Constance Bauman Willows

This is the third part of my interview with my mother, Constance Bauman Willows. 

Part III

Ruth: You waited to tell your parents you got married! Why?
Connie: Let me finish.
He moved into my studio apartment. Things were. . . ok . . but I felt awful – physically. I thought I was feeling bad just from being pregnant and being on my feet at the restaurant.About two weeks after we got married, I was modeling for him and I just began to bleed – severely bleed. The pain in my abdomen was so excruciating I passed out.
I woke up as I was being taken to the hospital. They diagnosed me as having a miscarriage, and after forty-eight hours I was sent home.
Ruth: Wow . . . oh wow . . I’m sorry Mom. What happened then?
Connie: I had to take a taxi back to my apartment because he had left again for New York.When he came back we fought. We never really made up. That’s the way he was, if he didn’t want to deal with something he’d just leave and go to his studio or go to New York. The final nail in the coffin was when we got a registered letter.

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Ruth: From who?
Connie: His not so ex- ex-wife. He had never signed the divorce papers because he thought it would prevent him from paying alimony. She threatened to sue both of us. He didn’t have any money of his own, and the first wife know that. She might have though I had money, but I didn’t. He was getting money from his “patron”.
Ruth: What, who’s that?
Connie: It turned out to be a very wealthy widow in … New York… who was footing his bills and paying for an apartment, and he didn’t want to give any of that money to an ex-wife.
Ruth: What a winner!
Connie: I know, I was young and stupid. But that’s when I finally told my parents.
Ruth: What did you tell them?

Connie: I told them that I had eloped, and that I quickly realized it was a mistake and that I was going to file for a divorce, but that he hadn’t signed the first divorce papers so I didn’t know what to do.
My Dad suggested an annulment, since the marriage wasn’t technically legal, and my Christmas present that year was money to pay for it.
Ruth: You didn’t tell them about the miscarriage?
Connie: No.
Ruth: What if they find out accidentally from listening to this interview?
Connie: If they listen to it, so be it.
Ruth: Does Dad know about the miscarriage?
Connie: Yes, I’ve told him everything when we first talked about marriage.
Ruth: Just for the record, I’m in shock and I no longer know how I want to end this interview.

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Connie: How about I tell you that a year after my annulment was final your father and I had a beautiful wedding in upstate New York, where we had moved to because your father’s job moved him there. Both of out families were there.

I got a job in a gallery. We bought a house. After two years of marriage we had you and two years later your sister. Both pregnancies went very smoothly.

When your grandmother died we moved out here to start a brand new adventure and help your Grand-daddy run the ranch.

And I have never looked back.

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