Lucy had lost her first daughter, then her husband. Now it was time for little Judy to leave the house for school. Like most mothers she probably had mixed feelings about letting a child head out the door to go to school that first day. There’s pride in knowing that your daughter has learned how to handle leaving the house. There’s fear, knowing that so many dangers lurk just down the street. Lucy knew all too well what could happen if she took her eyes off her Judy, even to let her go to school.
On top of that, Judy gave Lucy a glimpse of independence and strength. Again, those conflicts reared up. My daughter is powerful and intelligent. She doesn’t need her mom. Lucy doesn’t say what she did after watching Judy skip down the street to school. She didn’t have to. We know.
That story repeated itself many times since that late summer morning in 1958. Riding the city bus downtown to the clinic. Heading off to the big dance with that new college boy. Moving to Rochester where the doctors had told her to go home and make arrangements for her ailing first daughter. You can look at any event in life as a disaster in progress; or see it as a potential success unfolding in front of you. Lucy always picked the positive view. That’s a tough example to live up to. I’ll keep trying.
My daughter was truly the light of my life. I loved her so. She was about to start school. I took her the first day to enroll her. The second day I wanted to walk to the corner and see that she arrived safely at which time she said “Mothers do not walk their children to school.” I stood inside the house and watched her leave Mom behind.
Her good friend was Susie Westerberg. There was a little girl living in a house between ours, they didn’t care a lot for Jeanie. What I didn’t know was Jeanie said they couldn’t walk on the sidewalk. I also knew they (I don’t know to this day which one) bit her. Mrs Westerberg + I didn’t believe our girls would do that.
Judy wanted a dog. At first it was fine but the dog had used Jeanies yard and when they left on a trip (Dog do-do) on her shoes – in the car – oh angry neighbors. So dog had to go.
Judy + I went to California a year after Ken died. We had such a good time. Just before we left Judy had a sore throat (usual) so we almost cancelled.
When Judy was six she would get on a bus, get off downtown, walk to the clinic and get an allergy shot. And walk back to the station where I worked and would ride home with me. Such a brave little girl. I just hated asking her to do that. Mom + I knew we had a “winner.”