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A Dragon's Love

The Three-headed Dragon Who's Loved Me

By Mary K BrackettPublished 4 months ago 3 min read
The Three-headed Dragon by M.K. Brackett March 2024

It is difficult for me to write about women who have inspired me. While I am drawn to strong women, they also repel me. I gravitate like a satellite in their general orbit, yet I struggle with the abuse and betrayal of so many women in my life, that I tend to feel more comfortable around men. With that said, the women in my life have been few. They have also been mighty.

Precious treasures whose weight and presence echo through the darkness of my memories to shine their light even still. They have sprinkled love through my life, and wisdom, golden coins to be shared not horded. Though one left my side over forty years ago and another is soon to follow, they are beside me still. And as I hold them dear in my heart, always will be.

The first woman to come into my life, was of course, my mother. A woman whose inner dragon shone through often, consistently, and as fiery as the bright red celestial dragons she loved to paint. She had been a trophy girl at the California International Speedway, met Elvis Pressley and an assortment of other famous entertainers, drivers, and celebrities, and at least once got into a brawl with another woman trying to protect me. She taught me to be adventurous, but more importantly, to stand up for others, especially those smaller or weaker than oneself, and I became a champion against bullies at an early age.

After my mother passed away at the age of thirty-one, different women came and went through my life. Some were positive role-models or at least good influences, but unfortunately the majority, especially those who should have been my guardians, were abusive, mean, and hateful until I vowed to never call another woman Mom again. I simply could not see how anyone could ever earn that trust from me again.

Then I met a woman whose mother became my light and strength while I was struggling through an abusive marriage, then separation, and eventually a heated divorce, all while trying to raise and protect two young girls. She was a social worker for the state of South Carolina and helped me navigate through programs and resources that I did not know were available. I learned resiliency during those years, but more importantly, I learned generosity. She opened her arms and her home to us, and shared her knowledge, her time, and most importantly, her love. And at last, I became comfortable enough to call someone Mom again.

I learned in those years that it does not take having life all figured out to help others who are on a similar journey, it only takes the willingness to share one’s story with those needing to hear it. It does not take a robust bank account to help someone financially or to turn their day, or even their life around, sometimes all it takes is that last five-dollar bill in your pocket. Sometimes all it takes is a smile and a kind word or five minutes out of a busy schedule to help them lift a stroller up the stairs. I began to rebuild my life then and slowly, through sharing my struggles with others, I found myself becoming part of a strong community of women that remain my circle of strength today.

Lastly, but certainly not least, my most recent stepmother…


My newest Mom came into my life when she married my Dad. Initially I was simply happy he had found someone again who is willing to treat him well and who makes him happy. I did not expect the bond we would eventually develop as I continued to struggle as a single mother and eventually found a new man of my own. With her I have found someone with experience with mental illness, addiction, and similar struggles I had grown up with in my own life. While I learned to share my story to help others, she was there to tell her story to help me. She is my rock and my shelter from the storm. From her, I learned patience and perseverance.

I have learned through her wisdom that not all battles need to be won, not all mountains that come into view must be climbed, and not all obstacles are meant to be overcome. Sometimes we just need to ride out the storm and then plot our course. Sometimes silence is the greatest weapon in an argument. And sometimes, we have to calmly lay our cards down on the table and just walk away without ever looking back.

These are my dragon, my three-headed dragon. My wisdom, my inspiration, my mothers from whom the greatest parts of me are born.


About the Creator

Mary K Brackett

Mary Brackett is a novelist, poet, & award-winning short story author. She has authored and co-authored articles for magazines with her husband and is currently writing a series of novels with her talented daughters.

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    Mary K BrackettWritten by Mary K Brackett

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