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
Theater director ends 25 years
Former owner of the Athens Review, Richard “Dick” Dwelle said it best: “There are so very many people who have made significant contributions to this community, but it would be difficult to find anyone who has had a greater impact for good on the youth of Athens than Dennis Gilmore.”
After 25 years as Executive Director of The Henderson County Performing Arts Center, Gilmore announced his retirement from HCPAC.
Chandler resident Tom Booth shot free throws for 24 hours to raise money for God’s Open Hands and a sports missionary. He overcame three surgeries to set a new record for shots made during the fourth annual Free Throws for Souls event held Friday-Saturday at Chandler First Assembly of God. He took 24,575 shots and made 15,750 for a 64 percent success rate. The goal is to raise more than $30,000 to donate all the proceeds toward missions work.
Kiwanis Pancake Day
The Athens Kiwanis Pancake Day started with a bit of uncertainty because of the weather, but ended with a steady stream of customers.
When the last griddle had been put away, the Kiwanis had served 1,525 customers, and raised over $20,000, before expenses.
Master Gardeners present giant check
The Henderson County Commissioners Court heard the annual report of a hard-working group on Tuesday.
The Henderson County Master Gardeners presented a giant check to represent the value of the volunteer work the organization performed in 2013.
Adopt a Bucket
As part of the activities surrounding the Color Fun Run for Water benefitting Hope Springs Water on March 22, participants will have the opportunity to adopt a bucket of water for the day for only $20.
The bucket is symbolic of those carried by mostly women and children in countries without access to clean water each day.
Citizens Academy coming
As a part of the City of Chandler’s ongoing effort to communicate information, provide transparency and promote citizen involvement, Mayor Ann Hall and the City Council established the Chandler Citizens Academy in 2013.
The first session was held April-May 2013, and was deemed a success by organizers and attendees.
A second academy is planned for 2014, with the first class scheduled for Tuesday, April 15.
Fighting for life
Family and friends have rallied around 20-year old Aaron Jenkins.
Three weeks ago Jenkins, a Mabank resident and former Trinity Valley Community College student, was diagnosed with liver cancer.
Aaron's Aunt Sheila Guill said, “He's pretty sick, but Aaron has a high pain tolerance and doesn't complain.”
Lake Palestine, Athens above levels, CCL close
Lakes Athens and Palestine are above their normal levels, while Cedar Creek Lake to the west still needs a good downpour to close the gap.
On Monday, when the average Texas lake stood at just 64.3 percent of full. Lake Athens had a reading of 440.06 feet, just above its average.
Three arrested for drugs
Drug offenses led to three Athens Police Department arrests over the weekend according to reports.
The first incident on Friday night resulted in the arrest of Joshua Paul Rogers, 25, for evading arrest and possession of a controlled substance. Rogers remained in custody on Monday, with bond set at $9,000 on the two charges.
County unemployment edges upward
Henderson County unemployment edged upward in January, falling between the state and national rates.
The January Texas Workforce Commission Report, issued on Friday, gave Henderson County a 6.1 percent reading, after a 6.0 percent rate in December. The national unemployment figure was 7.1 percent, while Texas enjoyed its lowest mark since 2008, 5.7 percent.
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