1. Nate
    He met my mom in Europe in college and she's kept the connection going through today. He's Jewish and from the East Coast so, in California terms, very exotic. He kept African Gray parrots. He adopted a Russian kid who was Autistic. When I was in Boston for work about 10 years ago, he and I walked the Freedom Trail together.
  2. Gary
    This one is my dad. His dad died when he was 6. He is emotionally stunted. He became Mormon when I was 8 and he moved away to raise a new Mormon family. He has six kids total and his youngest is three years older than my oldest. He was the first of my mom's four marriages.
  3. John #1
    He was my dad's friend in college and they apparently had an epic Jeep road trip through Baja around that time. After my mom had a stroke at age 46, John re-appeared on the scene saying he had an open relationship with his wife and he was in love with my mom. These were all lies.
  4. Doug
    He was my mom's second husband and he brought two awesome step siblings onto the scene. He drank coca cola after work and watched TV. He was Baha'i. He let us 12 year old girls do funny things to his hair. He made me a college account and helped with my first year of tuition. My mom said she never loved him and she was overjoyed to leave him.
  5. Lee
    This was my mom's third husband, and I was never a supporter of this one, though I recall giving a very charismatic toast at their wedding. He was a barber, and she met him post-stroke when she was still on disability but making some money as a tutor in the same building as his barbershop. One day he caught her in the halls and said she was hot and they kissed. He was ex-military, racist, and super dumb. She said she married him because she just wanted to be touched.
  6. Jim
    He's my mom's fourth and current husband, and he's my favorite. He's 20 years older than her, which makes him almost 90, and yet he only retired two years ago (as a prison psychiatrist!). He has taught me about breathing through stress and letting go of things that are not my fault. He raised a family in Hawaii. He met my mom through Match.com, where he posted professionally taken photos of himself with a guitar slung over his back while wearing a turtleneck and fedora.
  7. John #2
    Even though my mom is married to Jim, she is obviously in love with John. Before Jim, my mom and John apparently did a lot of passionate kissing and talked about how it would never work. These days, they have a platonic relationship (?) in that they often go kayaking and my mom watches his dogs twice a week.