Meeting Lizbeth - Chapter Three Part IV
Joseph and June's Courtship
Maddy continued to tell Lizbeth the story of Joseph and June.
Joseph and June met in junior high school. June was a quiet girl with a small circle of friends. They were all nice girls but, not necessarily what you'd think of as beauties, just ordinary junior high girls. They were also candystripers at the local hospital, volunteering to bring books and magazines to the patients. June's mother wasn't happy about her being a volunteer because there was no money involved, but the girls liked their work. They met people, had fun together, and they were doing something nice for others.
June told her mother time and time again,
“I know I'm not making money Mom, but I'm making connections and getting experience. When I'm in high school this will help me get a better job.”
Joseph was a delivery boy in a small department store. He delivered magazines to the local hospital. That's how Joseph and June met. It was just an informal hello, after all there were five girls working there, but Joseph and June seemed to be drawn to each other. Week after week they saw each other and soon began talking to each other about the magazines, the store Joseph worked in, and what June did at the hospital. They laughed at her saddle shoes and his delivery bicycle. Each day their relationship blossomed.
Joseph came in one day and said it was his last day delivering. He had gotten a promotion and wouldn't be delivering magazines anymore. He sounded as sad as June felt, though he did ask for her phone number. Over the summer they talked on the phone, but it was June who called Joseph so her mother wouldn't know. It didn't bother either of them, they just wanted to talk.
When school started it was high school. June was beside herself when she found that Joseph was in several of her classes. Joseph was thrilled. The more he saw June the more he liked her. Then Joseph got another promotion. He was now a department manager. He told June if she wanted, he could get her a job at the department store for pretty good pay. June knew that would thrill her mother. The job was the best fuel for their relationship. They saw each other every day. June actually liked her job but liked the money even more. Her mother was happy because she was finally doing something to make money. Her mother still didn't know about her relationship with Joseph, only that they were friends.
Joseph was an excellent worker and it didn't go unnoticed. The boss was watching him. By Junior Year he was a store manager. The boss, also the store's owner, was an elderly gentleman with no family, but he took a liking to Joseph and took him under his wing. He showed Joseph a lot of tricks of the trade about ordering and doing the books. In Senior Year the old man passed away. He had re-written his Will leaving everything he owned to Joseph making Joseph the sole owner of the department store. When Joseph graduated from high school he went right to work, full time, at the department store. He moved into the boss's house and kept seeing June.
He knew he was falling in love with June. The time they shared together was so precious to him. Her face and voice were always on his mind. He wanted to be with her all the time and the more he thought about it the more he realized he wanted her to be his wife. He wasn't sure how she felt about him. He knew she was always worried about money but he owned the store and a house and thought he could take really good care of her.
June didn't realize it but she was head over heels in love with Joseph. She thought about him all the time. He was so good to her. He was a hard worker and she knew he would never be poor, which would impress her mother. The September after graduation Joseph asked June to marry him. She didn't hesitate at all when she said yes. Joseph was thrilled. He told her they would wait one year to get married so he could be sure the store was doing well financially. He wanted to be able to support her. There was that money thing, he knew how she worried. He assured her the store could support them both comfortably.
She knew he'd work hard for her, but even now she wasn't sure how much money was enough. When her mother died of lung cancer her final words to June were,
“June, make sure Joseph has enough money,” then she closed her eyes.
In the beginning theirs was a good marriage. They were two people so very much in love and they had everything going for them. Each year seemed to bring them closer together, but there was no sign of children. It didn't bother June, it gave her time to go to the store and check the books to make sure all was going well. Joseph really wanted a child but was afraid to ask June what she thought. As time went by June started to realize a sense of power. She had never had any power over anyone before, but she knew she had power over Joseph. He would do anything she wanted. She was actually the one in charge in this marriage.
Things went along fine until she got pregnant. After nineteen years of marriage she was pregnant. Joseph couldn't have been happier. He realized of course, because of her age, this would be their only child, but that was okay. He was going to have an heir! That's when the gnawing began in June's brain. She wondered if there was enough money for three of them, after all it was another mouth to feed, more clothes to buy and all the things that babies need. The store was busy but was it enough to keep them in the style they'd grown accustomed to?
A committee of townspeople had come to see Joseph to ask him to run for Mayor. He had said no right off. He had the store to run and wanted to spend his spare time with June. This sat in the back of June's mind and now it came forward, she thought it would be a good way to insure the baby's future. Extra money coming in would make her feel so much better.
“Joseph, I think you should reconsider running for Mayor. You'd be perfect for the job and with the baby coming the extra money would help out.”
He wasn't too happy with her logic, but he'd always given in to her. Anything she wanted he would give her and in this he couldn't say no. He went to the committee and told them he would run. He was surprised, no shocked, when he won the election. Eight months later baby Louise was born. She stole his heart immediately.
Lizbeth was so thankful for Maddy. If it wasn't for Maddy, Lizbeth would never know about her family history. After Maddy left her room she began to think. How would she ever figure out her mother's behavior without knowing her family history? Knowing Grandma June had money issues from day one explained a lot about the fights she had with Grandpa Joseph over money. It was hard for Lizbeth to understand the money issues. Her family had always had money and it was never discussed. There was no need to discuss it. If you needed something you bought it. If it was too frivolous, you didn't buy it. Trying to comprehend money problems was beyond Lizbeth's realm of reality.
Lizbeth decided right then and there to meet someone who had no money. Someone without money was the only one who could really explain it to her. Thinking about it or imagining it wouldn't do. She needed someone who had suffered from the loss of money. Someone who struggled daily. Every day after school she drove around town looking at the homeless. She noticed the same man sitting near the bridge everyday. It was hard to tell his age because of the beard and grime, but she didn't care about that. He looked like he knew what it meant not to have money. She decided she was going to meet him and find out!
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