This is what is on my mind. I have been afraid to write this or tell this my entire life. But, I have been feeling overwhelmed. I have set small daily goals and aimed for consistency rather than perfection. And I need to get a lot of negative thoughts out of my head. What am I doing about it? Thinking a LOT. About everything. What I know to be true from my own experience. And I am listening to a lot of classical music.
I need to be patient. “It is OK not to be OK.” Because of circumstances, I have become a sedentary, introverted person for a while. SO, I need to do a daily 20 minutes exercise program for at least a month to feel better. What??? A month? Yes. It is not going away this afternoon. Welllllll, patience is NOT my strong suit. Duh. And, I have been so anxious that I have had two more cerebral incidents that are now affecting my vision. So, I am writing this post with the hope that writing it will help me to heal. I am not ready to give up, and maybe I can help someone else in the meantime.
This week, I have made myself walk around the block every day. AND, in the middle of the night, I keep having new awarenesses that I have called “Kaleidoscopic Shifts.” I have written about that before in Jayspeak. NOTE: this is more than you ever wanted to know, but this is my world and welcome to it for a few minutes.
Last night, before I went to bed, I watched “Holidate” on my Eurobox. And I thought how different it is for young people these days. They have no clue what I went through. And they never will. Along with no vaccines for whooping cough, polio, measles, smallpox, chicken pox, and the flu. (As I anxiously await the Covid-19 vaccine in France) They also did not have birth control pills. They were “discovered” in 1960, approved by the FDA on July 23, 1960. People did not use “The Pill” for several years because of warnings and side effects. I was using (like everyone else) the “rhythm” method, if at all. It was not part of a date, during those years. AND there was a terrible stigma attached to it, especially pregnancy outside of marriage. There were shame and judgement attached from one’s family and community. And abortions were frowned upon BIGTIME. The most popular and safest solution (at that time) was to go into hiding somewhere, have the baby, and put it up for adoption OR marry the father and suffer the family shame.
Last night – around 2 or 3:00 a.m, I had some WOW moments when a lot of things fell into place. Some background. Here in Paris, I am living an important moment of my life. I am in a bookend. My life abruptly changed when I was 20, travelling on a European Tour”. I had dated and been pinned to Darrell Macintyre from Madison, Wisconsin for a year. Darrell was popular, good-looking, and sexy. Sooooo…
I found out that I was three months pregnant from a doctor in Amsterdam. Suffering from daily morning sickness, what to do???? I wrote Darrell. He told me he would marry me. I did not want to marry him. So, he told me to get an abortion in Paris and gave the name and address of a woman to call. I left the tour (which was going on the train to Paris) and flew to Paris. I called the woman and made an appointment to come by to meet her at 10:00 a.m. the next morning.
I went to her apartment on the left bank of Paris at 10:00 a.m. It was near the Seine. I met her. And she told me to come back at 3:00 p.m. and to bring 50 francs for the procedure. I left. I knew I would never go back to that apartment. I knew that I would marry Darrell, have my baby, and live happily or unhappily ever after. I could take the family and hometown shame. And that is what occurred. I wrote a letter to Mother and Daddy, telling them about my plight. I remember dropping that letter into a red mailbox on the street. My sister Patricia called me at my hotel in Paris. I talked to Mother and Daddy. I remember that call. Mother was concerned about the shame she would suffer. Daddy told me he loved me.
I immediately flew back to Atlanta. They hurriedly planned a wedding. Darrell and I were married on August 17, 1957. We did not either one “love” each other, but that did not matter. “Saving face” for the family and the community (of churchgoers) is what mattered. The marriage is a long story. What is important here is that I told my daughter. I never told my sons. To this day, they don’t know. Now, I don’t think they would care. Times are too different. But Tracy suffered. I suffered. And Darrell was not good to her. Or me. Or to my son Craig. And we all suffered. We still are, at this late date. It needs to STOP.
So, I needed to get back to Paris before I died. It was important to me. That is where it all began. It IS important to me. If I am to heal. And Trump, vaccines, and lockdowns have not helped. I don’t expect any of you to understand or care – times are too different. “Holidate”. I have kept it inside for too many years, and my health is suffering. Miracle? Bookends? Is it “a wrap”? I hope not. I make NO apologies to those who think these things are better left unsaid. I am FURIOUS at what all of us went through for self-righteous ——- « to save face. ». Life Lessons? Hardly ! Time will tell.
2 thoughts on “BOOKENDS”
Take care, Jay. I had three strokes of varying degrees, all requiring hospitalization, but without adverse long lasting consequences. My cardiologist has me on daily Plavix and a whole aspirin. The regimen seems to have protected me for a couple of years. 💗
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Jay, I MUST say this. I have a lot of respect and admiration for you. You made a hard decision ( back in the day) when abortion was not acceptable, but I applaud your decision. That’s something you can be proud of. You did the right thing and you need to be proud. I’m so proud of you in every way.
I know we are living in hard times right now and it’s depressing to be shut in due to COVID.
I pray for you being alone. I live alone, too. But you are in Paris, among strangers and I understand.
I put you on a Pedestal, so I wish you good health and peace, happiness, and joy.
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