In often deeply personal passages, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, reveals new details about his family in what is something of a tell-all book.
While much of the book, “A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Miracle of America,” released today, focuses on Cruz’s time in the Senate since his 2012 election and the politics of his 2016 presidential bid, it also delves into difficult family situations.
Cruz reveals that his mother, Eleanor, had a child, a son named Michael, during her first marriage, who died when he was a baby.
“Losing Michael to crib death broke my mother’s heart, and had a profound effect on her, so much so that I never even knew that I had had a brother until I was a teenager, when my mom finally told me the story. I have to admit, it was pretty surprising, disconcerting even, to be in high school and discover you had a brother you never knew about,” writes Cruz. “To this day, my mom is pro-life at a deep, emotional level.”
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His mother’s marriage to mathematician Alan Wilson, who is from Fort Worth, soon fell apart.
Cruz’s father had an earlier marriage as well, and Cruz provides new details about his two half-sisters. McClatchy had earlier written about the 2011 death of the oldest, Miriam, of an accidental drug overdose and Cruz is candid about her troubled life, including prison time and addictions to drug and alcohol.
“Coming out of prison, she had hooked up with a man with a serious drug problem, and they moved into a crack house. At that time Miriam had a young son, my nephew Joey, who was in sixth grade. She had been raising him as a single mom, but she was no longer able to do so. My dad flew from Texas to D.C., and he and I together drove to Philadelphia, where they were living. I remember my dad and me leaving our watches, rings, money, and wallets in D.C., because we didn’t know if we’d be robbed or shot at the crack house where Miriam was living,” said Cruz.
Cruz stepped in to help his nephew. “Miriam refused to change her path. And so we had a real challenge in what to do with Joey. My parents were still broke, and I was just starting to work, with substantial student loans. So I took a twenty-thousand-dollar cash advance on my credit card to pay for Joey to go to a military school, Valley Forge Military Academy. It took me several years to pay off the bill, but I think and hope that putting Joey in that school made a real difference in helping instill discipline and order in his life.”
When Cruz was in law school, he tried to intervene and save his own parents’ marriage. “I argued, I cajoled, I pleaded. I printed out and gave my Dad pages and pages of Scripture on the sanctity of marriage,” he said. The parents divorced despite his efforts.
On his own marriage to Heidi Cruz, the senator is also forthcoming, describing her difficulties in adjusting to their move to Texas as newlyweds. “But Heidi wasn’t a native Texan, and it was initially hard for her to move to a new state, away from so many people she loved. The adjustment led to her facing a period of depression, which was really difficult for us both. I did my best to help Heidi through this time, we prayed together and she went to counseling and relied on the love and support of her family and close friends. In the end, it was a period that strengthened our marriage and was an important spiritual turning point for us both.”