Mary Joy

Mary Joy

A small town nineteen year old girl, I was far from home and about to have my first child. A small, cramped trailer was to be our baby’s first home. It had a tiny step up kitchen and an avocado carpeted frontroom. Money was very tight then, but we did our best to make it homey. As little as it was it was spacious compared to our first home in Maryland. There was even a tiny room for our new bundle of joy that we decorated with Raggedy Ann & Andy curtains and quilts. It might not of seemed like much of a place to others, but we thought it was special.

It was hot and muggy all the time where we lived in Clarksville, Tennessee. Fort Campbell where my husband was stationed in the Army, was close by. We had no air-conditioning at that time, only a small fan that moved the sticky air around. It was hard to tell if the fan really made things better, that was until the day it decided to quit. My clothing clung to my swelling body more and more as the summer months progressed. I found relief for short periods at small pool the trailer park had. But relief was short lived and I soon felt like a droopy flower. I’m sure I resembled one too.

Maneuvers were scheduled for the soldiers in my husband’s unit to go to Georgia for a lengthy period of time. I would be all alone, hadn’t been there long enough to make any real friends. And every day the weather was more miserable. We felt it would be best if I returned to cooler Wisconsin for the rest of my pregnancy while he was gone. Odds were my baby’s daddy would not be near if I left. It was a hard decision, but military families have to make them often.

Back home surrounded by family and weather more suited to my ever growing body, I felt a little more comfortable. Fall came and so did the time to meet my sweet child. I was blessed to have the older Dr. Sandin as my obstetrician. He had delivered my baby’s father, and he and his wife had been best friends, practically family, of my child’s great-grandparents.

Hours of labor ensued. My father repeatedly left the hospital to shed a few tears. My mother held my hand for so long and tightly that she wouldn’t be able to use them for days. Pain echoed off the walls and seemed endless. But soon all of that melted away as a gazed upon the most beautiful tiny baby girl in all the world. She was pink and round with tiny wisps of dark hair. Such a wonder! My wonderful, caring physician held her close in his arms, tears running down his weathered cheeks. He was so touched that this child was named after his very dear friend.

My life would never be the same again, this little bundle had made me a mommy, and I couldn’t wait for her daddy to meet her and bring us back to our little southern home! That little trailer home was far from my family, hot as could be, but it was home. No matter how humble, or fine, we all need a little corner of the world that we can make our own. Welcome to our world Mary Joy!

Originally published in Bottom Line News & Views, May 2018

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