And, wow, are they something. Hideous comes to mind, but mom loves them. As does my recently graduated niece (who wants a pair, exactly like these).
Here’s said niece, rocking the elf slippers,
I stopped in at Mom’s on my way back home to Maine. She was asleep, but woke right up when she saw the slippers being put next to her bed. She loves them!
She can’t hear the bells. I told her, trust me, you’re jingling all over the place.
Daisy, overseeing niece and her beau,
Pobrecita, she’s been diagnosed with Lyme, but is now on medication and is feeling better.
crazy stories, or never judge people by their cover
I went south of Boston last weekend for a memorial service for an aunt. She’s my biological father Lee’s sister. I didn’t grow up with this part of the family, but have been back in touch with them since about a dozen years ago. Lee is long dead, but it has been good to get to know a little about them and about him through them. Aunt Olive and I exchange holiday cards, and I have visited her a couple of times since then. I spoke with her in January, and in February my cousin Joe called to say she’d gone into the hospital with advanced lung cancer. They thought she might easily have 6 months and even up to 2 years. But she died within 2 weeks. At her request, Joe rode her cremains up from FL to Boston on his Harley so she could be interred with her father.
If any situation calls for potential discomfort, it might be one like this, seeing a large part of family that one doesn’t know, and where the relationship is through a father who couldn’t get beyond his own problems to know his two children.
But it was wonderful. His widow (being, I think, his 6th wife) was there, and she gave me some really old photos. One of my cousins asked if it was weird that she was there, and I said Not at all. She is in fact, the reason I could get back in touch with them. She answered many difficult questions with honesty and integrity. I like her a lot.
Anyhow, on the surface, some of my cousins seem like a rough crowd… Joe was graveside in his Harley vest, with the Harley and Marines patches, tattoos, and etc. I overheard his brother (who I think is a recovered addict and maybe also was in jail) telling this story “and then I ran through the house, grabbed the knife off the bureau, and stabbed him… all over a swimming pool, I was 5“. And wonderful, crazy stories (much like the ones from mom’s mom’s family) from Lee’s cousins (who range in age from younger than me to older than him) growing up in Roxbury.
They all were glad I came, and they all let me know that I am family and have a place with any of them should I ever need it. Which was their way of saying they love me.
And then I was off to the niece’s graduation party. She ran up and greeted me “I’m so glad a normal person is here“. Which is funny, me, normal. Anyhow, my SIL’s mother was there. She is so poisonous. Talk about a mean, ugly (as in inside) person. She upset a lot of people, and my SIL said if she ever got that way to take her out back and shoot her.
You know, that other part of my family could get around their own issues (and trust me, there are plenty), their own addictions (I don’t know if any are active, but I do know some are in recovery), and be together as a warm and loving group. But not this woman. It was really sad. I told my SIL that mom loves her as a daughter, always and no matter what, so she should never feel like she doesn’t have a mom…
So love the family in your life, whether you were born into them, adopted into them, or chose them for yourself. It makes all the difference.