by Judith Norris
Once upon a time in a northeastern state of the United States of America, lived the only child of a middle class teacher and his family. Only daughter learned to play the piano at age seven in the second grade.
Miss Only Child’s mother thought the sun rose and set on her beautiful daughter. She dressed her only daughter in handmade clothes that looked like they came out of a fashion magazine.
Though a beautifully talented seamstress, mother’s self-esteem equaled nil or rock bottom on any scale. Mother’s education, limited because her own ailing mother required health assistance. That became mother’s duty.
She married a man who later became a degreed teacher. He studied and was awarded a master’s degree. This man adored his wife and daughter. His own humble beginnings assumed a gentle spirit. He tried assuring his wife of her worth.
Only child made every effort she could imagine to help her sweet unassuming mother to accept her worth. She wore her mother’s clothes proudly saying,
“My mother designed and handmade this dress.”
Mother remained oblivious to all compliments. She continued her self-effacing manner. The only child tried many times to reassure her mom how important a person she would always be. Mother’s mind remained unchanged.
Her grandparents raising one cousin lived in the house to the north of their house. Another of her mother’s sisters lived on the south side of them with two other cousins. Walking next door to find a playmate: one two years older on the right; another four years younger on the left.
In the only child’s very own room were books, dolls, cutouts, and a desk handmade by her daddy. All of those things plus singing and/or playing the piano kept her busy. A vivid imagination conjured up playmates when she happened to be alone.
Alone time never bothered her. She actually enjoyed being by herself. She really liked to be with her friends also.
Playmates could also be found at school. Only weekends, long summer vacations, or school closed days did she find it necessary to engage someone else for entertainment.
The Great War raging in Europe impacted her slightly. Just a baby born in 1940, she didn’t realize war’s ramifications, what it did to people.
Her dad got his draft notice and entered the US Army. Soon, he received an medical discharge. He’d developed a stomach ulcer. He went back to teaching.
When the War ended in June 1945, the only child’s life still didn’t feel much change. Lifted rations,
Research Needed. TO BE CONTINUED…