Thursday, August 4, 2011

An Arranged Marriage

When I was a teenager, in a time long ago, a neighbor and friend of my mother, had become widowed and then remarried quickly. Of course, the community was appalled at this scandolous behavior. I was therefore surprised when Mama defended the lady, who had complained to her of being so lonely after her husband's death. It was only much later than I learned the reason for that defense: my mother had done exactly the same thing! 

Let me explain.  Mother was first married to Leonard George Showers and they lived in 1930 in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana according to the census. Leonard was the son of Hattie Hawk Showers, eldest daughter of Joseph W. and Martha Jane (Hess) Hawk, and was therefore also my Dad's oldest sister. The elder Showers family also emigrated to Texas from Kansas with the rest of the family by covered wagon in 1908. Mama and Leonard Showers had one child, a boy also named Leonard George, born in 1931. Below is the only photo we have of Leonard.  He is shown with his son, my brother George.

Sadly, Leonard Sr. contracted tuberculosis, and after lingering for several years, died of this disease on March 1, 1936. During his illness, they had returned to his parents' home in south Texas.  As he lay dying, according to my brother and others in the family, he asked his Uncle Joe, my father, to marry and take care of his wife and son. My parents did marry, and only six months later, on September 2, 1936. Remember, this would have been in the middle of the Great Depression.  Can you imagine being suddenly a widow with a young son to raise, and in a rural farm community with no jobs?  In spite of being an "arranged marriage" it was a long and happy one, and they always seemed very devoted to one another. They were married for just short of 44 years when my mother died in June of 1980.

In my post of January 3, 2010, I covered the family lines of my parents, Joe H. Hawk and Alma Josephine Bond. See My Parents' Families

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