Lorraine's mother got a legal separation from her father about the time she was born. Sadly, if that wasn't bad enough, her father died when Lorraine was nine. Lorraine explains it as follows:
"I never have to worry about finding my father there (at home) because he left fifteen years ago when they got a legal separation, and then he died six years ago, which made it a more permanent separation" (50).
The whole situation is depressing because Lorraine grew up learning about what happened between her mother and father about twice a year as her mother rehashed the story. Basically, while her mother was pregnant with Lorraine, the doctor tells her mother not to let her husband touch her until his "disease" is cured. The disease is never specified, but one might wonder if it wasn't an STD because her mother soon discovered that her father had a girlfriend on the side. Now Lorraine must also suffer the effects of her mother's grief and bitterness because it seems like her mother never recovered from it all.