Thursday, January 03, 2013

A Hollywood Marriage: Brother Vic Rises From Foster Care, Vietnam War Wounds, Near Death Twice -- To Find Love and Happiness.

This was the scene at Vic's Sturbridge, Mass. home on New Year's Eve as he exchanged marriage vows with Marianne, his soulmate and sweetheart of nine years. It was a beautiful wedding and I have never seen Vic so happy. 
But let Vic describe it in his own words. Announcing the wedding on Facebook to the extended Pollock family, Vic wrote:

"Marianne and I were married New Year's Eve!!! We had a beautiful ceremony at our house in Sturbridge. After the ceremony, it was off to the Publick House for dinner and reception, then back home to ring in the New Year. It was a wonderful night to mark the beginning of the rest of our lives together. Will be posting pictures soon. Marianne Abbott is now officially Marianne Abbott POLLOCK!!!"


Those exclamation points speak volumes about where Vic has come from and how far, overcoming the impossible every step of the way. In truth, his rise to that wedding scene above is straight out of Hollywood.

What a movie it would make! Title? How about:
"You're Not Going to Believe This!"

 I can see the the Big Screen trailer:

Dad dies young (27) ... toxic mom hands him and his four siblings over to foster care ... raised in uncaring, often abusive, foster homes ... joins the U.S. Marine Corps and is seriously wounded in Vietnam (grenade fragments to the stomach)... 24 years in the Marine Corps, rising to Drill Instructor ...along the way, earns a bachelor's degree and a master's degree ... living in Oklahoma, his marriage, health (from war wounds), and life fall apart and he is ready to die ... his two brothers fly out and drive him to Massachusetts where sister Ruby takes him in and nurses him ... regains health, buys a home, rebuilds life (again)... meets Marianne, long-time divorced mother of two (Tom and Liz), life is good ...  effects of war wounds and botched operation return with a vengeance ... unable to eat, thin, weak, in rapid decline, Vic will die unless he gets major surgery... Marianne, a nurse, takes charge, finding the right surgeon, supervising his medications, staying at his beside before and after surgery and during a long recovery at home... after many months of Marianne's daily help,Vic can eat again, his weight recovers, he gets his life back ...  Vic and Marianne become one, acknowledge their love, and decide to have a joyous, life-affirming wedding on New Year's Eve to usher in 2013.

Wouldn't you just love to see that movie? 

There is one more remarkable detail about the movie that is Vic's life. Having reached the undoubtedly high point of his life, he will soon turn 70. At that age, the average guy, his best days far behind, is winding down. Vic is starting life all over again.

And, of course, so is Marianne at the age of ... oh, a little voice, female but no-nonsense firm: do NOT go there. ...  maybe in her forties? At least, seeing her in that gorgeous wedding outfit and holding that bouquet of flowers and with her smile lighting up the room, that would be my guess. Vic is robbing the cradle. 

Vic asked me to give the toast before dinner was served. My first draft ran a bit long, about 30 minutes. It was about  how Reggie and I saved his life when we flew out to Oklahoma to get him after he gave up living; how I have always been his role model, though he has never been able to acknowledge it, etc, etc. 

Then, I heard a voice. It was that of a U.S. Marine Corps Drill Instructor:  If you want to live, keep it short, ya hear? 

I heard. I do want to live. So here was my toast:

A toast to a dream come true.  Vic and Marianne, may you enjoy your love and life together, every day, for many years as husband and wife.  And now let us all drink to it!

Now here are a few photos of Vic and Marianne's Hollywood wedding.

Here are Vic and Marianne at their front and center table at the Publick House, well known for many years for great food, service, and historical setting. They enjoyed homemade pecan buns and rolls before digging into a delicious meal of pot roast, potatoes, and squash. Dessert followed, an out-of-this-world apple pie with ice cream.
After dinner, Vic and Marianne visited each table to chat. It was very clever how they seated the Pollock siblings. Knowing very well that Marion, Ruby, Reggie, and I would naturally sit together, they put us at different tables. In the photo above, Marion, shown talking with Vic, was seated with Marianne's family along with our Aunt Lillian.

And you know what? It was a good idea. It gave us the opportunity to meet and talk with Marianne's family and friends. At Barbara's and my table, for example, we had a wonderful conversation with Marilyn, a neighbor of Marianne's for over 40 years, and also with some of Marianne's grandchildren who were seated with us.

Since the five of us grew up in foster care without family of any kind, there were two people at Vic and Marianne's wedding who are especially important to us. They are Aunt Lillian and cousin Ginny, shown above with me. They are real family that we never knew we had -- until Vic, poking around cemetery  records and genealogies, found them.

To read how Vic pulled this off, click here. 

Finally, here are the Pollock siblings with the newly married couple: 


Welcome to the family, Mrs. Pollock.

So long and keep moving.

Amazon E-Books by George Pollock

"State Kid: Hero of Literacy" is fiction based on his real-life experiences growing up in foster homes; "Last Laughs," is the true story of how five foster kids (he and four younger siblings) found their way in life and each other. "Killers: Surprises in a Maximum Security Prison," is the story of his being locked up for 23 hours with killers in a maximum security prison; "I, Cadaver" is about his postmortem adventures and mischief in the anatomy lab at UMass Medical School. “A Beautiful Story” demonstrates the art and process of creative writing as a 16-year-old boy goes all out to write a story that literally saves his life; "A Long, Happy, Healthy Life," is about how to live the title every day; and "Unlove Story," Writing anonymously as "Elvis," a husband, dumped after 38 years of marriage, lets it all out on love, marriage, life, everything. A guy doing this? It's unheard of.
For the Nook:

A Beautiful Story
A Long, Happy, Healthy Life
I, Cadaver
State Kid
Unlove Story

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At January 03, 2013 8:14 PM, Blogger georgepollock said...

Great story of your brother getting married and surviving the war and his crazy life! I can relate as you may know ,you and I are of the same breed raised in a diverse situation to say the least! We have what others lack character and personality . Some wonder , some are baffled and others are amazed at our confidence and stature . I wish you were here to marvel at my existence I call life . A unit of two , has become a Wolfpack of six . Life in Seattle with my beautiful wife and four amazing kids is unbelievable and challenging at the same time . I just hope that being over three thousand miles away never takes away from the relationship we built over so many years. As crazy as it seems we have been together over twenty five years . No doubt we have had our hurdles but,as you know, nothing comes easy . You speak of marriage! I know marriage and I worship its energy! I love my wife as if it were the first day we met. Oh,Oh, I'm losing it! Time to go! George, AKA papa, you are the man! Peace out! Talk to you soon!

At January 03, 2013 8:32 PM, Anonymous George Pollock said...

The previous comment is by Ed Perritt, Seattle, formerly of Worcester, Mass. He is a son-in-law who, like Vic, came from extreme dysfunction (his father died drunk in the street), yet built a beautiful life and family through hard work. With Ed, as with Vic, giving up was never an option.


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