He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord…
There are so many other small things I remember … most of which must have made your mother reassess her decision to get married … especially to me! After all, it was one strange family she was marrying into.
For example, as an engagement present, my Mom and Dad brought us to New York City for dinner and a show. The featured group was the Ink Spots – a little before our time, too – and they zeroed in on us to announce to the whole audience that we had just gotten engaged. They then sang, You Always Hurt the One You Love which didn’t make a lot of sense until we were actually married.
Then there was the trip to Montreal for the World’s Fair. We went up with my Mom and Dad and cousin Kathy. On the way up we stopped for dinner, which, of course came with dessert. Mom – all 95 pounds of her – said she would skip dessert. Almost in unison, both my Dad and I turned to her and said, “Sure you do.”
“No, I don’t really want dessert. I’m full,” she said.
“Yes you do. How about some ice cream,” we pressed.
How strange these people are, she must have thought. Finally, she said okay, she would have vanilla ice cream. She never got the chance to eat it … Dad and I commandeered the bowl when it came.
And, of course, we planned the wedding … and looked for an apartment … and picked out furniture … and mapped our future together. Did you know we talked about having eight kids in 10 years, even named them and about when we would have them: Joseph Leonard Jr., Sept. 27, 1969; Jeffrey Thomas, Jan. 11, 1971; Theresa (later changed to Dawn) Marie, Feb. 14, 1972; David Anthony, Aug. 25, 1973; Michael George, June 2, 1975; Deborah Ann, May 14, 1976; Francis Henry, Nov. 19, 1977; and Wenceslaus Harvey, April 1, 1979. I guess you know what was on my mind!
Count your blessings … You could have had a brother named Wenceslaus!
So, you see, those months were a real eye-opener for Mom. But, as we closed in on the wedding, she started to have some reservations.
I don’t remember the date, although I think it was early summer when something just snapped. I called her, like I always did, and her mother told me she wasn’t around. I called a little later and her sister said she didn’t want to talk to me. But when it continued into the next day, I just went crazy.
My temper is an ugly side of me, one I’ve worked very hard through the years to keep under control. But that day, I lost it. I guess it was a flashback to our “experiment” and I wasn’t going to let that happen again. I literally flew to her house in a rage, banged and banged on the door until Grandma answered and told me, matter of factly, it was over. Like hell it was, I told her in a very unflattering way. I wouldn’t take no for an answer and despite Grandma threatening to call the police, I barged in, got Mom and literally dragged her to the car to talk.
I don’t know whether I scared her or convinced her she WAS my life and I wasn’t going to abandon her or let her go without a fight. Which leads us to the next chapter …
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: However good or bad a situation is, it will change.