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  • Writer's pictureGloria Casale

Autobiography Part 2:

Updated: May 18, 2020

I packed my Valiant station wagon. My summer clothes, all the kid’s clothes, and their favorite toys and blankets, as some essential housewares. Three grocery bags contained the food I hoped would get us to Nevada. Two boxes of cereal, bread, salami, and cheese. Tea bags, sugar, Zwieback, peanut butter, grape jelly, and crackers.

The next morning, I took the kids to the hospital with me to pick up my paycheck and request a leave of absence.

Helene Mc Neill’s eyes went wide when I walked into the hospital with the kids. Helene was The Directress of Nursing and had been one of my classmates at Rutgers. I explained the situation to her.

“When would you like to start your leave?”


She blanched. “When’ll you be back?”

“Don’t know for sure. At least two months.”

“Have you thought this through? Don’t you… What if… What did your family say?”

“I didn’t ask. I’m sure they’d say everything you want to say.”

She nodded. Her eyes reflected a core of understanding. Helene got her divorce before she went back to school to get a nursing degree. She raised three children working for minimum wage in a grocery store.

“You’ll still have one more paycheck. Where should we send it?”


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Marilyn Meredith
Marilyn Meredith

I enjoyed reading both, Gloria!

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