Sunday, June 29, 2014

Family

Four sisters named Margaret, Suzie, Janice and Arlene.  By the end of this year we will be 78, 74, 68 and 60.  We have become the Granny, Grammy, Grandma and Nana to a wide range of girls and boys, several who are now women and men.  In the middle between being daughters and grandmothers we were sweethearts, cheerleaders, drill team members, singers performing on the local radio, wives, mothers and various occupations as members of the work force.

My mom made his coat.  Such a beautiful family.
Three of the sisters have two sons and one daughter.  I have one son, period.  Yesterday, Saturday June 28 we celebrated a couple of days early the birth of the first of the children.  Oldest Nephew turns 58 on Monday, June 30.  We shared memories of the joy of him as a child.  How excited he would be to see us stop by the garage apartment in McKinney.  He was just crawling and would be waiting at the top of the stairs, smiling the beautiful smile.

A few months later his folks move to a rent house.  As I remember it was close to his first birthday.  Chiffon pies were big that summer.  Chiffon pies were dissolved Jello folded into whipped cream poured into a baked pie crust.  The flavor depended on the flavor of Jello.  Oldest Nephew was sitting in the high chair in the kitchen of the house just off Waddill St.  He put a piece of the pie in his mouth only to begin searching for the food in his lap.  The chiffon pie was so light he thought he had dropped it.  The semi-circle of people watching the apple of our eyes, Oldest Nephew/Grandson, broke into laughter as we realized what had happened.  Then he smiled that beautiful smile.

Yesterday I sat at a table with my sisters and one niece, sister of the birthday boy/man, just visiting.  The niece was discussing her twin sons entering their senior year in high school and trying to decide on colleges.  The twins frowned every time we looked at them.  We aunts and Mom discussed menopause issues with this niece.  Oldest Nephew's brother arrived to join in the celebration of the his brother's birthday.  This nephew was discussing the progress of building a new church building for the church he pastors.  Two of Oldest nephew's sons and daughters along with four of his grandchildren were in attendance.  The family matriarch was there giving us five generations in attendance.

The faces of the family surrounding Oldest Nephew as he unwrapped his gifts have changed.  Gone are his Dad, both grandfathers, Granny Mozelle and Great Granny Chandler.  The faces of those still alive show the 57 years of living since that first birthday.  The birthday man/boy is showing the years, too.  Oldest Nephew has cirrhosis of the liver.  Treatments are very limited and pain is ever present on his face.  So this was a melancholy party as we sang the traditional song.

Rather than dwell on the sight of a person very ill with liver failure I choose to think of these images.











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