General Non-Fiction posted May 29, 2016

This work has reached the exceptional level
I took the wrong road through life.

The Vanished Dream

by prettybluebirds

Your Biggest Dream Contest Winner 
Once, a very long time ago, I had a dream. It was a lovely dream and quite a common one for girls growing up in my era. I simply wanted a nice home and a husband who loved me and would take care of me and our children. I never dreamed of a career or making tons of money. I only wanted to live as my mother and grandmothers before me had lived. In my mind, it was everything a perfect life should be.

Our family was a large one with twelve kids plus mom and dad. We worked hard on the farm but enjoyed life too, often joking and picking on one another as we worked. We went swimming in the summer and sledding in the winter. Holidays were fun times too as we all helped mom prepare for the special days. Life was good and my dream was to continue living the way I loved so much.

My dad took care of all of us and was the undisputed ruler of the family. He kept the accounts, paid all the bills, and was the final word on any matter, big or small. Nobody thought things should be any different or questioned dad's authority. We loved dad dearly and obeyed him most of the time. When we didn't we got a taste of the willow switch; such was life.

Mom cooked on a wood cook stove, made most of our clothes, canned, raised a garden, and washed clothes with an old wringer washer. In those days all the clothing was cotton and everything was ironed; I remember helping with the piles of ironing. Also, mom was always there, twenty- four hours a day, seven days a week; she never drove a car in her entire life. It must have been a hard life for her, but she was happy and content. It was the way I wanted to live my life....maybe without quite so many kids, though.

My best friend and I often dreamed of marrying two handsome princes, who must also be brothers, and live in castles next to each other so we could be together forever. Of course, we knew that dream was kind of farfetched, but it was still the man takes care of woman and family forever kind of dream. It was our dream.

In 1966 I married my 'prince' and was looking forward to my happy ever after life. The fact that my prince was married and divorced with three children to support didn't bother me in the least. Also, the fact he was ten years older than me, with the reputation of being a party boy, was of little concern to my smitten mind. After all, my 'prince' promised me the world and vowed to change his ways for little old me. Besides, he was so handsome and charming, just as princes are supposed to be. Was I simply a naive teenager or, shall we say, perhaps a bit stupid?

It wasn't long into our marriage before I came to realize if I wanted to eat I needed to find a job. My prince was too busy concocting get rich quick schemes to get a real job, the courts were after him for child support, and any money he earned he spent on beer and cigarettes. Definitely, this was not the life I had envisioned. My castle and my prince were both somewhat tarnished.

In 1967 my first son was born after a seven- month pregnancy. He was such a sweet little guy with his thick black hair and cherubic little face. I loved him so much, but it wasn't to be. He only lived three days before he passed away. In this day and age they could have saved him easily; in those times, babies were put into an incubator and either survived or not. Things did not look good for my dream of a happy family with a supportive, loving spouse.

On February 18th, 1969, my second son arrived and, thankfully, he was a beautiful full-term baby. Such a good natured, happy little one. I wanted to spend all my time loving and caring for him. I was sure my prince would find a good job now so I might stay home with our son and raise him as I was brought up; with a full- time mother.

I should have known better; I must have been delusional after the baby was born. Six weeks after my son arrived I returned to work in the factory. It was either work or we would have lost our home and likely have starved too.

Years went by and things never changed much. When my son was seven years old he came to wake me up one weekend morning and told me that something was wrong with daddy. He was crying hysterically and screaming that daddy was dead because he was on the floor and wouldn't wake up. Heart pounding, I raced into the bathroom fearing the worst. What I found was definitely not pretty, but not exactly life threatening either.

My prince was naked and lying face down in his own vomit and shit. It appeared he must have drunk way too much the night before; not an unusual occurrence. I made up my mind, at that moment, enough was enough.

In the next few days, I made arrangements to rent a place close to my mother's home. Dad was gone many years before but mother was very much alive and I needed the comfort she would provide. I knew she would never say I told you so even if I deserved it. My handsome prince turned out to be a dud and my childhood dream never came true.

I later took a job on a dairy farm so my son and I could work together and I would be there when he came home from school every day. We spent hours milking cows, hunting mushrooms, and enjoying each other's company. Folks often remarked that my son and I were more like best friends instead of mother and son. If life wasn't what I dreamed, at least it was peaceful and good. That is, until November 30th, 1985, when tragedy struck again.

My beautiful son was fatally injured in a hunting accident. He was sixteen years old and so proud of his first hunting license. I don't wish to go into details as I have written about this before and found it extremely difficult each time. It is sufficient to say my dream was over on that day.

Now, at seventy years of age, I look back on my life with regret and unending grief. I must live with my mistakes until the end of my days. However, I do not regret the sixteen years I spent with my son, they were wonderful. He was a sensitive, caring person and people who met him never forgot him. My son taught me a lot about love and caring for someone other than myself. I'm so glad God loaned him to me for sixteen years.

It is so easy to take the wrong road through life, especially when one is young and foolish. In conclusion, I must say my greatest dream never came true and never will at this late date. My dream of being a stay at home mother with a loving supportive husband is just that, a vanished dream. I woke up and it was gone.

Your Biggest Dream
Contest Winner


It is so easy for the young to make foolish and life altering mistakes as I did. Often one must pay for these errors forever. All we can do is try to remember the good and let the bad go.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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