A MARRIAGE MADE IN?
I do not know how my parents met, other than they “met one day”, according to my father’s diary. I do know this: neither family was supportive of their marriage. They married anyway. My father was a hardworking, good looking man. He paid for the whole wedding. Mother had a beautiful dress and a church wedding. Her Pastor was not happy about this union, but my parents were in love! This was NOT a marriage made in Heaven.
My mother was not prepared at all for the life that she had chosen. She told me that her mother, like many mothers of her day, said “You made your bed now you lie in it.” There would be no going back home.
There was a housing shortage and so they found themselves living with her family. My father hated it. Her family was close, enjoyed each other’s company and loved spending time together. This along with the boarders coming and going all day and night, mad my father a miserable person to live with. He worked third shift and needed sleep. They stayed in that room, isolated from everyone. My mother would stay married to this man for nearly 60 years, despite their crumbling relationship.
WAR HAS MANY CASUALTIES
Shortly after they married World War ll broke out. My father was drafted. My mother was forced to move in the attic of her mother-in-law because my father would no longer stay at her mother’s house. She would follow him regardless of the consequences as she had no money and no job.
Mother was alone, and pregnant. She found work in a candy factory and gave all her money to her mother-in-law for room and board. Her job at the factory? putting the “swirl” on top of the chocolate candy.
After an otherwise normal pregnancy for a woman who smoked, drank and ate poorly, my mother delivered a small, frail baby girl she named Judy. Judy was born with a heart defect that prevented her blood from being fully oxygenated. Children with this condition were called Blue Babies. My sister Judy lived only a short three months and then died.
My mother went into a deep depression and her family rallied around to try and hold her up, but there was no consoling her. Mother had written my father right after Judy was born to give him the good news and then had to write to tell him of her death.
My father was in a combat zone overseas during this time and the mail was irregular at best. When the mail did catch up with him, he received Judy’s birth and death announcement the same day. Father nearly lost his mind. I was told he became so upset and violent in his attempt to be sent home that he struck his commanding officer. It wasn’t long after that the war was over but my father came home a changed man. He was now a very sick, angry, terrifying man.