I looked deeply into Gloria’s eyes and the movement of her arms and hands and how she clasped them together with a little unsteady subtlety. Her eyes were looking down at herself, taking her back to when she was nine years old, hysterically crying with the emotional pain she felt at the time. I could tell it was still so painful to remember this memory so long ago. The room she described that changes us and is held with that memory whether good or bad forever. For little Gloria it was the hardest thing she had to face, that her own mother who she had never bonded with was planning to take her away from Dodo. Dodo, little Gloria’s everything; her knight and shining armor.
Now reminding me, how many times did I look and hope for that knight in shining armor to whisk me away from all that pained me; mostly as a child. Even after earning my own independence through my education, I still wanted to find a man who would protect me. I thought that that was the man I married. It always felt particularly safe when I had to return to the house with the room and memory that changed me forever, as long as he was by my side; then already a grown woman.
You would have assumed that having all this combined knowledge between him and I after getting married, that life shouldn’t have had to be that difficult. It was unresolved pain that manifests itself in subtle ways, insecurities and anger draw upon themselves; these held vices within that seem to feed off of each other. They are a living entity in our minds stored securely until something happens to stir our emotions whether we acknowledge them or not; acknowledging the room with the memory that changed us forever.
When little Gloria was in Aunt Gertrude’s sort of temporary custody, Aunt Gertrude questioned whether little Gloria’s mother was capable of raising little Gloria properly. That’s when Gertrude decided to fight for full custody of little Gloria. Although Gertrude had the best intentions, she wasn’t a particularly warm person, nonetheless Aunt Gertrude did explain and shared with little Gloria that she truly loved little Gloria. Aunt Gertrude was also very close to little Gloria’s father who was now deceased for nine years. This was Aunt Gertrude’s niece, the daughter of her deceased brother; her flesh and blood.
Aunt Gertrude and Grandmother Morgan were on the same page and they with Dodo’s blessing had already made up their minds that little Gloria’s mother was not capable of bringing up her child properly. Oh boy, Gloria had three Dodo’s. Yes, Aunt Gertrude, Grandmother Morgan and Dodo. I wish I had had three Dodos, what would I have done; danced until dawn every night instead of thinking of running away. Happily skipping every waking moment with my unstoppable spirit while three Dodo’s protected me from the menacing culprits who I was forced to live with. It would have been a dream come true, really amounting to three “Knight in Shining Armors”.
So the real trial of the century ensued. Dodo testified at the trial, explaining little Gloria’s mother’s constant neglect. It was a famous case at the time and the media was eager to cover the trial of the century. Papers splashed with the heading “Poor Little Rich Girl”. Little Gloria’s worth was $3,667,814 compared to most families who were trying to get by with ten dollars a month. Comparatively, a family of today trying to get by with $1,000 a month. There will always be hard times for those existing with a lot less. We’re talking about a time in 1934, this was front page news; my mother Janis wasn’t even born yet.
For example in 2016, a story of significant value and interest would be the United States FBI Director James Comey listing a litany of FBI investigative findings about the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, stating it was “Carelessness” instead of “Extreme Negligence” not charging Mrs. Clinton with a felony punishable under section 793F, for exposing thousands of national security classified documents to United States adversaries. This too shall be a part of American history. I might be the first to write about it in this paragraph.
Gloria said, “That’s why people were so fascinated with the story. A family that had everything.” Except a mother and father that Gloria dreamed about, as I dreamed of having a different mother and stepfather.
Gloria said, “I knew something terrible was going to come about because they closed any audience there (the court hearing). My mother’s maid had testified that my mother was a lesbian and she had seen her making love with Lady Millford Haven who she was visiting. You know in those days of course that was considered strange.”
Making love is really a brand new concept to most children who don’t know what this really means. My experience was when I was four years old and I accidentally opened the door of the small bedroom in the apartment we were sharing; just the three of us. My mother and stepfather were naked on the bed. My mother in a compromising position. They were just as surprised as I was, but no more than me, because I was a child. They screamed at me and I froze and then I ran outside very upset with adrenaline in my veins and I really didn’t know what to do. I was left alone to think this was my fault as well. That’s what Janis and Nick were very good at, constantly trying to put me down, making me think that everything was my fault, remembering now Janis throwing a huge Bible at me hitting my leg and bruising it. So the apartment and it’s place held very bad memories for me. When I was playing at the neighbors mail box putting rocks inside, that was the first time Nick had beaten me.
©Natalie Keshing Editor-in-Chief of NatsWritings.com or NatalieKeshing.com