Thursday, December 26, 2013
My Life in Words, Part Four: She went home to her family
There was an ugly side to my birth as well. I have to believe that my mother wanted to grow up and be the mature wife and mother that she was on paper. So there was some form of reconciliation with my father. It seemed obvious that he was as anxious to be a father has he had been to be a husband. But again, there is something about a beautiful baby that makes everyone want to take some credit. I was told that he took me to his family to be shown around. I, of course, remember none of that. To this day, I know none of my paternal history, with the exception of some disjoined facts. My father was a merchant marine, something I learned as I read it on my birth certificate. And my mother told me that his parents were named Hazel and John. He had a sister named Barbara and brothers name Sam and “Donkey”. I would assume that would be some good beginnings if I were to choose to do some detecting or ancestry tracking. But I haven’t chosen to do that. I felt that I had enough unresolved situations in my life to open another door that wouldn’t close again.
But as I said, my mother did attempt a reconciliation. The couple who really didn’t even know each other aside from carnally, rented a small efficiency apartment and made a modest attempt at housekeeping. My father was a stranger to normalcy, or so my mother felt. By that time, and he was barely 18, he was a serious drinker. And he moved in social circles who had nothing social about them. At one point, my mother told me that he was carried home by two men because he was drunk and his hands had been cut up with a razor. She had never experienced anything that violent. While her family had its share of disagreements, physical violence was not something familiar. Sadly, that was the only experience she shared with me about their attempt at co-habiting. She went home to her family, who willingly welcomed her and her baby back with open arms.
Months after the failed attempt at a marriage, the young alcoholic man showed up at my mother’s job in what seemed like an attempt to woo her back to the marriage. He even had a gift – a very nice dress watch which was far nicer than anything my mother had ever possessed. She accepted the gift and told the giver that she would have to think about it and they would have to work at it slowly if there was ever to be any true relationship. That may have shot his plans in the foot. Before she had made any decision, a bill came to her from a local department store. It appeared that she had purchased a lovely dress watch for herself. It’s always amazing when someone is able to work through an alcohol haze to formulate a plan so devious. But what he really did was end any attempt at any type of relationship with either my mother or me. I understand from a relative who says her husband related a visit that my grandfather made to my father’s favorite hang out. My grandfather was crystal clear in his direction that my father was to never under any circumstances contact my mother or me. Especially me. I think a death threat was involved. Was it true? I do not know. But I do know that I never heard from my father again. Unless you count a phantom phone call I received when I was in third grade. But we’ll talk about that in due time.
to be continued.