One of my favorite parts of the Wake was when people stepped up and told me things about Mom that everyone knows: she was smart, funny, never complained, and a great writer. And then Mom's friend Martha stepped up with some information that wasn't widely known, the Story of Mom and Dad. (I knew the Story, of course. No surprises at the Wake, even though I kept thinking someone would step up and say, "Did your Mom ever tell you that you're adopted?")
The Story of Mom and Dad
Margie (Mom) dated a guy named Danny in college. Here they are in '58.
So, Danny and Mom were dating. Until the fateful night when Danny did not escort her to a college Journalism dance. A gorgeous man at the dance spotted Mom, swept her into a dance, whirled her about, and kissed her when the music ended. Danny Who?
The next day when Danny came to pick her up for a date, she said, "Oh, I was just going to go out and buy a hat for MY NEW BOYFRIEND. You can come along if you want."
In six months Mom married the gorgeous man and moved to Houston. In ten years she was separated from the gorgeous man and came back to Saint Louis, while my seven-year old brother and my five-year old self stayed in Houston with Jerry. One of her friends (I believe it was "Aunt" Carleen) said, "You know, whatever happened to that Danny boy you were dating in college?" A few phone calls later, and Mom was on the phone with Danny.
"This is Margie Foster." (pause) "What'cha been doing?"
"Well, I've been sitting here ... by the phone ... waiting for a phone call from a girl named Margie Foster."
They decided to go see a movie, with Aunt Carleen as a chaperone, because Mom was still married. They dropped off Carleen at her apartment and fell into each other's arms.
Look at that smile!
(And look at that little girl! Look at that tan! I think this is the only photo of me with a tan.)
All this explains why Danny is my Dad and Jerry is my Technical Father, because "Hideous Mistake That Resulted in Two Children" is just cumbersome. No. Really, no one ever acted like that.
I do remember having a spat with Dad about something Mom said, and snapping out the classic kid/stepdad remark, "Well I've known her LONGER." He laughed and reminded me that no, actually, I was about ten years behind him.
Once someone heard that Mom married Dad only six months after she separated from Jerry, and said, "So, you married your transitional man?"
"No," Mom said, "Jerry was the transitional man."
So here they are again, at my wedding. Look at that smile!