Wednesday, October 30, 2013
I was just telling Donny the other day that my earliest childhood memory was when I was just 4 years old...the day Sue was born.
Up until that day, October 30, 1960, there were three kids. Donna, me, and Steve. Aunt Mae (my dad's sister) and Uncle Carl kept us while mom was in the hospital. It must have been for 3 or 4 days, because back then, you didn't come home the day you delivered. They actually let you stay in the hospital and get some rest before going home. Maybe it was because people had more kids, and they NEEDED the rest before going home.
In any event, this must have been traumatic for it to be ingrained in my memory. Two specific things I remember ~ going trick or treating and breakfast. I remember my cousin Nancy took us trick or treating, and I remember having cereal for breakfast. That's not anything unusual, but what makes me remember was putting sugar on my cereal, and when the cereal was gone, I was done. I never ate that goopy mess at the bottom of the bowl. Sugar and milk. Goopy. UGH. (Although Donny says that was the best part!) Not for me. Aunt Mae made me sit there until I ate it. All of it. In those days, you didn't waste ANYTHING. I was SO ready to go home.
But this is about Sue. The other thing I remember is going home when mom and dad brought Sue home from the hospital. We lived in a small, four bedroom ranch. The smallest bedroom would now be considered a walk in closet. That was were baby Sue was in a bassinnette. If we wanted to go in to see her, we had to wear a mask. You know, the kind of masks people wear now if they have allergies?
Yep. She was the Golden Child. Right from the beginning.
But I didn't care. She was SO cute. When she smiled, she brightened a room.
Having four bedrooms, mom and dad had one, Steve had the "closet", Donna had a bedroom and I had a bedroom. Sue got to decide where she was going to sleep. Donna and I used to fight over her. She would climb into bed with me and I would tell her monsters (or something equally scary) was under the bed. She would yell to Donna "I'm sleeping with Pam tonight".
As we got older, of course Sue was excused from the "menial" tasks Donna, Steve and I were assigned when mom went back to work. She was "too young". And when mom found an empty ice cream carton at the bottom of the hamper, she lined us all up, immediately pulling Sue from the line. "She didn't do it". And in Sue's defense, I got pulled from the line too, because mom was really good at
reading faces. In the end, of course it was Steve who did it. It was ice cream.
After we were all grown, and living away from home, we occasionally would have conversations about how tough our life was growing up...I mean, all the chores we had to do, and how we couldn't do anything on Saturdays until all the housework was done (and I continued that myself as an adult, although since I retired, I don't assign Saturday as a cleaning day - it can be ANY day now!), Sue would say "After you guys left, I had to do EVERYTHING." What? If there was anything to do, it was YOUR mess. And then we would laugh. About all of it.
And then, when I had MY daughter, I wanted Sue to be her Godmother. They were a lot alike in many ways. I wish I had the picture of the two of them together - I think it was when Melissa was in college-
they both had long blonde hair and Melissa looked more like SUE than me! They were both very creative, artsy. And they could have the most interesting conversations.
How I miss that. How I miss my beautiful sister Susan Lynn. She was my best friend after Melissa died. She called me every single day. Never missed a day. Just to check on me. Never questioning how I was feeling or why I was feeling sad. She loved me unconditionally. She loved me even though I was not the same as I used to be.
I miss talking to her. I miss her laugh. I miss our political discussions. And I miss taking care of her too. Oh, I definitely got frustrated at times with choices she made, but underneath that hard exterior, was a softness only known to those who looked for it. It was there, I saw it, experienced it. She was very intelligent, she was a sharp dresser like my mom (although her verbage didn't always match her attire), and very creative. Never a holiday or birthday went by that I didn't receive something she had made...a wreath, a piece of jewelry, a handmade card (still have the Christmas card she made for all of us last Christmas). She was really talented.
And I hate saying was.
How I miss you Sue. I love you so much.
Just a side note here...I think I have recently recieved a wake up call. Maybe from Melissa, maybe from Sue, my mom...God. I don't know.
If you read between the lines in this blog, you probably know that there have been times when I have missed Melissa SO much, the thought of being with her seemed like a solution to all the pain....
well, the message came in the form of pain.
About a month ago, I was experiencing a lot of abdominal pain. Haven't been to the doctor, in, oh, about five years (connection?), but this was bad enough to make me call. Turns out, I have diverticulitis. So did my mom, so did Sue. Very common, I'm told. Didn't help the pain any. Ended up in ER last Friday, on the advice of my doctor who had already treated me two weeks before for the diverticulitis (antibiotics). She wanted a CT scan to see what was going on before treating me with something else. As expected, it was a flare up (although I was sure there was some kind of blockage - it was so bad) and once again, on antibiotics. But there was also some calcification on the right side around (?) the ovaries. The look on the doctors face didn't help matters, but there wasn't anything I could do until Monday morning. Had the boys on Monday, so made an appointment for 7:15 a.m. Tuesday. She is ordering an ultrasound (sometime next week) and a colonoscopy.
Feeling a little better, just sick to my stomach (probably from hunger - on a liquid diet) from the meds.
The wake up call? As much as I want to be with Melissa, and actually look forward to wrapping my arms around her...I'm not ready to leave the rest of my family. This is pretty scary, and I should have been taking care of myself for the last five years. But I really wasn't.
When I woke up this morning, I felt a lot better than I did when I went to bed. I had this "flash" of a scene from my favorite Christmas movie, It's a Wonderful Life. It was when Jimmy Stewart was standing on the bridge at the end of the movie crying saying "I want to live. I want to live".....
Wow. That's me.
I want to live.
(Thanks Melissa, mom, Sue, God. I needed this wake up call - I love all of you.)
Posted by Fort