Visit our Bookstore
Home | Fiction | Nonfiction | Novels | |
Innisfree Poetry | Enskyment Journal | International | FACEBOOK | Poetry Scams | Stars & Squadrons | Newsletter

 

MORE THAN LIFE ITSELF

A Love Story by

Diane Stark (McConnell) Sanfilippo

 

Chapter 17 – Our First Anniversary

 

 

Click here to send comments

Click here if you'd like to exchange critiques

  2003 Diane Sanfilippo

 

Foreword             Prologue            First Chapter

 

Chapter 17 – Our First Anniversary

 

"Home sweet home!" I exclaimed as Billy unlocked the door to our homey apartment.

Arching his back to stretch his muscles from the long drive, he offered in reply,"You can say that again! Honey, I just hope that soon we can find a legitimate excuse not to go anywhere on Christmas. When our children are old enough to remember, I want them to have their own Christmas tree, their own fireplace with cookies for Santa, but most of all, I want them to experience Christmas without having to dread one moment of the holidays. Perhaps the Army will take us far away, and we can use that as an excuse."

"You know I agree, darling, although this was the happiest Christmas I have ever spent because of you, but I have to admit I could have done without your mother. Billy, I want you to promise me if she ever, ever screams at me like that again, you will take me right home. Promise me?"

Billy immediately promised he would no longer tolerate that kind of behavior from his mother, since obviously Gene could not control her wicked tongue. All the stored up venom she felt for me had finally boiled over as her hatred and jealousy became more than she could handle. I was not even sure I could ever allow my baby to wear those beautifully made dresses, even if we had a girl, because of the memories that came with the gift.

When Billy switched on the overhead lights, our small Christmas tree came to life and glowed with our one strand of colorful bulbs, and both of us loved the aroma of the cedar that filled the apartment from our very first tree. We enjoyed making love with just the tree lights filling the room with a colorful glow along with the gas logs, and the perfume of the ‘live’ tree filling the room with the smell of Christmas. Billy had bought an album of soft Christmas music, he would play over, and over, as we soared above the clouds fully involved in making our own memories. I knew I would never forget our first Christmas, and I could even bury Helen’s cruelty when I thought of the wonderful nights we had spent in our apartment in front of our own Christmas tree.

Christmas was not over yet, not for us, and that night our minds were on making love in our own home without having to worry about a knock on the door. As much as I dearly loved the boys, and as much as I wanted them to feel comfortable with me, Billy had finally, in desperation, because of my anxiety, began locking the door to the room when we were in Griffin. I could not bear the thought that we would ‘caught’ in an embarrassing situation. Neither of us wanted to be the source of the boys’ sex educations, nor did we want them to see something they would never forget!

Just as soon as we locked the door to our own apartment behind us and took off our coats, Billy began undressing me right in the middle of the living room. I knew I would get very little sleep. As he slowly took off first my blouse, he walked me backwards towards the daybed, and by the time, we reached the edge, and he gently pushed me on top of the pillows, all I had on were my panties, and all he had on were his socks! We never even bothered to move to the bedroom that night, rather stayed in the living room with the lights, the music, and the perfume of the cedar tree. We made love, went to sleep, then woke and made love, then slept some more.

The next morning he looked so tired my heart ached for him. I was more than delighted to have the entire day to spoil him and to catch up on some of the papers he needed to have typed by the time classes began again in January. I would have liked to be able to do these while he was working or in class, but I had never even attempted to take chemistry, and the formulas were like a foreign language for me. I needed him by my side while I typed, just in case I had a question about either his sometimes-illegible handwriting, or just the content I did not understand. Often I caught phrases that simply made no sense at all, and as I expected, Billy had left out the words that would make them coherent, even to me. His own special form of shorthand was completely incomprehensible since he left out entire words, but knew what he had written would jog his memory. Unfortunately, it did little for mine!

Papers forgotten, the day sped by and soon it was time for me to cook supper, then time for a shower and bed. At least we did get to bed relatively early, for us, since we spent the entire day mostly in each other’s arms, soaring to the moon and back. The typing had to wait for another night since Billy was not ready to give up our day alone to work on his paper, and I have to admit I was more than happy with his decision.

All that day and into the night, I could barely let him out of my sight, and often while I cooked his supper, I walked back into the living room just to give him a quick kiss. Indeed, in spite of his injured hand, the fight between his parents, his father’s disapproval of his course change, and all the other moments that had me on the verge of tears, this had been the best Christmas of my life and all because of a boy named Billy. I could not even begin to imagine the happiness we would share next Christmas with our own little boy to play Santa for, even if he would never remember, I knew we would. By that time, too, Billy would have completed his courses and been commissioned an officer in the United States Army, so it was definitely an occasion to look forward to.

The next morning Billy unloaded the car while I cooked his breakfast, and before he left for work, he assured me his hand was fine. He finally agreed, more to pacify me than anything else, if the store were not too busy, he would take the afternoon off since the construction company had to pay him anyway. Gently I changed the bandage on his hand being careful not to alter the position of the splint while I wrapped the gauze around and around his finger, up his hand and around his wrist, then taped it in place.

"You do a better job than the nurse." He said after I finished, and he knew I loved it when he told me I did something for him better than anyone else did. He agreed to wear the sling since his hand was throbbing after the many trips unloading the car, and because he might have a better excuse to leave early, but I knew if they were busy, he would not even ask. He was exceptionally dependable, not just about his job, but for promises that he made to me. In fact, often he would remember, even if I had forgotten. I kissed him good-bye and whispered in his ear that we could make love all afternoon if he came home, and he was out the door, but not until he asked me to rest and to take it easy that morning. My hand reached out for his, we held hands until just our fingertips touched, and he was gone. The hardest part of being married to Billy McConnell was when I could not be with him, I thought, as I turned back to the boxes and bags of baby clothing he had brought in from the car.

Immediately I began sorting through the baby’s new layette. I was anxious to wash the stiff new diapers in Ivory Snow, and then perfume the rinse water with fabric softener even though it was far too early, and the damp weather was not conducive to drying clothes outside. Even had Gene offered, and he had not, we did not have room for an electric dryer, and I was just thankful I no longer had to use the local Laundromat, or struggle with the semi-automatic wringer. Billy would have been furious if I had carried heavy baskets full of wet clothing out to the line, so I put the tiny stretch suits and gowns back into the bags, then stacked the packages of new diapers in the closet. Soon enough the chest would arrive and I could line it with the soft blue paper I had seen at the store. Then I could wash and put up the tiny clothes in their permanent home. I still felt as if I was a child playing with doll’s clothes, and it really just had not sunk in yet that we would have a son in the spring.

After I put away as much as possible and cleaned up the bags and wrappings, I started in the kitchen and sorted our dirty clothes, hoping for a sunny day soon since neither of us had an overabundance of anything. Soon the washer would arrive, and I was prepared with my first loads. Finished with the few chores I considered necessary, I curled up on the couch with a good paperback and a ‘name’ book. We had not seriously looked at girl’s names, but I thought, just in case, I should have some suggestions to present to Billy that evening.

In spite of having told the family otherwise, we did have the name for our son, Michael David, simply because we liked the sound, and it went so well with McConnell. Although David was the name of one of Billy’s brothers, we felt sure we would have enough sons to honor the other two boys by eventually using their names too. Much to my sorrow, Billy refused to allow me to name the baby William Eugene McConnell, Jr. saying the name, Eugene, not a name he particularly liked anyway, was overused in his family, and I had to agree. In addition, Billy simply could not think of a name we could call the baby if we named him William. I suggested Bill, Will, or even L.B. for ‘Little Billy’. However, Billy’s friends and acquaintances called him ‘Bill’, and he thought it would be confusing. Neither of us wanted to call the baby ‘Billy’, since all of the family used that name to address him. Both of us decided that L.B. sounded like a ‘redneck’ name, and he thought William was too stiff and formal. If we named him William David, and used the baby’s middle name, David that might confuse both our son and others who would want to use his first name when he went to school, never mind Billy’s little brother. Billy had valid arguments for his immovable stance, and was adamant he would not have his son called junior.

It was not until just before the baby was born he told me he had another reason not to name him, junior. He said, with tears in his eyes, that in his mind, it was the name of our first son, and if we used it, then he would always think of that awful experience. I finally agreed with Billy, and we settled on the name Michael David McConnell. It had a nice ring to it and I only hoped no one would shorten it to ‘Mike’, although that was almost inevitable. However, for now, I settled down on the daybed with the ‘name’ book to look for a girl’s name.

I must have dozed, which I did often these days, and was surprised when I heard a horn honk outside, obviously in our driveway, but I ignored it. It was not long before there was a sharp rapping on the door I could not ignore. Much to my surprise, it was the deliveryman from Gene’s store and he told me he had the baby furniture in the truck. I opened the door and sure enough, there was a huge box with the new washing machine on a wheeled gurney, the unassembled crib in another large box, a paper wrapped crib mattress, the chest of drawers I had selected just two days ago, and another surprise, a wooden rocking chair. Although we had one in the apartment, it did not belong to us, but now we had our own so there would be one for the bedroom and one for the living room. There was a note attached to it in Gene’s hand that said all babies needed rocking. What a pleasant and unexpected surprise since neither Billy nor I had any indication Gene was excited about becoming a grandfather or perhaps this was just an added apology for the mle during the holiday.

I asked the driver to bring all the boxes inside and to put them in the far end of the living room where they would be out of the way. I knew Billy would not be able to put them together until he got the splint off his hand.

We had plenty of time to get it all ready for our baby, so it could definitely wait. Although I felt sure Billy would be as anxious as I was to see the corner of our bedroom transformed into a nursery, he also knew the less he used his hand, the more quickly it would heal. I felt secure in the knowledge that Mr. Moore would keep Billy on the floor, not stocking, or doing other labor that might be difficult since he called Billy a "natural born salesman", and sales had increased sharply since Billy had begun to work for him.

For now, assembling the furniture could wait, although I was getting more and more anxious to wash the tiny little clothes and put them in the baby’s chest so I could just open the drawers and smell the sweet aroma of Ivory Snow. The driver, who had worked with Gene for many years, and had taken Billy along on deliveries the summers he worked at the store, solved my dilemma since he had instructions from Gene to hook up the washer, check it out, and assemble the furniture. With this generous offer, I changed my mind and asked him to put the bed together after he moved the chest into the bedroom. This would save Billy some time, and I never thought perhaps he would want to do it himself since he was not a ‘do-it-yourself’ kind of man. The only thing I had watched him do was paint the tiny apartment in the valley, and I will have to admit I could have done just as well as he did. My handsome husband had his mind on only one thing when we were alone together.

Within minutes The crib was completed and moved into its permanent position beside our bed, and with the new mattress in it, everything seemed so real and so imminent, although the birth was still months away. Now we were ready, and like most things I do, I was way ahead of time.

When Billy came home for lunch, I showed him the washing machine, the crib, the chest, and the rocking chair. His face lit up and showed instant excitement as if these pieces of furniture made the baby more real to him too. As I stood in the bedroom door with Billy’s arm around me, he smiled down at me and said, "Guess what, little girl, we are going to be parents."

Billy was genuinely happy about the baby, but being the worrier, I hoped the birth would not change anything between us. I wanted to be number one, since I knew Billy would always be number one for me, but then again I had not held my baby in my arms and experienced that miracle called ‘motherly love’. We would soon have to share our love with our child, and while I knew my heart was big enough, I prayed Billy’s would be too. I should never have doubted my handsome husband whose heart seemed as large as the whole outdoors, and held plenty of room for me, our children, the boys, his grandparents, the Army, and sometimes even his father.

Just after the first of the year we ‘celebrated’ the anniversary of the day we met, just one year ago, but we did so in private, with our noticeably wilting Christmas tree, Johnny Mathis, and two huge steaks from Moore’s General Store. Then, just three days later, Billy came home with roses in recognition of our first date and our first kisses, and it seemed to me as if this had been the shortest year of my life, all except for those few weeks we were apart.

Before I knew it January was half over, classes began, and then February ended with more roses on the anniversary of our first rendezvous at the copper mine. Soon it would be our wedding anniversary. While I realized Billy needed many things, I wanted to give him something very special. What I really wanted to buy him was his class ring, but they were so expensive. How could I earn some money to buy that ring? What could I sell?

I knew just as soon as the baby was born, I could apply for unemployment. The first requirement was that I had to ask for my old job back and I certainly hoped they were not hiring since I did not want to go back to work, and we could not afford to hire anyone to take care of the baby. Most of all I wanted to be there for each and every one of our son’s ‘firsts’, his first smile, the first time he rolled over, or sat up, the first tooth, the first time he crawled. No, I did not want to go back to work and allow some other woman to become the central figure in my son’s life.

Perhaps I could borrow the money for the ring, with the promise to pay the lender back when I got my first retroactive check, but whom could I ask? Not Gene, for sure, since I knew he would think the ring a frivolity when we had so many other necessary expenses. My grandmother had already done far more for the baby than I expected, and my parents were out of the question since they rarely had enough money to take proper care of my siblings. I thought my uncle would be willing, but there would be hell to pay if my aunt found out, so I was stuck for an answer. Maybe Pop would understand, after all he was Billy’s grandfather. I thought about it and knew that all he could do was to say "no", and I decided to ask him the next time we went to Atlanta.

First, I had to get him alone, somehow. The check from my unemployment would more than cover the cost of the ring, but that would not happen until perhaps June and only then would I be able to pay Pop back in full. I also had the problem of getting to the check before Billy saw it and cashed it. However, why not ask – after all, it would not be the first, or the last time I heard the word ‘no’? My parents so often told me ‘no’ I was quite used to it, and although I would be disappointed, I would find another way.

It was early in March when Mr. Moore asked Billy to run an errand for him near Atlanta, and I thought this would be the perfect time to talk to Pop. The ring for the class of 1962 had been available since the spring of 1961, so it was just a matter of ordering it, and the college would do the rest.

Billy had just one class on that first Saturday morning in March, but because of bad weather, there was no lunch drill – actually, there was no drill, period. I had his lunch ready when he walked in the door, and we left for Atlanta after he ate his usual four sandwiches.

Since he was picking up merchandise for the store, he did not really have the afternoon off, so on Mr. Moore’s time, money, and even a full tank of gas, we could kill two birds with one stone, pick up the special order, and visit Bubba and Pop who lived not far from the warehouse. Well, at least they lived on the same side of town! I could get used to Billy being with me and still receiving his paycheck!

There was no denying my pregnancy by early March and I felt as large as an elephant! My back hurt all of the time and my breasts were swollen and tender. Although sometimes I almost cried out loud, I never complained when Billy played ‘telephone’ with them, since he had always desired to do so and I had never had enough breasts until now. He was still insistent they were ‘his’ breasts and was quite unhappy I had not changed my mind about nursing the baby, at least I wanted to try for a short while. I knew it was better for the baby and knew it would save us money on formula too, but Billy did not look at it that way, not at all. Although he had finally, albeit reluctantly, acquiesced, he made no secret he hoped my attempt would fail.

I snuggled next to him on the trip to Atlanta and he put his arm around my shoulders and played with my breasts. When he would get sleepy behind the wheel, I used my special technique to keep him awake, and he would say he was sleepy even when he was not, just to get me to fondle him. I would quit when we got into traffic, always afraid someone would look into the car and see what I was doing, but Billy always laughed at my modesty and called me, "my nave ‘little girl’.

While I was modest in public, or a ‘lady’ as my grandmother would have said, in private I was anything but while Billy taught me the art of making love and some fantastic ways to rouse each other; some I did to him, some he did to me, one I refused to do, but all were exciting.

We arrived at Bubba and Pop’s house mid-afternoon, and by then the sun was shining, although it was still damp and cold. Bubba invited us to eat an early supper with them, and although Billy had already eaten sandwiches, I knew he would be hungry again, and neither of us could resist the appealing aromas that made their way throughout the house from Bubba’s large, bright kitchen. Sitting in the living room and visiting with these two wonderful elderly people, I could hardly believe they were Helen’s parents, and again I wondered what went wrong.

Was it Gene, like Helen’s family said, or was it just a genetically inherited trait that had found a home in an unwilling, although accepting, host? Again, we will never know, but I could not help but wonder. Obviously, the only thing Billy was thinking about was his grandmother’s cooking, and he knew she had fixed all of his favorite dishes, so right before we ate; I had the opportunity to talk to Pop alone when Billy followed Bubba out to the kitchen. I truly did not know Pop all that well, only having met him less than half a dozen times, usually with all the family around, and I had never talked to him without anyone else in the room. I realized if I were going to ask him this might be my only opportunity to bring up the loan for the ring, and I knew if I did not do it now, I would never get up the courage again. There was no other way but to plunge in and ask, and, much to my surprise, without posing any questions at all, which was strange for a lawyer, he agreed to the loan and he wrote a check made out to me right on the spot! I was so surprised that this dreaded conversation had gone so well and so quickly my mouth must have dropped open and I know I was speechless, but Pop looked at me kindly and said, "Diane, we love him too."

We had a wonderfully cooked dinner, a most pleasant visit and then I suggested that we go visit with his other grandparents, Gram and Poppa, before we left to go back to Dahlonega. Bubba was especially flattered we had come all this way just to see them and our next visit was an afterthought, but I really enjoyed them, Gram, and Papa too. The one thing I could not understand was how either Gene or Helen had come from such loving homes and still behaved as they did, especially Helen, but then again, I had not yet seen Gene at his worst.

Unknown to anyone except for us, our initial reason for this quick visit had been to exchange some Christmas gifts and we were pushing the margin on the 90-day return policy. It was just a coincidence that Mr. Moore needed someone to go to Atlanta at the same time we were planning a trip. However, Bubba and Pop did not need to know this and that was my idea – and how else could I get Pop alone? I also knew if Bubba were happy, he would be happy too.

We seldom went to Griffin anymore, or anywhere overnight since Billy did not like to miss church now that he was working at Moore’s General Store. Almost every Sunday we wound up sitting in the same pew where we met when we were dating, and this Sunday would be no exception. We would take about half an hour to visit with Gram and Poppa since then it would be getting close to their suppertime, but at least we had exchanged our gifts and picked up the merchandise for Mr. Moore before our visits. It was almost dark when we turned the old car around and headed back to the mountains, and Billy commented how much he enjoyed visiting with his grandparents, and how much they seemed to like me.

Only I knew how very fruitful this visit had been, and now I had another dilemma, where would I cash this large of a check? Mr. Moore was the only person I knew that would cash it and keep my secret. I had taken Billy’s shattered high school class ring to the local jewelry store and had it sized and guessed I should go up about a size and a half since Billy had grown up physically as well as emotionally in the year since we married. I just hoped I was guessing correctly, and I did not have his wedding band to go by since he had ruined it in chemistry class when he spilled some acid on it. Although it upset me that he was not wearing a wedding band, he used to laugh and say he did not need one since he had a ring in his nose! When I expressed that the ring in his nose was an imaginary ring that cute co-eds with flat tummies could not see, he assured me he was the most married man on campus, and that one look at me, and no co-ed would doubt for a moment how married he was! I made a point of taking him to class a few times and getting out of the car to exchange seats so anyone watching him would see me, and how pregnant I was!

Monday morning, I took Billy to class, telling him I needed the car to run some errands, and that I would pick him up in time for lunch. I wasted no time in going to the store, praying that Mr. Moore would be there, and he was. So far, so good, things were going along far more smoothly than I expected. I showed Mr. Moore the check and explained my plans for my anniversary gift for Billy, and without hesitation, he cashed the check, and then told me if I needed more money to come to him. He also told me I could have come to him in the first place since he had such high regards for Billy, and he knew he could trust me to pay him back. He said such nice things about my handsome husband, about how much of a difference hiring him had made to the store, and how much more income Billy generated with his out-going personality and good looks. He also said that anytime Billy wanted to get out of the Army, he could always count on a job with him, and I knew he was sincere. Dahlonega in the early 60’s was a wonderful place to raise a family, small town American at its best, but I knew this would never happen.

From the store, I went directly to the Administration Building at the college with the completed form to order a ring, but this time things did not go as smoothly. It could not possibly be ready for at least six weeks and our anniversary was in just over three weeks, so I asked if they would give me a receipt marked ‘paid in full’ and I would just have to settle for putting it inside of a card.

My mission completed, I decided to spend the hour and a half until time to pick up Billy visiting with Kay. I drove down to their neat and bright trailer but I did not even tell Kay what I had done, just in case she told Jimmy, and Jimmy I knew would tell Billy. I was so proud of myself for having pulled off what I hoped would be a huge surprise!

Our anniversary finally arrived and the biggest difference in this day and the day we married was my huge tummy. The tiny baby kicked so strongly there was no doubt in my mind Billy would have a son before the month of May was over or even sooner. Of course, Billy had classes the day of our anniversary, and while I stayed home, as usual, I read until my eyes shut on their own volition. It seemed as if I could never get enough sleep, and I guessed my body was storing up for the nights of sleep that would be rare after the baby arrived.

That evening, we drove to Gainesville in our old car that was becoming more and more unreliable; and now like the old Ford, we had to roll it down the hill all the time and start it by using the clutch. We certainly did not have the money for a major overhaul, and Billy promised me he would not do anything else illegal, even if it paid for servicing the car.

Silently, I wondered if perhaps the money for the class ring should have gone into having the car repaired, but knowing Billy, I felt sure he would work out some kind of ‘deal’ with the service station owner again without compromising his commission or his morals. He was too close to graduation, and it was just too risky. If caught, Billy could lose his commission, or even go to jail! This would destroy, not only his career, but also his entire future since he was right on track to graduate as quickly as possible so he could begin supporting his little family by himself. He hated that his father supported us, but to keep his, and his father’s dream alive, he stuck with it, and he would accept his commission in early December of 1962. After the baby was born, since I would begin receiving unemployment checks for several months, surely we would be able to have the car fixed, make deposits on the uniforms he would need for active duty, and catch up on some other debts we had accumulated. Mr. Moore continued to be generous with our grocery bill and without him; we certainly would not have been eating much meat other than hamburger or chicken.

However, that night we had a date! Although I certainly could not hide my pregnancy, I took extra care with my makeup and hair so I could look, as much as possible, the way I looked the night we eloped, at least from the neck up! Billy put on his only good suit, which was getting tight all over, and we arrived at the little restaurant where we had our first date about 6:00 p.m. and ordered the same meal we had that night, although I had forgotten exactly what I ordered. Both of us ate every single bite of the tender steaks, and while we were waiting for our dessert, I handed Billy the card with the receipt for his ring and told him that this was all I could afford to get him.

When he opened the card, the receipt fell on the table, and picking it up, he asked, "What is this?"

I explained about my ‘deal’ with Pop and that I had ordered his class ring and paid for in full. He smiled from ear to ear, and exclaimed I could not have chosen a more thoughtful gift, or one he wanted any more than a class ring. He then gave me a small box that could only contain jewelry, and my hands trembled as I opened it. I knew it would not be a diamond since our budget would never have stretched that far, and I had never needed anything but my plain gold band. Inside the blue velvet box was a simple gold chain with a dainty gold cross on it. Billy explained that he had wanted to buy it for me for my christening in the Methodist church, but could not afford to do so then, and he had been paying for it a little bit each month with the goal of giving it to me on our anniversary. I could not have been more pleased if it had been the ‘Hope’ diamond, as I slipped the tiny cross on the slender gold chain around my neck. It seemed as if, in just a very short time, we knew quite well what would please the other, and some husbands never do figure that out.

After supper, we went to the drive-in, and again barely watched the movie as immediately Billy folded me into his arms, and like teenagers, we kissed and petted throughout the film. We left early since both of us wanted more than I would consent to in public, so it was home to our comfortable bed where we culminated our anniversary evening, making love off and on until dawn. The best part of the entire night was going home with my husband, and at least this night we were not sleeping in separate dorms! Although my rapidly enlarging uterus made it more difficult, Billy became more and more inventive and we both were entirely satisfied and exhausted having flown to the moon and beyond at least a half a dozen times. What an incredible celebration! I could not imagine we would ever have a more appropriate or meaningful anniversary, as I finally fell asleep and dreamed about my handsome husband even as I lay in his arms.

No date – probably early spring, 1962

Dear Mama Bond,

Just a short note to let you know the latest news although not much has happened since I talked to you last week.

Daddy called last night – crying and saying I didn’t love him. I told him quite frankly that I love him because he is my father, just that I didn’t approve of the things he did, and that I had to grow up in that atmosphere, but my children would not. He ran up quite a phone bill, and, as usual, he accomplished nothing. He did say (that) Mother was leaving the hospital today, but he never made it clear where she was going to stay. I sure am glad that she is that much better. (My mother had been in a bad automobile accident, breaking her arm, while she was working selling insurance.)

Pop, Billy’s grandfather is back in Ga. Baptist in critical condition with a perforated ulcer. We mailed him a card today.

We found out that my hospital bill would probably run about twice as much as we expected - around $120 for 2 days, so I am planning on just a very short stay. Thank goodness, we finally found a woman to do the (house) work, although we can only afford her for one wk. (week) – we really cannot afford that, as the car is going to run us around $150. It seems like everything happens at once.

I have decided that I am going to try to nurse the baby – at least for a month or two to give him as good a start as possible. Tell Helen I still need the sterilizer though, because at the moment, I’m not planning to keep it up, and I may not even be able to (nurse). Give the whole Stanfield family our love.

That is about all the news for now, but I hope I have real big news soon – Billy is going to call you as soon as the baby is born.

Write soon and take care of yourself –

All our love,

Diane and Billy

 Next Chapter to be Published Soon

Foreword Contents Prologue Chapter 1