I was hurt from my breakup and isolated myself, not feeling very social. It was easy to isolate myself because one of the things that happened in the breakup was that
One day Margaret called me and said, “Enough. You are going to go out with us tonight. There’s a Halloween Party at such and such a place and you need to just come out and have one glass of wine and be with friends.” I tried to refuse but she wouldn’t take no for an answer so I asked my mother if she minded watching Little Helen. Mama Helen was actually thrilled that I was leaving the house.
So out I went and met up with my friends. Guess who was there? Margaret’s brother. When we were introduced, he smiled, took my coat and checked it, and brought me back a “glass” of wine, literally in a huge beer glass because the bar was out of wine glasses and he asked them for a big glass of wine. It was funny. We enjoyed conversation and a couple of dances. When I was ready to go, he got my coat and asked me if we could get together on Halloween. So I said, “Are you still married? Because I don’t date married men.” He said, “We filed for divorce, She’s still overseas so I’m just waiting for her to get here and the divorce will be final. Besides, I’m going to be living around here now and I’m really just interested in making new friends, not really dating.” So I replied, ‘Well, I have to work late and my mom is taking my little girl to a Halloween party at her church. If you want to meet me at the house and pass out candy, then maybe after my baby gets home we can go somewhere for coffee or something.” He said OK so I gave him the address but truly never expected to see him.
Halloween night rolled around and guess who pulled up? Margaret’s brother. He was so much fun and he loved the little kids and their costumes. We talked a little about his son and I could tell he was missing his little boy, who was only 5 years old.
We did go out and at the end of the evening, he suggested that maybe the next Friday he could come over with a movie and pizza so that I wouldn’t have to leave my daughter. People, I was living in my mother’s basement and he wanted to come over! I thought he had to be an alien or something, but I agreed.
Do you know that he called me every single day that following week? And this was way before cell phones. On Friday, not only did he arrive with the pizza and movie, he arrived with TWO movies – one of them specifically for Little Helen.
And so it went with Margaret’s brother and before you know it, we were actually dating. He wasn't just all looks; he was also the nicest, most considerate guy, a real gentleman… I actually kissed him first because I didn’t want to wait any longer!
At this time, he was working what was called a shut down at the local nuclear power plant. Which meant he was working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. He was making really good money, even by today’s standards. He took me out to very nice expensive restaurants and always brought me flowers and little trinkets.
One day, he said to me, “I know you work really, really hard and you get no help from your ex so I don’t want to overstep here… but it looks like Little Helen could really use a new winter coat. It seems like the one she is wearing is a bit small, and thin. Would you let me buy her a winter coat?”
As I sat there in shock, all I could think was, “Alien. For sure. Who does that kind of thing? We’ve only been dating 6 weeks…”
But what I said was, “Well, actually I had planned to buy her a new coat, but if you’d like to, that would be really nice and truthfully it would free up that money for some Christmas gifts for her.”
The next day, after working another 12 hours, he arrived with a new coat: purple with a fur trimmed hat – her favorite color – and with matching gloves and another knit hat!
So, Little Helen had her new coat, and I had money to give her some Christmas gifts. Perfect timing. Made more so by the fact that she had lost both her front teeth, right in time to have Margaret's brother sing All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth to her. It was a wonderful, almost magical holiday season that year.
When I think back on that time and how hard it was living in Mama Helen’s basement and working two jobs and the emotional turmoil, I can honestly say Margaret’s brother was a bright spot for both Little Helen and me. At one point, Mama Helen asked me how I felt and I told her, “You know, I’m not ready to get married again, but if I ever do, I hope to find someone just like him.”
To Be Continued...