My mother took good physical care of her three children, myself being the oldest. Yet,
why was I the one she dealt out steaming criticism. I thought maybe it was because I had
a mind of my own; by defending my father, or questioning her one way to god.
One day after school when I was 16, the reason became clear as crystal. My mother
stands near the window of my sister-shared bedroom; I stand over the vacuum cleaner
near the doorway once again defending my father. “He’s not your father!” she yells.
Shock quaked my world into a spiral of deadly confusion. For many years I had no
memory of what I did next.
After becoming a mother of 2 daughters, I asked my mother how I came to be. She
had met an attractive soldier at a Red Cross dance. Sometime later he invited her to his
place and mickeyed her drink, only realizing this a couple months later when she felt theshock of being pregnant. Apparently, while unconscious, he “had had his way with her” -been raped, although she couldn’t use that word while telling me.
When mom told William Hairston that she was carrying his child, he rejected any
involvement. Luckily, WWII had recently ended; but certainly not the war inside her.
While sailing home from Germany to America, she cared for patients on the ship
Huddleston, and fell in love with Michel S. Colbert. She wrote on a card, now in my
possession, “Forever Yours, Ellen.”
Back then, shame was poured onto women pregnant out of wedlock. Being five
months along, mom asked a doctor to abort me. He refused. (thank god) Soon after, she and her new love drove 3 hours to Tarrytown, NY where an adoption agency might give me away. (thank goodness that didn’t happen)
At the last minute, my ‘adoptive’ dad signed my birth certificate as my father.
PS. Luckily, my dad saved me by showering me with love equal to that given to his 2
biological children born after me. I am forever grateful!