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My son Kevin was married for fifteen years, but his secret was kept hidden away in a closet. Kevin never would admit to anyone the physical abuse he endured from the mother of his sons. Kevin was a martial arts instructor and owner of his school. He also ended up with an astrocytoma brain tumor one year after becoming an insulin-dependent diabetic. Kevin was told to use artificial sweeteners and that he would not miss sugar.

The wife he loved had mood swings and would become violent over the smallest thing. I went to their house one day and asked why she could not take a message from my attorney, and she swung around and said, “Because I am not your f——in secretary.” She then stood behind my son yelling at me and quickly punched me in the face. As I tried to leave the house, she kicked me in the back repeatedly. Kevin was so upset; he could not hold her back. Later, I would realize that all the scratches on his neck and bruises were not from Kevin sparring with his students. I just wonder how many husbands and boyfriends are physically and emotionally abused by their loving wife and keep it hidden so as to not look weak to friends and family.

I remember Kevin had a biopsy done; I was so emotionally upset to see that metal cage screwed onto his head, but his wife went over, sat down with a magazine, and showed no emotion at all. Once, being jealous of the attention Kevin received from his students and friends, she broke all of his trophies and picked up his kitten and punched it in the face. Animals never forget; the cat sprayed all of her shoes.

Once Kevin was on the upstairs landing having a seizure, and his wife stood over Kevin with their two little sons at her side. One would think she would try to comfort her husband or at least call 911, but instead she started to imitate his moans and did nothing to help. There were times when Kevin would be sitting in a parlor chair watching his boys play and, for no known reason, his wife would sneak up behind him and without warning punch her husband in the back of his head, aiming for the tumor. Kevin tried to hold back tears in front of his boys and would ask, “Why did you do that?” There was never an answer. Police would come to the house many times, and sometimes Kevin would be taken to the hospital to be checked, an officer would assure the boys that their daddy was OK and would return home soon.

As a little girl, she would hide in the closet because her parents would be fighting on the front lawn. She could break everything in the house in a very short time—maybe because Kevin was on the phone, and she would become enraged thinking he was talking to a female. It's not always the husband. Without medication, the violence continued for fifteen long years. Kevin couldn't press charges for fear of the courts taking his boys away because of his medical condition. It is so sad to see a man living in so much fear.

Kevin crossed over in 2009, so finally the abuse ended. She remarried and now has a baby girl. I just wonder if she has ever been violent with her new husband and does he retaliate? Every single day we wonder how Kevin’s boys are since she refuses to let Kevin's family keep our promise and stay connected. Before he lapsed into a coma, he said he was worried she would make mistakes with his boys. We will never know. Problem is the law leaves grandparents with no rights in certain states, and she counted on that law to keep us all apart.

They have memories of all the violence. The oldest son witnessed the most, and because he looks like his dad's side of the family, she has repeatedly punched him in his little arm and yanked him so he would hit his back and head on the floor. She never hits the youngest son; that's right, because he looks like her family. Now that she has remarried, she and her mother are all of a sudden best friends. Maybe she is finally seeing a counselor and taking some calming medication. She never cried at Kevin’s wake; in fact, her and the boys and one of Kevin's students posed to have a picture taken next to my Kevin’s head as he was in the coffin. All of us miss Kevin and his sweet smile, but I guess we’re all glad he is at peace now. Bless you, Kevin.

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