I wrote Mariah’s Song for one main reason: we lose too many children to predator males who take up residence with single mothers. I believe these predators are not unlike tom cats who kill kittens in order to breed with the female.
In the human world, the pattern is simple: make nice, create an unbreakable dependency, hook mom on drugs or alcohol, and then either molest or in some cases physically abuse children until they run away or until they die. Lest you think I’m exaggerating, I know of several infant fatalities caused by live-in-boyfriends. This in a small rural county in Oregon. And if you watch, you will frequently see news of other infant fatalities in the fine state of Oregon. I’m sure Oregon is just a reflection of the rest of the country.
Mariah’s Song is deliberately ugly, but I believe I make it somewhat palatable as readers become acquainted with Mariah, a tough, heroic thirteen year old girl. She lives with a drug addicted mother she loves. When she finds her mother passed out on the couch in the living room, she covers her mom with a worn fleece blanket. “Babs,” she says, “you gonna get high once too often.” She also endures her mother’s ruthless, drug dealing live-in-boy-friend who is quite capable of murder. It’s an ugly tale, but it is also a story of courage, compassion, love, and hope.
And it is a tale of the destruction of families wrought by drug use and abuse. Yes, I know. Alcohol can have the same effect, but this story focuses on drugs. And as an aside, the legalization of marijuana is going to widen drug abuse, but that’s for another story. (Statistics in my local area are showing a four fold increase in marijuana use among school kids. Go figure.)
While at it, I want to give special thanks and recognition to all foster parents who love, nurture and care for throw away children. I know some fine young people who survived their parents and blossomed while in foster care. God Bless them all.
I’d also like forgiveness if readers find Mariah’s Song too ugly to bear, but it’s a story I had to write…for all the Mariah’s in this world.