Wednesday, February 4, 2009

WARNING LONG Remembering... And all sorts of Musings

The end of January and early days of February bring me different memories and emotions. My niece, Aly, was born February 2nd. A time mixed with excitement, profound love, pain, hurt and determination. My sister brought Aly to us after an awful day (not in a bed but on more of a emergency type of bed)... on her back, with back labor, and a doctor who left town for a day of golf AFTER learning Kathie was in labor. Mom was there with Kathie, but the days, weeks and months before Aly's birth
Aly and her Aunt Betty, March 1975
were filled with discord as to Kathie's choices and her decision to keep Aly. Raise her, herself and not risk to chance the environment her baby would grow up in. Our parents disagreed with that choice, out of love, but in the months leading up to the birth of Kathie's baby, it would seem, often, that we stood alone together. We lived with each other then and both of our lives would change. I wasn't much help to Kathie in the early days. Of course, once you were out of diapers, Aly, I had you with me all the time. Kathie worked hard to support Aly and had to work a lot of overtime to make ends meet. There was no child support. Over the years, of course, life would change as our parents fell in love with Aly and fully supported (emotionally) Kathie. Dad loved her so much and once when Aly lamented in front of Grampa Eny that she had no daddy, he offered to be her dad. It was Kathie though, who bore the joy and burden of being sole support to Aly until she married Rob, when Aly was nearly 9 in 1983. You did good Kathie.... (cont... below)
Mom and me at my wedding shower, March 1978

Aly, the night before my wedding, Grampa Eny (my dad) took this picture with his new telephoto lens
My dad and me on my wedding Day He was really a handsome man

My dad, with my daughter Lyndsey in 1983.. "Sharing his wonder with her"
My parents in February 1983, Celebrating Dad's birthday at Kathie's condo
Me, and Kathie on her wedding day, 12/31/83. When Rob became Aly's daddy and always took good care of her
Dad with my girls at our family Christmas Party, at My sister Mary's house. Mary would always make the parties and holidays so beautiful.  This was in 1984

Dad, 1995,  Mom and Dad's 50th Anniversary

Mom and Dad, May 1995 50 years together. 

January 24th 1998 started out so happily, we were moving into our new home. That evening while I laid on the couch, wiped out, Kathie called and my world changed again. Dad was dead. Mom had been sick and getting weaker for years. She had emphysema and had been in the hospital a couple of times since Christmas. She woke up from a Nap and Dad was gone; no warning; no goodbye; no thank you for all you did for us and meant to us all of our lives. Just gone. We buried dad on January 30th or 31st, and the following day, Mom would go back into the hospital and died on February 5th.. 11 years ago tomorrow. I believed and still do; that their death, so close together, was a reward from God for a life well lived.  Those 12 days between January 24th and February 5th in 1998 were hard, as we sat in disbelief  and watched our mother die. Six of us, middle aged by then; but unable to accept our mom and dad were gone. So life changed a lot early in 1998 and because of problems during and shortly after this time, my parents' children have never been together all of us since.

Blaike, Mom and Dad's first Great Grandchild would turn 4 on February 6th so we celebrated the fact she wouldn't share her birthday with such an anniversary. Aly was married on March 7th, 4 weeks later. We celebrated her new life with sadness and joy... and a sense mom and dad were there, and stayed with her during the struggles she would face for the next 10 years. Aly, I think they were in Maui in July :)

So tomorrow is 11 years; I still miss them, I will occasionally still cry when I think of them. They were remarkable, even among their fellow members of the greatest generation... They stood out. That is not just the ramblings of their daughter; This knowledge was shared by people we'd never met before,  at their funerals. I regret they never met my 6 grandchildren; but I sense they enjoy them from heaven.  Last year, our youngest grand daughter, Sophie nearly died on the 10th anniversary of Dad's death, of Jaundice so bad she needed a transfusion. I knew dad was there and she'd be o.k.

So on January 24th, I remember with fondness, Paul and I celebrating getting into that house on Primero; and sadness at the memory of the shock later that evening. On February 2nd, I celebrate Aly's arrival into my life and I remember  the struggles of my sister Kathie to raise her to the beautiful woman she became. On February 5th, those twelve days each year come to an end for one more year, and I remember that Blaike, who was named for her great grand father, is getting older every year!!!
I've learned during my 56 years that the book of Ephesians is right in the bible, or the Birds were, when they sang Turn Turn Turn. There is a time for joy and a time for sorrow.....
Happy Birthday Ground hog baby, I love you every day!!! Happy birthday Blaike; Happy anniversary mom and dad, we'll see you soon.
Thanks for taking the time... if you're still reading!.... to read my blog today.


Julee Marie Photography said...

Awww Betty that was great. of course I just had to read that after the day I've had and no i'm crying. Your family is so beautiful. I miss you. I would have liked to have known your parents.

Rudee said...

That was a lovely tribute to your parents. It sounds like they deserved your love and admiration. I don't know if these things ever get easier Betty. This must be a bittersweet time for you. Happy Birthday to your niece.

Jose said...

What a wonderful post so full of love and emotion. It is clear to me that you and I are similar in our family ways and our family values. I know we've only known eachother for a short period of time and through a machine of all things but I have learned to like you and all you represent. I can see you have an awesome family.

Betty Flocken said...

Thanks! Julee, Rudee and Jose.. I'll keep these posts shorter.. I promise :)

Brenda said...

I love all the photos of your family. Your parents look and sound like they were very admired by everyone. Your wedding photo was great. The happiness on your face really glowed. Blogging is such a neat way to journal these thoughts and feelings. I know that your kids and grand kids will really appreciate this.

Kathie Moore said...

Betty - what are you talking about? - I was married for a short time to a nice Puerto Rican gentlemen - Gram never told you???

Kathie Moore said...

PS - you couldn't have found a better picture of me?

Sandy said...

Wonderful post Betty and so enjoyed the photos. Your dad must have been so special to you (and of course your mom too)...January is a month of loss in my family as well...

I really enjoyed this...

Betty Flocken said...

LOL Kathie! I forgot about that! Gram was good!
What picture of you? Your wedding picture is beautiful?

Sandy, Thanks, I'm glad January is over for you now.

lyndsey27 said...

Awww mom i love this!