Painting by our son, Art Harding, Jr.
I quickly fell for Art.
He was gentle, kind, intelligent and well groomed. Not to mention that he drove a brand new Mercedes Benz 190SL convertible!
As the winds of social change whirled around us, clamoring for civil rights, women's rights and sexual liberation, I was caught in the storm, enjoying all the liberties of life in San Francisco in the sixties. I had emphatically put my Christian faith behind me and loved my hedonistic life style… that is until I once more found myself pregnant and unmarried. This time I was in love (quite madly) with Art, the father and, although we didn’t marry right way, we began to live together as a couple and welcomed our first daughter into our lives. With great trepidation, I wrote my parents about the situation, and that is when I heard the dreaded words: “You are no longer part of this family.”
The ultimate rejection! During the next couple of years, as we built our little family, adding a second daughter in 1966, it killed my heart to know that my parents refused to be grandparents. I journeyed to my hometown at one point, thinking surely that would want to see their beautiful little granddaughters, if we were so near, but still they refused contact. My brother managed to spirit my much younger siblings away from home on a pretense of some sort, and they got to meet their little nieces. I had always been very close to my brother and sisters and loved them very much. My heart was breaking over the situation; I was forbidden even to write to them.
I have to stop now for today. Tears are unleashed in torrents.