BACK STORY – IRIS NORMAN

Iris Bauman married at the age of twenty and was divorced by twenty-three. She began married life as a naive, trusting girl and three years later was a realistic young woman with a child.

Iris and Brian Norman met while ice skating on a small lake in Victoria Park. It was a bitterly cold, bright sunny winter day for skating out-of-doors. Iris and two friends were warming up with a hot chocolate and watching other skaters when a young man elbowed his way past her nearly spilling the hot drink. They met again ice skating but this time Brian stopped to speak with Iris. Within three months they were going steady. At the age of twenty, Brian proposed. Iris’s parents were concerned the relationship developed so quickly. Iris reassured them all was well but more importantly that she knew “her” Brian and her own mind.

As newlyweds they reveled in each other and married life double-dating with other young marrieds. When Iris became pregnant, the enormity of parenthood and responsibility weighed heavily on Brian. He had moved from job to job always attempting to find something that suited him. The pressures of fatherhood and marriage were simply too much and he ran away. Iris was now a single mother working in a dress shop; her wages below the poverty line. She returned home to her parents, toddler in tow.

Iris was deeply humiliated but grateful at the same time. Elly soon became a little queen being raised by three adults and viewed them as her personal care giver.

Iris, exhausted from her job and motherhood, had little time or inclination to date. Her years slipped by. Elly graduated from university. Her father died. She and her mother lived together peacefully in the house. Her mother once asked Iris if she would consider remarriage. Her terse reply, which caused gales of laughter from her mother, was “I don’t want to see his lumps and bumps and I certainly do not want him to see mine!”

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