The Not-Perfect Marriage That Makes Us Believe in Love
Charles always working.
Charles still always working.
Paula now de facto single parent, constantly exhausted, nerves frayed, temper short. Considers leaving Charles. Friends encourage her to open up to him; she struggles but follows through. "I learned that sometimes I had to put up my hand and say, 'Hey, I need help.'" Charles, stunned, vows to shoulder his share. Couple adopts full-disclosure/open-forum/ask-and-ye-shall-receive policy. Paula: "Asking for what we needed took practice—but it made us stronger people in a stronger marriage."
Diagnosis: Marriage needs more fun. Charles buys hot rod. "A Corvette with white racing stripes down the side. I drove it for years."
Thirteen-year-old David embraces Judaism. Charles and Paula pleased. Charles: "I didn't know it, but the rabbi taught David the Friday night service. We went to watch, and David was flawless—it brought tears to my eyes. Paula and I held hands the entire time."
20th wedding anniversary.
Paula's mother is stricken with cancer of the esophagus and stomach. Charles's timely diagnosis prolongs her life. (She will live comfortably until 1991.)
Charles moves the family again, this time to Kentucky; David studies law