Friday, January 18, 2013
MOM Pt 2
click [HERE] FOR Part 1....
Can you imagine leaving the homeland you grew up in, leaving your family, leaving everything you know, and heading towards a land where you knew ONE person and couldn't speak the language, had no job, was preparing for an addition to the family, and not really ready for ANY of it?
Mom did this at 20.
She later told me she learned English by watching TV, got to have a few friends, found a job, and loved being a Mom. She also told me how difficult it was once she arrived in the USA.
It would be nice to say that her husband was a supportive and proud man but that would be a blatant lie. He wasn't around much and complained that he didn't want any kids so soon. He hated being tied down and wasn't shy about letting her know it. They didn't have a lot because of just starting out, but Mom wasn't used to having anything anyway, so she was OK. She would make the best of it, but not her husband. There is a story the whole family knows and all they can do is just shake their head....
My Pap had a cabin in the woods of Central Pa and the family traveled there quite often. Mom was still new to the States (and pregnant with me!) when she made the trip up to Mifflin County. How soon after arriving, I don't know, but Mom and her (loving?) husband went for a walk. Mom said it was a long walk, and she wanted to return to camp a few times, but he would just keep going. Eventually, she just stopped following, having a genuine fear of either getting lost or buried on the very vacant mountain. When she did, he disappeared in the distance. She tried to find her way back, but he arrived back to the cabin first. Pap asked where Mom was. According to witnesses, although Pap was a kind and gentle man, he about lost it when his son acted so irresponsibly. They all went out searching for Mom and found her a short time later. Whether it was a plan to lose her or just a bad day, we will never know. He never admitted to it but also never lived it down. Everyone looked at Mom and felt bad for her. His own Mother and Father tried to talk to him more than once about being a good husband and father, but he must not have taken notes. The worst was yet to come...
He was more focused on himself and when the opportunity came along to get Mom back to Germany, a year or so later, he bought a ticket and off she went. He didn't send any money but he did mail her letters saying such loving things as “you should stay there and not come back”. I know. I read them many years later. Mom always talked to me in a positive way when it came to my biological father. She always wanted us to be close, but it never happened. I will never understand how she could be so nice toward him when he so obviously treated her like toilet paper. I wouldn't have been able to do it.
Mom remained there for a year, helping her family, trying to save the money to return to Middletown, and watching me grow into more German than American. According to her, she would have stayed except for one thing – pride.
She had a husband, still, and since her family had told her it WOULDN'T work, she HAD to prove it COULD. So back to PA she went, determined to be a good wife, have a good husband, and hold the family together.
What follows is a story told by many many women, in every city, state, or country, but this one has a happier middle....
the ending is still being written.
Helga's Adventures In Whereverland on Crowdrise