After Winifred’s death, Mother went into a depression and she blamed Paddy for what had happened. She told him that she was sure that his spraying the DDT around in the bedroom and hallway caused Winifred to get pneumonia. This did not sit very well with Father and they would get into a shouting match. But since the neighbors were constantly dropping by with condolences and cakes, pies and casseroles, they had to keep the arguing down.
Mother agreed that Grandma could have the funeral from her home and it was very sad. Everyone was commenting on the small white coffin and the beautiful flowers. Mother was so depressed she could not go to the cemetery; she had to lie down and rest. Soon after that though, the arguments between them escalated and became an almost daily thing. It was only a few week later that Paddy went to stay with his mother for a while.
This was the beginning of his going back and forth between his mother and his home. Whenever things got a bit hard for him at home and he didn’t know what else to do, he took off and went to live with his mother. Usually it’s the wife that goes home to her mother but not in this case.
Mother’s mother or ‘Mom’ as we kids called her, told all of her children that once they were married, that was it! She was not taking any of them back! In fact, one of her favorite expressions was, ‘You made your bed, now you can darn well lie in it!’ Or words to that effect. And she was very serious because she was a single parent from an early age and you could very well take care of yourself and your children after you were married, without expecting any help from her. It certainly made them think twice before either getting separated or divorced. And of course the Catholic Church frowned on divorce which kept a lot of people together long after they would have liked.
And although Mother may have thought about separating or even divorce, she was a devout Catholic and she made her mind up that staying together was best. When Paddy came back after a few months at his mothers, things went well for a while. Anna was growing and in no time it seemed was two years old and finally out of her colicky stage. A few months after Anna’s second birthday, another girl was born to the happy couple. That would be myself, Marion and of course Paddy was hoping for a boy by this time. He was magnanimous enough not to look too disappointed at having another girl.
It was about six months later that we moved into our three bedroom house with a big backyard. They had agreed that a big house was what they needed, especially if they planned on having more children. Which seemed pretty inevitable being the good Catholics they were and Paddy being determined to have a boy. He said he was willing to wait!
To be continued.