Bliss and Blisters: Gloria Mitchell
Davida grew up in a house with 17 other children. Davida grew up with many challenges that she continues to face even after graduating high school. Imagine what happens when the boy who takes her to the prom takes advantage of her claiming he cares deeply for Davida. Davida did not encourage Vincent. Davida was raped. So, why does she continue her relationship with him even after she learns and pays for the consequences of his actions and hers too?
Davida hid her relationship from everyone and she did not want it revealed. A few minutes of what was supposed to be a night of fun at the prom is what started this spiral of events. Choices are made but sometimes they are forced on you even though you disagree with the outcome. Caught up in the moment what happens at her prom will once again teach teens the meaning of caution. Young men want what they want from girls and sometimes manipulations and mind games take center stage and the girl loses. Davida lives in a time period where there are limited resources, limited doctors to help fix what they sometimes don’t want and the end result could be tragic. Right or wrong is something they know but do not always adhere to. Sharing her secret with Vincent opens up a difficult set of problems, as she has to make a decision that is not easy. Without the support of her mother she might have had no recourse to do what she did, but in the end she might not have survived since going to an unlicensed person using equipment that was not quite sterilized and proper what happens as a result sends her to the ER.
Sometimes thinks are done just for money and what happens will make you understand why medical professionals need to be vigilant and young teens need to be careful when dealing with them. Honesty comes at a high price and what Davida learns about the young man in her life might just wake her up and help her realize that she needs to move on.
Author Gloria Mitchell once again allows readers to enter her life and read about Davida whose next stop is Waller College and hopefully a degree. Waller College proved exciting and meeting Unique her first roommate was great until it wasn’t. Taking tests, doing her assignments and finding it hard to focus and understand Economics, Davida takes another approach. Reading the text book from cover to cover, going into the test with the full knowledge as she states that she did her best what a great surprise and how gratifying to wind up with Straight A’s and on the Dean’s list. Coming home and seeing Vincent, getting a letter from him stating the requirements he feels for marriage does not deter her but makes her wonder whether he has an ulterior motive for wanting to marry her. After all he got called up had to go for basic training and would later be sent to Vietnam. Hoping that marriage would change it Davida gets a rude awakening when she attends her older sister, Beverly’s wedding and sees the groom so drunk he can hardly stand up. What Beverly does about the honeymoon is priceless but I’ll let you find that out for yourself.
Davida returns home for the summer and gets a job at the local recruiting center sending out draft notices, discharge letters both honorable and dishonorable. She learns a lot from the people coming in especially the mothers whose sons have died fighting. Added in we learn about the draft dodgers, the ones that go to Canada and she begins to think that Vincent wants to marry her to have a child to avoid going to Vietnam. But, she is smart and contacts a friend whose advice she intended to take.
Their wedding was short, perfect and just her mom and his attended as they entered the courthouse, she listened to the preacher’s words yet wondered why he did not explain the meaning of marriage, the way husbands and wives should respect and treat each other and then pronounced them man and wife. But, she could not deal with the word OBEY! Was she supposed to OBEY him in every way? This was definitely not Davida.
Their mothers try and temper the situation as his tells him to be kind and respectful to his new wife and hers prays it lasts.
Forewarned is often forearmed but in Davida’s case the words of a close friend are heeded but disappear. Spending her first few nights of marriage in Vincent sister Regina’s house lets her know that the family she married into is anything but nurturing. Making sweet potato pie and told by his sister not to add sugar created an embarrassing moment for her. Telling her about her abortion really set her off and rightly so.
Being pregnant with her child should have been an exhilarating experience but there were many setbacks and drawbacks. When Mrs. Henderson, Vincent’s mom learned that Davida was having a girl, what she does is inexcusable and takes her heart away. The cruelties that his family inflicts on her are definitely wrong and hurtful. Her experience in the hospital is another example of the meanness of Regina just because Davida had to bottle feed Veda. Added in thank God she went to Ethel, her mother-in-law’s next-door neighbor for guidance and comfort. But, things get worse before they get better when she writes to Vincent and explains what has happened and her mother-in-law strikes out even more.
Vincent came home and fell into his own routine with his mother at his side every step of the way. Buying a new car with his mother’s advice because Veda and Davida had to remain in his father’s car since she left without her diaper bag, made her feel alone and left out. Wanting to buy their own home took two hours and moving in created more problems as they both got jobs at the same place, had only one car and this caused friction from the start. How was she supposed to cook, clean, shop, take care of Veda and work different shifts and have time for herself? Vincent seemed to feel he was supposed to be treated like a King and when Davida cooked dinner for him he stormed out because he disliked the meal and you can guess where he went. At the place where she worked Darlene the shift leader befriended her and tried to teach her how to cope with Vincent, get him to pick her up on time and be more understanding. But, coming home from Vietnam changed the considerate and kind man and he did not receive, as he should have counseling and help to readjust from the army. Today that is still a vital concern for veterans coming back needing jobs, benefits and help readjusting to life without war. With no support from her own family Davida often felt alone in her own home and world.
Author Gloria Mitchell reminds us of the changes that take place when someone goes off to war and has to adjust to civilian life. All too often some hear guns, voices and relive the nightmares daily in their dreams. Davida learns some hard and fast lessons from not only Darlene but her neighbor too when the author shares a strong part of the book titled Blisters which in this case refers to an annoying person. Vincent treats Davida like his maid and their roles seem to be undefined as she is supposed to cook, clean and deal with everything and he just wants to live. Another blister is unfaithfulness when she learns about someone in Vietnam and she winds up in the doctor’s office and needs to be treated for a communicable disease. Life gets harder and harder but the straw that broke the camel’s back is when she wants to drive to her mother’s house and he removed the distributor from the car. Fortunately a neighbor helped her to replace it but when she needs to shop for her mother and gets a flat is when she explodes and realizes she needs to be stronger and take a harder line with Vincent. His answer: go home to his mother. But, the turning point might change it around when a jealous lover kills Danny, her friends’ husband.
Author Gloria Mitchell through Davida shares the many different blisters or sores that created the turmoil and discord in her life. But, when she shares what she learned in a support group anyone going through a difficult marriage will learn the many lessons that Davida shares with readers as you read and understand the 13 blisters and the discussion that the women in her group had focusing on Adultery: the granddaddy of blisters and alternative lifestyles, addictions to porn, gambling, sports, cars, alcohol and much more as well as the abandonment. What happens when your husband winds up in prison and you spend your days off visiting him? Other stories were shared on this topic but alienation of affection is large, aging, apathy where you grow apart and each one does his/her own thing and finally abuse of any kind is wrong, ailments were sited and talked about and the tenth area attitudes. Read this final section and understand just how potent, powerful and straightforward the author is when she relates this information, sites quotes from the Bible that will give you strength and help young women, young teens and older women understand that there are many blisters, bliss, thorns and thistles, splendor and splinters in a marriage but when Davida takes a final stand and makes her final move you the reader as this reviewer did will admire her courage, understand her determination and realize that Davida Kinkaid Henderson just might see herself as a whole person and the final outcome might not be blisters but a different kind of BLISS! Once again author Gloria Mitchell takes on the a journey that starts out joyous, difficult, disturbing at times when one young girl faces many obstacles, gives up her chance at a college degree and then reminds herself you can soar all you need to do is fly!
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine
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