|Back in our day . . .||
In 1968 I began working for the Federal Government. I thought it was great to have my own desk and a brand new IBM Typewriter. I typed Naval Messages, both Classified and Unclassified and Speed Letters and all sorts of Naval Documents. They were then signed and taken to the teletype operator. I felt important, had a good boss, and plenty of work to keep me busy. The days literally flew by. After a year I put in for a different job, did that for a year and then was transferred to a typing pool where we prepared special items on special paper that were then scanned and input to the Data Processing computers. They did a major reorganization of things and we moved from my original building, to a warehouse down by the ships. Eventually they moved us yet again to a different warehouse, Building 661, and I was promoted to a GS-5 in charge of the other typists in the department. My days were very busy and I enjoyed my work, for a while at least. They kept giving me more and more to do, and one day I just couldn't think anymore. I asked to go home, and my boss said OK. I didn't go back for 3 days in a row and I didn't call in or anything. I told my Mom some fantastic tale, and she believed me. Finally, my boss called and told her they thought I needed to see a Doctor. He told her that the story I had told her wasn't true, and that I had been acting very weird at work. My brother and Mother coerced me into going for a ride and we went to see my Grandmother's Doctor, Doctor Cutcher, who had seen me before. After talking to me for a few minutes, he gave my Mother a name and phone number for a psychiatrist that had a wonderful reputation and the call was made, the appointment scheduled, and we went to see this doctor. Doctor Funk was his name and he appeared to be a friendly person. He put me on medication, and I was officially off work for the next six months. He helped me to see things in a different light and when I told him I had no insurance, he was amazed. I was only a GS-5 and didn't make enough to cover my medical needs on top of everything else I was paying. My journey at this time of my life, was very rough. I ended up being hospitalized for a time and without insurance I had no idea how I'd pay for my care. I was too out of it to be aware of things like that. Much to my astonishment, he paid for my care. He did it because he told my Mother that he could tell I wanted to get well. I was there for about 8 days, and as they had mistakenly l.et me sign myself in, I had the right to sign myself out as well and I did just that. I signed myself out and walked home. Mostly because I didn't want to be a charity case. I walked almost all the way home and then my brother came driving up. He had been to the hospital, and when they told him I had left, he freaked out. He took me home, and my journey of a lifetime began with myself in charge.
Life when I went back to work, was difficult at best. The bosses really didn't want me around it seemed, and they made life tough for me. No matter what I did, I couldn't keep up with the things they were giving me to do. Then a new guy came to the office. At first I thought he was from the Data Processing Department. But he was a new employee and would be working in our office. He was quite perceptive, and he noticed that the bosses were always on my case for one thing or another. Finally, one day he walked up to me and said a few words about not justifying myself to the bosses and he gave me a Taoist Parable to read and think about. He literally taught me how to stop justifying myself to my bosses, to stop one project and do another when they were giving me so much to do. They would get so frustrated because I'd do the latest one and let the first one go. They needed to make up their minds what they wanted when, and let me work like a normal person. But no. They heaped work up on me, knowing I had difficulties, and they frankly were trying to get me to leave. This young man and I became friends. We'd talk at break time, and have lunch together, and they hated that. Then he gave me his phone number and said to call if I wanted to talk. So one Friday after work, I went to my apartment as usual and had my dinner and watched a little TV. But then, I decided to call Jack and see if I could come over for a visit. He said yes and gave me his address, and I was on my way.
We sat and listened to his music collection and chatted a bit, and when I got ready to leave, he walked me to my car. Then he touched me on the shoulder and said, "sometimes all you need is a friend". I was touched. He seemed to have a way about him that made me want to know more. He was at work Monday and we talked some more. He asked me if I'd like to go out, and I said yes. Our first date, he picked me up in a pickup truck and took me on the Scenic Drive and showed me parts of San Diego I didn't know existed. He had me laughing the whole evening. We were out all night driving around and we ended the evening by going to Balboa Park and walking around looking at things. We went back to his apartment and he made us some Instant Breakfast because it was 6:00 in the morning and then he took me home. He had to move furniture the next day for his Mom and Grandmother and he asked me if I would like to go. It was Mother's Day, so I declined and told him I was going to see my Mom the next day. I regretted it however, as the day didn't pan out well. I wished I'd gone with him, but it was too late. I saw him the next day back at work. We began going out and spending a lot of time together. He had been raised by his Great Grandmother and his Grandmother because his Dad disappeared from the picture, and his Mother was too young to know how to raise a child. He had no idea what a normal family was, and my family was not quite normal either. My Dad had left us and left me with all the problems of having a family. They all fell to me as the oldest child and the only one working, and that in itself was a part of the reason I became ill. Stress on every side will do that to you. I had told Jack about my problems, but he didn't seem to be deterred.
We were at lunch one day and he began talking about getting together and having a family. He said we could get married, and I could have a baby! I was in shock! I considered myself engaged at that point and after lunch, I went to the ladies room and had a good cry and told my best friend that I was newly engaged! I was so happy! This person actually cared for me and wanted to spend his life with me! I was not only happy, I couldn't believe it! I had thought I'd never get married or have children and here was this handsome guy telling me we could have a family! The people at work, the bosses, had told him not to associate with me because I had a lot of problems and he shouldn't get serious over me. He listened, told them I had already told him, and we continued doing as we pleased! That was in March of 1975 that he came to work at my office. I moved into his place, and before we got married, we found a place right in front of our place, that was being vacated and ready to rent. We made arrangements, and moved in November to the bigger house. It had 2 bedrooms and an adjoining bathroom between them. We loved it. We celebrated our new house by getting dinner at Ceasers down in Mission Valley and we took it home and ate on the living room floor. We had very little furniture, but we didn't mind.
In December of 1975 we were married on the 24th, my birthday, at my Mom's house in Chula Vista. It was beautiful and solemn and I meant every word of my vows. So did he as I would find out as the years went by. He was amazing! He seemed to have magic when it came to handling problems, and we were so happy. We got to have 2 weeks off after the wedding, and we enjoyed every moment of it. He took me around and introduced me to his friends, and we visited some of the neighbors he had in Point Loma. We drove up the coast and had a bite to eat at Long Beach and just thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. When we went back to work, my boss shook his hand and said congratulations, and gave me a pat on the shoulder. I guess they figured it was his problem now, because they left me alone after I was his wife. They still told us to go somewhere else to have our lunch, so people didn't have to watch us. I guess they thought we'd do it right there in the car, which we never did. We had more class than that! In March of the next year, I got pregnant and when I told them I'd need to schedule maternity leave, my boss said to me "Now Bonnie, do you know what you are talking about?" I told him I'd been a woman for 29 years and yes I knew what I was talking about! I don't think they believed me until I started showing!
Jack and I faced many difficult times together. But that was the key... "together". We always counted on one another and we were as close as 2 people could ever be. In November of 1976, on the 17th, our twin sons were born and we were so happy. Jack came to my mother's house after work, as we had decided with 2 babies I could use a little rest before I tackled 2 newborns on my own. We stayed a few days, but then we decided to go home where we could relax and enjoy our babies and each other. It was the best thing we could have done. Many times I've wished we had gone straight home and done the learning together. But we were home none-the-less and I was so happy. I had worked up to a week before they were born, not knowing there were 2 or that they would be born so quickly! So after they were born, I had the 3 months off to take care of them. It was heaven. I'd take care of the babies and the house, and in the evenings my sexy husband would come home and help me. I'd try to have dinner ready and the house tidied up, but with 2 babies it was really hard to get everything I wanted done. He didn't seem to mind. We'd have dinner, and play with the newborns and enjoy being together. Our families gave us grief more so than anyone else, but he handled things and I could always depend on him to back my play.
We've been together now for 38 years, and this coming December we will make it 39. Next year we celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary and I am so proud to be his wife. He is a writer now, has published a book, and has plans for maybe a novel. He recently was very ill and in the hospital for 35 days. But I knew he could make it because he is the strongest person I've ever known and with God's help and blessing, he is with us still and has gone back to work after being off for 4 months. He still doesn't have all his strength back, but he is the most determined person I know. He has picked up his life where he left off, and if you hadn't been there you'd never believe it! He has seen me through so many difficult times. He has been my rock and my shield, and I am blessed among women. I feel like I am the richest person on earth and I love him with all my soul. I would go into all the problems, but there is no reason. He and I have grown so close over the years, that we are like one person anymore. He has taught me much, been there when nobody else was, helped me raise our 3 children, and made me the happiest woman on earth. I love him more than he'll ever know and I am so proud of his success in life. He deserves every break that can be given.
Thank you for always being there honey. I can't believe you are real! You handle life like you invented it yourself, and you have brought me such peace and such joy. I have shared your life for almost 40 years now, and I am still just as happy and proud as I was the day we were married. Thank you for all the years, and all the babies, and for indulging me when it comes to Christmas! Ha Ha. You have been my rock for all these years and I have come such a long way because you were the reward at the end of my journey. My life with you has been the best thing that ever happened to me, and we could not be more perfect for one another. Thank you for a brand new life, a new beginning, and thank you for letting me share your life and have your babies. We are one, and I am most thankful for your presence in my life. You've shown me what it means to be strong, loyal, and loving every moment of my life. I didn't have to discard anything. Now that I am well, I can look back at all the things I've written, and my journey of a thousand miles, and I can see the truth in all it's splendor. You opened my eyes to a new way to live life and I will be thankful for all eternity. Love you Sugarbear. You've been the best mate anyone could ever dream of.
This is for the grandkids, the family, close friends, and anyone else who can keep a civil tongue in their heads! It amounts to an interactive book of memoirs, but only if you interact... so get to it!
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California has been my home since 1965. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I'm home to stay!
What is there to say about a ten-year old turning 65, besides, what the hell happened?!??