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The Journey to the Woman I am Today............Part III
Sometimes we need to go Backward....just a bit.
Part II of my story as you may recall, closed sadly with the sudden and untimely death of my precious father, in August of 1972.
I must ask that you bear with me as I digress in an effort to expose portions of my life to you that I need for you to know.
I suppose when you're on a journey, backing up a little is acceptable. We won't get lost. I promise to bring us back to the right location......and many miles beyond.
The wonderful Fairy Tales read to us as children, take us to magical places and sprinkle silver flecks of Fairy Dust upon us........and "POOF!" we are the most lovely and fairest Princess in all the Kingdom. A tall and handsome Prince is ever there to discover us and swoop us off into a dream of pure love and sheer ecstasy, forevermore.
Alas, we must grow older and wiser to step out from our dreamland and Fairy Tales, for surely they are utter and complete Fantasy. Or maybe not? Perhaps it can happen, for all things are possible, are they not? Trust me my friend and listen carefully....... It happened to me.
Yes, it's true. I would not lie to you. My perfect Prince appeared before me out of nowhere, the envy of Adonis. To my young heart and innocent mind, the Universe had graced me with the spark of eternal love and joy. Beyond smitten, total adoration, consumed my world.
As if that were not blessing enough, this sweet and loving gentle man, five years my senior, found me captivating and sought to make our lives one glorious world. You may not persuade me to scoff at Fairy Tales. I would not hear you for a moment.
From star-dazed woman-child, to wife and mother, my feet had ceased to touch the ground. Our life was far too perfect.......dangerously so. I wondered often, how it seemed so real to be of the earth living typical lives, when surely our world existed in a Magical Paradise.
His name was Frederick and we met on the first of April, just 2 days prior to his 24th. birthday and nine days before my 19th. Two young Aries, immediately attracted, with a fiercly powerful magnetic force at work.
We married soon afterward and bought our home, prepared to love and nurture one another through every moment of the next eighty years. We welcomed a sweet and healthy baby son in 1968 with his brother to follow in 1970. We marveled at their beauty and fell madly in love with the two perfect symbols of our incredible bond.
Grandfather and Grandmother on both sides, thrilled beyond words and bursting with pride, doted on their babies, as only grandparents can. Thus far my Fairy Tale continued to play out.
The Stroke of Midnight
Youth has a way of shielding us from the hard core facts of Reality. The rose-colored glasses and illusions of perfection, shade all thoughts of danger and visions of fright. In order to sing and dance, we must hear the lovely music. To float on the clouds, we are first, swept off our feet.
This can be for a while but not for a lifetime. Only fools remain blind or ignore the truth. In time, we awaken and see the light. Vision is cleared and hopes are dashed.
The portion of time we exist on this earth, the length and the depth of our story while here, is a mystery to all, with exemption for none.
Not for a moment could we have expected, as we attended the wedding of friends, as their new union was about to begin, another would end.
A friend of my husband's was finally being married after years of being called, "the bachelor," of the group of buddies who hunted and fished together since their teens. He wasn't really all that old, but remember, in the '60's, people got married much younger than they do today. Can't imagine why that was. It just was.
All of the couples who socialized together on a regular basis, would be at this wedding with bells on (no pun intended). As I recall, it was a nice wedding, nothing outlandish, but we had a great time.....even those of us who remained sober. Word had spread toward the end of the evening, we'd all meet up at Dan and Natalie's for coffee and danish, before heading to our respective homes.
So, there we were, the die-hards who couldn't bear to see a party end until we decided it was over. Coffee, tea and cocoa sounded like the best way to say, "Good Night," to one another.
It was pretty damned cold on this January night. The snow crunched beneath our feet and there were ice patches here and there.
My husband was showing the effects of a few too many beers, besides the fact that he'd worked Friday night shift, and had no sleep before we were on our way to the wedding. I asked for the car keys so I could drive, and he mumbled something and walked outside. I said my Good-byes to our friends, slipped on my coat and boots and headed out to the car......which was gone......husband and all.
The husbands thought this was hysterically funny....the wives were disgruntled as I was. Two of the women, my dear friends, voluntered to drive me home and off we went.
About twenty minutes down Route 5, in the distance, we could see a number of emergency vehicles, police and ambulance, lights flashing, people moving about, directing traffic. To my left I spotted the vehicle, in a field, against an enormous tree. I screamed from the depths of my soul, "It's Fred! that's his car......stop! let me out!!" Natalie beat me out of the car and up to the man re-directing the traffic in the middle of the highway. I heard her scream and fall to her knees and in that instant, I tore into a rapid run, my head near bursting wide open with panic.
That is when two tall and muscular images engulfed me and held me......struggled to hold me, as I screamed and wrestled, punched and pushed. I was much bigger now, than the tiny child, once held in panic of restraint.... being kept from her Daddy.......but the memory loomed larger and clearer than I could endure. I heard words from one of these giants whose arms held me captive, "He's gone, Maam, I'm sorry, please, Maam, please."
The earth opened it's jaws, cold, cruel and wide beneath my feet..... without mercy, without a sound, swallowed me whole to it's deepest and ugliest depth.
On January 9th, 1971, my world stopped turning, life became empty and I knew that there simply would be no light, ever again.
My Dad put his all into being at our side. Hoping in some small way, he could seem a father image to the boys and a helping hand to me......a shoulder to lean on ....and an ear to listen.
I looked like a person and functioned appropriately, caring for my sons and keeping their environment clean and safe. I hope it wasn't obvious to them that Mommy was a robot, with only steel gadgets and wires within, where her humaness once was.
Yes, the gift of my father's attention and love for the boys and I, helped in small ways to keep the seams together for a period of time........for eighteen months, to be precise.....for that is when we lost him too.
Links to Parts I and II and IV
Please see link to part IV......and final part to my series. Wishing you Peace and Love.
- The Journey to the Woman I am Today.............Part IV, the finale
The 4th and final part, in an American woman's journey, through decades of her life, loves and tales of both tragedy, joy and all else in between. Cheer and cry, as she puts this true story, on hold.