[January 21, 1964]
[Quarters, Malmstrom AFB, Great Falls, Montana – morning]
The next morning Molly and Bill were sitting at the breakfast table. His dad had already taken off for work, and his mom was still upstairs in the bedroom. Molly lingered over her cup of tea and his coffee was cooling.
Molly reached over and took Bill’s hand in hers. “Bill? Have you thought about our future? I don’t mean short term, but further out in years. I guess I threw a kink in your college plans, and I didn’t mean to, so if you want you could go back. I could help a little; I have some money set aside.”
He put his free hand on to of hers. “Molly, the day I met you was the first day of the rest of my life. My parents have already told me that they think I’ve got everything I need and that college would be nice, but not necessary. I know that I have the skills to get along pretty much anywhere. Speaking German helps greatly as a second language and, if I get some help from you, I can work on my French.”
“You already understand more that you speak, don’t you?”
“Yeah, I guess so. But as far as my plans go, I would like your help making a decision for me. You’re a major part of my life now so you have a say in what I do. I’d like to go back up to Montreal and work for your father. He has a good business, and I know I can do a good job for him. He doesn’t require a college degree and I could even work in some classes up there. I hear Montreal has some fine universities.”
* * *
Molly’s eyes began to fill with tears. ‘He is serious about this. I never thought he would alter his plans for more schooling. Oh, what to say? How can I let him do this for me? I must make sure.’
* * *
She looked up sharply at him, searching his face. “You’d d-do that for me?”
“In a heartbeat. I meant it when I said I’d support you and, now that the baby is coming I mean to keep that vow even more. College is nice, but it drains a wallet fairly fast. What we need now is stability. The only way I can see that happening right away is for me to get a job. Your dad’s offer sounds like a great opportunity to do just that.”
“Oh, Bill!” Molly gasped. “But you’ve always wanted to finish school. What about that?”
“It’ll get done, just not right now. You’re more important to me than any schooling I may never need. I’ve got to provide for you and the little one.”
Bill’s mother came into the kitchen. “About that. Have you told your parents yet, Molly?”
Molly looked a bit guilty. “Well, no, I haven’t.”
“Well, you’d better tell them hadn’t you? I’ll bet that’ll perk up Alain’s mood.” She sobered a little. “But, what did I hear about school? What about that?”
Bill thought it was high time to break the news completely here. “I – we – have decided to move back up to Montreal and I’m going to work for her dad. He asked me once while we were up there and I told him I’d make a decision soon. I’ve put it off for a while, but now, with the baby coming, I think this is the right move. What do you think?”
His mother frowned. “That’s not for me to say one way or the other, Bill. I think you father will agree with me that it’s up to you now. You’re married and will soon have a family of your own. You make the decisions yourself now. Frankly, though, I think you’re right. Your dad will be home for lunch in a bit. You can tell him then.”
Bill stood up and hugged her shoulders. “Thanks, Mom. You’re the greatest.” He meant it too.
Beth went over to the counter and poured some hot water into her mug. “I never really thought about it but I’m going to be a grandmother! How about that!” She mused, almost to herself. She turned back to the two of them. “Your brother and sister are going to be sad that you’re leaving though. They so much wanted to be there when he, or she, was born.” She looked thoughtful and then took Molly’s hand. “Come on, Molly. You and I are going to do some baby shopping. We don’t have much time I bet.”
“Well,” I said. “We won’t be leaving tomorrow. We actually hadn’t gotten to the point of picking a date to travel but it should be before Molly is unable to fly without a doctor’s permission shouldn’t it?”
“You’re right. How far along did the OB doctor say you were?”
Molly concentrated, running dates through her mind. “About six weeks he thought. Maybe a little more.”
“Well, it certainly couldn’t be much more than that could it?” She said with a chuckle.
“No, I suppose not.” Molly said with a grin.
“What’s so funny?” Phillip said, snagging a piece of toast of his mother’s plate.
Molly spoke up. “Bill and I have decided to go back to Montreal to live. He’s going to work for my father.”
“Phil nodded soberly. “I wondered if you might. Still, I would have liked to been there when the kid of yours is born.”
“Maybe you can, Phil. The doctor predicts mid-September and that’s before the fall session starts.”
He looked thoughtful. “Yeah, maybe.”
Phil stood and pumped Bill’s hand and kissed Molly’s cheek. “Anyway, that’s great news, Bill! Now maybe mom and dad will let me go on longer trips unaccompanied. Heck, I might even meet someone on a train as great as Molly here. Wouldn’t that be something?” He chuckled.
“There are plenty of nice girls up in Montreal, Phil.” Said Molly. “Come on up and we’ll introduce them to you. In fact, we’re going to have to have someone bring up our bus to us. No reason why it can’t be you.”
“Her sister, Denise, is nothing to sneeze at either – for one.” Added Bill with a wink.
Molly punched him on the arm playfully. “Hey! Don’t go making matches with her. She can fend for herself.”
Bill backed off. “Okay! Okay. Just kidding.” He rolled his eyes, which Phil caught and snickered.
“When are you two leaving?” Paula, who was the last to arrive in the kitchen, asked. “I hope it isn’t too soon. I just got used to having a sister and now she’s leaving. Bummer!”
Molly put her arms around Paula. “Don’t worry. You can always come up to visit us. Summer is a great time to come. We have lots of parks, lakes, and places to take pictures. Come on up with Phil if you want.”
“Well, okay, then. Just so we get to see more of each other while you’re here.”
“We will.” Bill told her.
[January 26 - 31, 1964]
[Great Falls, Montana]
The next week went by pretty fast. Molly saw the gynecologist again and he confirmed that the third week of September would be the target date. He advised that she do most of her traveling fairly soon and just relax for the last few months. Nothing strenuous at all.
A lot of time was spent gathering up maternity clothing that could be used immediately. The larger sizes were to be transported up in the bus sometime during the summer. Molly was taken on whirlwind visits to friends of both Paula and Phillip. She was always introduced as ‘their sister’.
Bill took Molly up for another short flight but this time they went towards the east and made a stop in Lewiston. On the way over and on the way back, Bill let Molly actually fly the plane. She was startled to learn that if she got confused all she had to do was let go of the yoke and take her feet off the pedals. The plane would level off and fly itself. He even coached her in radio procedure. The ground controller at Lewiston told her she had a very nice radio voice. She got tickled when Bill referred to the flight as the flight for a ‘seventy-five dollar hamburger’.
They also took time to begin making lists of baby names. It was a fairly eclectic list which contained French, English, German, and even a few Italian names. Both Paula and Phillip were pulling for a boy, but Bill’s parents would like to see a girl.
“Well, it’s got to be one or the other,” Phillip said succinctly.
[February 2, 1964]
Bill and Molly’s planned departure date was now only a few days from now. They’d packed their suitcases pretty tightly with what few items they figured they just had to have and the rest we marked for transportation up in the bus along with the rest of the maternity clothing.
Bill’s whole family was planning on coming up to visit during the time Molly was going to have the baby. Nothing, Bill thought, could have kept his mother away – or his sister. His brother, being his brother, just wanted to meet some girls; which Bill promised that he’d do once he got up there.
[February 4, 1964]
The night before they left, Molly and Bill stayed up with the whole family. They sat around the living room and talked about pretty much everything that had happened lately. Along with the nostalgic trip, the group polished off four bottles of a very decent white wine. Molly limited herself to one small glass however. She was determined to be good about drinking while pregnant. At one in the morning, the two of them toddled off to bed and slept the sleep of the terminally tired. They had started off the evening pretty fired up about the trip and what the future would bring, but the sedation of alcohol and all the talking had mellowed them out. Both of them just fell into bed, cuddled, and went to sleep.