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Unexpected Sadness



Even though I live in Mississippi, I came from an even smaller town in Louisiana.


From the time I was eight until the time I was 13 when we moved to Mississippi I lived next door to the baptist pastor, one house over from the church.


Across the road from us, down the hill, there were a couple of trailors that young couples rented..


Richard and Kay were one of the couples. Richard was a native of our small town that fought in Vietnam. He brought a new bride home with him that left him after three or four months in the states.


He met Kay, a fifteen year old, fifteen years younger than him. She dropped out of school, and moved in with him. After a couple of years, they had a son, yet still unmarried.


My dad and mom treated this couple like they were their kids because so many of the small town gossips gave them hell. My mom and dad babysat for them, and invited them for meals etc. Richard actually worked for my dad.


Time moved on a few years, and Kay became pregnant again. The couple were still unmarried, sinners in many eyes, but my dad and mom still befriended them and their son.


My older brother and my dad worked together, fifty miles away.


One morning my brother came by to get my dad. They were having coffee with my mom when someone started banging on the door. It was Richard. Kay was in last stages labor, and he was terrified. My dad and brother ran across the road, down the hill to their little trailer. My brother said he kept Richard with him


My dad delivered their little girl, and then called the ambulance. ( Did I forget to mention my dad was a medic in the Korean War, sans a med student at Texas A&m before being drafted. The war altered my father's path in life.)


Now,, the rest of the story. My brother who was there during the birth of the daughter twenty something years ago called today. Kay was killed in an automobile accident, and Richard is not expected to live in a hospital.


These two people were never appreciated because they never had a marriage, choosing to live together for over thirty years, more than most married couples. A small town is vicious, especially in the south. They were treated as low lifes but one of them came from a well to do family, but the other came from a working class family. It makes me angry to think back on what they were up against, but they still chose to live in that small town.


My heart is heavy for each of them. If Richard makes it, he will be totally lost without his young partner for life. They had brushed out their life with a straw broom into the dusty turning rows of the south, accepting their place in life, only to have one of their lives snuffed out in seconds.


Prayers for both.


thanks GA for giving me a place to post my grief.

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Kindness and acceptance are so positive. Small minds, prejudice and callousness are so cold. Joann, we know now from whom you get your warm caring nature.

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The beauty of this little tale is that it shows that some people are good to the core, and others can't cope with something that doesn't fit in with narrow, restrictive, often hypocritical views on right and wrong. I hope Richard survives, but it will be a tragedy for him if he does in some ways. with the pain he is going to have to endure without his soulmate.


I have no doubt, Jo Ann, that you and your family will continue to support him in whatver way you can. Sometimes the best we can do is to show love and kindness; the nasty part of the world can only be shown, never told, and they won't listen. Your family's example seems like a beacon in the dark.


Thank you for being there for them. Thank you for supporting them. Thank you for doing the right thing in the face of fashion. And thank you for being a decent human being.

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I'm sorry for your sadness, Joann. It sounds like there's a lot all of us could learn from this couple about how to live.

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