Sunday, August 4, 2019

The Story Continues...

I do not know how long my mother's family stayed with her.  My grandparents were due to return to the Panama Canal Zone by ship for work, and their teens to school.

By the time I was discharged from hospital in September, my mother was living on her own while awaiting the finalization of her divorce. She was eventually granted sole custody and with the help of her family, brought us to Panama and what was to be my home for the next twenty years.

Initially, we lived with her parents, She got loans and returned to school, commuting an hour each way by train between the junior college and the parental home. She walked to and from the train station to school and would study in the evenings. The goal was to raise her grade point average and complete credits so that she could return to the stateside university previously fled for marriage.

I was left with working grandparents and two teens and my grandparents hired someone to care for me while they worked. Sometime in 1960, I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and I remember my mother complaining that there was one book about that in her college library and it left her in tears.

As a national teacher shortage loomed, practicality reigned.  Deciding to pursue education, my mother eventually secured a job which placed her in military base schools in the Canal Zone.

The photos in the previous post are of me at fifteen and as a newborn.

Cheers!


10 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

Not an easy time for anyone. It speaking volumes for family tenacity that you all survived.
Hugs.

Live and Learn said...

I agree with Elephant's Child that your family had a lot of tenacity. Plenty of opportunities to give up, but no one did.

I have a friend just a couple of years older than you who was born in the Canal Zone and lived there until she went to college. She has given me an idea of what it was like like living there, or at least for her.

Ms. Moon said...

I agree with Elephant's Child. Your mother was very strong. And you are as well, obviously. Did you get it from her? I wasn't aware that you grew up in Panama. Was it beautiful?

Steve Reed said...

I can't imagine how challenging it must have been for your mom to juggle all that. Thank goodness for your grandparents.

e said...

Thanks!

e said...

Small world, isn't it?

e said...

She had her breaking point, unfortunately. My grandparents were strong and tough and stepped up. Yes, it was and is beautiful though in cities there are problems just like everywhere.

e said...

Indeed!

jenny_o said...

I wondered if that teen was you or your mother, because I can see her in your mother's picture you posted awhile ago.

Being a single mom must be very hard. Kudos to your grandparents for supporting her in so many ways.

Secret Agent Woman said...

Catching up. That sounds like such a struggle for your mom and all of you.