She Quietly Sabotaged Wily
"What do you think about
weekly visits to follow through with an exercise program at the
Ceerebral Palsy Center?" I asked Rod who had ordered a pizza. We were
quietly enjoying this treat while Rhonda slept. The far out ranch house
and equally isolated Lexington didnít allow for this pleasure and we
availed ourselves of a new opportunity to order out.
"Whatever you want to
do." Rodney wouldn't be involved to a great extent because he was
working. The load of keeping appointments was to be my duty and he had
no reservations for anything I wanted to do to help our child. Todayís
mothers are not allowed the freedom of choice I had for not pursuing
their own careers. The thought of going to work on a job out of the home
never even crossed my mind. Certainly my sisters from Chilocco Indian
School were actively continuing education to give them gainful
employment and I knew of that. There was no desire on my part to once
again go in that direction.
Years of Home Economics
in school gave me the ability to have all that I wanted materially.
Planning every part of my management at home was made easy from those
studies in fact from the 7th grade onward and even from elementary
school with 4-H. . That was more than six years of endeavor up onto
highschool graduation and two years in college along with a smattering
of business training.
Mother had the same
schooling and she was even more adept than I was at following a tight
schedule of management. She insisted I learn from her, too. She could
plan a menu and store up food for a year.
My career was my home and
my family and all that mattered to me. My Christian faith had instilled
the lessons of frugality with emphasis on avoiding materialism and
ultimately that is an anchor to allow a person to focus on real issues
"I'm not sure of anything
at this point but I'll see about giving this therapy a try," I reasoned
with my husband. "It will be worth it to feel I'm doing something, at
least. If I'm with Rhonda and do the therapy myself there will be none
of that painful stretching of her muscles. Massage will relax her legs
before any exercise is attempted."
So began the trips back
and forth to the center. I kept Rhonda with me at all times and never
left her to the care of the therapists. My excuse was that I wanted to
learn to do her therapy myself. During visits it was only natural that
acquaintances were made with other mothers who were there with their
It was Saturday morning.
That was the day I spent grocery shopping because Rod could be home with
Rhonda. I came down one of the isles of the store and met a woman I knew
from the therapy sessions. She called my name and obviously wanted to
talk with me, so I stopped to visit with her.
"Karen! Haven't seen you
at the center? How are you? How's your boy?" I questioned her.
"Oh I'm fine," she told
me, but I could tell she wasn't. There was a wistful sadness about her
even though she was smiling. "You know I got a divorce?"
"No, for heaven's sakes!
No! I did not know." I was surprised as well as distressed. "How is your
son taking it?"
"Well, that is the hard
part, you know. I had to leave him at the center full time. There was
nothing more I could do since I now have to work. Couldn't take care of
him by myself. My husband no longer was able to stand the stress
involved with everything. We were fighting all the time and he just
decided he didn't want to be married to us."
That evening I told
Rodney about the coincidental meeting, or maybe not, who knows the
extent of manipulation that may have come about with the woman and it
was then I reflected on what had happened to their little family. Rod
seemed to have no thoughts on the divorce of someone he didn't even
From that time on I
determined to practice my faith while studying the disciplines necessary
to make our marriage work, regardless of what happened. That was over
fifty years ago. All has not been smooth sailing. What a lie that would
be. Rod's steadiness in dealing with my grief was what held us together.
He never wavered, not even when I was in the depths of despair and
depression over some one or other failed therapy. Prayer was all I had
to fortify me.
If I begged to go to a
lakeside where the cool earth rested my body, or engaged in my artwork
until it was obsessive, and again, wanted to take Rhonda and myself away
to my parents home and escape for a couple weeks, that was okay, too.
Whatever I wished to do in order to cope with the realities of what was
becoming more and more apparent and certain didn't matter to him. For
anything I wished to do he was agreeable, and allowed me total freedom.
I had no idea how he
stood steadfastly against his family and their wishes to see we were not
saddled with the duties involved in caring for a disabled child. Neither
did I realize I had won his mother over. She quietly sabotaged wily ways
with her goodness. How I miss that lady today. Who wouldn't appreciate
gentleness, kindness and support like she gave me.
Not once did I do
anything to cause Rodney to believe I was not completely loyal to him
and our family, imperfect as it was. Disloyalty on my part was something
I simply could not allow to happen.