CindyFrench-stranger than fiction stories

about facing life with hope and confidence, no matter the diagnosis

Settling Down to Married Life with Kids

Posted by Cindy H French on 10/24/2009

We first rented a house a Dunwoody and settled in. I continued working as a recruiter. Dennis was a manufacturer’s rep. The girls were in school and pre-school. As I look back on that time, I am amazed that we all adjusted as well as we did. The girls liked to help Dennis with “stuff” that he did-either around the house or garage or car. The only thing they didn’t like-ever, for any house, was yard work! Our only bumpy time was my trying to be super mom and super wife! I would put a full dinner on the table every night, do laundry, iron shirts, keep the house clean and that was after working all day. Of course other women do this-now and then-with my greatest admiration! But my problem was with the complaints I got at what I was trying to do!  The kids didn’t always like dinner. I didn’t get the shirts done like he wanted. Laundry always seemed to pile up without any help there…I tried to do better. Got up earlier, went to bed later-really didn’t stop. Just like every other working mom in America! but eventually the complaints and lack of cooperation got to me and I went on strike!! Yes, I did! That meant no cooking dinner, no laundry, no shirts starched and ironed, no house cleaned-nothing!

At first my family thought it was funny. But after 3 days, not so much. I have to say they were creative with dinner and they learned to work together with Dennis. The main thing was they all “got it”. Mom needed help and cooperation, not whining and complaining. So after a family pow-wow, chores were divided up, Dennis’ shirts went to the laundry, and he brought home a microwave oven which wasn’t a home staple appliance in 1980-but made my life so very much easier!

During our talks before marriage, Dennis and I had discussed my self image and my desire to have a breast reduction. I saw a plastic surgeon at Emory and arranged to have it done that summer after we married. During the exam, it was discovered that I had a major hernia down my midline from childbirth, so they were going to fix that too. I had the surgery and did very well. I was extremely pleased with my results. One day home from the hospital though and I suddenly couldn’t breathe. Dennis rushed me back to the hospital and they discovered a pulmonary embolism. I was very lucky-it was small and responded to medicine, but it did put my recovery back a bit.

Eventually I went back to work-with a vengeance-to make up for lost time and soon was made manager of the office. I loved what I did. I liked talking to people. I liked solving puzzles. To me, search was like finding the needle in the haystack that fit in with the other needles.  As Atlanta began to grow, my boss opened another office in the Norcross area. He asked me to staff it and run it along with the Lenox office. A big job, but I was so proud of my accomplishments and his confidence in me, I never thought that it would be too much. I just did it.

Now this was way before non-smoking offices–and everyone in our office smoked except for me! I started getting sinus infections and then chronic bronchitis-never realizing that they might be connected to the smoke. One time it got so bad, I wasn’t allowed to talk for 2 weeks. My husband had asked my office to hang up on me if I called in, which of course I did. I was grateful that this was during the end of the year and during the holiday period when things slowed down.

We had been married about 2 years when we started talking about relocating to Tampa, FL. My parents, sister and brother lived in Orlando. Dennis’ brother lived in Tampa and everytime we visited in January or February, I fell more in love with the area-especially the weather. Another year went by and Dennis tried for a transfer-in the middle of the trial period, the company withdrew from the market. He came home and we took our house off the market. (we had purchased a house in Roswell after our first year). I kept working, but my boss, in anticipation of my leaving had a hired a new manager. Unfortunately she was the antithesis of me-which meant we lost tenured employees-and for me, was very difficult to work with. Now I really wanted to move on!

Finally Dennis worked out a partnership with a guy in Jacksonville who wanted a Tampa office. He moved down while I stayed with the girls to get the house sold. It was a lonely time for me. Reminded me of being a single mom and made me so much more grateful for him and his care for me and the girls. After about 10wks on the market, we sold the house, loaded up our possessions in a big U-Haul truck-which Dennis drove and I followed in my car.

That was July 1984. You might notice that there was no mention of God or church or prayer for guidance. I was still in my “God mad”. We occasionally went to church as a family. I always took the girls to Sunday School-but that was it. I didn’t really see God’s care for me and mine those years, yet as I look back, He certainly was there carrying us and caring for us. Still, I was oblivious.


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