Nine-year-old Jonathan Carmichael thought his mother was Superwoman.
He observed her unstoppable force, working double shifts as a medical secretary so they could live in a modest town house in a decent neighborhood. He saw her fly off to do overtime, and then surprise him and his sister with toy cars and video games and a trip to Disneyland.
But by the time he was 12, his super mother had vanished, replaced by a crack cocaine addict. He watched her pawn the gifts she’d bought him to feed her habit.
If Jonathan felt confused, his sister Donnita was angry. She was 18 when the mother she once knew went missing. Donnita loved her and she hated her. She argued with her and listened to her. She tried desperately to save her from her addiction. And when she failed, she stopped calling her “Mom.”