By Del Starr, a pseudonym, all rights reserved, posted June 24, 2015

Seeking Mr. Right

Dianne had lost touch with Janetta’s father also. He had been transferred from California and she didn’t know where. She thought of calling his parents but didn’t want to tell them about the baby in case he had not told them. So, she decided, that was out.

She began to make a concentrated effort to “meet men.” She had now been attending church off and on with George and Ruth. The church family had changed and Dianne no longer really felt a part of it. She knew that she was now considered a “bad girl” and she had long suffered at the hands of Grace who re-enforced that thought almost daily when they had lived in the same house. Dianne began to look for men in the local scene.

Since Dianne had lived a quite cloistered life, attending church school and academy, and her friends and associates were among members of the Seventh-day Adventist church, she had no idea how to meet decent and responsible men now that she was not fit to look within the church structure. She began to look in all the wrong places and she found all the wrong men.. Though her fondest desire was to institute a home for Janetta, she found that she didn’t desire to institute it with the type of men she was meeting… and Janetta was getting older.

Dianne thought about Gary and wondered where he might be. She didn’t know a whole lot about the military but had learned that many of the men who returned from Viet Nam were sent to Fort Carson, Colorado. She wondered if it might be true about Gary.

She placed a call to the post locater at Fort Carson and was delighted to learn that indeed, Gary was stationed there. She then placed a call to his company, requesting that the duty officer request that Gary call her back.

That evening Gary called. They had a long conversation about what had taken place in their lives since they had last corresponded, and what they wanted out of life. They agreed that they both wanted to have a home and raise a family. Gary decided that he would take leave and come out to Oregon.

Ruth had been ill with congestive heart failure for many years, had been in the hospital on numerous occasions, and at this time had taken to her bed. Dianne would take Janetta to visit her every few days. Dianne loved Ruth and hoped that Janetta would also. Ruth loved Janetta and enjoyed seeing her and Dianne.

Gary was to arrive on September 17. On September 15, Dianne received a call from Ruth’s caregiver. Ruth had passed away.

Dianne went outside and looked around her. It seemed as if the whole world should stop. Dianne couldn’t understand that people were still going places. She sobbed as she looked at the mountains and the verse came to her, “I will look to the hills from whence cometh my help; my help cometh from the Lord.” Dianne clung to those thoughts. She needed God in her life in the worst way. Her heart was broken.

On the evening of the day of Ruth’s funeral, Gary arrived and Dianne fell into his arms as she poured out the latest events. Gary just held her and listened to her. They had a bit to eat and Dianne fell into a fitful sleep. The next day Gary suggested to Dianne that they get married.

Dianne was too emotionally distraught to even think about it. She saw away out for herself and Janetta and Gary was a decent man, though perhaps he wasn’t the greatest “looker.” She agreed.

She refused to be married locally.’She knew that the announcements of their pending marriage and the marriage itself would be in the local papers and she felt that it would be disrespectful to Ruth to marry so soon after Ruth’s death. If she was going to marry Gary though, it must be now. She couldn’t wait, so she suggested that they go to Reno to accomplish it. Gary agreed.

Leaving Janetta with a friend, Gary and Dianne arrived in Reno early one September morning. Both were trembling as they anticipated this marriage. Neither one claimed to be in love with the other. The marriage was taking place strictly on the grounds that they both wanted to have a home and raise a family. They wanted loyal mates and had promised that to each other. Dianne had shared with Gary her experience with Alex.

As they prepared to go to the chapel for the ceremony, Dianne and Gary realized that both of them were now suffering cold sores on their mouths. They giggled as they realized that the cold sores were a result of their being so very nervous. This was the first thing they had shared together.

After the marriage they returned to the valley in Oregon and retrieved Janetta. She now had a daddy and Dianne wouldn’t have to give her up. George liked Gary and was delighted to learn that Dianne and Gary were married. Dianne was thankful that he gave his blessings to them.

Then Dianne began once more to pack for a move. This time, Gary helped her.

They had been married for three days when Dianne’s caseworker arrived at the door. The newlyweds invited him in and asked him to have a seat. After the initial idle chitchat, Dianne asked him why he was there. He struggled for a moment and finally pointed to Gary. “This,” he said. He told Dianne that one of the neighbors had complained that she had a man staying with her in her house. Dianne smiled, got up, and walked out of the house to the car. She got the wedding certificate, brought it back and placed it in the caseworker’s lap. “Will this take care of it?”

A little red-faced but smiling, he got up, handed the certificate back to Dianne and said, “I think that does it, congratulations.” And he left.

Another two days and Gary and Dianne, with Janetta, were on their way to Colorado.

Dianne was twenty-two years old.