Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sad but True but it explains So Much--- Part 3 My Parent's Courtship

My parents had many wonderful successes and accomplished a lot in their lives. My parents owned several homes. Provided shelter and family for many people throughout the years. Owned their own businesses. Took regular vacations, had a vacation spot for large family reunions, participated in many activities over the years including hard-top racing, boating, bowling, travel. They were very social people and always had lots of friends.

Yet I knew my mother was not as fulfilled and worry free as her well kept hair, nails and clothing would have made you believe. Mother seldom went to church because she knew she was a sinner and did not measure up well with the other church-going ladies. She always felt judged and falling short of some invisible level of performance.

Dad was often disgusted at mother's housekeeping abilities and lack of education. Fights about money were constant. Mother's bleeding-heart need to help others infuriated my father because "we could not even pay our own bills". Many times mother would get herself in some kind of financial troubles and the pursuing games would begin. Mother racing to the mailbox to hide bills, mother answering the phone and obviously faking a chit chat call while trying to soothe a bill collector. Usually mother would eventually call her parents for money and hope dad did not find out. The sad thing is mother seldom went into debt for herself. She was always helping someone else. Mother's lack of a formal education and frail body often precluded mother from finding employment. Although she did try a few times.
I will include some of these in Mom's book.

So when I heard about mother and father's courtship, small hints about the unhappy match up given to me over all the years suddenly became very clear. My parents were neighbors in Santa Maria, California. My father had sisters my mother's age and introduced my mother to my father. World War II just broke out. Going into the military was on most young men's mind. Young girl's were caught up in dating as a flurry of men disappeared from the neighborhood. As a diversion from the realities of war, young people were dating and saying their good-byes etc. It was not uncommon for promised letter writing, war time engagements were made in haste. For most war-time engagements meant someday when we can seriously think about marriage, maybe we will get married but in the mean time we can enjoy a long distance relationship and you can leave to the military saying you have a girl-friend. Girls often accepted marriage proposals. My mother was 17 years old, I am not going to judge her too harshly with getting swept up in the wartime flurry.

So on a Saturday night, my father took my mother to the picture show. After the picture show, my father asked my mother to marry him.
Then in my father's own words:
"All I remember is that she said yes and we told my father and mother. By that time it was about 11 pm. We had been to the show. My father immediately got up and took us to her home and woke her parents up and told them what was going on. Much to our embarrassment and the following Wed.we all drove to Santa Barbara to get our marriage license and the Following Sun. we had a wedding in our home. The pastor of the Nazarene Church. Exactly 3 months to the day I went into the service.

The life we live. The choices we make or allow others to make for us. I was appalled at what my grandfather had done. In his God-fearing thinking he had surmised that mother was pregnant. His fear was if dad went away without them being married, this would have been horrible. The truth was mother did not have any children until several years later.

When I first realized what happened to my parents, I wondered why their parents were unable to guide and direct them. Then I became extremely angry at my father's father.
Including thinking of him as a bullheaded jack-a**. There are several other episodes when my mother's father-in-law caused my mother great grief and sorrow.

I also will include some of these in Mom's book.

So why did I tell this story? was it necessary? Is it needed to be included in Mom's Book? I dunno.....

Sad but True but it explains So Much--- Part 2 My Father's Childhood.

I knew my parents were having problems working through life's ups and downs.

My parents and their respected families were very different people. My mother's family is jovial, enjoys the holidays, embraces all children, informative constantly teaching children things of life, of how things work. Very accepting and always there to help.

In contrast my father's family are sullen people. Everything is black or white. Life is hard, children are clay to be shaped in the perfect image of church going quiet beings. You must be thankful for every morsel of bread. Life here on earth is to be lived in fear of wrong thoughts, wrong actions. Hell and damnation is waiting for anyone short of a God-fearing Born Again Christian. There is not enough money, resources, time to spend on frivolous things and or outings. We do not have enough to share. We are too busy having a perfect clean house, sewing clothing, practicing music for church to interact with anyone. Also in that "wonderfully Christian competitive way" if you did not keep a perfect house, sew at a certain level, or play a musical instrument you are not as righteous as those whom do those things. If you are not busy doing the work of the LORD, then you are lazy, worthless, inconsiderate, and most of all a sinner going to burn in hell forever.

In defense of this life style, there are very good reasons I am glad to have had this influence in my life. I had a fantastic traditional Bible study upbringing. I had a grandmother that taught me to get on my knees three times a day to pray. I knew I had a grandmother that prayed for me everyday. I learned to play the piano, cook, crochet, sew and clean house. I had beautifully hand sewn tailored clothing, and knew how to "act" at church or people's homes. I learnt thriftiness, patience, and how not to fidget for hours at a time.

My grandfather was a "hell and damnation" missionary to the Native Americans on the Indian Territories of Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Arizona. He often used his ability as a car mechanic to get access to the reservations to do "his real work" which was to win souls for the LORD. They moved often, many days they went without food, I will share stories about that later.

I am just anxious to share this sad but true twist of fate that shaped so many of our lives.

Sad but True but it explains So Much--- Part I my Mother's Childhood.

Let me explain first my parents are very nice people and provided myself and my siblings a wonderful life. My childhood is filled with stories of family outings, holiday gatherings, and stability of being in the same neighborhood all my life. My parents had rigid rules about marriage and children rearing. One of the rules was no fighting in front of the children. So many were the mornings when I would come into the kitchen and know something was terribly wrong but had no idea what caused this chill in the air. I knew my parents were having problems working through life's ups and downs.

My parents and their respected families were very different people. My mother's family is jovial, enjoys the holidays, embraces all children, informative constantly teaching children things of life, of how things work. Very accepting and always there to help. Some of my most fondest memories is joining grandpa in the garden and he explaining to me about gardening and pruning roses. Once listening to Grandpa advice a young man about class choices for college, my husband was impressed at the grasp Grandpa had on the jobs of the future. Grandpa read the newspaper every day along with National Geographic and Wall Street Journal. My grandfather was unusually kind to my grandmother. Every dinner, visit, outing was a grand affair. My mother's family regarded education very highly. Grandpa worked for Mobile Oil in the Los Angelas area. Every year as a child and then every year with my own children Grandma and Grandpa opened their huge home, made up big fluffy beds, cooked elaborate two-three meat dinners and invited us down for a Disneyland vacation. My grandparents were experts on everything Disney. Grandfather would set me down the night before a trip to Disneyland, map of Disneyland in hand and go over the path I should take the next day. He would explain in detail all the new exhibits, an account of the cost, difficulties in the construction, and what to be sure to observe. Grandpa always had a drawer full of Disney tickets. As family visited and left any extra unused Disney tickets went into Grandpa's drawer. There were always plenty of "A" tickets for the younger children, but few "E" tickets for the most daring rides. Life was to be lived, children were to be enjoyed, at grandma's house all things were possible and all children were precious. Mother was raised loved, cherished, and pampered.

To add to my mother's life and the how very loved, cherished, pampered my mother suffered physical pain, surgeries, hospital stays for most of her childhood. Mother suffered a fall as a small 3 year old child and contacted Osteomyelitis (osteo- derived from the Greek word osteon, meaning bone, myelo- meaning marrow, and -itis meaning inflammation) simply means an infection of the bone or bone marrow.[1] It can be usefully subclassified on the basis of the causative organism (pyogenic bacteria or mycobacteria), the route, duration and anatomic location of the infection. 3–8 . Mother spent most of her childhood in a hospital bed or home isolated from others. Someone was always with mother, reading her stories, holding her as she healed after each surgery. The family knew mother was going to die. So nothing was too much for mother. Mother never had to do household chores, learn to read and write beyond letter writing, or worry about life's struggles. Mother's job was to be brave, endure, and enjoy company as a precious young lady.

Subsequently mother had a soul of gold, always took for the underdog, and was very needy for other people to keep her company. She had an appreciation for the finer things in life but always had deep empathy for a child in physical pain or deformity.