Thursday, March 5, 2015
Abby Walker Mulgrew - The Restoration of Abby Walker
March is National Women's History Month and the theme is Women Weaving Stories of Women's Lives. I'm sharing the story of a different woman from my books every day in March. Meet Abby Walker Mulgrew.
If anyone had asked me if I knew what it takes to keep a marriage vital and alive for twenty-five years, I'd have said, "Of course. I've been married for twenty-five years." I would have said it takes mutual respect, compromise and, most of all, love. And then I'd stick a bow on that pile of crap and smile.
I'm sorry. I get a little bitter when I think about my marriage. See, my marriage to Wil Mulgrew was good. Until it wasn't. And I was the last to know. Oh, there were little signs along the way, but I conveniently explained those to myself and ignored them. And, when I couldn't explain those little things away any longer, I bought sexy lingerie to take along on the cruise Wil and I planned for a twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.
Let's just say that was NOT smooth sailing. Now, here I am, living on the Maryland coast with Blackjack, my adopted Labradane. If you ask, "What's a Labradane?", I'll tell you--it's a really big, really loving, ferociously loyal dog. He's been known to take up half the bed and stare at me while I cry and then to pin a man to the wall for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
If you ask my advice on marriage, I'd say: Don't ignore the small stuff because it feeds on that ignorance into big stuff. Don't take anything for granted. Don't stay where you're not wanted.
If you ask my advice about divorce, I'd say: Make the best of it. Do whatever you have to do to reclaim the best of yourself that marriage may have stripped away. I went into antiques restoration, both because it's something I've always loved and because I needed a business to sustain myself. I discovered a lot about restoration, such as, "If you restore something beyond its age, you remove the patina--the essence of what it is, where it's been." Also, "If you restore, rather than refinish, you bring the old finish back to life." Oh, you think I'm talking about furniture? Well, it applies there, too.
To read more of my own story of restoration, check out The Restoration of Abby Walker. Also available in trade paperback at Wings ePress.