Where had the years gone? Marie was now a senior in high school. The years of attending her orchestra concerts were now going to be memories. What a joy it had been when Ben and occasionally Lorraine would drive up to Edmond from Oklahoma City to also hear Marie’s concerts. Now the Wood family’s life was entering a new chapter; one which saddened Jalene tremendously. However, she realized some things in life are inevitable and time truly does not stand still.
As the termination of Marie’s senior year approached, Jalene queried Marie as to whether she and Doug, Marie’s boyfriend of the past year would be attending the senior prom. “No, Mom, I’m not going since Doug has already graduated and is now in college”. Jalene reminded Marie, “okay sweetheart. I just wanted to be certain if you attended that we had plenty of time to shop for a dress.”
Jalene continued with her schedule of working as a corporate dietitian and teaching as an adjunct teacher at the local college. She ran errands after work, dashed home to prepare the evening dinner and prepare for the next day’s routine. Jalene’s life held no excitement or intrigue.
Nonetheless, Jalene was also reminded daily her life was not like that of other Christian wives. Every day the dysfunction of her life seemed to vibrate in her head with each breath. Silently she would “cry out” to God, “why does Chuck not love me? What can I do so he will love me?”
Jalene knew how greatly Chuck desired money and that he admired the professional women whom worked for him. Jalene had voiced her true passion countless times during their marriage; she didn’t yearn to be employed. She longed to be a full-time wife and mother; to devote her time to her family. Nonetheless, it was imperative to Chuck that Jalene would bring in an income, which allowed him to continue to purchase the luxuries of life he so greatly coveted.
Chuck reiterated that Jalene must work in order to provide their children with opportunities. Jalene’s reply to Chuck never changed, “your income is more than sufficient to provide all the necessities and many desires for this family. You don’t need my income. Why do you insist that I must work outside our home?” Jalene realized Chuck’s reply would either be total silence, or he would argue with her.
The Mercedes in the garage was not a necessity, nor was the more expensive home which Chuck mandated they purchase. Jalene was tearful when she recalled the numerous calls from the realtor beseeching that Jalene allow Chuck to purchase their current home.
Jalene also reminisced her frequent replies to Bobbie, “we don’t need another house. I love our house. It is brand new and the one which Chuck wants is twice the money for the same size, but older home.” Bobbie continued to plead, “Chuck says Kickingbird is a more prestigious neighborhood.” Jalene knew once again that Chuck’s image was paramount to him. Jalene also learned that when Chuck wanted something her life would become intolerable until he achieved his goal.
Now, 9 years later, Jalene disliked the home as much as the day it became their new residence. However, there would be other situations with Chuck that his will would override Jalene’s desires. Jalene was grateful for Marie’s entrance through the garage door so that her mind brought her back to reality. Marie was jubiliant, “Mom, can you make me a dress. Doug and I have decided to go to the prom?” Jalene caught her breath as she replied, “Marie, it is only two weeks until the prom.” Marie was not concerned, “oh I know, but you can do it.”
Over the years Jalene’s sewing skills were not as honed as when the children were younger due to her outside employment and countless requirements for the family, but she delighted in presenting a sewing project to family and friends. Jalene was enthusiastic and eager to shop with Marie for a pattern and fabric to create the perfect prom dress. The family graciously accepted quick meals over the next couple of weeks as Jalene noted she would need “flying fingers” to accomplish this task on such short notice.
“Mission accomplished”! One day to spare! As this unforgettable moment arrived, Marie stepped into the evening sun with her handsome date. Marie was blissful. This was a memory which Jalene would treasure for years. Her beautiful daughter was radiant as always, but the dress handmade with love by Jalene was even more perfect that a $1,000 designer gown. The soft mauve peau de soie dress embellished with ruffles and fabric roses was exquisite for the momentous event.
Chuck washed, polished and waxed his car for hours. When Chuck handed Doug the keys to his Mercedes as their transporation to the prom, Doug was flabbergasted but radiating with excitement to be driving his special gal in her Dad’s Mercedes Benz.
Please continue to follow Jalene’s journey. Her blog began in April 2016 from her childhood.