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An excerpt from...

Snapshots of a Life

Snapshots of a Life book cover

"...I approach my house on a gloomy, cold January day, a little before six in the evening. Although I have had a relatively uneventful day at Far Rockaway High School, a large New York City high school in the borough of Queens, I am hungry and tired. I am also, however, consumed with feelings of worry and dread, for dinner at our house is, at best, unpredictable. . . .


Entering the front door, I notice that only a dim light is on downstairs, but a glance up the stairs reveals thin streams of light peeping out from around the edges of my younger sister’s closed bedroom door. Karen is nearly four years younger and also carries the burden of trying to cope with a complex and troubled mother. With abandon, I throw my coat over a chair in the living room and drop my backpack and cherished sports bag in a heap. I announce my presence with a loud “I’m home,” bound upstairs, and check in on my sister. I can tell from the look in her eyes that things are not okay.


For better or worse, my attention is devoted to my very troubled and disturbed mother.


As I anticipated, my mother is not in her darkened bedroom. She responds not at all to my greeting. I can detect movement behind the closed bathroom door down the hall, and based on recent experience, I presume she is sequestered behind this door. As I have done several times before, I silently approach and try to slowly turn the doorknob, hoping that my maneuver won’t be detected. With the gentlest of attempts, I can confirm that the door is indeed locked, which bodes poorly. Standing in the hallway, I feel ever so lonely and afraid..."

Ken Libertoff asset
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