I did get out of that mess but found myself a young single Mom, determined to stay in CA and not to return to Pennsylvania and readily admit that my mother was right. Oh I was 20, didn't I know everything? Not so by a long way. To my rescue then by rail road, journeyed my maternal grandmother aka Baba Rose alone across the country from Pennsylvania, to stay with me, help me with the baby, get me on my feet and provide the love she had all my life. She did not scold nor say "we all told you so....." No none of that, she was absolute strength and support. I regret that perhaps I did not appreciate her as much as I should have although she knew I loved her very much.
Here she is in December 1965 with Steve who is 18 months old. We were all surviving on very tight finances; I was working two shifts at McClellan AFB and she was encouraging me to go back to school, to finish college because she knew I was too smart to stay below what I could achieve. Above all, she told me, "you will marry again, but next time be careful, don't jump into anything and choose a good man; you learned a lesson, don't ever forget it." Very prophetic as Jerry would come along shortly after she left. Wish she could have met him.
Rose was already only 70 years old here but looks much older. She was the grandmother who raised me; she and the family helped Mom, her daughter who was a WWII widow pregnant with me. Rose had experience in spades with us young Moms. She stayed less than a year before returning home to Pennsylvania. She helped me get my head on straight and never criticized my decision to stay there in California, on my own. She said, "You'll make it, you are smart and pretty and headstrong, don't look back, look ahead." Before she departed for home, she found another grandmotherly woman who would babysit Steve for pittances when I worked, and who would adopt us like family. I don't know what would have happened without her, my grandma Rose who helped me in the crisis of a lifetime. I did a lot of growing up then, fast, through a life changing time.
|1965 Steve at 18 months with his great grandmother, |
my grandma Baba, Rose Ostrowski Kochanowski