She was especially worried about the deteriorating relationship between Tom and Judy. Although he had once treated his stepdaughter with great affection, Loretta had noticed a change the moment Christopher was born, even more pronounced when Peter arrived so soon afterward. His sons were now Tom’s focus, and when he did cross paths with Judy, he was critical of her activities, her grades, her friends. Part of the difficulty was that Tom was unemployed, with time on his hands, thus able to get involved in everything that went on in the household. While the boys loved having a Mr. Mom, Judy longed for privacy and freedom.
“I talked about the situation to Tom first,” Loretta said. “Then I talked to Judy. As gently as I could, I suggested he’d get over it as soon the boys grew up a little. Judy tried hard to believe me, but in time we both knew I was wrong.” Loretta felt guilty. If she wasn’t gone so much, maybe she could calm the troubled waters. But her Oscar had made her a “hot commodity”-she and Tom (along with the Hopes, Robert and Betty Montgomery, and several others) had even been invited to the wedding of the future Queen Elizabeth of England and Prince Philip! One can only imagine Loretta’s awe at her own achievements. She, a fatherless boarding house girl, was now not only the most famous actress in America, but traveling to London for a Royal Command Performance of The Bishop’s Wife as part of the wedding festivities. Understandable that, in the midst of the excitement, she found herself uttering the mantra of the busy woman: God, please show me how to handle it all.
Reprinted from Forever Young by Joan Wester Anderson by permission of Thomas More Publishing. All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.