For the Freedom
Note and Disclaimer: Enjoy this new assessment. Oh, and M*A*S*H is never mine.
Some things are not worth fighting for. Other battles had to be waged until the war was won. Sometimes, the gauntlet was not going to be picked up and when it is, it is hard to put down. Oddly enough, I found this the perfect description of Louise Macintosh Burns.
Her family, based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, was very well-off. Louise was a wild girl though. Maybe it was her spoiled childhood that made her so combatant. It also could have been the relationships she had with her parents or being the sole heiress of a fortune after her brother and parents died. She lacked for nothing, even when the stock markets crashed and her father's world almost went with it.
She felt restricted. Louise sought ways to be liberated. She wanted nothing more than freedom. It meant she could do as she pleased. It placed her in a position of power. With freedom, she can choose.
When her mother demanded her to be part of a sewing circle for church, Louise skipped it to run in the meadows. When her father entertained important politicians and clergy, Louise was stomping in the mud. She was a tomboy and she adored this kind of freedom. It left her in trouble often.
Her parents threatened her. Louise could not count how many times her father told her there were boarding schools she could go to. Her mother warned her about shaming the family through illicit perversion and pregnancy. She told herself that she did not care about their words. After all, they were not actions. Nothing had happened.
Louise was unusual for a lady of her time – she married late. Until she was twenty-six, she remained frigid. She did not have an interest in men, so much so that her parents thought that she was a lesbian. This was not the case, much to their relief. She just did not find the right man. Many of them demanded her to give up her freedom. Being tied to a house and children was not the way she wanted life.
Louise wished for political activism in her life. She was a diehard Republican, after all. Louise had a love of country that included equal rights for women, just as long as they were similar social and political views to hers. Nothing left her more in a rage than living through Roosevelt's twelve years.
The man that tried to steal her heart was Frank Burns. He was a student of medical school and a washout of more. He was charming and cunning. Louise decided to use him to her advantage. She conned Frank into sex. This led to their marriage the year afterward, with her lawyer uncle walking her down the aisle and a less-than stellar audience.
Louise regretted marrying Frank. Her freedom had been cruelly taken away. Frank took control over her house and established a flourishing medical practice. Louise seethed to think that he took her family money and spent it on himself and his business. She was livid that Frank cheated on her and made her sit with their girls all night, making her believe that he was working.
It was unheard of! Louise had enough. Just when she was thinking of a divorce, war came knocking. Frank was already in the Army reserves and was soon stationed in Korea. Louise should have been upset about his leaving. On the contrary, she was not. She felt freedom again and she was not going to let it go again. This was one war that she was willing to keep fighting Frank on and she will win.
Beforehand, Louise was mousy and obedient. Now, she was on the move. Their daughters were older now. She had every intention of using her freedom to be active and she did. She grew out of the role of housewife and into one of political and social change. She campaigned for women to sit in on meetings and spread the word about any Republican candidate. She picked causes close to her heart to champion.
But what should be closest to her heart was the farthest. Frank continued to cheat her on and with an Army nurse too! He did it for the promotion and fame and Louise had enough of it. She had to buy some time. Her freedom came at a high price. Now, she had to use it to kick Frank out of her life, once and for all.
After her war, Louise welcomed Frank back with open arms…and a knife behind her back. She had plans to get rid of him. First, she had to endure his insufferable time at the VA. It was easy to see that he was mentally unstable. All he wanted was Margaret Houlihan, for God's sake!
It was not hard to divorce him either. Frank was on the deep end anyway and locked away. He had no leg to stand on. Louise was liberated from him. With her home and money, she was able to help raise her daughters and enjoy the fruits of her labor. Her freedom never tasted so good before.
I am Death though…and there is always a way to me. Louise Burns held freedom tightly to her chest. It was not just because she did not like to be controlled. She sought above all things to be herself. As the years passed though, she began to realize that other women felt the same way too. It will be women that surround her in the end, not the imbecile that married her. That is freedom indeed.