Ronald Theriot knew there was something special about his wife, Janine, when they met on Grand Isle in 1963. They were both teenagers, and met on vacation. Their first date was on a beach, watching a meteor shower. They married two years later. In this conversation with his daughter, Isabelle, Ronald talked about his wife's love of birthday parties and sewing, and the joy she took in raising her three children.
In January 1983, Janine Theriot became ill. Her daughter Isabelle was too young at the time to remember what was happening. Doctors later discovered her mother had leukemia. Chemotherapy seemed to work but 18 months later her blood tests showed that if she didn't take another round of treatments, she would die. Ronald recalls how she struggled with that decision as Janine walked around her home the night before checking back into the hospital. And he tells Isabelle about how his wife seemed to make her presence known after she was gone.
ALSO: In this extended conversation, Ronald Theriot tells how he and his wife, Janine, wanted a lot of children when they married, but she had problems carrying a baby to term. After one miscarriage, she delivered a son. Then came seven more miscarriages. He says they decided to adopt a girl, Karen, and concentrate on the children they had. But then they discovered she was pregnant again. Here, Ronald talks with his daughter, Isabelle, about her unexpected arrival in the family.
StoryCorps New Orleans interviews were recorded by StoryCorps, a national project to record and collect stories of everyday people. This excerpt was selected and produced by WWNO producer Eileen Fleming, with support from the WWNO Productions Fund and from Villere & Co., managing the investments of New Orleans' families for almost 100 years. Listen again at wwno.org or at nola.com.