This letter was written on July 6, 1976. Please email any corrections/omissions. Thanks. [pg 1]
Dearest Kathy –
Finally managed to get a hold of some paper and plop my body down and get a pen in hand – so here I am.
So very sorry (terrible sorry) sorry I missed (in person) the grandest day of your life-but you know it must not have been meant for me to be there. I ran into so much difficulty. However, I thought of you all day and at the time of your wedding God was spiritually inspiring another thru me. So that made me feel even closer to you. You know I love you and don’t think you could have chosen a better man to share your life with. I am so happy for you. And Jim, of course. His choice was the best, also.
Health wise, I think my blood needs some iron. I get tired terribly easily and can hardly get up in the mornings. I’m going to make a doctor’s appointment as soon as I can, as I really don’t know how much of what to take. Otherwise health-wise, I seem to be fine. I’ve gained so much weight you won’t believe it. Remember all those new pants I bought not too long ago? Can’t get into any of them. There are a couple of my old baggy pants I can wear for a short while-but I have to lay down on my back to button them. Sara gave me some, otherwise I’d be wearing skin. My tummy is bulging [pg 2] a little bit but not real bad. I can feel the baby flutter now for the last 2 or 3 weeks. Stout little Capricorn. By the way, I did tell you the baby would be a Capricorn? Ironical, isn’t it? HA! Sometimes, I get the feeling there’s a conspiracy going on!
Emotionally, I’m fine now. But for about a month there I didn’t think I’d make it. By the time Thurman came back to work from school, I was near frantic and expressed the same on the phone when I told him we had a problem. You guessed it, he walked in the door mad before he even knew for sure! (Keep in mind, Kathy, this is all funny to me now and doesn’t hurt a bit. Try to see the humor here because, believe me, there’s plenty of it. Don’t let yourself feel bad or hurt for me, because I’m on top of it now, Okay?) The minute he sat down I jumped in his lap and tried to humor him –of course—there was no way. I had run a million different things thru my mind in the two weeks before trying to prepare myself for whatever his reaction would be. Guess I covered them all EXCEPT for him walking thru the door already mad. Immediately fear gripped me (mind you, I still hadn’t told him what the problem was) and I left his lap and informed him I was to scared to tell him. This made him madder. I finally decided he’d kill me [pg 3] for sure if I didn’t tell him and the only defense I had was if when I told him he’d go into shock. Yep! He did. He was really upset. He was against an abortion-against me giving the baby away-against me raising the baby alone. He couldn’t stand the thought of him not raising his baby. That night wasn’t too bad. I had realized before he’d be upset as I was fairly flexible. But a few nights later we really had a bout. He threw his hand up—I really thought that night I’d had it. He swung me around the kitchen several times. Of course, I was strictly unreasonable with him that night and he was furious with me. He finally decided he wanted me to get an abortion. This was the only way. I made an appointment-but when I did then I got so mad at him I don’t think anything would have stopped me. I called him and told him I wanted to see him. He refused. I told him if he was too afraid to come to me at my house I was not afraid to come up there to the station. Naturally he came and was very sweet. Oh—it went on like this for several weeks. He finally gave me an ultimatum. I didn’t know what to do. I was afraid I’d loose my job—afraid for the trouble he’d go thru not to mention [pg 4] his family—if it got to the wrong person. I finally decided it was my feelings against a whole bunch of other people’s feelings and decided I could handle my own feelings better than all the others’ could theirs. So I set a 3rd appointment—took off work—had the money—and Carol took me to Arkadelphia to have an abortion. I got to the door and all of a sudden nothing in this world mattered but how I felt and what I thought. I never even went inside. That was something I had never believed in. I felt like I was taking an innocent life and come what may I couldn’t do it. I came back to Hot Springs prepared to loose job, friends and even Thurman. But I was going to have my baby. I called him and knew he’d thought I’d went as had told me he had checked on me everyday at work to see if I was okay. Soo poor Daddy had another shock. He was very mad, scared and upset and I knew the things he said came from these negative feelings so I didn’t even get upset. This was one week ago and you wouldn’t believe all the things I’ve gotten from God about Thurman and about me and about the two of us. I’ve felt good mentally and know so much more about this man I love than I ever have. I know what I’m up against now. Fear, Kathy—he is so locked [pg 5] up into fear its unreal. Fear dominates his life. All these years I’ve though I was fighting him when all I’ve been fighting is his fears.. Fears of: Losing material things: what Judy would do; losing his kids: his job: what people would think and say: Fear of leaving that comfortably hole out of life over there and stepping out into life and living and experiencing which involves pain sometimes which is another thing he’s afraid of: Fear of loving: Fear of ?? because loving me would be so easy for him if he’d let himself: Fear of his baby touching his heart. Can you believe all these fears? And they’re all very heavy for him. But—I have enough Love in my heart and now that I understand why he does and says some of the things he does and says—I won’t take them personal and it doesn’t hurt anymore. With God’s help I’ll stay on top of his fears and maybe even someday my love will free him. Like the song says—He ain’t heavy—he’s my brother.
So much good has already come to me from this baby—I no longer fear Thurman—I say what I feel to him and he says what he feels to me. We have expressed our feelings to each thru this like never before. I don’t care what anyone thinks of me [pg 6] anymore. More than ever, I, myself, have lost a lot of fear. I trust more. I understand more. If the baby is a girl I’m going to name here Capri Laura (Capri- the first 5 letters of Capricorn Laura-Thurman’s’ middle name is Lawrence) haven’t got a boy’s name yet. I think she’s a girl anyway! So much has happened since I talked to you. It seems like centuries.
I lost my house—about the same time all this other—which has made me very strong. (all these things at once, that is) I don’t feel bad about the house. I had 2 beautiful years there. Enjoyed it very much. It was never really mine anyway. I feel relieve not to have to worry about it anymore. I stored all my furniture and have been staying with Sara for the time being. She’s helping me organize my financial world and teaching me how to pay bills. I’m doing pretty good, too. I can see a dent in them.
I went to the judge and explained my problems (other than the baby). He advised me to put the kids in a foster home for awhile until I could get on my feet again. I did so for the last two weeks. I’ve been away from them. They’re enjoying themselves. I told them they were going on vacation and they don’t have [pg 7] to go to school. That really made them happy.
Well, that’s about all about me. I can think of for now. Beside my fingers are hurting.
You’ll do just fine as a mother. It’ll take some adjusting and a little trial and error but you’ll be a wonderful mother, Kathy. Because you care. That’s all you need, you know.
Am glad you’re so happy being home taking care of your family. The only thing is I wish your home was Hot Springs way. I miss you so terribly.
I almost called you one night—but never could come up with a number from the operator. Do you have a phone?
Give Jim my Love
I love you