Marie Fator Sligh had a hidden secret.
The one-time realtor with Johnson Monroe Realty in Gun Barrel City and the mother of former “America’s Got Talent” winner Terry Fator has written a poignant book called “Keeping Laughter Alive.”
Sligh was at the Women Council of Realtors monthly meeting on Wednesday for a book-signing.
“Keep Laughter Alive” took her five years to complete. She began writing the book after her son won the first season of America’s Got Talent in 2007.
In the book she tells a story about a cycle of domestic abuse and how her mother was abused by her father and about how her husband continued the abuse. Her father, who abused her mother, also came from an abusive home. Sligh’s husband was also raised by abusive parents. She divorced her husband in 1994.
In her book, Sligh explains how domestic abuse continues for generations until someone has enough courage to end the cycle.
Sligh said the book title comes from her determination for her and her children to live life happy, despite the abuse they were all suffering at the hands of her husband. It took Marie 32 years to get out of an abuse situation. She is not sure why it took so long, other than she thought her ex-husband would kill her and her children if they parted. Or perhaps it was just fear.
“You can be brainwashed and not know it,” she said. “No one knows what goes on behind closed doors.”
Marie told the members of WCR to rise above the difficulties in life by keeping their spirit alive. She said recognizing the early signs of abuse is empowering. It seldom starts out with violence, but gradually escalates.
In her book she says, “Abusers always know the right thing to say or do to make you feel sorry for them.
“They will stop at nothing, when exposed to deflect the attention from themselves and onto the victim or victims,” she said.
Marie said the story was difficult to write and more difficult to live, but she is blessed to have been able to overcome it. “Keeping Laughter Alive” recently won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award in the Memoir/Autobiogr-aphy category.
From first-hand experience, Marie knows what it is like to be trapped in an abusive situation, because of her experiences. To help other women, she has started a group called Hope for Brighter Days (HFBD). Marie says HFBD is committed to helping those affected by abuse realize their dream of a rewarding future and freedom.
For more information on HFBD, visit the website at www.hopeforbrighterdays.org or e-mail email@example.com.
Marie Fator Sligh's book, “Keeping Laughter Alive,” can be order from her website at www.mariefator.-com.
GBC mother of ‘America’s Got Talent’ winner addresses family abuse
Marie Fator Sligh had a hidden secret.
- Local News
Breakfast with Santa coming to Seven Points
Best Friends of The Library at Cedar Creek Lake will host the 13th annual Breakfast With Santa, Saturday, Dec. 14, at the library, 410 E. Cedar Creek Parkway in Seven Points.
Christmas in GBC this weekend
Christmas will be coming to Gun Barrel City this weekend.
The City's Annual Christmas Parade will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7. The theme this year is “Remember Me.”
Gun Barrel City Street Superintendent Mike Horton said, “The ‘Remember Me’ theme is because the date is the anniversary of Pearl Harbor.”
Cox head librarian
Rachel Cox, the 2002 Eustace High School Salutatorian, was named head librarian at the Henderson County Clint W. Murchison Memorial Library Tuesday.
Cox was one of six applicants for the position, and was presented to the Henderson County Commissioner's Court as the Library Advisory Board's nominee for the position.
Preparing for the big day
City of Athens Parks Department employees Dean Burkhalter, left, and Coy Seay construct a Christmas tree on the north side of the Courthouse Square in preparation for the Christmas parade Dec. 7, and other events associated with Christmas.
Making it better for children in foster care
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. But for some children from Henderson County, it can be the most difficult time of the year.
Children that have been placed in foster care due to allegations of abuse and neglect often struggle for a sense of normalcy around Christmas time.
You can help.
Ministers conference, rally coming
A ministers conference and rally will be held at Living for the Brand Cowboy Church in Athens.
Both events will be hosted by the Rev. Rick Scarborough with Vision America and Rafael Cruz, the father of Sen. Ted Cruz. Both will take place this Saturday at Living for the Brand Cowboy Church.
Scarborough is nationally-known for his mission to inform, encourage and mobilize pastors and their congregations to be proactive in restoring Judeo-Christian values to the moral and civic framework in their communities, states and the nation.
Honor memories of friends and loved ones
The Hospice of East Texas Light Up A Life Ceremonies to honor the memory of a friend or loved one will be held in 11 different locations throughout East Texas.
The celebration for Athens and Henderson County will be on Friday, Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Athens.
North Pole at FBC
Visit the North Pole at First Baptist Church, Athens on Sunday, Dec. 8, for a fun-filled free evening. It will be a magical night for the entire family from 5:28 p.m. to 8:08 p.m.
Dorothy Grymonprez, Church Office Manager, said, “We set the time at 5:28 (p.m.) hoping people would remember the unusual time.”
New records set at Turkey Trot at Cain Center
The 16th annual Turkey Trot held on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, set new records for the Cain Center.
Trotters enjoyed beautiful sunny weather for the 5K and one-mile fun run and walk.
Cain Center logged almost 450 registered participants and pets beating its previous record by nearly 100 participants.
The Trinity Valley Community College Christmas tree is now aglow after the fifth-annual Tree-Lighting Ceremony was held Monday night on campus at McDonald Plaza. The festive ceremony was marked by plenty of Christmas music, including a sing-along, and a visit from Santa – who posed for pictures with many of the children on hand.
- More Local News Headlines
- Breakfast with Santa coming to Seven Points