The Desire of a Teenage Bride
It was Christmas Eve 1963 on a cold damp South Carolina day and I was snuggled warm in my bed asleep amidst a large pile of covers. The sounds of my Mothers voice awakened me. “Get up Jeanne; if you are getting married today you’d better get out of that bed!”
Married I thought, the day has arrived and there is no turning back. How had I ever let Jimmy talk me into marrying him? After all I was only fifteen years old, sure I would be sixteen in four days but that still wasn’t very old. Divorce was prevalent in this family. Why did I think we even had a chance? “God,” I prayed, “If this is not meant to be then please stop me some how.”
My desire for a strong loving family was one of the main things that prompted my desire to marry at such an early age. Mother seemed to have very little luck when it came to men and marriage.
She was married to my step dad; the only father figure I ever knew and his main objective seemingly was to marry her daughters off early so he could have Mom all to himself.
One by one we got the point. We were as ready to leave, as he was to see us go. My oldest sister married at fifteen, fours years prior to this day and the next in line married at fifteen. Both had very rocky marriages, so why did I think that my marriage would be any different?
Talk about a geek, I must have been the worlds biggest one! I was tall, skinny, problems with acne and was constantly laughed at in school. Rejected from birth, born during Mother’s sixth month of pregnancy and weighing only three pounds, I was a failure to thrive baby. I had no hair, eyelashes or eyebrows. Family members horrified by my appearance were reluctant to hold me. At six weeks of age I almost died from whooping cough.
I met Jimmy when I was thirteen and he was eighteen. I know, I know. I can hear the shock of all parents out there wondering how anyone could let their thirteen-year-old daughter get involved with an eighteen year old boy. It was considered as puppy love.
I had such low self-esteem that my folks seemed pleased to see me coming out of the shyness I battled. I was afraid of everything, storms, people, animals; you name it, I was afraid. This all resulted from a very abusive Father before Mother divorced him when I was three.
Our Mother worked long hours in a textile plant just trying to keep us four girls together, which wasn’t easy. We often ended up separated from one another as well as from our Mom. We spent time with extended family members as one thing after another fought to tear my siblings and me apart. I cried myself to sleep every night when I was placed in an orphanage at the age of seven, because it was so bad.
I guess you can see by now I had a deep need for a lasting relationship and a stable home. The night Jimmy asked me to marry him was the happiest night of my life before all the fears of failure crept in. When he approached my Mom and step dad about marrying me this is the reply he received from my Step Dad. He said, “Can you cook and sew?”
“Well it’s a good thing, because she sure can’t and if you are willing to take the chance then I am,” was my step dad’s reply. I was extremely happy and relieved. It really did not matter how he said yes, just so the answer was yes.
It has been forty two years since that day and I am glad to say I found the desire of my heart on that Christmas Eve and I have a very secure marriage and happy home all because God heard the cry of my heart.
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