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Posts Tagged ‘brother’

I really enjoy reading http://my91yearoldmom.wordpress.com/.  If you would like to read a sensitive, loving, humorous story of an aging mother, check out “My 91 year old mom.”

Helping to care for my 90 year old mother, I relate to his stories of Tom caring for his mom.  I was going to link to the story of his sister haunting the house, but I could not find it.  It is somewhere in his blog and worthy of your read.  The story of his mother and Mr. Booger head is hysterical.  I particularly relate to the story of his sister’s ghost, for I have had some experience with my own ghost.

David, Evelyn Sheryl

My brother was six years older than I am.  I understand mom would have to tell him to stop giving in to me, when I was little, because I would get spoiled.  But, what I remember is playing by the door when it was time for David to come home from school.  Through the years, David would give me advice on boys and chase away the ones who liked me but I did not return their feelings.  He was my protector and friend.  He made eclairs for us to share and he taught me how to wrap Christmas presents, play backgammon, chess and cribbage, and, when he went into the Air Force, he read my teen angst written letters.  He died in 1990 of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.  My brother, David, and I.

My dad became ill around 1998, although I’m sure Hemochromatosis was destroying his body for some time before we found out what was wrong.  This disease is a build-up of iron in the body.  Normally your body excreets it.  Dad’s did not.  It destroys your organs and causes a build up of ammonia in your brain.  Dad was getting to the point where he was difficult to deal with.   Husband and I went to visit them, in Arkansas, to discuss having them move to Wyoming.  Dad was opposed to the move but husband had the idea of giving them the upstairs and we would move into the finished walk-out basement.

David and Dad in 1948

As we sat around their dining room table discussing the move I looked out the patio door.  It was dark outside and our figures reflected in the glass.  I was startled at the resemblance of my dad to my brother.  I had never noticed it before, but there he was, my brother, looking back at me in the glass.  I slowly turned to look at dad, and to verify that there was a resemblance. There was not.  In his 70s, he did not look a thing like his son had.  I swung back to the glass, and the reflection had gone.  I could barely even see the reflection of my father.

I have always thought that my brother was letting me know that he was waiting for dad to join him. My dad died three months after he moved in with us in Wyoming.

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When I was growing up, there were no malls on every corner, or any corner.  Mom did not have a driver’s license and never did get one and shopping consisted of a payday (every other Friday) foray into the nearest little town, Griffith, Indiana.  Where I would return my arm-load of books to the library and pick out the next two weeks reading, while mom and dad started their grocery shopping.

Occasionally we would pick something up in the Ben Franklin dime store.  Prices were higher for clothing there, but you could get a tube of lipstick or a hanky to give a relative for Christmas.  Our main shopping was from the Sears, Roebuck Catalog.

1958 Sears Catalog

photo via http://www.wishbookweb.com/1958_SearsChristmasBook/index.htm

This was the Christmas catalog of 1958, and I remember that santa ornament hanging on our tree.  We poured over those Christmas catalogs for hours.  When the Sears driver delivered our order, my brother and I would have to leave the room while she opened those pages and checked the goods.  I don’t think they could do that now, in this day of GPS tracking and speedy delivery, but back in the 50s, service ruled.

I belive there was a fall catalog also that signalled the arrival of the school year.  Mom would haul out the catalog and mark the pages I could use to chose my school clothes.  There was a price point obviously.  Mom always ordered two pair of shoes for me, in different sizes, just to make sure.

The Sears truck driver was almost a friend to invite to dinner.  He came in with the order and waited while things were tried on.  So, when it was time to order school clothing,  I looked for my favorite pair of shoes.  Sears carried them for years.  They were flats with elastic cords that went from the front to the back and I thought they made my feet look awesomely small.  Mom would order two pair, in different sizes, and the Sears truck driver would wait, while I tried on my shoes, so he could take back the pair that did not fit.

Now, I drive fifty miles, to Shoe Circus in Indy/Greenwood, to get shoes that feel half way comfortable and pay a $100 for the privilege.  Do high heels make your feet look amazing?  Yes!  Do they feel like the inquisition has arrived?  Yes!

I HATE SHOES!

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So much to say today.  When we took the boys, we were told never to come back to our see our other grandchildren who we had babysat and spent time with continually for years. We were like second parents.  Had I known how bad the abuse of the boys was—I mean, we knew some and that is why we took them, but I had no idea it involved a month locked in the closet, three days without food—had I known this type of thing, I would have called DFS out immediately.  Instead, the step-father got what he wanted. He wanted the three boys who were not his blood out of his family and he wanted us out of his life.  He was smiling when we left.

 

I woke up with a dream of my granddaughters.  I often dream of the oldest girl.  She and I had a special bond. While granddaughter’s number two and three, favored Grandpa and granddaughter number four was Gaffer’s baby. Oh, how she loved her big brother.  Granddaughter number one was my girl.

 

She seemed to favor Granddad to begin with but I had gone away for a month and when I returned, the babe in arms she was then looked at me with such admiration and love and that was it. She was my girl, from then on.  When we would arrive and be descended upon by the other children (this is a family of eleven children), granddaughter number one would hold back. I would look around for her and she would be at the edge of the room, near a corner, watching with her slight, shy grin to me.  When the other children then focused on their granddad for tickles and play time, she would come and sit on my lap and almost melt into my body and we would talk.  I miss her so much.  I miss all of them so much.

 

So, in my dream, I was at my mother’s apartment, outside and instead of the city houses, there was a large park and there, playing in the park was a passel of children. With the modern children playing were my two oldest granddaughters, in pale and shapeless, worn prairie dresses. And, they ran to me and I picked them up, and held them tight to me and was so happy. 

 

I tried not to wake up, but I did.  It has been three years now since I have seen them. How much they must have grown.  I am told they will find me.  But, knowing the damage that my grandson’s (who live with me now) suffer from, I fear for what shape they will be in. 

 

On other fronts:

 

I am watching the storm coming into New Orleans as I finish my morning rituals. It brings back a feeling that I have been through and, I’m sure, a lot of New Orleans families are going through now.  Your life becomes focused on one thing. All other concerns and fears and worries are pushed to the back and there is one focus of your life. Will you have a home, when you get back?

 

I went through fire evacuations several times during my years in Wyoming.  The worse was when we were told, as we sat in a Red Cross shelter, that the fire had reached our rural street of four houses and surrounded a house.  It had but the firemen saved all our street’s homes. 

 

Then, we were in Northern Indiana, for Electrician grandson’s graduation, and one of the boys came out and told me that I might want to get online and check our area because it was said to be under water.  So, for that night and the next day, we did not know what we would go home to.  Many people did lose their home and I still remember watching the damage from the tornado a week before, as we drove home. We had only slight water damage.  We were lucky.

 

But, I know the fear that is in New Orleans and area heart’s and my heart is with you today.  If you don’t mind me reserving a little bit of it for granddaughters.

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Okay, what are blogs for, if not to vent about your relatives, right?????????

Morning is my quiet time. My peaceful, internet morning ritual. Post a poem for mom on her blog, at  Padairvanvleck’s Weblog  , post my post here, check my writing post and decide I have nothing to say. Then, I check my email. BAD MOVE this morning!

 

1.       I was trying to make a joke, to BrainDebris, about mom’s penchant for watching certain tv programs and it didn’t come off very well. Especially, when I sent it to mom and not BrainDebris.  Three emails of apology later and I move on to other email.

 

2.      WHY DID I BOTHER!

We have another wedding coming up next month and I am taking mom to it. This one is only three hours away and near to the area we are from, so lots of relatives. I wrote a relative, who I had been told had one of my brother’s chess sets to give me and was coming to the wedding. I received a reply email this morning.

 

 (XXX’s to protect the innocent)

 

MY EMAIL:

I was glad to hear you were going to  XXX  wedding. Grandma really missed XXXX when you were hoping to stop on your trip last summer.

 

I do have a request. XXX two chess sets of (my brother’s) so that I could pick one to have. It would mean so much to me to have one of his chess sets.  I wonder if you guys could bring them and I will go out to the car with you and pick one and put it into my car.  It would mean a lot.

 

I’ll be bringing Grandma to the wedding.

 

That’s it. Fairly friendly I think, and to the point. I have had some good laughs with this relative. We have visited their house when they had birthday parties etc. Last time I saw the relative, we were warmly welcome and treated well.

 

 HER REPLY:

1st paragraph informing me in five different ways that her husband has to work. I kind of got that he had to work . THEN:

 

“We are hoping to be able to just pick Grandma up by herself to spend some time at our house, since she will be only 2 blocks over from our new house. We would love to have her spend some time with her great grand babies and us. I would love to grill out for her  and make  a nice dinner for her.

 

“We really are only about 1 minute from XXXX  house” ( the house we are staying at for two days)

 

ME AGAIN:

Okay, I get that I am not invited. But, I replied simply that Grandma would love to spend time with this woman’s children and I would forward her letter to mom.

 

She found it necessary to email me again; just in case my head was extra thick and I did not get the message that I was NOT welcome to accompany mom to her house.

 

SHE WROTE:

Hopefully she can spend a little while with us, we would love it. XXX does have off every Friday and Sunday.  So, not sure how long you will be here, but if you could see if we can pick her up one of the Friday evenings or Sunday anytime – that would be special for us to be able to have her over.

 

 

OKAY FOLKS!  You be the judge. Am I being overly sensitive here or was I good enough to come to their kids birthday party, with a present, but they do not want to cook for me?? I haven’t been around in years, certainly not enough to offend her.

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