I don’t know
that I really ever remember my parents being married. But, then again, I didn’t
really understand they were divorced either. Or what divorce meant.
|Mom and Dad 1950, the|
summer before they were married.
No one will
fess up about this, but I have always thought that I was either
a last ditch effort to save their marriage
don’t feel badly about it when you read that because, honestly, I was a very
loved child by my parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. and regardless of why I
was born really made no difference once I was here because I was quite the
spoiled thing, I must admit.
remember a time my Dad wasn’t at the house. I think one of the earliest
memories I do have is of him sleeping downstairs in the family room. Maybe I
was about 4 or 5. I should ask my sisters about that, who are much older and
were aware of what was going on.
|Mom and Dad on their wedding day|
October 21, 1950
But what I
remember is that Dad came home from work every day and had dinner with us.
Dinner was always 6pm every night. Sharp. Then he would sit in his chair with
the Hartford Times newspaper and do the crossword puzzle. Sometimes he would
come downstairs to the family room to watch tv. Sometimes he would come
upstairs and watch tv with my mother and I in her bedroom. He would sit at the
end of the bed in a metal folding chair. And watch TV. Sometimes he would rub
Mom’s feet. Then, at 9pm, he would go
home to his own place in East Granby.
There was no
animosity between them for the most part. I give a lot of credit to my mother
for making this divorce not seem like a divorce. She is the one who wanted the divorce. She
had not been happy for many years. She
knew my father was kind of helpless when it came to things like making himself
dinner. She knew that he was kind of a loner who had a lot of acquaintances,
but no close friends. We kids were his
world, Diana Lane was his world, and my mother was his world. She was as gentle
about it all as she could be and let him come and go as he pleased.
realizing it was weird when I had a friend sleeping over one Friday night. We
were playing in the living room and Dad came over and rumpled my hair and
said goodnight and he walked out the door.
My friend, Jayme asked, “where is your Daddy going?” I said without
missing a beat, “To his house.” She
looked at me confused. I suddenly got it that not only was I the only kid I
knew who had parents who were divorced, but that we were a different kind of
divorced family where everyone got along.
|My favorite photo of my Dad and I in 1968|
Now it wasn’t
always roses, mind you. When my mother entertained a gentleman at the house,
she would have to tell my Dad not to come over that evening for dinner. I
remember she would say to him that she was “having company.” I felt badly for
Dad because you could see the hurt on his face. He never quite accepted they
were divorced. As much as it helped us all to have Dad still a regular part of
our routine, I think it also hampered him from moving on and accepting the
them having a conversation at the dinner table after us kids had left the
table. They didn’t realize I was still in ear shot. Dad said he wanted to move
back in and he and my mom to live as husband and wife again. Mom was gentle
about it, but she said “No, Bob, that is not going to happen.” I didn’t necessarily want them back
together…it really made no difference to me...but I felt badly that my Dad was
still pining after her when she had clearly moved on.
Mom came up
from Florida specifically to see Dad during his last weeks. I was glad she did.
I think she was glad she did. And I know my Dad was glad she did. One of the
most touching things I witnessed was her feeding him in the nursing home.
It shows that when you’ve shared a life time together, with 5 children, 9
grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild together, despite a divorce--there is a
love there that never completely goes away.
Labels: Bob, Dads, Divorce, Family History Blog, Genealogy, Genealogy Blog, Herding Cats, Lee, marriage