Chess Moves

Mom has moved in and out of St. Johnsbury many times during the past 20 years. The first time happened to coincide with the parents’ separation. It all began with the parents  visiting my youngest sister in California to help her out following the birth of her “Irish twin” Jenna. Irish twins are born exactly one year apart or less than a year apart. In this case, it was 11 months. The parents were providing much needed diaper, feeding and rocking duty. Not to mention the supervision of a rambunctious 11 month old boy. Dad got ansy or irritable if I am to be honest and insisted on leaving California and returning to their home in St. Augustine Florida. Mom was horrified as she tells it and insisted back that they had to stay and help my overwhelmed and exhausted sister. Dad threw down a threat. Leave or I will divorce you. Mom said in return I am not leaving. I believe this discussion went back and forth a few times until dad got into the car and drove hell-bent all the way back to Florida. When he arrived in Florida he called and said If you don’t come back, I will divorce you. Mom responded Do what you want, I am staying here. And that is how they came to be divorced. Not because mom wanted a divorce. Rather because dad followed through on his threat and mom was committed to helping my sister and the children. I describe the divorce because it helps set the stage for mom’s passive role in her own life. When it came to all of the major events in her life, she was a bystander pulled along by the force of another person’s will. That includes engagement, wedding, childbirth, child-raising, marital separation and divorce, and the many moves following the divorce leading up to the current residence at St. Johnsbury House. Mark me, as Bonnie Prince Charles likes to say in Outlander, mom is the Puppet Master who is a brilliant and formidable life strategist.