By Charlotte E.
Let’s think about something. How about a trip to Coney Island? I first started going there on the weekends with my grandmother. This was during my first or second year of college after I had met a boy named Daniel on the way to the train going home to the Bronx. (He lived in the west Bronx as I did). When school ended, I spent the weekends with my Grandma on Coney Island and Daniel also was there with his family who stayed for two months. It was easy for us to get together. He would walk from 36th street, where his family lived, to my grandma’s place at 16th street. We would spend the day at the beach; he would go home and then come back so that we could spend the evening going to the movies, going places on the boardwalk, or just being together doing anything we wanted to do. When the summer ended, our families went back to living in the Bronx. This was the beginning of our forever lives together (to be continued).
We picked up where we left off by getting together very frequently. Dan came to meet my mother (a widow). I asked her what she thought of him and her first comment was “Boy that was some size Adam’s Apple he has”. Ha Ha. I was taken to his parent’s apartment where I was introduced to his parents and two sisters, his grandmother and his dog Pudgy. From then on we “went together”. I continued my studies at City College of N.Y and got my own degree in business with honors (BBA). Dan began in the evening at Fordham Law School to get his law degree as I paid for his Fordham Law tuition. My mother was so proud of my accomplishment that she wanted to hang both of our diplomas in the living room. I wouldn’t let her since I did not want to brag.
We moved to Teaneck when I became pregnant with my third child because there were no parks for our children to play in. My mother traveled to Teaneck from the Bronx once a week and eventually moved in with us. She adored her grandchildren and they equally adored their grandmother as well. When they were older I began to substitute teach in the local school. The administration liked me so much that they even allowed me to bring my youngest daughter to class with me. With the encouragement of the administration of the school I enrolled in Fairleigh Dickinson University to complete my master’s degree. Since I did not like the program, it was too easy and they were only interested in taking attendance, I transferred to New Jersey City State College to complete my master’s degree in education. But before I could enroll in a graduate program, I had to take the Graduate School Examination (GRE). On the day of the exam I was as sick as a dog. A proctor escorted me to the bathroom because I needed to throw up! Several weeks later I was ecstatic to find that I passed the exam! I received my master’s degree on the fifth anniversary that my husband received his law degree. I then taught in Teaneck for 17 years. I left teaching because I was unsatisfied with the teaching environment. I then worked for my husband’s law firm in New York City as an accountant for the next 17 years. People used to say “don’t you kill each other”? But we thoroughly enjoyed working together. In addition our daughter worked as a lawyer directly across the alley from our office. We used to wave to each other through our windows!
My husband Daniel and my mother adored each other. I was so lucky to have had them in my life. They were the two people who really encouraged me to fulfill my educational and professional goals.