The day of the funeral dawned dark and rainy, befitting the occasion. Most of the family had gathered at Grandma’s house early at her invitation. She promised hot coffee and donuts for anyone who needed a lift before going to the cemetery. Most were gathered in the kitchen around the coffee and food but a few were in the living room where Edward was laid out in the little white coffin. I remember thinking how pale he was in his white suit against the white satin. That memory will stay with me always.
As we were saying our final farewells, Mother came and told Anna and I which car we would be riding in. And so we trooped out into the rain with Mother and the rest of the mourners. The rest of the day was bleak as you might expect.
From then on things were very tense between Mother and Father, especially so since he still blamed Mother for Edward’s death. And when Mother could finally stand it no longer, she told him to get out! He was more than willing to go as he didn’t want to work or even pretend to be looking for work.
He went directly to his Mother’s house. His brother John, who was also staying at his mother’s house, had been planning on going to Philadelphia to look for work. John was also a loser, having married and had several children before leaving them all high and dry. Grandma encouraged John to go and take Paddy with him. She was sick of supporting one or both of them.
One of their married sisters had moved to Philadelphia and her husband found a good job there. So Margaret asked if John would like to stay with her and her family while looking for work. John then asked Paddy to go with him since evidently the jobs were plentiful there. Paddy agreed to go and they shortly set out for Philadelphia, which was a about a three hour drive or about the same by train. They went by train as neither of them had a car that would make it all that way.
Meanwhile, Mother and the girls were back on Welfare and struggling to get by. She was becoming dependent on Mrs. D. to keep her from going mad. In addition to giving us fresh vegetables from her garden, Mrs. D. was always quick with a joke or funny story, and she also got my Mother started on smoking. Smoking seemed to be the in thing to do in those days and Mother had little time to do anything fun for herself. Although, Joan would be going to school soon and then she would only have Kay at home. That was something to look forward to. Maybe she could get out a little more.
To be continued.