It was nearing the end of July, 1962. I had moved to CA with Mom and Phil, and I could see it wasn’t going to work, We had moved into the house on Francis Street in Corona on July 5th, and Mom, Phil, and I were fighting tooth and nail about everything… I was 19, and engaged to Richard. He called me one night and told me he was sending me money to come back. I was not sure about it, because all I knew about him was that God was not talking to me about him. I hew by the way everybody felt, that I needed to break it off with Jim M., and that he certainly would marry Judy LaPorte, but God was not saying anything about Richard. The money came, and they had thrown it in the trash. When I found it, I was not happy, so I went back without further thought.
I left on July 18, one day prior to Mom’s 50th birthday. She took me to the bus in San Bernardino, and showed no emotion whatsoever.
So off I went, and when I got there, Richard met me, and it was a whirlwind. I stayed at his place, and he stayed on Grange Avenue with his mom’s tenant. His mom was nice and we got along well. When we were planning the wedding, Grandma Z. told me that I could live with her, and not have to get married. I kicked myself for many years for not taking her up.
I got a phone call inviting me to dinner at Uncle Clem and Aunt Leone on 52nd street; they wanted to talk to me. They wanted me to go by myself, but by then I was so lost that I asked them if I could bring Richard. Aunt Leone seemed really distressed by my question, but finally she said it was okay to bring him along. I figured he had to go to class anyway, so he only stayed for dinner.
When we were washing the dishes, Aunt Leone told me that Mom had experienced a nervous breakdown when I was born. I knew that there was some kind of barrier between us, so that we couldn’t communicate, but this news made me shocked and sad. Later on, Uncle Clem started telling me that it would not be a good idea for me to marry Richard, for that was not the way we did things in our circles. I was not prepared to hear such a snobbish remark from a family member, and it did not sit well with me. My shame at perhaps hurting my dad was greater than the anger though, and as the evening wore on it got worse. By the time Richard got back, I was very depressed, and all I wanted to do was go home. In the car, I started crying and was unable to stop. I had not prayed in a long time, and was feeling guilty about everything Back home, I laid down on the bed and cried my eyes out and suddenly, God’s forgiving love came down on me and I knew everything was okay with Him. I was forgiven for all that mess in my past and I was a new creation.
From then on, I was under God’s protection and also my kids were under God’s protection as well. No real evil befell any of us, even though Richard tried to cause it to happen. As long as he was alive, there was a rift existing between myself and the three offspring I bore to him, but after he died, that was no more. He also wanted the child that was not his, but that didn’t happen either. Praise the Lord.
Once when a guy had a sawed off shotgun pointed at me, he never pulled the trigger, and another time, my fourth child was hit by a car and there were no fractures or nothing out of place. The Angles were all around us. My major surgeries turned fine, even though I was a Jehovah’s Witness, and was not supposed to take blood transfusions. Scott’s and my relationship was rocky for a while, but we were always friends, and still are. My two oldest children both had cancer at one time, but have been in remission ten years, and my middle son had a porn addiction which God helped him lick and now he is a Promise Keeper. Actually, we all serve the Lord in some way, and there are no more cults, no more evil.


About claudiabarlow

I am a writer, and a blogger, and I teach creative writing at my library. I also teach on line, and I have had international students take my class.
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