Finding Nita

The year was 2020.  My wild and whimsical new book series required a leading lady who needed to be exceptionally funny, flawed yet wise. Truthfully, I was stumped. Who could she be? The funny thing was that Nita already had plans to fill those big shoes. She was just waiting for me to figure that out!

Nita was my mother who had tragically died as a result of domestic violence. In 1974, at the age of forty-six, Nita was murdered.  My siblings and I thought this would be the final time we would ever see our mum. We were wrong. 

The timing was right; the opportunity arose. She could return as the protagonist in her daughter's books as soon as a genius illustrator appeared. Magically, she did, and Nita materialised. The radiant redhead was back, only this time it was Nita's World

Read my full story below.... 

Hello and welcome, all gorgeous women and women all gorgeous!

I wish to share some of my background. This is to inspire you to use the gift of choice to turn your life around, and around again and again, if it feels necessary. Let me begin.

 

My life has not been straightforward. It has however been propelled forward by my determination to create huge happiness out of pain. I have felt protected, always. By whom I ask? It feels like my female ancestors, angels and a significant energy whom I often, but not always, refer to as God. I am grateful beyond words for all that I have and all those who have watched over me.  

photo mum:me poolside.jpg
Mum and me, poolside

The few memories of my life before the age of five are disturbing. I recall my father instructing me to hold a rifle and wait for my mum to return when it was dark and shoot her. He would have been paralytic drunk. My mother was physically abused by my father and one day we had to flee the house to escape since he had a hot iron and was threatening to brand my mum with it. 

​My alcoholic father died when I was ten and I cried for days. I had seldom seen him but months before his death he had taken me out to a café twice and had turned up sober. He also had started attending the Baptist church which I went to with my brother Bill. I felt love for a man whom I barely knew but who was my dad after all.

Nita Lillian Andrews, my mother,  was a beautiful soul. I recall my nephew saying how much love poured out of her and how he has never forgotten this feeling. I still carry all that love inside me. 

Mum was a solo mother in a society which snubbed any woman divorcee in the 1960s. Back then, few women separated. I thought my mum was  groovy. In the 1960s, groovy meant cool as in savvy. She had  gorgeous thick curly hair, an effervescent smile and a super friendly personality. I knew we were poor but we had love, loads of it. Mum was elegant and trendy with natural flair and creativity .  She had come from a broken home and had a different perspective on the world anyhow, after fending for herself at age fourteen.  She was incredibly resourceful and intent on providing for my sister and me. Our brothers were much older and had families.

Mum had a schizophrenic boyfriend at one stage. Of course she didn’t know this at the start. This man lost the plot one evening, throwing furniture around our lounge.  I fled to my brother's house close by for help. Another time, this man threw another wobbly so I rushed to a neighbour and requested they phone the police to save mum. That was after he had taken me to our bathroom and held my head, forced me to kneel, saying he would flush me down the toilet. I would not allow him to harm my mother, my sister nor myself. We never saw him again after that day. I was not going to let anyone hurt my mother again.

​​

My childhood was a happy one, despite these incidents. We had little, but my sister and I were so loved and spoilt. The little money mum had was transformed into clothes she would sew, and there were the regular treats from the bakery. Holidays were scarce, but we felt adored. There was a kiss every day before school as I set off in another freshly ironed dress mum had made. Our modest home with a black and white TV and fairy tale books to read in bed was my sanctuary. It was a half-house actually – a villa split down the middle so as to form two identical homes with a wall between them. Mum owned that house and apparently secured it by refusing to move out of the condemned house which she’d sought refuge in. She would have been escaping from my father.

 

Last1 copy.jpg
Nita Lillian Andrews

At age twelve and at High School, I returned home one day to find a note on the table. Mum had married. We had spent less than a year getting to know her boyfriend. He was a milkman and seemed kind. He was however psychotic. Months later, I walked home after school and saw police cars in the distance. Mum's new husband was being ushered in and they'd left before I could make it home.. I went inside,, waiting for someone to come and explain what had happened. Then came a knock on the door and a  tall detective informed me my mum had been murdered. 

 

My step-father had stabbed my mother to death with a knife from our kitchen. He told the jury it was crime of passion and my mum was at fault. This incident made national news. I recall fragments on the six o’clock television news and it was in the local papers for months.

 

My step-father showed no remorse and was released from jail a mere three and a half years later, having gotten off lightly with a manslaughter charge. An all male jury decided that. 

  

My aunt said mum thought he offered some stability for her daughters’ futures. But that just didn’t happen.

 

I do not recall anyone talking to me at the time about my mum’s murder. We were all in shock and the horror of it all.   Counsellors were unheard of. I do not remember anyone saying that what happened to my mother was wrong. The murder was a crime of passion and she was seen to have provoked that.  Unbelievable. Consequently I've built up my own set of survival skills to override the insecurities. It’s these survival skills I feel I must share with you, directly or indirectly through my books and writing.

 

There was no way that I would allow history to repeat itself. I was intent on being a teacher or lawyer. I was going to show the world that judged my mother that she and I were worthy. I felt this burning desire to re-write the story of condemnation and judgement of society on an innocent woman by being successful. It was my duty to make us both proud. She had died in shame. The huge injustice of it all was so heavily embedded in my soul that I had to prove her worth by being worthy in my profession and my role as a mum. 

 

Dead and alive, I was going to change the direction of my life, for both of us.

This is my story. It's the reason I'm here writing and doing my best to enable you to do whatever you put your mind to. ​

' Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance'    Bruce Barton

 

You go girl!

Suzanne