When I was looking through my photo portfolio for my first post in the category. The one last week on avatars didn’t count 😉. When I came across this one, it immediately captured my attention. But, before I go into the story about it, I need to fill you in on some background stuff.
Some years ago, when I started digitizing all the film-developed pictures that my wife and I accumulated, I never realized just how many there were from her childhood. There were hundreds of them going back to her early childhood through her adult years. I, on the other hand, had only a dozen or so that survived those years. One reason for that was because of my mother being an extreme narcissist, she expected all the pictures would include her. When they didn’t, they are trashed. The other thing related to her narcissism was that she abandoned her family when she became pregnant at 15. She was simply an extreme bridge burner. I never even met her brother, who I was named after, until I was in my 30s, and that was for one single time. Even dad’s side of the family were just not picture takers. All of those pleasant memories of my cousin Barbara Ann, who was one day younger than me, are in my memory only. I sadly have no picture so her and me during those early times.
My wife’s clan was almost the opposite. There were dozens of aunts and uncles to be visited each time we went to northern Wisconsin on our annual retreat. Each one of the aunts and uncles had old-time photos of Yvonne, one I remember the most is of her riding a cow!
It was literally a cultural shock to suddenly be immersed into the atmosphere after our marriage that was totally foreign to what I had ever known.
Ok, let’s get to the picture above that is the foundation for this story and my 36-year life with her. The picture was taken when she was in her mid-twenties. It was taken at her sister’s house. Her sister was ten years older, and she and her new husband took fifteen-year-old Yvonne in when their mother suddenly died. I know where the picture was taken by looking out the front window of the photo. The neighborhood hadn’t changed in forty years until Kimberly-Clark bought the farm across the street to build a female napkin factory.
Because the picture was taken twenty years before I met my future wife, I don’t know who the baby she was holding was. What I did learn after we were married was that she dreamed that she would have six kids. But, due to her lifelong anxiety and job stresses, she started menopause before we met. I can only remember her having her “time-of-the month” a couple of times during our first year. But that did bring on an epiphany after the fact.
I would never have dreamed of writing these words while she was still alive, but it does explain some of my honeymoon year activities. Due to my Aspie traits and the resulting disastrous dating years, I was pretty much a novice with it came to sexual relations. So, at the time I simply didn’t know that sex three times a week was maybe not normal, for forty-year-old newlyweds. 😂.
Looking back, I have come to realize that she was determined that one or two of her remaining eggs would be fertilized. Despite the frequency of trying, it just didn’t happen. Four or five years into the marriage we discussed adopting but since she was now over 50, and I was in my mid-40s, we decided it was too late. I’m not sure if that was a wise decision. I know she would have made a super-mom, and I think I might have been at least an OK dad.
That first year of our marriage was surreal to me. I never dreamed that I would have those experiences in my life. I want to close out this post with a picture of us on our honeymoon in Hawaii in 1986. In some ways, she was a pain-in-the-butt, but I still miss her every day.
I wished I could have given her at least a couple of kids, but that just didn’t happen.