My daddy was a gambler. And a drunk. And after my mother died, they called him a bum.

"Old Rolph is nothing without his Harriet," they would say. It was true. My mother was the knot that held our family together. Without her, my father had no link to me. I was a painful reminder of the happiness he once had. Without my mother, my father forgot about me. She was the knot

My daddy and I lived in a small flat on Wilmington, a middle-class residence in London. It was small, but quaint – suitable for a family of two. During his day, my daddy was an esteemed veteran. He fought against the French. He even won an award for bravery after he carried an injured soldier off the battlefield and revived him. That was during his prime. Now, at the age of forty, my daddy truly was a bum. He spent his days at the tavern and his nights at the new gambler's lodge. They called it a casino. I was too young to be ashamed of him. He was all I knew. Now, I wish my mother could have seen him. He was a broken man and only she could tied him back together. But she was dead.

My daddy was the first one to use me. He introduced me to a long line of men who would take me for granted. They all thought they could use me. There is one thing they did not know. I am a strong woman. None of them could bring me down. They soon realized my will could not be defeated.

Eva R. Lisford-Hemingway deBruc