Thursday, April 26, 2007

Marriage # 2 - Vicki and David give it a try.

My earlier post entitled "Marriage # 1 -The Texan and the New Yorker " generated a myriad of requests (3 people, as I recall) for similar stories on Marriages 2 and 3.

The song "Breaking up is hard to do" pretty well describes the time between the end of marriage #1 and the beginning of Marriage #2.

During this time, The Fairfax Unitarian Church was a godsend (no pun intended). I had many friends there and my work on the Board of Trustees kept me busy and provided a great support group. It was in this setting that I met Vicki.

As with earlier posts, I issue this disclaimer: Although I'll try to keep the chronology straight and the facts accurate, let the reader beware. Or as Kurt Vonnegut would say, "So it goes".

My first memory of Vicki was at a church Pot Luck dinner. We arrived with other people, but quickly decided we were more interested in each other. Everyone was very civilized about it, and by the time dinner was over, we had realigned ourselves and the rest is history. I'd like to report that the other couple also got married, and they did. But not to each other.

A lot of early memories are too sketchy to record, but I recall vividly the night I met Vicki's children. When I arrived at her apartment, she went into their bedroom to retrieve them. I can still see, in my mind's eye, Vicki surrounded by her four beautiful children. They looked like a giant amorphous creature - five heads, ten arms (eight of them holding their mother very tightly) and ten feet taking tiny steps toward me. As this mass of humanity untangled, I was introduced to John, Laura, Carey and Melisa (they will henceforth be referred to as the kids), none of whom looked like any of the others. In later years, it was fun to show their picture to people have them guess which ones were twins. You can play the game,too! Click here to see the kids "all growed up". Could you pick out the twins? See answer at end of post.

Many people have asked, then and since, how I could have taken on such a large responsibility. I honestly never thought about it in those terms. I've had regrets in my life, but this wasn't one of them. At the same time, I must acknowledge the support of their father David, step-mother Kitty, and all the grandparents. Every one involved always made me feel welcome (Nan, do you still make those wonderful coconut cakes? hint, hint!)

Life was pretty hectic at times. There were sporting events to attend, participate in, and coach. Vicki got her Masters degree (mostly at night) while holding down a job and parenting. I logged about a million miles of chauffeuring, and became coach of a girl softball team for seven years. My co-coach Bill and I took full advantage of the rule which allowed coaches to pick all their own children first when team rosters were drafted. Several years our kids made up half of our roster, and they were all good players. The other coaches hated us.

Swimming was also a major activity in our lives. We were all involved in one way or another, even a landlubber like me (I tried avoid the water). Vicki and I were timers, ribbon dispensers, record keepers, and other roles too numerous to mention.

Another important aspect of our lives in those days was the activities of the Fairfax Unitarian Church. We especially enjoyed the concept of "extended family". Each family was composed of around 30 - 40 men, women and children, ranging from babies to grandparents. We had lots of social activities, including a week at the beach each summer. Each extended family rented their own beach house(s), divided up the cooking, housekeeping and laundry work. As I recall, these trips were pretty peaceful (except for a couple murders resulting from dish washing disputes).

As the kids grew older, Vicki and I seemed to grow apart. We tried the usual things: counseling, separations, reconciliations, etc. I'm not sure either of us could explain, with any degree of certainty, why our marriage failed. On the other hand, Vicki is a smart person, and perhaps she has figured it out during a few spare moments in the last 20 or so years. So, Vicki, on the off chance you are reading this and wish to say a few words to our vast listening audience, feel free to use the comments feature at the bottom of this post.

Note: It's very important that I acknowledge the support for my son Claude exhibited by Vicki and the kids. This was always true no matter what the state of our marriage. I'd like to think I provided similar help for John, Laura, Carey and Melisa. I love you all.

Note2: A later post will fill some of the gaps in this one. Space limitations often prohibit the full exposure a topic deserves (this one could use a lot more), but I'm 75 and have PD, remember?

Answer to the photo quiz, above: top row - John and Carey; bottom row - Laura and Melisa. The twins are .... Carey and Melisa!!


Anonymous said...

David--I loved the picture. Yes, I picked out the twins. They have all grown to be beautiful adults as have all our other kids.

Why might this blogging thing slow down? I don't like that comment. Tell me more.


Anonymous said...

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