Hopefully you have not spent much time, if any, being the victim of domestic violence. Some of you may have, though. Or maybe someone you know is having a hard time. Maybe you are looking for help. Maybe you are looking for a way to help.
This is just a little story, like so many of the stories we all have, that replay on occasion in our minds. This one strikes me as an introduction to the subject for us, though, because the main character is a mom. A mom who, at the time I crossed paths with her, was trying desperately to care for her children. She was trying to keep things together and care for her babies.
I was 22 years old, and taking a road trip with my mother from my new apartment and new job in Silicon Valley, to visit relatives in Southern California. I was a bit frazzled, as it had been a tough move and I had run into some difficult situations along the way. But the drive down I5 in the central valley of California was a long one, and boring.
At that time, just about 20 years ago, I think there was only one place to stop for a bite to eat along the way. There was one McDonalds, about 3 hours from San Jose, and 3 hours from LA. I think I remember that people used to call it, "The Oasis." Not so sure about that, but this stop there, was my first. My mom and I pulled up in my brand new Toyota Tercel. I parked close to a car that looked like the one in the picture, above. It was filled with children. It also looked like they'd been in the car for a very long time.