In the quiet, early morning hours of July 16, 1975, Gerald Ford was meeting with his cabinet regarding troubles in the Soviet Union, the Stones were resting up for the concert they would play that night in San Francisco, and a 26 year old woman, in labor with her first child, was quietly walking the half mile from her rented house to the hospital to give birth to her son. Her husband lay sleeping having worked third shift the night before and would join her later in time to be at her side for the delivery. But at this moment, she wanted to enter the hospital discretely, to be admitted without fanfare.
G’s marriage was the first cause of concern to her parents and family. The choice to become a doctor occurred early in G’s life, and at the time there was little to make anyone believe that it was not an appropriate choice. Groundbreaking, yes. Inappropriate, no. G was intelligent, studious, and academically successful nearly to a fault. She did not date in high school – went to the senior prom alone – and was fully prepared to spend her life as a female doctor. She planned on being a woman with a degree and a career, but no family. This suited her parents just fine. Having been raised during the Great Depression, they wanted security for their daughter and didn’t see marriage as the way to attain that. While such a notion was revolutionary for their time, it did not encompass what would come to be expected of the women of G’s generation – an attempt to “have it all.” It also did not account for their daughter meeting a young man at a shoe factory one summer day between freshman and sophomore year of college or their rushed wedding during the biggest snow storm of the winter of ’69 after L received his orders to ship out…to Vietnam.