The Red Glass


A Memoir

From Abuse-Hell

to Living Well.

By Pamela K. Keyser


Nine year-old Sadie becomes skilled at injecting heroin into her mother before the State of California takes her away. Finally, her alcoholic father takes 11 year old Sadie and leaves her with his twin brother’s family in a deep pocket of the old south. In spite of rape, abandonment, and physical abuse, Sadie’s innocence is not totally destroyed.

Can an absent mother’s love save her child? Sadie rummages her memory for every proverb her mother said; they become her mantras. Her ‘before-drugs’ mother always tried to see goodness everywhere and Sadie tries to emulate her, soaking up any glints of kindness to insulate her in hard times. 

Can poetry substitute for tears? Sadie writes her emotions in poems, which she hides away in her suitcase. Her scraps of verse are pieces of her heart placed on paper.

 Can simple objects like a red plastic glass minister to an abused child? Yes, if you are Sadie. She drinks toasts from it whenever she needs courage. Or she fills it with cool water and rolls it across her forehead for relief, and sometimes she peers through its crimson color; it makes the world a prettier place. The glass is her talisman.

This is not just a story of just hardship. It’s about how a child comes through hardship with her soul intact. It isn’t merely a tale of survival; it’s about finally triumphing and thriving. At its core it’s not about not understanding, but finding forgiveness anyway.

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A Synopsis