Where I was Born Revisited

English: Huff Hall at Pearl River Community Co...

English: Huff Hall at Pearl River Community College (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes, I met my husband at Pearl River Junior College. He was a student and I was the speech/English Professor, however, I was only 2 years older. I tried dating another professor but he was rather dull and I preferred this younger person. Today, I probably would be jailed because I was 21 and he was 19. Is that a minor? I think so.

Anyway, we were married and I changed from teaching in college being far to young to know what I was doing. Remember I went to college to get a husband and failed. No one taught me how to teach so it was time to regroup and teach in high school which meant I had to go back to school to get more hours in how to teach.

Hancock North Central was my next place to teach after we were married. The school was located in Kiln, MS about 30 miles from the MS Gulf Coast. I car pooled with other teachers and we lived with his mother and father. Not the best but the only thing we could afford at the time. There were 3 generations living in the house. The Bourgeois’ were one of the oldest names in Waveland, MS and his father was Chief of Police; his mother worked doing something or other at City Hall and his uncle was the Mayor. Did not dare step out of line in that small town. Everyone knew everyone else or was related to everyone else.

I quickly became pregnant and of course the old biddy’s counted the months on me. I did not care because I knew and secretly smiled that they were off by one month….and they were. My son was born on July 4th. We were married the year before on September 9th if you would like to do the math yourself!

We moved that summer to Weir, MS because my husband was going to finish his degree in Math at MS State University. Therefore, the job teaching English in Weir, MS. That town is another story unto itself as is the story of my son….

I had a maid who came every day while I taught school in Weir. We were so poor that she felt sorry for us and would bring us food from her house. We paid her $25. a month and we lived in one room sharing a kitchen with this really old woman 🙂 maybe 50 who taught at the school and had a big old house; one of the genteel folk of Weir.

Things began to go downhill but something happened during my time at Weir. For those of us alive we all remember the day, time and where we were when JF Kennedy was shot. I was sitting in my classroom, planning period, when the principal came and told me. That weekend we watched TV at my parents home in Sallis (about an hour away) the entire weekend. We would go almost every weekend so mother could give us food to take back. The car we had was mine from when I was teaching at Pearl River Junior College; a Chevrolet Impala, white with red interior…”See the USA, in your Chevrolet.”

English: 1959 Chevrolet Impala 2-door Hardtop

English: 1959 Chevrolet Impala 2-door Hardtop (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He finished at State; my son was in the hospital; somehow I got pregnant again; and things became worse. I had a job teaching back on the coast, but resigned to take care of my son who had been given a year to live. My husband went off to work at the Stennis Center which was being built, at this time. A few buildings were open and they needed a mathematician.

During this time, a gay male friend of mine in the area stated that he tried to get me not to marry my husband because our backgrounds were so different. I think I was really miserable by this time. We had to travel to Jackson every other week to take our son to the doctor.

My daughter was born in Gulfport on May 23 and then my son went back in for his second surgery. A surgeon from Boston’s Children’s Hospital did the surgery. It was 8 hours long and I was told that if he survived the first 48 hours he might live 5 years. My mom, who was a nurse came to stay with me and we hired an RN to stay as well. My husband was so upset that he could not listen to the explanation from the doctors; this left me to deal with everything. By this time, he was working at the Corp of Engineers in Vicksburg, MS

English: The historic Mississippi River Commis...

English: The historic Mississippi River Commission (MRC) Building in downtown Vicksburg, Mississippi, USA. This building was constructed in 1894 and is listed in the U.S. list of historic federal buildings. The building is located at 1400 Walnut Street in the Uptown Vicksburg Historic District. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

and we had moved yet again to Clinton, MS to be closer to the doctor and he commuted to Vicksburg. Then we moved to Vicksburg. My son was better; I had a job teaching in the Vicksburg City Schools and we hired a maid/nanny for my daughter. She loved my daughter dearly.

I am now tired because the story does not get any better.

Later, I will revisit this untold tale.

30 thoughts on “Where I was Born Revisited

  1. Linda, I hear the pain in your words as you write this. I hope that it will begin a healing process for you. Marrying someone from a different background is so difficult. We were all naive enough to think that everyone had had the same experiences as us…..

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  2. Now I’m back, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. This is some story! Hats off to you for writing it. «Minor»?! Isn’t that 16?

    When we think back [or, at least when I do] on tough years like that, I often find myself wondering «HOW did I manage … how did I survive/get through?!» But then again … when we’re in the midst of it all, we just do what we’re supposed to do. Perhaps, or hopefully, that’s part of human nature…

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    • Yes, I did what had to be done and knew if my son were to live it was up to me…and my poor little daughter was looked after by her grandmothers while we were in the hospital from July until November.

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      • Right, we humans really know how to survive whatever is thrown our way. When my son was in the hospital he was our only child at the time. I remember thinking how hard it must be for all the other moms there who had other children at home. Thank goodness for grandmothers…they are the best!

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        • Janine, Thank you. During the first surgery, he was our only child. Somehow, I got pregnant while he was in the hospital. We had to wait for the second surgery until my daughter was born and six weeks old. I am glad your son is growing and doing so well. I will be over to see what your blog is about.

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  3. 17 makes a minor here. That was some courage, especially since you were also a teacher at the school. 🙂

    When I saw the smiley at ‘…sharing a kitchen with this really old woman…’ I couldn’t help laughing. That was a really lovely maid you had. All that, plus your son’s health, going on all at once must have been very had for you. Hopefully there were some magical moments along the way that sort of balanced out the scale.

    Looking forward to more of the tale.:)

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  4. You sure had a lot on your shoulders at such a young age but what a life you’ve lived, Linda. Tell the stories, they deserve to be told, even the ones without the good endings. It’s your story to tell.

    I’m here ready to hear the rest of it,
    MJ

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    • As I said above, when I have the courage to continue; also, there is a certain frame of mind I have to be in so that I tell it correctly…as much as I can from my perspective. I know that my truth may not be his truth or anyone’s truth because truth is our view of the world.

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  5. Thank you for sharing more of yourself and letting us get to know the history that made the woman. I understand your hesitance to write more, but as you see, you do have the support from we blogger friends. But, of course, I know you’ll do what feels right. Hugs.

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    • Thank you, Lori. I recognize and appreciate the support I have from this group of ladies. It means the world to me. I just want to get it all out, however, there are so many details missing that I doubt I’ll ever put down on paper.

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  6. Thank you for a sharing a bit more of your story, Linda. I appreciate your honesty and willingness to write of those hard days. We’ve probably all had hard times, but it looks like you’ve experienced more than your share. Blessings.

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    • Thank you, Kathy, When I think of hard times, I think of those whose children died while I was there in the hospital with my son. I was the lucky one; he lived and even though it was difficult, he lived.

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  7. I also wish to thank you for sharing this part of your life with us. I’m thankful you had family for support during those hard times, they almost seem unbearable. We don’t know what we’re made of until the pressure is on. I took delight in your Impala with red interior. I love a red interior, but they are hard to come by now.

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    • Thank you Patty, At the time you think your heart will certainly break. It does not because your child needs you to be strong and to believe that everything will be o.k. His doctor said to me in November when he released us the day before Thanksgiving :Someone up there must really like you.” I felt there was a reason for my son to live and I had, in the beginning, given him over to that Higher Power to do with as he saw fit.
      I loved my white Impala. I looked for a 59 white with red interior. I did not find one to post!
      It was traded in for a burgundy and white with A/C because the heat was intolerable to the little ones on the coast of MS.

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  8. Thank you too for sharing this especially about your son; we’re going through this now with my granddaughter; also, I lived in south MS myself for a while, miss the coast and I have a friend who has a son who was born with a heart condition who had his surgery in Jackson, so glad to have found you. Looking forward to more when you feel like telling.

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