Writing has become a passion for me, something I never thought I would ever be doing. So many stories to write but at the same time some start off with an amazing gust of wind but die as times marches onward. That is more than okay, I have learned to let go when it is not working.
I was writing my dads story about his life. I ran into a huge problem. The dichotomy of how I was raised and what my family has become is as different as night and day. I have spent so much time and exhausting myself to the brink of collapse writing his story. I was so excited to know all about my father that I did not take the time and look at the cost of finding out the truth. Sometimes we need to learn not to ask the tough questions. Because the answers might not be what we were hoping for. My last post was about the truth of those answers and the impact they have.
Knowing what I know about what I have written I did not want the following to just sit on a shelf. As I know that her story and the truth need to be set free. I don’t promise this part of my fathers story is happy. Nor can I say one that is filled with peace. But from the emotions that it stirred and the impact it had as I wrote it lead me to feel it is what she would have said had she been given the chance.
So without further explanation This is my Grandmothers story. Thank you to my Aunts for all the stories. This is also for my father if he reads my blog. This is the best and fairest truth about her. RIP Grandma
I am Comalee Taylor I was born in 1913 to Papa Taylor and my mother in Oklahoma. I guess I am very fortunate woman who at times has had some bad luck, mainly with men. But that has never affected the reality that I have always worked hard. If I had to describe myself I would say I am a lovely Brown haired woman standing about 5’6 to 5’7 and slender built. People have said I am as kind hearted as I am Beautiful. I really don’t see that in myself when I look in the mirror, I am just me. You see I am partly Native American from my mother’s side. My father was an Oklahoman and not a very nice man. I suffered a lot at his hands for reasons I don’t know. After a particularly bad spell with my father. I am really not sure why or how it happened. When I was youngish I was given or shall I say rescued by Grover Robins a man who lived in my home town of Central Home, Oklahoma. All because my father just wanted to get rid of me for whatever reason.
Years went on and I grew up around the Robins family. I felt so loved and cared for by Dad and Mom Robins. Later, I did not mean it to happen nor did Fred, Grover’s son but we fell in love shortly after the loss of his First wife. We were married in 1931, oh the changes that were about to come into my life in such a short period of time I could not have foreseen. Though I always had to deal with a picture of his wife that he lost in childbirth on the mantlepiece. Though it was also said that I am one hell of a good cook. I used to make these pies and set them on the windowsill to cool. The other reason was to make sure Fred knew I was a good cook and where home was. Though there was this one time that some of my pies were stolen. So I called Grover who was the Sherriff in our town to report it. Low and behold it was Fred’s younger sisters who caught shall we say “Sticky” handed with the empty pie tin….Those were the days.
In the 1930’s things were very different for women, even more so for woman like me. We were expected to have children and raise them by ourselves. A lot of the time our husbands were not very helpful or at least Fred wasn’t. In 1932 before our first year anniversary our first child was born. This was one of the happiest times in my life. There she was my little girl Barbara. I did not know that I was going to become a baby making machine. You see Barbara was the first of five children. In 1934 along came Robert our first son. Oh I was so happy at that time in my life. It seemed like I had everything, wonderful children and a loving husband. Then in 1937 along came little Billy. Something was very different about this child. He was a bit sickly at times, there were even a few times I was scared for him. Before I knew it in 1938 Christine was born now I have 2 Boys and 2 Girls. At first I did not really understand that with every child the belt gets tighter and there is even less to spend. I don’t really think my husband understood that as well.
Little did I know it but the world was about to erupt in fire. World War 2 started and it changed so many lives. I think it was also the starting point to the end of Fred loving for me. Fred started working at Kelly Air Force Base building B17’s for the war effort. That was so far away from the children and I, over one day bus ride. I will not mix words things were not great at home. Fred’s dad and mom helped out a lot at this time. In 1942 at the height of World War 2, Fred on a visit home I fell pregnant with “My” last child. I did not know that the dream of loving this man was also about to come crashing down around my feet. I did not know that at the same time Fred was courting another woman in San Antonio, Texas. Six months later when he came home for another visit and fate played a cruel joke on me. Fred informed me that he had fallen in love with another woman and that he wanted a divorce. I was six months pregnant with his child, I was so angry. I told him that under no circumstances was this child going to be born out of wedlock. That I would not grant him a divorce until then. I was hoping that it would snap him back into reality. But after his news he left to go back to San Antonio to be with this woman. There I was left with 4 children with one on the way, a broken heart and home. I think it would have lost it if it would not have been for Fred’s mom and dad. They certainly were my rock of salvation.
Three months later in 1943 my little girl Shirley was born. She was so beautiful in a very dark time in my life. I did not know that in 3 more months my world would change forever. Fred came home and dealt me another heartbreak. But I was not going down without a fight. I loved Fred so very much how could he do this to our family. I was going to have everything perfect the day he came home. I got up early made sure the house was perfectly clean, all the children were bathed and in clean clothes, I even took a bath in the morning making sure I was fresh. I put on my best dress a touch of Makeup and a dab of the perfume he bought me years before. I was ready, the house was ready, and I even went so far as to put a homemade pie in the oven. He was so very selfish. But when Fred returned home he walked inside ignoring me and everything I did. Basically tossed me out of the house with the Christine and Shirley at only 3 months of age. I turned to the only person’s I ever knew I could trust, Fred’s mom and dad. Grover once again rescued me, he was so very Angry with his son but even he could not change his sons mind. So as a result Grover being the towns Sheriff at one time used his skills in persuasion to tell Fred how it was going to be. That every month I was to be paid $100 dollars to help take care of the children. **Writers note $100 equals $1,690.97 in 2015**
Grover Robins being a fine and upstanding man surprised me that day treating me like his daughter. Drove me and the two girls away as I watched 3 of my children staring at us as we drove off. My heart was completely torn asunder. Grover then drove me a fair distance away as I requested. I could not stand to be near children I would not be allowed to see. I don’t think my heart ever healed from what Fred did. Grover was such a perfect Gentleman the next thing he did was to build the girls and I a home that he paid for. There were many conversations on that drive. Grover told me that he would make sure the other three children would come and visit. Though I am not sure if he really knew what Fred was going to do in the future. I even think that this choice of Fred’s damaged him in his parent’s eyes. I was never really alone, mom and dad robins always kept an eye on me and the children.
In 1944 Grover kept his word to me, I was able to see my three oldest children for a short time. Though little did I know that Fred was about to give me back my oldest Daughter as well. It seems she did not fit in well with her step mother. So Fred in another shocking choice sent his own flesh and blood away. But for me I was very grateful to have Barbara back in my arms safe and sound. I think the only reason he kept Barbara was that he needed her to take care of the boys. It might have been a lot to ask a new mom to take over a family. But I was not that shocked that he gave up on Barbara as well. I was hoping this would also happen with the boys. In the end the Boys had to go back to Fred. Once again another heartbreak thanks to Fred. But all this time I could not stop loving him. In 1945 once again the boys came for a visit, the highs and lows of seeing them come and go. Once again Fred was going to step on my heart all over again. Because that was the last time I would see my boys until they were almost men.
I don’t know what lessons were being taught to my boys by Fred. But somewhere something went horribly wrong. My oldest son Robert ended up getting himself into a real big bit of trouble with the law at an early age. It happened so many times that he landed himself in prison. Poor Grover I don’t think even he could have foreseen this happening. If he would have only sent my son to me, I wonder if I could have prevented the problems. Even in the end Fred gave up on him as well. Robert came to live with me until he found that my rules were a bit too hard for him and he left. His departure was not on good terms. But I never stopped loving him. I did not get to see Robert for many years. But by then it was too late, opps I am jumping ahead in my story. Mom and Dad Robins kept me well informed about what was going on with the boys once Fred stop sending them. But having that much distance between a parent and a child comes at a huge cost. I really did not know my sons and that once again was another broken heart. But I was still in love with this man, maybe it was the dream I was in love with, I really don’t know. In the end the damage was done to a point that it could not be fully repaired.
The 50’s and s60’s were not very good to me. I worked many jobs to keep my children feed and clothed even though some would get married during this time. But I felt like such a failure at one point my youngest needed to go live with another woman because I could make ends meet. I cried over this choice so much and I am so angry at Fred. If he would have only been faithful none of this would have happened. Looking back now I was very lucky that my little girl was placed with a good woman with a kind heart that understood. I tried several times to find a new person to share my life with. Each one falling short to what I thought was the perfect man, Fred when we were first married. Sadly each one of them could not live up to what I though he should’ve been. The last one took me for all I was worth and left me with nothing.
Oh I am so sorry I forgot a very important part of my story. In 1953 or 54ish I got to see my little boy Billy who was now a man. Again I had nothing to go off on who he was or what his life was like. Oh I was so upset, though I was a good and strong Texas woman I was not going to let it show. We reconnected just a bit but in the end it was not enough the damage was done. So much time was lost in fact a lifetime was lost. Though I will never forget his wonderful laughter and his eyes. Shortly after that he joined the Air Force then married with kids of his own. I only pray that he did a better job than his dad. Oh there I go again forgetting something important. I did get to meet two of his children Jody Lynn and Wendy Sue. I really don’t know why, what or how but he was never really all that close. I heard once that he had a third child but I never got see em’. I am proud of my little boy, I always have been.
1982 I fell ill so much so that it wiped my me out and stole what little time I had left. When in 1983 I was in the hospital because I could no longer care for myself. Low and behold one day in walked my long lost son Robert. Who I had not seen since his was a young man and left my home. Who was this man? What had my child become? I was so ill that I could no longer speak, oh how my heart broke that day but in a good way. Sometimes words do not need to be said to be understood. As I laid there in that bed holding my son in my arms the pain of years and errors made seemed to drift away with the tears that flowed from the two of us. When death came knocking I was surrounded by those who loved me. But I longed for my little boy Billy. I took one last breath and then I was gone into the peace of time forever. Still in love with Fred…….
*Well dad I hope you enjoyed this part of you story. I hope others can enjoy it as well.