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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1608701-The-beginning
Rated: 18+ · Other · Biographical · #1608701
A memoir. This is a second draft. I'm putting things in oder. Then another rewrite.
My mother worked in a factory with my father’s cousin Myrtle.  Myrtle invited my mother to a house party.  My father was at the party.  They met, they fell in-love and six weeks later they married.

There was no  engagement ring, and through the almost sixty years of their marriage, only my mother wore a wedding ring.  There was no wedding ceremony., no wedding photos and I’ve never seen a marriage certificate.

My mother did not know how old she was.  Her mother told her she was born in 1926, but her birth certificate stated she was born August 14, 1927.

Although Canadian, my parents were married in Washington State because according to my mother’s birth certificate she was too young to marry without the written consent of her parents.  Since my grandmother was illiterate, and my mother was alienated from her father, I suppose the state of Washington seemed like a feasible alternative.

They were married by a justice of the peace. Two strangers served as the necessary witnesses.  I never knew my parents to celebrate a wedding anniversary.

A year and a half after their unceremonious marriage, I was born.

In my baby book, my mother dutifully noted that Kay Holmes was my first visitor.  I never  knew Kay Holmes, but during the early part of my childhood her name came up often.  For me Kay Holmes was this mysterious person who lived in a little green house that we’d pass on our way to Nana’s beauty parlor.

Nana was my dad’s mother.  She lived in the back of her beauty shop.  When we’d drive  by Kay Holmes house my father would look at my mom and say, “There’s Kay Holmes’ house.”  My mother wouldn’t say anything.  After we’d driven by a few times, I knew which house was hers,  and so as as we drove by I’d think, “There’s Kay Holmes house.”  And I’d wonder who she was and why her house was important.

In later years, I’d learn Kay Holmes was the family abortionist. 

I was conceived during a honeymoon of sorts.  My parents were married in the fall, and that spring they were unemployed and broke.  They threw a mattress in the back of an old truck and travelled into the Okanagan Valley to scrape by picking fruit. 

It must have been a life similar to the one John Steinbeck wrote about in his novel The Grapes of Wrath, but my parents would think of these as happy times.  My mom became pregnant.  They played with a little girl on one of the farms they were working on and hoped they’d have a little girl, and they hoped their little girl would be as cute as that little girl. 

Nana always wanted a daughter, but she had three boys.  My dad, and his brothers Richard and Warren were each six years apart.  Nana didn’t want two children under foot at the same time, and so  if conception occurred before one of her babies went off to school Kay Holmes took care of the problem.

Kay Holmes performed abortions on her kitchen table until one of the abortions caused excessive bleeding.  The woman who had the botched abortion went to the hospital., The police investigated, at that was the end of Kay Holmes’ business.

My brother and I are three years a part.  I have no idea when my mother’s abortions took place, but from the ramblings of my eighty plus year old father they did indeed occur.  As to how many, I don’t know.  But, it seems one of them happened in the third trimester of a pregnancy.  My dad told me of how the aborted fetus was a boy.  He said the boy could have survived on his own.  But alas, Kate Holmes ensured the boy would not see another day.  At least that is what I’ve come to understand. 

I have vague recollections of my mother and father discussing this thing when  I was a child.  The boy that could have lived, the boy who didn’t live.

Did he die on Kay Holmes kitchen table?  When was he born?  How did he die?  This was a secret between my parents and surely they were haunted by his ghost each time they passed Kay Holmes’ little green house.

My baby book doesn’t tell much, my mother wasn’t much of a writer, or reader for that matter, but, it tells the story of a healthy baby,  Kate Holmes didn’t get her hands on the prenatal me, and so I have been blessed with life.
© Copyright 2009 Oreen Scott (oreenscott at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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