Sunday, February 26, 2012

A walk down memory lane.

LeAnne and I worked on Aunt Donna's memory boards this weekend.  We'll be having her Celebration of Life on Tuesday, and we really wanted to get this handled.  While we walked down that road, we talked, we cried, we laughed, then our Billy made us laugh to tears.  Thank goodness for text, the ability to send photos by phone (thanks for being a good sport, Rachael), and my brother's true sense of humor coming to the rescue when our weariness and sadness were getting the better of us. 

I admit that in the interest of getting these to fit on one scan, I have the ages in a bit of a hodge podge. 

Numerically speaking, here goes:

1.  My sister (who my niece J- looks remarkably like in this photo) is quite excited about a new pair of pleather zip-up boots while I, being surrounded by Tiddly Winks and a Charlie's Angel game am trying to figure out how to get that radio dog to work with nobs in places that I only recalled puppies to feed.  Yes, I did like Orange Crush.  Yes, it was the 70's.  Thank you for asking.  Age?  Probably 6.

2.  I was in the dugout at a ball game.  I don't recall this one, but I have to say that I was kinda cute.  I'm thinking that I was rockin' the age of 3 here.

3.  Oh yes.  The elephant ride.  There's a better photo on the board, but Aunt Donna took LeAnne and me to ride an elephant at the circus.  I recall having been so excited that it was all I could talk about.  I was determined that I was going to have an elephant as a pet.  My parents were unable to talk me out of it, so they bought me a Weeble Circus as a consolation prize.  When that didn't work, Mom wrote a book, submitted it to Golden Book and it got rejected.  I still have the book.  I have it put up and would like to have it printed and bound.  Here, I'm about 3.

4.  My text to several was that yes, we did go to Mom's Cuts.  Mom's response back was that we should be glad that she was such a talent with the shears.  My text back to her was a photo of my sister clearly looking as if she had been adopted into the Family Yoder, had been trained to work in the field and had become quite adept at her outhousing skills.  In all seriousness, my Aunt Donna took us for photos.  I was 6, LeAnne was 9 and Billy was 2.  This photo hung on her wall for as long as we could remember.  Well, at least up until about the last decade it hung on her wall. 

5.  4th grade.  My brother told me that I looked like a dork.  I told him that when you are rockin' the hair and teeth that I had at the time (spent years in prep for braces and braces themselves), you rock what you've got.  His text back was that at least I have teeth.  I laughed to tears.  You see, he got one of his teeth knocked out somehow (I don't want to know) and being in between insurance, he just has to go with a big front tooth and a half.  At least he owns the fact that he's looking a little off right now.  The tears of laughter did flow. 

6.  1st grade.  I found this dress in another photo of my sister or cousin at my uncle's wedding.  I think that I've figured out that this was the flower girl dress for my Uncle Billy's wedding.  He and my aunt had "Stairway to Heaven" played as she walked down the aisle.  While I didn't have that played at my wedding, I did have "Thank You" partially printed on our wedding invites and we did dance to that at our wedding reception.  It made me think of Uncle Billy.  It made me smile.

7.  My guess is that I was three here.  Look.  I mean, really look.  Could no one correct the fact that my skirt was way hiked up BEFORE they took the photo?  And Santa, was it necessary for you to wear all that rouge?  Wow! 

We discovered that my Aunt Donna was less than a stellar student.  Her report cards were suffering.  She did have a great sense of humor and we found so many photos of her on her graduation day.  She was in a dress and heels and they probably figured it was the last time that would ever happen, so they took many, many photos of her.  (Aunt Donna was a les#bi*an.)  We found a photo of her in a bikini, work ID's, her being the shirtless tom girl that we weren't surprised at, more photos than I can count of her smoking up a storm (I guess that I forgot that she smoked), in a professional baseball uniform (she played pro ball for a while), hugging my grandma, cooking on an open fire, fishing and having a great time being herself. 

How so sad we are that we don't have her around anymore.  She was a stubborn mule, but life is just not the same without her. 

We've had a hard time with the excessive time that has passed since she passed away and her Celebration of Life.  We held off so that her previous partner of 25 years would be able to attend (she had just had a hysterectomy the day that Aunt Donna passed away.)  They had broken up in a horrible divorce-style break-up, but in the past year or so, they reconciled, renewed their friendship and had been talking quite a bit.  To leave Marcia out seemed wrong.  Still, the time lapse has nearly killed LeAnne, me and the kids. 

To get her celebration finalized and actually happening takes us to a point of closure.  Sad closure, mind you, but closure. 


Rach said...

Oh, you weren't bothersome in the least. I thoroughly enjoyed your trip down memory lane!

That's the thing about me, I LOVE people and getting to know them and their past and history and such. I'm nosy that way, what can I say? So, the photos were a BLAST!

I'm glad you were able to find some fun and joy in a rather sorrowful task.

Prayers for you guys.

ChupieandJ'smama (Janeen) said...

Love the photos. So sweet!

Sometimes the trip down memory lane with Aunt Donna and learning more about her can be cathartic. I hope it made you smile.