Each Sunday, Beverly’s husband of 50 years would fill her car with just enough gas to take her precisely 32 miles a week. Each day he checked the mileage, asking, “Where did you go?” Living in an affluent Baltimore neighborhood, Beverly had a secret. Her husband, a community leader, was physically and emotionally abusive, controlling her every move. At her grown children’s urging, Beverly called us. She couldn’t drive to our office (too far) so we met at a fast food restaurant 2.4 miles from her home, the same distance as her local library. Slowly, we helped her take steps toward independence, away from her abusive husband.
When she said she didn’t know how to put gas in her car, we went to a gas station. We cheered as Beverly learned to pump gas. We watched the needle move to full. Settling into her seat, Beverly said she was happy to drive 350 miles – as far as her car would take her.
We told her, from this day forward, she could fill her gas tank as often as she wanted. And drive as far as she could imagine. Thank you for giving Beverly freedom.
In every sense of the word.