guest author graphicToday middleSage is featuring Guest Author Bouncin Barb

When I gave birth to my son in November,1981, I had just turned 21, was not with the father, did not have a place to live and was deliriously happy. I was super excited about this little gift from heaven and knew he was the change I needed in my life. My decisions were for us now and not just for me.

Shortly after finding out that I was pregnant, I made the decision to leave my baby’s father. I knew it wouldn’t work out when I found out that someone else was having his baby besides me. That was all I needed to sever the ties but I needed to make plans for a new life.

My family assured me that they would all be there for me and the baby. Having all brothers, they said the baby wouldn’t have to worry about the lack of a father figure and that was all music to my ears. Things would be just fine. The only problem was that I was living and working about 40 miles away. One of my brother’s told me I could stay with him for a couple weeks while my Dad got a room set up in his home. Dad lived with his girlfriend and two of her grown children so he would have some juggling to do. While I had to give up my job, the decision was made and I was going to move back to my hometown and my family.

After a month at my brother’s, tensions were starting to rise. I felt extremely awkward there and when we asked our Dad what the delay was, he would say he just needed a little extra time. After two months, my brother woke me up on a Saturday morning and said “pack your things, it’s moving day”. I was so excited to get the show on the road so we loaded my things into his pickup and headed out.

As we approached my Dad’s house I saw him waiting on the front steps. I also saw his girlfriend pacing back and forth behind him and that gave me a bad feeling. My brother and I got out of the pickup and Dad’s girlfriend proceeded to tell my Dad “she is NOT coming to live in this house”. At that moment I felt as if someone had kicked me in the stomach. I looked to my brother to say “what the hell is going on” but he wouldn’t look at me. He just started taking my things out of his pickup and throwing them on Dad’s front lawn.

I walked up to my Dad and demanded an explanation, when his girlfriend again spoke up that I was not welcome there. Now, I was waiting for Dad to tell her to shut up because I was his daughter. Blood is thicker than water isn’t it? Apparently not. Dad just sat there with his head in his hands and didn’t say one word. When I turned around again to look at my brother he was getting into his truck and driving away.

How was this even possible? How could this happen to me? This was my Dad. This was one of my brother’s. I hoped I was in a bad dream but unfortunately I was not. Another brother showed up and he wanted to rescue me by saying that I could come stay with him and his wife but she loudly protested and said “no way”.

At that point I just started walking. I walked for about a mile, tears rolling down my face and people staring as they drove past me. I must have been a sight. Five months pregnant and crying madly as I was walking down the street. I went into a phone booth and called my other brother and asked if he could come pick me up and if I could stay with him on his couch until I figured out what I was going to do. Without hesitating, he picked me up, brought me home, cried with me and then went to get my things for me. He lived in a tiny one bedroom apartment with his girlfriend, so staying there wasn’t an option.

The next few months were spent going from there to a friends and then a motel. My father felt guilty and took out a small loan so I could get what I needed. I didn’t want anything to do with him but I did need the money so I took it. The problem was that in 1981 a pregnant and single woman was frowned upon. No one wanted to rent an apartment to me. I had cash in hand but no one would agree to rent. I even brought my Dad along as a co-signer and told the potential landlords that my husband was in the military. Even that didn’t work. Things were not looking up for me and by this time I was getting pretty scared.

One day I was out by myself looking for baby clothes and an infant seat. I saw this tiny little storefront that wasn’t there when I was growing up and it advertised ‘gently’ used baby things. I started chatting with the lady who ran the place and after awhile it came out that I had no place to live and was staying in a motel. Her name was Pat and she proceeded to tell me that she belonged to a group that helped single mothers. She took my name and I gave her my friends phone number since I didn’t have a phone. I sure didn’t think it could hurt.

Meanwhile, I continued to try finding a place to live. My ninth month was approaching rapidly so I needed a place for me and my baby to call home. It wasn’t happening. I just couldn’t envision bringing a new little one home to the dumpy motel I was staying in. It wasn’t a decent place.

Eventually I went into labor and delivered my baby knowing I had no place to call home. Still, I was so happy when he was born and I promised him I’d protect him. My doctor knew my situation and he let me stay in the hospital an extra few days hoping my family would have a change of heart. That didn’t happen.

On the day before I was to be discharged, my hospital phone rang and it was Pat. She had called my friend and was told I had the baby so she called me right away. She said that she knew of an older couple through her church who signed up to help single mothers if they could. They were willing to rent a room to me in their home since their kids were all grown and on their own. Pat asked if I would be interested.002

(The home for me and my son for the first year of his life.)

Naturally, I asked Pat what these people were like. Would my baby and I be safe? She assured me these people were very nice and she was comfortable doing this for me. Without much choice, I agreed to it. I didn’t sleep a wink that night.

The next day Pat was picking me up from the hospital and driving us to this couple’s home. To say I was terrified is an understatement. As I walked up to their front door and rang the bell I felt sick to my stomach. Then, the door opened and there stood the sweetest looking woman with a smile that could light a room. Her name was Doris and she was so excited. She called for her husband, “John, John the baby’s here”!003

(Doris loved having a baby in the house again.)

At that moment I knew this was going to work. Doris and John made me feel so welcome and they adored my son. I stayed with them for a year and the day I moved out was my wedding day. I met my husband where I began working after moving in with them. The wedding was held in their home and given with love, friendship and support, and the relationship continues to this day.004

(My wedding day! A wonderful day for a new family.)

For the rest of my life, I will always be thankful for Doris and John. They were the family that I needed and because of them I was able to be the best mother and wife I could be.  005

(Doris and John – on the right – on vacation with my son.)

Bouncin Barb is a Guest Author at middleSage. You can read more of her work on her Blog: This & That (As I Bounce Thru Life).

*Disclaimer: All Guest Author publications are written exclusively by the featured author. Guest author is responsible for giving credit for quotes used from other sources, as well as obtaining permission/paying user fee for all photographs not from their own library. We’re looking to respect and play nice with everybody!

 

37 Comments

  • It takes a lot to tell a true story, to share with the world the things that have hurt us most in our lives. But what I admire, Barbara, is that this is a celebration of a truly wonderful and generous couple. Doris and John have hearts of gold – selfless, loving and non-judgemental. I can only imagine what it was like at that time and to be in that situation. Your son is a handsome young man and a credit to you. There is a saying (and I’m not religious in the tradition sense, but I was brought up going to Sunday school) which my mother used to say ‘If God doesn’t come, he sends …’. I think God/your spirit helpers – whoever, sent you Doris and John. And I bet they say the same thing! Heartwarming, tearful but uplifting! Lxx
    Linn B Halton (@LinnBHalton) recently posted…My path to publication … making mistakes is easy!My Profile

  • What a fantastic guest post BB! What an extremely worrying time it must have been for you when you were about to give birth to your adorable baby son. Thank heavens for Pat and that marvellous couple who were prepared to take you in. I honestly can’t believe that your family just let you get on with it like that. Your dad and brothers certainly weren’t with charitable women at that time! You are such a warmhearted woman and we are all lucky to be able to call you our (awesome) Friend.
    Diane recently posted…Ze Leetle Grey Cells ….My Profile

  • I don’t know your dad and brothers so I won’t stand in judgment of them. I love that you didn’t spend this whole post bashing them but went on to give thanks to those wonderful people who went out of their way to help and scared new mother and her baby. They were the heroes in your life when you needed them most. Fate can be good like that 🙂
    Kat recently posted…Yum!My Profile

    • Sandy, we were truly blessed in so many ways. Gaining this couple in our lives, me finding a wonderful man to marry and be a great Dad to my son, and my achievements in the working world were blessings beyond any expected. And now here I am in Florida, sitting at the beach! Thanks for the lovely comment.
      Bouncin Barb recently posted…Giving Thanks Every NovemberMy Profile

  • Ok, I’m just gonna say it- I hope you’ve been able to witness karma biting the hell out of some people. Sheesh, Barb. This story amazes me when I think of how positive and loving and compassionate and funny you are. I’m so glad they weren’t able to take that away from you.

    • Pam, I just love you! I don’t think I got to be all those qualities until I met Rich and spent 23 wonderful years with him. I learned to let go of the bad and keep the good. I also learned that I can never depend on my family and have only me to fall back on. As I’ve told Diane, I love the wonderful way your family supports one another. You can be proud of that. XX
      Bouncin Barb recently posted…Giving Thanks Every NovemberMy Profile

  • I know it really sucked and those times were very hard, but it looks like you ended up right where you and your son were supposed to be. As to Doris and John, they are two for the ages. Amazing people!

  • Anonymous

    Just because we don’t see wings doesn’t mean there aren’t angels among us. I think Bouncin Barb found two of them. Great story and I think this blog is great.

  • Barbara Coleman

    Barb, your story brings me back in time. My family wasn’t there for me either…the 70’s were not kind to unwed mothers and you certainly weren’t going to see any on TV glamorizing the unwed mother (teen) life. Looking back I can see where, just like in your case, the universe interceded and provided me with some love and support I was missing. The gift we have because our families were not there and we were gifted by the universe, is one simple act of kindness takes up a much larger space in our consciousness, we take nothing for granted. Great Post!

    • You’re so right Barb! I share these stories from my past not to gain sympathy but to show others that it’s possible to have learn from the negatives and be positive. If I can help others with inspiration I’m paying it forward in a different way. Somewhere I once read that most women named Barbara usually very are strong women! I think they were right! Thank you!
      Bouncin Barb recently posted…Giving Thanks Every NovemberMy Profile

      • Barbara Coleman

        LOL! You reminded me of something I used to do when working with all men. If I had an idea I knew they’d shoot down I’d always preface it with “Somewhere I once read…” Glad to have you on middleSage!

  • OMG Barb! I remembered reading some of this on your blog. Wow! You are such a strong woman. I can’t imagine my family or any family doing that to their own blood. Doris and John were your guardian angels. I am so proud of you!
    Lisa recently posted…Veteran’s DayMy Profile

  • Hi! Dearest Barb;
    First of all, I can never imagine the young lovely woman like you had been through tough time while pregnant. How hard it must have been, my friend! But you were SO blessed having helping hand from heartwarming and caring people like Pat and “Doris and John”. The pictures you showed us here are really beautiful with full of smiles♡♡♡ Yes, another blessing came a year later for you; your wonderful husband♬♬♬ I can see that your sweet husband must be also a great person. And also I wished to add that I admire the way you commented mend fences with your family.

    For me, I had kind of opposite understanding from my husband. As you might know, due to weak function of pituitary grant, even several years of fertility treatment didn’t work. He supported me during that hard period.  

    Oh, each of us has own drama in our life, aren’t we☆☆☆ God Bless your family.

    Lots of Love and hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*
    orchid miyako recently posted…New U.S. Ambassador to Japan♪My Profile

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