As a new bride, I joined my husband in Kentucky. He was serving as a US Army chaplain at Fort Knox. His thought, when we got married, was that he would serve his 20 years in the US Army and then retire in Israel. I, of course, had other plans. It wasn’t that I thought the Army was so foreign to my experience- it was, but my concern was that I didn’t want to have an unstable life, moving from place to place. Fortunately, I found an ally, my mother-in-law, who was not keen on her only child perhaps being sent to Vietnam where the war was in full swing.
Married in July, by the following May I was 7 months pregnant and my husband had agreed to look for a civilian pulpit. He was asked to fly out to Spokane, Washington, to interview there.
When I told my mother, she insisted that she come to stay with me while he was gone- from Thursday through Sunday because she was afraid for me to be alone.
So that Thursday I literally walked to the gate on the left side of the corridor and watched my husband get on the plane and then turned to the right side at the gate directly across from it, and within minutes, my mother arrived.
It was the first time she had seen me showing- and by 7 months, I was pretty large. She noticed. We drove to my home and I cannot recall any details about our discussion nor about anything we discussed for those 3 days. I do know there were lots of smiles and laughter.
What I can recall is feeling very special, carrying her first grandchild. I can recall our going out once for ice cream sundaes at the local Howard Johnson’s and laughing when we heard a group of women order large ice cream sundaes and diet drinks. I remember that Saturday night, we decided to check out the place on Dixie Highway that was advertising mint juleps- the Kentucky Derby was that weekend and mint juleps were all the rage. I remember we went into the place that had them and we sat down and ordered them. She sat with her back to the door and I sat across from her.
I don’t remember what they tasted like. I don’t remember what we said. I just remember that the time we spent together that weekend was probably the best time we ever had together.
On Sunday afternoon, my mother left and a few minutes later, my husband returned. A bit over 2 months later our oldest son was born.
Twenty-six years later, I visited my own daughter in Israel when she was pregnant with my first grandchild. I hope she also experienced precious moments.