Frances always had to be the top of any class she ever took.
After graduation, she went to Oklahoma and enrolled in a nurse’s training at a large hospital there. She even had a girlfriend! I suppose she had other friends in that community.
I had always seen her as a cold woman who worked, canning and preserving much food that was very tasty. We did eat well as the farm grew and had milk cows, later beef cattle, hog’s, chicken, eggs. All of the usual stuff.
I did not until a grown woman know that when she would make me lay down for a nap she used that time to read stories to my brother, David who was four years older than me. I had too much energy and was always busy exploring the farm to be made to lay down. I only remember this part of my life in a single memory, but the woman herself was only someone who dealt out punishment to me. She did make me pretty clothes for me. She had an average pretty little girl, whom she thought was beautiful. Oh my, what she put me through.
Rebellion was not allowed. Not for me anyway. My younger sister was allowed that. She was a real cutie and was six years younger than me. Nedra has that photographic mind that Charles had.
Frances never stopped loving Charles. He had died in 1981. He apparently thought he had a mark whom he left Farmington New Mexico with on a bus. several women living in the senior village saw them leave. His nearly nude body was found in the swollen Rio Grand river down at Albuquerque.
Frances was working as a nurse in Martinez California when Charles died. She had married Gordan Zimmer and he was a great husband. They traveled by train to Canda and saw much of our great country also.on their honeymoon. They took cruises and had a great time. She tried to deny that she had a good life with a good man.
Maybe because she had a rough life with Charles. She always told me that no one had as rough a child as she had. She had serious breathing problems that began with a childhood illness, at a time when there were no antibiotics. She also talked often about an aunt who had told her that she was an ugly child.
There’s more to this story that concerns the abuse I suffered, but I do not have the heart to go into that bit of my grandmothers attempt to downplay my situation in protecting Frances. When I witnessed what she had done for forty years it broke something in me. She was suddenly just an old woman. No longer my much-loved grandmother.
Later when I told Dr.Singer what I had witnessed he simply did not believe such a thing could have happened.But it did. My staunch friend, Reba also could not believe it. Blow upon blow. I suppose their dis-belief was understandable.
When we kids were all grown and gone from the farm she had to leave because he would in all likely hood kill her and as she put it “Then what would happen to him!” So she came to California where the Wallin parents and sisters all lived.
For many years I was there when she had surgery, etc. etc. But every time David came from Texas to see Frances and Nedra it was an unspoken rule that while they visited all the family I was not welcome to be with them. I always knew my place in that I did not exist as a person and was unwelcome.
Just another dysfunctional family.