Popular Posts

Saturday, May 18, 2013

My Son, the Godsend, part 2

During my senior year of college, I fell in love with a classmate and spent many happy hours with him, explored the northwest trails, camping, cycling, sailing,  clam digging.  When our relationship became sexually intimate (my first!) I expected marriage would be the next step.  When he abruptly announced that he wanted to “explore the world” before settling down, I was devastated and confused.  He told me he would write to me and seemed to expect that we would pick up our relationship upon his return, but I felt  disheartened and abandoned.  
One day soon after he left for Europe, as my roommate and I cycled along Chuckanut Drive, on our way from our college campus to  Larrabee State Park, a car drove by and two young men whistled and called out to us.  Being proper young girls of the times, we ignored them, but were secretly pleased when they later located us in the park.  As I sat on a rock, looking at the ocean, Max came and sat beside me.  A handsome, blue-eyed blond with an athletic build, Max was a navy pilot stationed at nearby Whidbey Island Naval Air Base. In my vulnerable state, I quickly fell into an intimate relationship with him and before long I found I was pregnant.  
I have blanked much of those days from my mind.  As Donna Portuesi, MSW, says in Warm Journeys, Spring, 2000, “ Due to the psychological trauma, amnesia may develop around certain aspects of this experience.” 
I dropped out of school, one semester short of graduating, went to Seattle and requested help from Catholic Charities, who placed me as a live-in helper with a young family and then in a Home for Unwed Mothers for the last month of my pregnancy.   I do not remember any details of the birth, except for the brief moment I was allowed to hold my son, a moment forever seared in my mind, one that bring tears to this day.  I don’t remember how long I stayed in the hospital or where I went directly afterwards, though within several days I was on a plane to Wrangell, Alaska, where I had lined up a job teaching second grade on a ‘provisional’ certificate, ironically for a teacher taking a maternity leave.  
I can’t remember anything about Max, his home town, his age, his interests, not even his last name.  I’m not sure, but I don’t think I even told him about the pregnancy.  If I did tell him, I believe I may have buried the memory of a second rejection coming so soon on the heels of the first.  I choose to believe, and I think it is true, that I simply didn’t tell him because I didn’t love him and had no desire to marry him.  In fact, I did not tell anyone, not my parents, my siblings, my friends.  Needless to say, this was the loneliest time of my life. 
My son was born on September 6, 1962.  To my everlasting regret and shame, I relinquished him the following day.
Words do not often fail me, but they fail me here.   There is no way to describe the pain, confusion and loss I felt.

to be continued...

1 comment:

  1. I can't even begin to imagine your pain! Prayers.