By Del Starr, a pseudonym, all rights reserved. Submitted June 18, 2015

Starting Over

 

Dianne’s ego and her security were totally deflated by this time and when she arrived in Crescent City, she would not share anything with her aunt as to why she was in the condition she was or what had taken place.

Dianne obtained a job as a waitress in a local diner and her life consisted of going to work and coming home. On the weekends she would suggest to her aunt and uncle that they go out and take some time for themselves. She would, she told them, babysit the kids. Her aunt insisted that Dianne take some time for herself and be young and free, but Dianne didn’t have any desire to leave the house at all except to go to work.

One day when Dianne entered her place of employment, she was called to the back office where she was told that she was being fired. When she asked why, she was told that she had been observed kissing a man behind the coffee machine for a period of four minutes.

Again Dianne was devastated. She knew it was untrue but there was no way to prove it and she was losing her livelihood as well as any pride she had left. When she returned to her aunt’s home, her aunt was livid! Her aunt also knew it was untrue. She couldn’t get Dianne to leave the house, much less to date or have anything to do with the male species. Dianne’s aunt went to the diner where she faced the owner, but it was to no avail. Dianne was fired and that was that.

Once more Dianne began to look for employment. This time she held very little hope of finding anything, for now her application would read “FIRED.” George and Ruth had instilled the principle of honesty in Dianne and never once did it enter her mind to be dishonest regarding her former employment. So she struggled through trying to find a job.

She applied at a local retirement home where she was promptly hired. Dianne stumbled a bit over her words and said, “But didn’t you realize? I’ve been fired.”

“Yes, we realize that,” Dianne was told, “we’ve been around here long enough to know that if you haven’t been fired from that diner, we don’t want you to work for us.”

Relief flooded Dianne’s heart as she realized that it was nothing against her personally and that her new employer had just told her that this was a normal happening for this diner.

In time, Dianne was able to move into her own place and have her longed-for privacy. Her aunt and uncle were totally supportive of her and for the first time in nearly ten years, Dianne was able to feel a bit of security.

Eventually also, she accepted a date with a young man from her hometown in the valley of Oregon. But Dianne, longing for the love and acceptance she had once enjoyed, was not wise, and became pregnant with her first child.

Once again fear struck at her heart as she realized that she would be unable to support and care for a baby in her present condition. She told the baby’s father about the baby but, though he offered marriage, Dianne was not comfortable with the thought. She had experienced too much marriage and now had no desire to ever marry again.

Dianne moved back in with George and Ruth but this time, rather than trying to find employment, she determined to get some sort of education, and enrolled at the local business college.

Since she was now pregnant with no income, Dianne applied for and received public assistance, and she was able to move into a duplex where she again had some privacy.

Life now consisted of going to school and coming home.

Early one January morning, Dianne called George and told him it was time to go to the hospital. As he had for Grace, George now took Dianne to the hospital. With headlights flashing and horn blowing, Dianne experienced a bit of what her own Mother had upon her birth. But the baby, as had Dianne, decided to take her time. She was not born until late that evening, another precious little girl.

Dianne named her Janetta Ruth and at 6 lbs. 13 oz., she was a doll of a baby. Dianne now had someone who depended upon her and upon whom she could expend all her pent-up love. She doted on Janetta.

When Dianne had flown to California from Germany, there had been a soldier from Alex’s company on the same plane. He was headed for Viet Nam and gave Dianne a copy of his orders and asked her to write to him while he was in “Nam”. This was the only constant in Dianne’s life, other than her new baby, and she enjoyed writing to Gary and hearing back from him. When Gary left Viet Nam though, she lost contact with him and the letters ceased. Another empty spot in Dianne’s heart and life.

A few times Dianne accompanied some of the girls from school to an evening on the town but not often, and she did not meet or find a boyfriend. She was now living near her father, Donald, his third wife, her five children, and their three children. She became close to Donald as she never had been in her life and she found that she actually enjoyed his company as well as that of his wife, Dianne’s step-mother.

When Janetta was about six months old, George had a long, serious talk with Dianne. He expressed his concern for Janetta growing up without a father and told her that he felt it would be better for Janetta if Dianne would give her up for adoption. He suggested that it should be soon, for people prefer to adopt tiny babies rather than older children.

Dianne was terrified once more. She needed Janetta to give her something stable and more than that, she dearly loved her. She could no longer imagine life without Janetta. However, she had always been an obedient child to George and would not, even at this time, defy him. She knew in her heart he was right. Though she also knew that she would not be able to continue living if she gave up her baby for adoption, she knew that Janetta had little hope of a real life with her. She finally came to an agreement with George that if she was not remarried by the time Janetta was two… she would, indeed, give the baby up for adoption in hopes of providing her with a more secure life.

Dianne’s focus now turned to marriage. She was not quite twenty-two years old.