Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I is for Iva

Iva Mae Roach Shirley was my dad’s sister. When she was pregnant with twin boys, her husband died during appendectomy surgery—only twenty six years old. His two sons were born seven months later.

Iva (everyone called her Ivy) was an elementary school teacher. She attended East Texas State Teachers College in Commerce, Texas. (The picture to the right was found in the ETSTC year book.) With her very first pay check, she bought her mom a dining room set—table and china cabinet. Very unselfish. The picture below is a high school picture. She's the second girl from the teacher. Doesn't she look shy?
After I was born, mom and dad moved in with Iva so they could all help each other. Mom took care of the twins who are four years older than me. And she kept them in addition to working as a nurse. She said keeping the boys was harder work than nursing.

Ivy was always my favorite aunt. Look at this picture. She looks beautiful. Even though she was only twenty when her husband died, she never remarried.
Being a single mom with twelve other siblings and two rambunctious kids didn’t make life easy for Aunt Ivy. All of her brothers and sisters thought it was their duty to “correct” her sons. That didn’t always make Aunt Ivy or the boys happy. By the way, those ‘boys’ are still alive today.

Can you imagine what kind of trauma a young pregnant mother would experience, learning her husband died on the operating table? That was back in the 40s. Today, we know that everything the mom experiences the unborn babies experience also.  
I look at the life of my aunt—the struggles she faced, and my imagination kicks in, plotting a romance where some wonderful, wealthy hero-type comes into her life and saves her from raising her two boys alone. Where would she meet him when the only places she goes is work, grocery store, church and home again? The possibilities are endless.

Help me save Ivy! How would you do it? Plot with me!

9 comments:

Julie @ Anglers Rest said...

Hello, I am starting to read your A-Z from about a week in, so will go back and read other posts.

Now to Ivy. My Great Great Aunt met her husband whilst she worked as a Voluntary Aid Detachment "nurse" in the early 1900s. He was a soldier, injured during the Boer War and sent home to converless. They married in 1902 and raised 2 children. Sadly a third died a few weeks after her birth and Edith died aged just 41 years old. I should imagine that many couples met during this period and up until the end of the First World War.

Adhi Das said...

Aloha..interesting read ..a brave beautiful aunt..smiles:)GOD<3U

Sue McPeak said...

Your insight and memory of your Aunts life is a gift that not many are exposed to in this day and time, although common in the 40's. From your description of Iva, I would plot this: Twin Son...broken leg-intraction...hero Doctor...you get the picture!

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Helen Baggott - Author Services said...

What a moving story that was. I am so enjoying learning about your family. You're very generous to share them with us.

Chuck Allen said...

I love the way you are bringing your family to us in these posts. I have some catching up to do, but look forward to reading more.

As for the story plot... I was envisioning one of her sons bringing them together. Maybe getting caught in some mischief and the man brings the boy to Ivy for correction? (I'm not insinuating anything about your cousins. :) )

Charles Gramlich said...

wow. It is amazing how harsh a hand some folks are dealt, and yet rise above and succeed. She sounds like a wonderful person

thelmaz said...

Visiting from A to Z. What a heartbreaking story. Maybe as she leaves the grocery store, she sees a handsome guy who has a flat tire and she changes it for him. True love.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

That is a fascinating story, and Ivy looks like a very fun and cute person with a great deal of inner strength. I'd say there'd have to be a couple new guys in town, both of them woo her and she has to choose. And we aren't sure which one is the best one, and neither is Ivy. I hope you write her story!

Man O' Clay said...

I'm way late on this, but I think you could write a story where she begins receiving letters from a man - falling in love through letters isn't a new idea, but I like it still.