unconscious, but this was by far the worst.
Inez did not go home after the hospital. Inez went to a woman’s shelter. My mother went and helped Inez pack up her things over several days. Inez moved out and the home was sold, Bill stayed in jail. Inez got a new apartment, near the senior center. As time went on, isolated, closed up Inez, grew back into her beautiful self. She dressed fashionably. She fattened up. She laughed and was happy. She was a regular at the senior center. Inez became a beautiful, outgoing, happy senior survivor of brutal physical abuse.
It is statistically unlikely that Inez ever would have been able to make the turn around…. But turn around she did… But only after she was almost beaten to death… Leaving behind abuse, even as a senior, is possible, though it is statistically unlikely.