Excerpt from What Took You So Long?
I entered the world one Sunday afternoon in mid-February 1948, the firstborn child of an unwed fifteen-year-old. Her Catholic parents were surprised by my arrival. So, says my mother, was she. It was the age of secrets, and my mother’s family kept many. As a result, my grandmother hadn’t bothered to tell my mother the facts of life. When she and my grandfather saw my mother’s stomach swelling, they assumed she had been eating too much pasta. Imagine how shocked they were when I appeared!
As first-generation Italian immigrants, they were ashamed that their daughter had given birth out of wedlock. I’m told that when my mother asked to hold me, the nurse replied, “No, this baby’s going to be adopted.” And so I was. The family practice of omerta (Italian for a code of silence) began that day and continued for nearly fifty-seven years.
Books written by Libby J. Atwater after extensive interviews with the stories’ subjects
Titles Family or Sponsor’s Name
If You Don’t Try, You Don’t Get – – – Larry and Muriel Goodman
Still Serving – – –Willa B. DeLay
My Life’s Journey with Special People – – –Lloyd Jones
James D.Loebl – – –Loebl Family
Forward Ever, Backward Never – – –Burrell D. Plucknett
Life Is Good – – –Gail Margaret Rink/Dana VanderMey
A Life Filled With Love and Luck and Laughter – – –Dorothy H. Loebl
Love of Life and Rock ‘n’ Roll – – –Don Zimmermann
What Lies Within
“Thank you for sharing your life story. It reinforces what I always tell my children, it’s not what happens to you in life, it’s how you handle it that matters—and you handled it very well and turned out to be a lovely person . Your mothers must be so proud of you!” – Cynthia Tauber