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I Danced Along The Way: The Thelma "Mary" Russell Story

Monday, June 2 2014 9:36 AM

Thelma "Mary" RussellI am blessed. Very blessed. You could subtitle my story "love, in the face of so many uncertainties."

I have never known anything about my birth parents. I’ve often wondered if my mother died giving birth to Mabel, my younger sister. I felt so much responsibility toward Mabel, but I wasn’t even five years old. What could I do? Then she was taken away from the orphanage.

But a family came along and chose me, and loved me – and I loved them.

For years privacy laws related to adoption kept me from knowing what had happened to Mabel. Then my new mother died when I was barely eleven, yielding still more uncertainty.

Still, my father loved me, as did my sister and brother, and others in my new family.

After falling in love with Glenn, we began talking about marriage. Then Pearl Harbor happened, and he shipped out ten days later. We wrote letters for 18 months, and at one point we lost track of each other because I had moved and letters didn’t get forwarded.

I lost my birth family. I lost my sister. I lost my mother. Was I going to lose, literally, the man I loved?

We found one another, but then, just before our first childwas born, Glenn received orders to leave for a port of embarkation – he was likely headed overseas, during the war. The orderswere later rescinded, but the uncertainty of those many days was enough to last a lifetime.

Was life to be about uncertainty after uncertainty? The love of others saw me through, and Glenn and Iloved each other. And in time we discovered the joy of loving our children and them loving us. Now the same is true for our grandchildren.

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