Mrs. Judy was what we called her. She was seventy-two year old frail woman who took care of us after school for three years. She was such a nice sweet old lady. She would do our laundry, put away dishes, and just take care of us. It was three years of after school care from a woman who was as nurturing as she could be to me. I soaked it all up.
She would sit with me once in awhile and read children’s books to me. You know the kind that were below my reading level, but I didn’t mind. I enjoyed her attention.
My mother would have to drive Mrs. Judy home everyday so she’d pile us all in the car and take her back to her home. We always had fun. And Mrs. Judy would always have candy for us. At some point, my mother decided I didn’t need anymore candy and wouldn’t let Mrs. Judy give me candy when she gave it to my siblings. It was just plain mean thing to do. Mrs. Judy would wink at me and sneak me some candy when my mother wasn’t looking. I learned how to keep my mouth shut so this went on for some time.
My mother never had a clue what was going on behind her back. This could have been the beginning of me learning to hide things from her and my father. I became quite an expert at covering things up I did not want my parents knowing about. It was a sad talent to develop for a child.
Children learn from their environment and I was no exception. I learned how to hide my father’s abuse and his alcoholism (although as a small child I didn’t understand about alcoholism.) I thought my friends were going home to their lives, either after school or after play dates, encountering the same type of abuse as me. I remember thinking my friends had to now go home and face the music with their own parents.
I also hated that show, The Brady Bunch. I know everyone loved it when it came out. I just couldn’t understand it. How could things be so cheerful and happy go lucky. And if there was a problem, it always resolved itself within thirty minutes. I just knew that wasn’t the case in real families. I would be happy if my problems ever had a resolution. There was no end in sight as far as I could tell. And certainly not after thirty minutes of pure fantasy could any issue be resolved in my family.
Mrs. Judy did help with my feelings of isolation because she was such a nice lady. She always had a warm smile for anyone. She was so out of character for anyone near my family. I have no idea how my mother found her to work for us. But it was a very good day in my life when Mrs. Judy came into my life. I was so pleased to have her in my life.