Aunt E

She was an interesting lady. She was, of course, older and lived off of social security but she would also babysit on the side. She kept a girl that was about a year younger than me. Her son’s daughter was living with her mom but was having issues so she came to live with Aunt E (well and us) and she was a couple of years older than me. It was an interesting house to live in. Like Papa E, Aunt E did not give us anything for free. She always kept freezer pops, bags and bags and would sell them to use for 50 cent…knowing that she was making bank off of us because she could a bag of them for a little over a dollar! The girl she baby sat, D, my cousin C, and the two girls that lived next door were very close in age so it was natural that we all befriended each other. We would hang out at the neighbor’s house so sometimes with Aunt E. I remember one day Aunt E wanted us out of the house and apparently we were not moving quickly enough so she chased us out with a broom and told us not to come back for several hours! I was upset by that because I lived there and had my own space separate of her so technically she had no right to throw me out!

I tried to get close to Aunt E but it never really happened. She was a tough old bird that didn’t let people get really close. Then there was one day she said something to me that hurt me so deep that I completely wrote her off from then on but luckily it wasn’t too much longer before mom and I moved. The girls and I were in her living room and she told us that the only one of the neighbor girls would go to college and make something of her life. I was FLOORED. I was flesh and blood and unlike my cousin I hadn’t had a child at an early age for my mom to raise. I made excellent grades in school too unlike the neighbor girls who were all about partying. I wish that Aunt E was still around to see how our lives turned out. Cousin C had several kids and a few husbands, no college. D has 3 kids, 2 husbands, no college, and has been a waitress all of her life. One of the neighbor girls has 3 kids, attended but not graduated from college and has always been a waitress and her sister never graduated college has 3 kids and doesn’t work and doesn’t seem to have a financially stable life. Me…graduated college, married with one child and have worked for a hospital system for 15 years with an Executive Vice President. Take that Aunt E…you got it all wrong!

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Maternal Grandfather

I have spoken of growing up spending time with my grandparents. These were my Dad’s parents. Well my mom’s Dad I didn’t know very well growing up. I had met him a few times but not many and when I was about 6 years old he was sent to prison. He was sentenced to 10 years but served 4. Apparently it was for manslaughter (really people!). I was told that he didn’t do it or it was an accident but I really don’t know. Something about a woman friend that was being beaten by her husband and he ended up dead and Papa E was blamed for it. I have never asked my mom about it. Not sure why but I just haven’t. I remember going to visit him one time when he was in prison. You would think it would be a little scary for a small child but I guess when you have a family like mine it’s no big deal.

When my parents split we moved to my mom’s child hood home. This house was a very large house in town. It was sort of a duplex. Papa E’s sister was living there along with Papa E. They had converted the top part of the house to an apartment for Papa E and Aunt E lived in one side of the bottom half. My mom and I moved into the other side of the bottom (two rooms).

During this time I got to know Papa E some, my neighbor friends, a kid Aunt E baby sat for, and Aunt E’s niece would all hang out. We would hang out in Papa E’s apartment a lot. Now that I think about it I believe he was a hoarder. He didn’t junk up the living room but his bed room (which was huge) was slammed packed with stuff. He would have candy in his room (mostly gum) and would sell that to us. I always thought it was strange that my own Papa would make me buy candy from him but I did. He would be nice enough to not charge me if it were just the two of us.

He was a very nice man and loved my mom so much. I am happy that my mom got to share that time with him. Unfortunately God decided to take him very soon in life. I was at my grandparents’ house one night when I got a call that Papa E had passed from a major heart attack. It was such a horrible blow to my mom. Mom’s mom died when she was in her 40’s so I never had the pleasure of meeting her so now my mom had no parents and she was still very young herself. My half-sister had moved in with Papa E for a while to and she was hit hard by his passing as well. Other than my mom he was the only “full blooded” family she had.

Papa E is greatly missed in our family.

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My Dad – Part 2

Prior to my half-sister’s move she felt that it was time to tell my Mom that growing up (she had been with my Dad since she was about 2) until she moved out of his house, that Dad had been molesting her. This understandably upset my Mom. Mom claims she knew nothing about it and wishes that my half-sister would have said something years ago and would not have let her stayed with my Dad (note for another post one day…my half-sister decided later that my Mom did know but I don’t believe it). My mom had gotten a gun that night and was on the way out of the house to see my Dad when my stepdad stopped her.

I struggle with fully believing this. I don’t think my half-sister would lie about it but there are parts of it that I have a hard time believing. When I lived with them, my half-sister and I shared a room and I insisted on our bedroom door being left open with the hallway light on. At first I thought maybe this happened when I was with my grandparents but she said that it would occur with me there. I’m a light sleeper (always have been) and I’m pretty sure I would have noticed if someone entered the room and especially if they shut the door (I would have lost my mind). Could it happen…I suppose but my gut doesn’t fully believe it.

Even though this is a horrible accusation my half-sister continues to have a relationship with my Dad. It never changed how I felt about it. I would see him at my grandparents and it was like it never happened.

A while later my Dad remarried a woman that had 4 kids. He raised her kids (2 boys, 2 girls) but still didn’t involve me…they were all a little younger than me…the oldest maybe 3 years younger. I didn’t like the new wife. She was mean and didn’t seem to care about having a relationship with me or encouraging my Dad to have one.

The thing that got me with my Dad all came to a head when my grandfather passed. Papa passed a little less than a week after my birthday (side note: Dad never acknowledged me on my birthday….no call or card…don’t even know if he remembers when it is). At the funeral home, I was standing outside speaking with my brother’s girlfriend. My Dad came out and stood about 2-3 feet away. We were talking about my birthday and some other stuff. When our conversation was done she went to find my brother and I was just standing there. At no point that entire evening did my Dad acknowledge that I was there. He never said hi, hugged me, said sorry I missed your birthday, happy late birthday, not one thing! He wasn’t distraught over Papa’s passing because he was his step-dad and they were not that close. I’m not sure why he did that but it really hurt.

Years passed before the next time I tried to contact him. I sent him a wedding invitation to my first wedding. He never RSVP’d so I didn’t know if he was even going to show up. He didn’t. I heard a couple of stories of why he didn’t from my brother. One was because I just had Dad’s name on the invitation and not his wife…umm…okay…and the other was that he didn’t have anything to wear. If my Dad had ever gotten to know me he would know that I wouldn’t have cared what he wore as long as he was there. That really hurt.

I have come across him from time to time over the years. My brother lived with me briefly and Dad would come to pick him up from my house. I think he spoke to me once. We always speak like there isn’t anything wrong so I’m not sure what that’s about. I’ve grown to be bitter though. He has had several strokes over the years, per my brother and half-sister. I’m not sure who will let me know when he finally passes and I’m not even sure I will go to the funeral. Sad yes but what would you expect. I have sent him pictures of LB twice a year since she was born and every year a Christmas card. I have never received a word back from him. I guess he doesn’t want to meet his granddaughter. That hurts.

The kicker to the story, he still calls my half-sister every year on Christmas and her birthday. Apparently years back she confronted him about the abuse and according to my half-sister he never fully acknowledged it but did apologize to her for his treatment of her. My brother has contact with him as well. I guess I’m not worthy like my siblings.

LB asked me for the first time if “Papa” was my Dad. I had to tell her the truth. He’s my step-dad and my real Dad she has never met. She doesn’t understand that yet but I’m not going to hide it from her. I want her to see what a great Dad she has and what a great Papa she has. I love my stepdad as if he was my biological Dad and he’s been with me since I was 10. He gave me away at my first wedding and married me for my second. He’s a wonderful man. My biological Dad…well he’s actually just a sperm donor.

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Metal

Metal

Yesterday they had field day at the daycare. When I picked up LB she told me that she a metal in her cubby. I thought maybe all the kids got one but as I spoke with her I don’t believe they did. She told me about a classmate that won for the sack race. I asked her what she won for and at first it was the fastest jump, then it was the highest jump and this morning she said it was for the hola hoop and balloon race. I have no clue and her teacher was busy when I got there so I couldn’t ask. I just told her that I was proud of her. I’m not that coordinated and rarely won anything at field day so she’s doing a lot better than her ole mama.

Way to go LB! (she wanted me to take a picture of her in front of this water fountain with her metal).

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My Dad – Part 1

This one is harder to write about. Growing up, as stated before, our house was the party house. On weekends there would be biker gang members hanging out drinking, smoking pot, popping pills, and doing coke or angel dust. Being that I was spending a lot of time with my grandparents I wasn’t always there to be in the middle of it but there were times that I was there and loved hanging out with my Dad. He wasn’t always the nicest to my brother and half-sister (we have different Dad’s) though. My brother is 5 years older than me and my half-sister is 8 years older. He would punch my brother with a closed fist when he did something Dad didn’t approve of. I witnessed several of these “man to man (boy)” fights. It was not pretty and hurt my heart (remember I was 9 years and younger). Dad wasn’t that nice to my mom either. He would call her stupid and emotionally hurt her a lot. My mom had had enough of the emotional/mental abuse and decided to leave when I was around 9 years old. My brother was 14 and my half-sister 17 so they were old enough to decide for themselves. My brother wanted to stay with my Dad and my half-sister wanted to stay with my brother so they remained and I went on with Mom. Mom and I moved in with her Dad and Aunt in a duplex house. I would see my Dad off and on while they still lived in the country but not too often. I would go to the house and see my siblings on the weekends I was with my grandparents because they were next door. Years passed and my Dad and siblings moved into town about a mile away from me. I would walk over to see them from time to time. My Dad and I were not that close by this time and when my siblings moved out it was less and less that we saw each other. I found out later that my Mom used to call my Dad and beg him to come and pick me up. He would tell her that he didn’t know what to do with me. Mom told him I was just happy to be there and he didn’t have to do anything but just be there. It didn’t work. As years continued on I would only see him at Thanksgiving and Christmas at my Grandparents.

When I graduated from high school I had 5 tickets to give to folks to come to the graduation. I invited my Mom, step dad, boyfriend, my uncle (not one previously written about) and his wife. The reason I invited my uncle and his wife was because they would always call me and see how school was going and when they would see my name in the newspaper for honor roll they would call or send a card. Not once did my Dad ever do that! At that point my half-sister had moved to Canada so she wasn’t an option and my brother…well he is a story for another time. So I made my selections using the criteria that made sense to me…invite those that cared about my education. My own grandparents didn’t show that much attention! That Thanksgiving my Grandmother was upset with me because I hadn’t invited my Dad to graduation and told me that it really hurt him. I explained my reasons again but fell on deaf ears. One of my cousins, who I never really cared for, kept getting in my face telling me that I needed to make up with my Dad, like she had done. So Dad and I got into his car and had a talked where I had a chance to tell him how I felt. He apologized and we both cried. I thought maybe something would have changed at that time…but it didn’t.

Let me go back a little bit…there was one more reason that I didn’t invite Dad to the graduation and that’s because I didn’t really want him and Mom in the same room. My mom might have committed murder that day. The reason…well it had to do with something my half-sister told us prior to her moving to Canada….

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Not that side of the family too!

A few years back another one of my uncle’s (mom’s side) was living with his girlfriend and her teenage son. This uncle (JR) was nice and I got along with him but didn’t know him all that well. My ex-husband had gone to visit him a few times to get/smoke some weed. One day I find out that JR had been arrested. My first thought was drug possession but no it was for shooting his girlfriend’s son and killing him. Say what?! The story goes that JR and his girlfriend had gotten into an argument (not sure if it was just screaming or physical) and the son came in to defend his mom. The son brought a gun into the living room. JR went to take the gun away from the son but a fight ensued over the gun. During the struggle the gun went off killing the son in the living room in front of the girlfriend. I can only imagine the anguish this brought on the mother! Anyway, she was generous enough to tell the police that this was an accident. JR was never charged with this. Needless to say he and the girlfriend were no longer together either.

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Jailbird…ugh!

Growing up one of my uncles (1/2 brother of Bone) was all the time getting arrested. It seemed to happen most often around Thanksgiving or Christmas. I guess he had some aversion to family dinners or something! As a young child I used to call him “Jailbird”.

One side note: Jailbird almost always was wearing these green corduroy shorts. My grandma worked for a department store so she bought most of my clothes. One year she brought over some new summer clothes for me and in the bag was this pair of green shorts. The price tag never came off of them because I refused to wear them. I thought they were nasty just like him!

Jailbird’s run ins with the law consisted of a DUI, forging checks, assault on a police officer, attempted escape from prison, indecent exposure (must run in the family), embezzlement, trespass, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and drunk/disorderly. All of these were from 1973-1988 and he remained quiet and well behaved for 6 years and then he must have decided that he needed to return to prison because ended up confessing to a murder that occurred in the 1960’s! This was a cold case in another state. From what I heard, he was in this other state and had met this man and ended up at his house. Jailbird’s version is that the man started making moves on him and Jailbird didn’t like it so he stabbed him and left. The only thing at the scene was a bloody foot print (notice foot not shoe…why were his shoes off??). Either Jailbird wanted to go back to prison or guilt finally overwhelmed him (I’m hoping the latter). He was sentenced to 20 years for manslaughter and served 6. He’s been quiet for 11 years and there haven’t been any more updates on Jailbird so I guess he finally decided to grow up (at 66) and stop his life of crime.

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